Not a SPOG… but a Green House

So in my last post. I asked the question: How many Single Pane’s of Glass do we have? Does anyone actually WANT a SPOG?

I got a few comments, and the more I think about this, the more I think the answer is a resounding


( quote from @neelixx )

There’s a lot of talk in the industry right now about the SPOG, and although I may be not popular for saying this, but I don’t think ANYONE wants a Single Pane of Glass to manage their entire IT infrastructure.

Let me say that again…

I don’t think anyone wants a single-pane-of-glass TO MANAGE THEIR ENTIRE IT INFRASTRUCTURE.

No. I’m not yelling, I’m just using the CAPS to emphasize the last part of that sentence, because that’s where a lot of the industry right now has started to go sideways on this concept.

Not a single-pane-of-glass… but a Green House.


Take this cube above. It’s actually built from six single-panes-of-glass. Six Unique perspectives looking in on the same contents.

Now there may be a debate on how many unique perspectives there are in any given IT infrastructure, but I think it’s safe to say that each one has a valid set of requirements and a certain way of looking at the infrastructure.

You can also see how the SPOGs connect at the edges. The blending of data between the different perspectives.

Now how does this play out in reality?

Let’s look at HPs IMC. This product is built specifically from a network perspective. And HP makes no apologies for that. It’s completely homegrown in HPN, not a set of multiple products from multiple acquisitions. ( ok… so maybe it’s a single product from a single acquisition, but the point is it’s all from the same place. )

IMC is built with the Network Professionals perspective in mind. Does this mean that I can’t do server management from within this tool? Absolutely not!

But is it the BEST place to do server management? Absolutely not!

As I tweeted out tonight, I don’t think anyone would want to do firmware mgmt from a network tool.

But… there are network based services, like DNS, DHCP, NTP, RADIUS, etc… that live on SERVERS but are of particular interest to the Network Professionals.

Or what about Virtualization? Again, IMC will give you direct access to the Networking Specific areas of interest in VMware and HyperV.

Does that mean that I’m going to use IMC to build and manage VMs? Absolutely not!

Does that mean that I”m going to use IMC to track network stats, configure vSwitches, and manage the VLAN interfaces on port groups on my ESXi hosts?


Why? Because vCenter really isn’t built for network people to do network tasks. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It was designed for the Server Professional ( the Virtualization Professional?) to manage the specific areas of interest ( CPUs, Memory, VMTools, FT, HA, Virtual Storage, etc..) that they require to do their job.

Now look at the cube above… imagine that IMC is one of those sides, vCenter is another, HP’s SIM is another. Maybe Microsoft SCOM is in there?

All of those tools have integration points between them.

All of them have a perspective on the exact same infrastructure.

All of them provide the right tools for a specific IT Professional to get their job done.

I understand that desire for a single tool that’s going to manage your entire IT infrastructure, but I just don’t know if that’s ever going to be a reality simply because there are way too many moving pieces. I can’t imagine an interface that would allow the network people to get what they need, the server people to get what they need, the storage to get what they need, etc…

Maybe just ensuring that the complimentary edges on our individual SPOGs are well lined up, like a green house, will allow the IT infrastructure to flourish.

Am I wrong? Right? Let me know what you’re thinking.



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