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29.12.2009 05:00 Age: 9 yrs
Category: Blog
Phil Baxter

Top 10 tips for choosing an Infrastructure Management solution

In any enterprise, small or large, as an organisation grows, it is inevitable that the hardware used is sourced from different manufacturers. This in itself isn't a real issue as that is what must be done if "best of breed" is required. The issue comes in monitoring and managing the environment.

Here are my top 10 tips when choosing the right management solution for you...

  1. Don't be seduced by whiz bang features that you will never need
  2. Aim for a few solutions as possible, 1 is best, 2 is ok, 3 is acceptable, any more will become unwieldly and hard to integrate and manage
  3. Be clear about what you want to do (don't confuse routine management tools with one off problem solving tools e.g. wireshark is a great tool, but not really practical for day to day monitoring, it is best at troubleshooting a specific network issue)
  4. Consider the deliverables to your customers when choosing a solution (don't go for complexity if you don't need it)
  5. Think ahead, what are your customers going to need in 6, 9, 12 months time when they demand more because the service you give has improved, build it in now
  6. The business is built on and betting on the infrastructure, so consider business continuity for your monitoring solution
  7. Make sure you have professional support for the solution you choose (free/open source is great, but are you able to fix it yourself when it goes wrong?)
  8. Don't confuse Infrastructure monitoring and management with other requirements (e.g. asset management) while they all will fall within your domain, they don't always need to be in the same user interface and so may be a separate best of breed solution (just like the infrastructure, you don't use the same hardware to perform every job)
  9. Don't be frightened to invest time and effort to make your solution do exactly what you need (there are very few that are perfect for you "out of the box")
  10. Ensure that you can embed your own local knowledge into your chosen solution.