“Look Where You’re Going,” said Mom.
To avoid outages and gain visibility into your IT resilience status, follow that indispensable advice in complex IT environments too!
We’ve been writing for some time, both in our blogs and our product material, about the importance of having visibility into the state of your IT environment’s resilience. The ability to pinpoint the status of configurations, the presence of misconfigurations, their severity and potential impact, and to identify potential single points of failure are essential in order to provide reliably continuous service – to all users – customers, employees and partners.
Forrester Research finds enterprises lack needed visibility into their IT environments
If you joined our April 16th webinar on “Rethinking Resilience,” then you heard Forrester analyst Naveen Chhabra deliver his take on the evolving 24×7 demands for resilience. Mr. Chhabra reported on the research he conducted about how enterprises handle the growing challenges of resilience. One of his key conclusions was the necessity of visibility. He said, “If you cannot see, you cannot manage.” And, in further referring to his research and to his discussions with executives at Fortune 100 and 500 companies, he stated that many of these companies don’t have the “required visibility into their overall resilience levels,” and this creates a lack of confidence in their IT environment.
Mr. Chhabra’s research found that only 18% of enterprises consider themselves “very prepared” to handle a disaster scenario. Indeed, not having confidence in the IT environment because its risks are unknown can induce paralysis, expressed in inaction: for example, not moving workloads to safer, redundant environments during times of threat – such as severe weather, or during times of peak demand – such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In the absence of visibility, “the best that organizations can do is trial and error,” according to Mr. Chhabra. Unfortunately, this modus operandi usually falls short of what enterprises need.
Gaining knowledge about the workings of your IT environment assures dependability
If we agree that it’s vital to know how resilient your environment is, the question then becomes how to gain that knowledge. Implicit in that traditional advice – “look where you’re going” – is the idea of proactivity: looking around to understand the conditions, the “lay of the land,” before taking the next step. Translated into the language of IT environments, it means knowing where potential problems lie and repairing them before they cause failure; this allows you to provide service with assurance.
Mr. Chhabra noted that enterprises want to attain the visibility they need. In order to do so, they need to adopt a solution that proactively detects risks arising from misconfigurations and other sources.
Taking the required step to visibility and resilience assurance
A truly effective resilience assurance solution is basically comprised of two aspects that work together. There’s the “technical” aspect whose role is to detect whether or not the entire environment – across all infrastructure layers – is configured correctly. Continuity Software’s AvailabilityGuard NXG™ solution can determine where misconfigurations and potential single points of failure exist, in part, owing to our knowledgebase of nearly 8,000 best practice recommendations from vendors, industry and users. Our knowledgebase is constantly updated with the most recent best practices so that its information applies to every type of environment (physical, virtual, hybrid) and covers modern workloads like containers and Kubernetes.
Then there’s the “business” aspect of the solution. In every enterprise, different business owners serve different constituents, each with their own needs. Thus, on a per-department level, business owners need to see the resilience status of their applications or the regions they manage. For the sake of the cybersecurity of core data assets, different business stakeholders need to be aware of the resilience of data storage devices. AvailabilityGuard NXG’s dashboard and reports gives IT and business users up-to-the-minute data on resilience, via both a big picture view and on a granular level. When problems are detected, the solution informs the responsible personnel of the situation, its severity, potential impact, and provides guidelines for repair.
Our AvailabilityGuard NXG resilience assurance solution provides the visibility enterprises are looking for. It ties together all the organization’s resilience needs and commitments, enabling the enterprise to confidently stand behind their service commitments to all users.