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3 Server Management Problems Enterprise IT Needs to Solve

Agent Management

There are three significant problems that plague IT teams as they deploy and maintain agent and agentless server management solutions on 1000s of servers and hybrid infrastructure. Let’s take a look. The Situation: Server Management Processes are too complex, too slow, and too expensive.

CIOs and IT executives need to ensure that business applications are deployed effectively and operate reliably. To do this, their staffs use a variety of server management solutions, added to their servers; anti-virus and other endpoint protection software to enhance security. Log and event collection software to audit server access and security changes. Monitoring software to understand server performance, application behavior and usage patterns. Backup software to safeguard critical application data and more.

All these server management solutions must be deployed in compliance with regulatory and corporate policy, otherwise the enterprise can be exposed to business and legal risks. And any individual server management solution will need to be configured in one of many ways, for example, depending on server role (database, apps, web, etc.), and server location (USA vs. EU, or AWS vs. On-Prem.).

server management solutions, server deployment, server maintenance, agent, agentless, cloud migration

Figure 1. Server management processes can be too complex, too slow, and too expensive

Servers need to be deployed quickly to satisfy user-requirements and SLAs. IT Ops often needs to receive information from various stakeholders and coordinate different processes based on highly variable requirements.

And keep in mind that each server management solution has a life-cycle: it needs to be monitored, managed, maintained and updated. Imagine the situation: a server breach could have been avoided if an available update to a server end-point security solution had been applied.

Now multiply this “day-2” server management situation out to hundreds and even thousands of servers, each with several server management solutions that all have their own life-cycle.

The result: provisioning and Day-2 management processes that worked adequately for on-prem physical machines are stressed beyond capacity in a world with virtual machines and hybrid private/public cloud computing. These processes are do not scale: they are too complex, too slow, and too expensive. So, that’s the situation.

And it’s getting worse.

What’s the problem?

Let’s look at three root problems that create this situation. Addressing these problems is fundamental to fixing the server management quagmire that Enterpriser IT teams’ find themselves in today.

1. Lack of Visibility and Control

The first problem is that IT teams don’t have overall and complete visibility over sever management solutions that are deployed across all their physical, virtual and cloud server infrastructures. They don’t know how (or if) their servers are managed uniformly

  • Across computing environments (on-prem., private cloud, public cloud, etc.)
  • Across geographically dispersed data centers, and
  • Across wide-ranging server roles (database, apps, web, etc.).

Which servers are running which server management solutions? Is everything up to date? Is everything running correctly?

Exacerbated by this limited visibility is a similar lack of centralized control. Without this control, it is very difficult for IT teams to deploy new server management solutions, or update existing solutions. Because of this, newer versions of various solutions – those that provide better functionality or fix vulnerabilities – are often slow to be deployed, if they are at all.

Without the ability to quickly make changes, organizations can become locked into their existing server management solutions, and can’t easily switch to newer, best-of-breed options from other vendors.

In fact, the entire life-cycle of configuring, deploying, registering, upgrading, troubleshooting, ensuring compliance, and decommissioning of server management solutions can be overwhelming, cumbersome and painful.

webinar CTA How to Orchestrate IT Management Tools

2. Agents as Culprits

Much of the difficulty can be traced to the fact that many server management solutions require agents to be installed on every server. This requires time-consuming coordination with server owners for each agent to be installed (or modified), which slows the entire deployment process considerably. It may also necessitate server reboots, which are likely to affect application performance and cause interruptions or downtime.

The resulting experience for business users is frustrating at best. For instance, it’s not unusual for users to wait weeks to get a new application or have a new server commissioned. While the IT teams responsible for deploying security, backup, monitoring and other solutions complete their tasks, users are waiting, possibly with their own business projects on hold.

Instantaneous service is the new normal in our everyday lives. On mobile devices and with cloud-based services users are not willing to accept poor service in their work lives. If IT organizations are perceived to operate too slowly, rightly or wrongly, IT teams can then be perceived as barriers to business innovation, rather than enablers.

3. Cloud Complexities and Web Scale

Cloud-based infrastructure is disrupting Enterprise IT processes that were adequate even just a few years ago. As more organizations embrace the cloud, IT teams face two issues:

  1. Cloud infrastructure adds another layer of complexity.The server management software deployed to on-premises physical or virtual machines are not necessarily the right ones for workloads in the public cloud. This means a new – often parallel – solutions and processes need to be learned and adopted.
  1. Cloud-scale and web-speed operations require new, faster ways to do things. The way server management solutions are provisioned on-premises often can’t scale to meet the magnitude and speed required for public infrastructure. Traditional approaches are often too slow, too cumbersome and too prone to manual error.

What Next?

So, where does this leave us? How can we simplify, accelerate and modernize the deployment and maintenance of agent and agentless server management solutions across 1000s of servers and hybrid infrastructure?

Well, this is what Jetpatch solves for customers. Our out of the box software transforms the entire server deployment, “day-2” management, and standards compliance process. Jetpatch unifies processes and stakeholders across both on-prem and hybrid cloud environments.

If you’d like to learn more about Jetpatch, I invite you to check out some recent webinars or whitepapers.

Oran Epelbaum
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