We talked in our previous post ‘5 IT Monitoring Must-Haves to Protect Against Outages’ about how to evaluate IT monitoring. However, even the most robust ITSM strategies and plans won’t completely eliminate outages. Now here are 5 ways you can manage outages within service levels and minimize the impact to your business.
- Keep hardware up to date
Keeping hardware up to date serves two purposes: (1) it enables you to implement newer more robust appliances; and (2) it ensures the reliability of your network in a more cost effective way. Often we find IT teams expending more resources and incurring greater risk of an outage by running equipment that’s pushing the limits of its capacity, when they could be spending less and incurring less risk running newer more efficient hardware. Do the math… the costs of a potential outage may likely outweigh the capital investment in new hardware.
- Maintain an updated Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
One can hardly discuss ITSM without mentioning the importance of an up-to-date CMDB. Not only can it help prevent outages by allowing you to coordinate changes and business service mappings, but should an outage occur, the CMDB can help you get to the root cause faster and isolate the issue to the customer(s) affected. The most effective service desks are able to leverage visibility to alarms, incidents and the infrastructure as a means of preventing or minimizing an outage.
- Control and monitor network access
As the number of devices connecting to the network grows, so too does security risk. From an ITSM perspective, Network Access Control (NAC) is an emerging best practice that offers added protection against endpoint security threats such as high-risk applications, lapsed anti-virus protection, and the like. While experts are not yet in agreement on how to effectively implement NAC, a unified monitoring approach can guard against threats that could lead to an outage. Consider NAC protocols in your ITSM strategy. Additionally, consider how you will monitor network access and make sure your monitoring solution works with or without NAP agents. By monitoring traffic against protocols you’ll be better positioned to detect intrusions and mitigate damage.
- Simplify your networkWith more of our corporate IT and MSP clients turning to the cloud and virtualized environments, there’s an opportunity to simplify network infrastructure. WAN link controllers are a great way to simplify protocol management and maintain uptime and availability in a cloud or Saas environment. As part of your ITSM strategy, WAN controllers can help you meet service levels relative to application response time as well as security
- Leverage monitoring data to predict and prevent future outages
While most ITSM experts agree that outages are not 100 percent preventable, learning from them is the best way to prevent future similar outages and mitigate downtime. Analyze the historical performance data in your monitoring solution’s Performance Management Database (PMDB). It can indicate trends that point to a future outage situation before it occurs.
It bears repeating that outages will happen. However, with a robust ITSM strategy that includes preventive strategies, outage incidents and duration can be minimized. Learn how unified service management can optimize your network and guard against outages.