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|SolarWinds Announces New eBooks on IT Monitoring as a Discipline and Virtualization Management Skills|
"Despite the relative maturity of systems and network monitoring as a discipline, there are too many IT professionals who don't have as firm of a grasp on the tenets of monitoring as they should in order to ensure organizational IT success and personal career development," said Adato. "In 'Monitoring 101: A Primer to the Philosophy, Theory and Fundamental Concepts Involved in Systems Monitoring,' we seek to provide pure information without vendor bias on the basic concept of monitoring, including the FCAPS model; specific monitoring techniques, including SNMP, WMI and NetFlow; and helpful tips and tricks to set IT professionals up for monitoring success."
In "4 Skills to Master Your Virtual Universe,"
"Virtualization spans every data center construct from servers to storage to networking to security operations, and it's present in nearly every data center on earth," said Yang. "However, for many of the IT professionals managing virtual environments, it's not their primary responsibility and so they may not have had the opportunity to hone their virtualization skills. '4 Skills to Master Your Virtual Universe' attempts to bridge this virtualization knowledge gap by outlining a straightforward framework that will have any virtualization admin, whether accidental or not, up to speed in no time."
"Monitoring 101: A Primer to the Philosophy, Theory and Fundamental Concepts Involved in Systems Monitoring"
Systems crash unexpectedly, users make bizarre claims about how "the Internet" is slow, and managers request statistics, which leaves you scratching your head wondering how to collect them in a way that is meaningful and doesn't consign you to the hell of hitting Refresh and spending half the day writing down numbers on a piece of scratch paper just to get a baseline for a report.
The answer to all these challenges (and many, many more) lies in effectively monitoring your environment, collecting statistics, and/or checking for error conditions so that you can act or report effectively when needed. Of course, this is easier said than done. Saying "let's monitor our network" presumes that you know what you should be looking for, how to find it, and how to get it without impacting the system you are monitoring. You're also expected to know where to store the values, what thresholds indicate a problem situation, and how to let people know about a problem in a timely fashion.
Yes, having the right tool for the job is more than half the battle. But, it's not the whole battle, and it's not even where the skirmish started. To build an effective monitoring solution, the true starting point is learning the underlying concepts. You have to know what monitoring is before you can set up what monitoring does.
"4 Skills to Master Your Virtual Universe"
Let's start by untangling virtualization and discuss why it's become a necessary aspect of practically any IT department. I was once asked, "How would you explain what virtualization is to your grandmother?" Think of virtualization in terms of living in an apartment. Let's say you sign the lease on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. That's a lot of unused resources for just one person, so you add a roommate. Now the utilization of the apartment has doubled and the monthly cost to you has been cut in half. To save even more money, you add two more roommates. Now you are paying a quarter of the total rent, but the trade-off is that sometimes there is contention for shared resources, like the kitchen, the living room, the bedrooms or the bathrooms.
The electricity sometimes goes out, so you come up with an agreement with other friends in a similarly configured apartment in a different apartment building, which allows you and your roommates to move between the two apartments should one apartment become unusable or overcommitted. Also, if you find out that you get along better with certain roommates, you can change roommates to maintain the most agreeable roommate arrangements.
So, Grandma, that is virtualization in a nutshell: Consolidation and availability of resources to enable cost savings and efficient data center utilization.
But what skills do you need in order to successfully walk the walk of a virtualization administrator? The following four skills make up a straightforward framework that will get any virtualization admin up to speed in no time: Discovery, Alerting, Remediation and Troubleshooting.
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