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The World Cup & IPM: Not as Unrelated as You Might Think…

By Len Rosenthal, Chief Marketing Officer, Virtual Instruments

The World Cup is here and people around the globe are getting swept up in the excitement, predicting results and gluing themselves to TV screens in homes, offices, and bars. While the World Cup offers a welcome excuse for employees to take a break from the daily grind, with many games taking place during office hours, it takes a toll on businesses of all types and sizes. This isn’t intended to be a buzzkill-type article bemoaning how much collective revenue is lost by employees watching the games on the company’s expense – instead, we’ll take a look at how the World Cup resembles infrastructure performance management (IPM) in more ways than you might think.

Let’s start with the concept of “noisy neighbors.” Noisy neighbors are co-tenants or applications that monopolize bandwidth, disk I/O, CPU and other networked resources, resulting in a reduction in application performance. If a significant number of your organizations’ employees are firing up any of the World Cup apps on their mobile devices while connected to the company Wi-Fi, they’ve just introduced one of the noisiest neighbors you could imagine. Suddenly, your organization’s infrastructure is under extreme siege, and your Tier 1 applications – the business-critical apps that your customers depend on – are fighting for bandwidth scraps.

Noisy neighbors, though, are often co-tenants or apps that consistently monopolize bandwidth – they can be issues that plague an organization’s infrastructure for extended periods of time before they’re finally identified and resolved. The World Cup, however, is an event that is very finite – it lasts about a month, and the majority of the games take place in the first couple of weeks. As a result, the World Cup overwhelms an organization’s infrastructure like a tidal wave, crippling the internal network bandwidth performance in a sudden burst. This kind of event is the stuff of IT managers’ nightmares, as it can lead to the dreaded “O” word: outages. When an organization suffers an outage, not only are critical company applications brought to a halt, but its invaluable SLAs are then compromised – which can lead to the loss of customers and revenues, adding a hefty amount of salt to the wound.

If you’re an IT operations manager, the ideal solution, of course, is to prohibit your employees from snatching precious infrastructure resources to watch the World Cup while on the clock, but that won’t endear you to your workforce – and enforcing it would be an unrealistic proposition. The next best solution, then, is to utilize tools that can help you gain full visibility into your infrastructure and the apps that are drawing bandwidth and I/O from it. Solutions that provide real-time insights into the performance, availability, health, and utilization of your data center infrastructure help you prepare for and withstand extreme events like the World Cup.

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