By: Bernt Ostergaard, Service Director, telecom & IT Services, Quocirca
Published: 22nd October 2013
Copyright Quocirca © 2013
With the emergence of multiple new communication services and a dizzying array of new devices, many corporate communication systems are exhibiting signs of choking on their internal comms. The challenge facing the typical IT manager in a geographically dispersed organisation coalesce around the use of many common web-based applications that run critical aspects of the business on top of the bedrock of corporate email and collaboration apps. The constant availability and performance of these applications has a direct impact on the corporate bottom line, so IT wants to be proactive in ensuring the performance and availability of these applications, and not be driven by angry end user calls to their help desk.
Many organisations rely on Microsoft Exchange to deliver the email, and SharePoint to house the information sharing and collaboration activities. There is clearly now an urgent need to make sure that these comms functions don’t get congested, and that the information queues never grind to a halt.
Not only is the volume and diversity of traffic flows expanding, so is the range of stakeholders who need to be kept informed. The technical admin will need details on areas such as how much space is being used by email boxes; the line of business (LoB) managers will want to understand how their employees are using the platforms, and what it’s costing them; the networking team needs to estimate future traffic volumes based on real-time analysis etc.
Admins and managers of large Exchange and SharePoint communities with 10,000 users and upwards typically rely on Microsoft’s Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to provide them with the performance overviews they need. However, we have seen that they find this too complex, too difficult to manage and too time-consuming in its use.
Quocirca is about to release a report in conjunction with GSX on the needs that such organisations must address in order to fully understand how well their Exchange and SharePoint environments are working—at a highly granular, yet contextually meaningful level. What may be needed is a layered approach—something that overlays SCOM to give the information those individuals in different corporate positions need—rapidly and effectively—so that decisions can be made on what the individual sees.
SCOM provides a powerful set of System Centre tools for managing various aspects of the data centre, collecting and aggregating data on application configuration and performance, but leaves much to be desired in the granularity and usefulness of the information it provides relating to Exchange and SharePoint performance.
The Quocirca report identifies five keys areas of focus that need to be addressed to meet this challenge:
So how will these best-practice bullets help Exchange sand SharePoint admins and managers—besides optimising comms processes, automating the routine stuff, and handling configuration and planning issues? More and more, they are being asked to reinvent themselves—and the company. In order to lead the market, competitive technology organisations must come up with perspectives on revenue generation and demonstrate how process improvements can enable cost-reduction. To do that the admins and managers need to get into the driving seat with a clear view of the road ahead and time to think about where they and the company should be heading.
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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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