The issue that enterprise IT infrastructure managers struggle with most is ensuring consistent end-to-end application and service performance guarantees, according to a survey of 67 enterprise infrastructure managers at European companies with revenues in excess of $1 billion conducted by Forrester Research.
“Enterprise IT infrastructure managers tell us that the challenges they face are becoming more severe,” says Forrester analyst Thomas Mendel. “Companies should look at their specific situation and use these examples as best practice guidelines.”
The top five issues, along with Forrester’s recommendations for how to deal with them, include :
- Providing consistent end-to-end application and service performance guarantees
Business decision-makers increasingly demand consistent service levels for key applications. Forrester recommends the use of a service catalogue and service level maintenance (SLM) and/or business service management (BSM) technologies.
- Unplanned infrastructure changes resulting in incidents and downtime
Manually maintaining and changing the infrastructure often results in end-user downtime. For this, Forrester recommends implementing automation technologies and a change management process based on the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) standard for best practice.
- Misconfiguration of network objects
Network objects that are inappropriately configured can cause sudden and potentially disastrous disruption to key business applications. Again, change management tools and ITIL best practice protocols are Forrester’s recommended defence against this risk, alongside automated network configuration.
- Wide-area network (WAN) performance
With voice calls now running over IP network at many companies, infrastructure managers face headaches in separating mission-critical phone traffic from other, less crucial data traffic. Forrester’s advice is to implement bandwidth management and WAN traffic compression.