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5 must-have IT management technologies for 2010

Enterprise IT managers should stock up on specific management technologies in 2010 to ensure their environments are optimized for performance.

By , Network World
December 23, 2009 11:25 AM ET

Network World - As more companies expand virtualization deployments and consider cloud computing, the average IT environment will grow ever more complex. For enterprise IT managers in 2010, that means they must update the technologies they use to monitor, manage and optimize the environment.

Management must-dos in 2009

Industry watchers say some of the biggest challenges facing IT organizations in 2010 are more cultural than technical. From breaking the trend of working in domains, or silos, and aligning IT services better with business needs, IT departments face many formidable tasks in 2010. Virtualization and cloud computing, for instance, require actions be taken across IT domains and will push IT organizations to break down such barriers to new technologies.

"A big limitation today in achieving the true value of some of the latest tools is IT organization, especially in enterprises. Enterprises work in silos, not only between different domain areas (for instance, network, application, server, desktop and storage) but also within domain areas such as Linux server management, mainframe management, Windows management and virtualization management," says David Williams, research vice president at Gartner. "This situation is understood and is slowly starting to be addressed with new roles and cross-domain teams being established. In 2010, IT organizations will continue to visit how they are organized to allow IT operations to become more service-centric and business-aligned."

Analysts say if the cultural hurdles can be cleared, a handful of tools will make adopting advanced technologies in 2010 easier for the majority of IT departments. Here is a brief look at five technologies industry watchers say could become mandatory for optimized IT service delivery and advanced data center operations in the coming year.

No. 1: IT service assurance

Managing the performance of IT service delivery involves myriad technologies reporting on various perspectives, including the user experience with an application.

That means IT departments need to be able to get visibility into network traffic flows as well as application performance across multiple components supporting IT services. From advanced discovery technology to traffic flow analysis to transaction monitoring, IT departments need to see the entire path of a service -- even as it exits in the corporate network and travels through external cloud environments, for instance.

The premise of IT service assurance  isn't entirely new and until recently was more commonly a concern for service providers, but enterprise IT organizations have started to evolve into service providers in their own right. Companies such as BMC, CA, HP, IBM and now EMC are touting the ability to provide insight into the life cycle of an IT service. The speed at which companies are adopting and expanding their use of virtualization and the growing interest in internal and external cloud computing environments heightens the need for such technology in 2010.

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