How to choose the right visibility tools – a comparison

We’ve seen already the impact that low visibility can have on a business – in terms of the frustration for the end user, time and effort for an IT team as issues get passed around, and a decrease in productivity hitting the bottom line. But what options are out there for getting full visibility across your IT infrastructure? And how do you know which is right for your business? We take a look below.

Native tools

Whether it’s Perfmon for Windows, Director for Citrix, or vRealize for VMware, there are some great native tools out there. They often come with the product and provide a view into what is happening within that one product or machine. The problem is that this view is innately in its own silo, only providing a limited look into one area of your infrastructure with no ‘single pane of glass’. Not only that; it’s difficult to map dependencies across platforms – so something that’s working perfectly well in its own environment may be causing problems as it interacts with other platforms.

Commercial on premise options

Then you have on premise, customised options, providing cross-platform visibility, centralised alerts and troubleshooting – tools such as Microsoft SCOM, SolarWinds, and Nagios. These are a fantastic option for bigger businesses, but they still need product expertise within the team to implement, manage and tune. These visibility platforms need to be nurtured, thresholds take months to tune, they must be upgraded, and the reporting engine takes time to learn. This can be tricky when people within IT teams tend to turnover every few years, and take their specialist expertise with them. Additionally, with a big upfront CAPEX cost and vendor lock-in, the initial investment tends to be significantly higher than other options.

SaaS offerings

New Relic, AppDynamics and other SaaS providers offer up cloud-based tools that feature no upfront CAPEX, faster implementation, and no infrastructure to manage or upgrade. You’ll still find that you need expertise to tune thresholds, run reports, and interpret the results. Additionally, there’s little scope for customisation – so don’t expect to create something that suits all your needs.

Managed visibility and reporting tools

Your last option is to work with experts like Deptive, who can give you access to a customised option without the upfront commitment or need to have an in-house expert. Kind of a hybrid of an on-site option and an SaaS offering, we take care of setting up the infrastructure, maintaining and updating it, tweaking it to suit you, and providing you with reports that actually mean something and show you what to do next. In our next post we’ll take a more in-depth look at this and show you how it could work for your business.

Native ToolsFree or low cost
Created for the environments you’re already using
Silos of data
Hard to map dependencies
Not an enterprise tool
Commercial on premiseCustomised for your business
Gives end-to-end visibility
Centralised alerts and troubleshooting
Good enterprise level solution
High upfront cost
Product expertise needed in-house
Hard to implement and fine-tune
Vendor lock-in
Need to upgrade regularly
SaaSFaster implementation
No upfront CAPEX – monthly cost
No upgrades needed
Expertise needed to tune and interpret results
Little customisation possible
Managed toolsOverarching visibility across all your environments
Access to enterprise level solution
No upfront CAPEX – monthly cost
Expertise from provider bundled in
Reports generated with clear recommendations

Whatever option you choose, making sure you’re getting as much visibility over your infrastructure as possible is vital – for the IT team, your end users, and your bottom line. If you want to explore your options further, just get in touch.

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Commercial Bay Tower, Level 17, Room 1715
Auckland 1010
We also have a virtual office in Wellington.

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