Planning for Monitoring
Now that you have a basic understanding of what monitoring in ITIL is, you can start planning for your monitoring operations. How will you monitor, what will you monitor and how will you use the results of monitoring?
Start by deciding what you will be monitoring. If you are new to ITIL and have few or immature IT processes, start by monitoring the basics. At a very basic level, make a list of your key configuration items such as your mail server, file server and so on. Also be sure to list any critical networking components such as backbone switches and your firewall. Each of these items should be monitored for connectivity. Additional proactive monitoring such as setting thresholds for low disk space or high memory usage on your key servers is highly recommended. More advanced organizations will likely build processes to monitor other IT processes to ensure they are being carried out in a consistent and efficient manner.
Next, you’ve got to figure out how you are going to monitor for events. There are many network monitoring tools ranging from basic to advanced and free to expensive. Nagios is a popular open source network monitoring tool while on the commercial side Microsoft Operations Manager is another popular choice. Other non-technical monitoring such as processes can be ‘monitored’ by other processes. For example, you could monitor your new hire process after each new hire starts. Was the new hire set up properly, at the appropriate time and in the manner expected based on your procedure?
Last, what do you do with the data? Monitoring does no good if you don’t plan for what to do with the data you collect. In the case of technical monitoring, it should be simple – fix the issue or prevent the problem from happening. In the case of a process, look at ways the process would have been improved or made more consistent.
Again, this was just an introduction to monitoring and planning ITIL processes. By monitoring you can ensure you are on top of potential issues while looking for opportunities for improvement.