All Favorites

The Myth of the Single Pane of Glass

The ultimate goal of every monitoring solution or operations dashboard out there is to boil itself down to the most basic set of components possible. In the past, the explosion of point products designed to look at a single aspect of a system was endemic. If you wanted to monitor the port status of a switch, it was one tool. Need to know bandwidth utilization? You need a new tool. Want to send a command to the switch to cap the bandwidth? Still another tool. When unified solutions started appearing that promised to pull everything together into a cohesive platform, the industry raced to embrace this idea of one dashboard to look at for all of your needs.

Skip to today where “single pane of glass” is a punchline in most presentations. Practitioners and IT operations teams all over the world know that a single solution for all your needs is impossible to build, let alone operate. That’s even more true when you realize that the entire organization you work for doesn’t revolve around the IT operations team. What about the developers working day and night to keep your applications running? What about the other teams that need access to certain bits of information that are only important to them? And even if you could unify all of that into a single tool, would you even want to?

Chris Grundemann has spent years in the trenches and he knows that the single pane of glass is a myth. He also knows why. When you see the trends of DevOps and even NoOps moving toward more relevance in the organization than the traditional IT Operations teams, you need to understand why having one solution to fit every need isn’t going to work at all. As Chris puts it:

What I really want is the perfect pane of glass for what I am doing right now, and I want it to be different when I am doing something else. Even more-so, I want a personalized pane of glass for each of the different groups and the different roles that are all simultaneously performing their flavor of operations on their level of technology infrastructure in support of my business.

Make sure you check out the entire post for more great insights into the future of IT in the enterprise and how role-based dashboard views are going to be the norm, whether we want them or not. Read more at The Myth of the Single Pane of Glass.

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

Leave a Comment