Save Your NetworksWith a set of new protocols, service management may let you to manage your network as a unified whole, rather than on a component-by-component basis.
Service management is a set of technologies and organizational principles that promises to save IT from the tyranny of component-level management. Instead of monitoring the operation of separate networking devices--switches, servers, routers, and the like--service management looks at the inter-relationship between them. With IT looking to weld applications together through Web services and virtualize processing across pools of servers, network architects will need this capability to monitor interactions and ensure that the underlying platforms can adapt automatically to new requirements.
With that information pulled into a common database, network managers will have a holistic view of the network. They'll be able to translate application-level requirements into network-level requirements, opening the way for firm SLAs based not on arcane metrics such as packet delay, but on user-level terms such as transaction response times.