Understanding the complex relationships between applications and the server, network and storage resources on which they depend is critical for effective management. Keeping track of these relationships is particularly challenging in converged data center environments where virtual machine migration, scale out storage and elastic service pools create large scale, rapidly changing relationships between the application components.
Current application discover and dependency mapping tools often require considerable manual configuration effort and can quickly fall behind in dynamic environments. Stale or incomplete dependency maps are of limited value in supporting the real-time performance, security and trouble shooting tasks that challenge data center managers.
Scalable, real-time visibility into network, system and storage relationships is one of the benefits of adopting the sFlow standard for converged data center monitoring. Most switch vendors implement sFlow in their switch hardware, providing integrated, wire-speed visibility into traffic between servers, throughout the data center, without the need for agents (see Hybrid server monitoring).
The application dependency map shown at the top of this page tracks application dependencies in real time using sFlow data (see Choosing an sFlow analyzer). The dependency map is only a small part of the integrated data center visibility provided by sFlow. The sFlow standard integrates network, storage and server monitoring to deliver a seamless picture of data center performance.