One of the items that Michael says is essential for structuring your systems management is automation. As Matt Simmons says:
Remember, if you can script it, script it. If you can’t script it, make a checklist
In the Windows world automation has been a pretty tough ask until Windows PowerShell came onto the scene. Whilst it was possible to script Windows with VBScript, it wasn’t easy or quick. If it isn’t easy and quick it probably won’t happen.
I still haven’t noticed any network management tools supporting PowerShell yet. Shame. Given that nearly everything seems to be sprouting PowerShell support it is a shame that network and systems management vendors are slow supporting a technology designed to help sys admins do their job more easily.
The world is becoming a lot more dynamic with virtual & cloud computing coming to the fore. Management tools need to be equally dynamic and yet, so far, they’ve been pretty un-dynamic. If I have a script that provisions a new virtual machine it would be nice to tell the management platform to start monitoring its performance from the same script. If I have a script that takes down a service, it would be nice to tell the management platform to put that particular service into maintenance mode so I don’t get deluged with alerts.