Having been former athletes, my wife and I truly believed we were healthy and in great shape. We still average at least 6 or 7 hours per week running, cycling, playing soccer, teaching Zumba or TRX or lifting weights. We’ve worn heart rate monitoring straps for years to enhance performance but the chest-based straps were a pain (literally). So this year we invested in wrist-based heart rate activity bands. We still get fairly accurate HR tracking to quantify intensity. But we also gained additional features, including floors climbed, distance, sleep monitoring, etc. And we learned a few things in the process….things that required changes to our lifestyle.
The same can be said about protecting IT environments. Administrators generally have access to some details about system health, but often not all components at once, or in real time. And, much like personal health, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.
Think about it for a moment. I’ll bet your IT environment is not constructed of a single product from a single vendor. You probably have dozens or hundreds (maybe thousands!) of components and solutions from multiple vendors, and each product type has its own monitoring software. It’s virtually impossible to monitor each and every component in real time, let alone have visibility into all of them to understand overall status of the environment. If you’re not proactively monitoring your environment you’re already in trouble. Being reactive to issues is counterproductive and you’ll end up fighting fires every time a problem occurs. You simply can’t get an accurate picture of IT health this way!
So the question remains: what was the most important thing we learned with our HR activity bands? Simply that we weren’t getting enough sleep. Well, actually, we were getting enough QUANTITY. We made every attempt to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. Rather, it was the QUALITY of sleep that was suffering. Out of the 7 hours of sleep per night, less than 1.5 hours of that was in a deep or REM sleep, which is the type of sleep vital to overall health, daytime alertness, muscle recovery, and much more. Sleep is your personal health protector, just like your IT infrastructure is the protector of your business data. (more…)