There' s currently a lot of activity going on the monitoring and metrics collection landscape and I couldn't be more happy about that as it's on of those things which also keep me busy in a professional way. When looking at the growth of information, blogs and projects I can see that I share many of the problems I'm confronted with, with many people out there.
Day to day operations
One of driving forces in my search of solutions has always been about making sure that whoever uses it does not have to be a rocket scientist or somebody who is soaked into the subject and aware of all the perils that come with monitoring and metrics collection in general. I'm not only talking about who is going to use the application, but also about the people who are involved in it some way or the other and who have because of that expectations from it. I find it very important to have tools in place which can also be maintained and worked on by "mortal souls" and basically just get things done without too much hassle.
Single point of ...
Once having a monitoring or metrics collection framework in place in a company you can see all kinds of people getting enthusiastic about it. People from different technical teams within your company start to see the possibilities and the benefits. Networking engineers, business applications admins, OS engineers, software engineers,... They all want data into that framework and have it presented and evaluated, which is great but as they're busy with their own daily operations, they hardly have the time to deal with the practical side of things, so quite often, they expect this will be done by the monitoring guy or team.
One of my rules of thumbs is that as a monitoring solution provider you will have to make sure that it's trivial for engineers to create their own data and submit it into the monitoring environment and have it evaluated. This not only makes sure that you, the monitoring guy, is not burdened with the endless work of creating all sorts of plugins which deliver the information they want but it also makes sure they are more involved in the whole process, so their expectations are on par and they will feel more involved and responsible for their part, which is generally a good thing.
You're not an island
Bottom line by making sure your tool facilitates participation, does not only spread the work giving you more time to work on something more useful, it also makes sure that the people or teams with requirements are more involved and responsible themselves for what they want, which is something everybody benefits from in the long run.