No More Single Panes of Glass

The term “Single Pane of Glass” became something of a running joke during Network Field Day 8. The term has become over-used & abused, and it’s time we stopped using it. Time to find better terminology.

According to TechTarget:

A single pane of glass is a phrase used by information technology (IT) marketers to describe a management console that integrates information from multiple components into a unified display.

All my information in one place? Sounds good, right? I like Single Panes of Glass. I like them a lot. In fact, I like them so much, I have several. Vendors like them too, so they’ve all got one.

And there’s the rub. The term is over-loaded, with every vendor using the term to describe their management console that can be used for managing all of their systems. The problem is that most vendors only see things from the perspective of their products. They don’t see things from the wider perspective of an organisation that is trying to use many different products to achieve business outcomes.

So the network vendor has a Single Pane of Glass (SPoG) that manages all the network, the MDM vendor has their SPoG for managing mobile devices, the OS maker has their SPoG for managing server systems…but very few actually deliver on their promise. They consolidate parts of the overall organisation, but they don’t bring everything together.

Vendors need to stop pretending that their system is a magic cure-all. Sure, it’s a great management console for your systems. But it isn’t a Single Pane of Glass. Time for us to find some better terms