Single Pane of Glass

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What Does Single Pane of Glass Mean?

Single pane of glass (SPOG) is a management strategy that looks for ways to manage a complex digital system from a single executive dashboard. SPOG management consoles help employees quickly understand the big picture, while also providing them with the ability to drill down and run reports.


A single pane of glass management console imports data from disparate sources and presents it to the user as single source of truth. Components of a single pane of glass dashboard should include:

  • A robust discovery program that can autonomously locate specific types of data on a local network or in the cloud.
  • GUI displays that make it easy for users to quickly access and understand specific data points.
  • Reporting tools that allow users to quickly generate ad-hoc reports for custom inputs.
  • Visualization tools (i.e., charts and graphs) that are easy to create and easy to read.

Techopedia Explains Single Pane of Glass

Computer infrastructures can be huge. Managing those networks can be a daunting challenge. Telecommunications carriers, for instance, have to account for many thousands of network devices across vast networks. Central supervision of these managed objects is done in network operations centers, which may be adorned with large graphical displays. But despite the best efforts of operations support systems personnel, technicians may still find themselves opening many windows or applications on their workstations to access parts of the network or to find necessary information.

The theoretical single pane of glass makes it possible for IT professionals to access everything in one place. One tool rules them all, and the user can do all necessary work using one graphical user interface. The unified display on a single monitor or device screen provides all the metrics and status information required to effectively manage the network infrastructure. Just as a financial television network might fill a screen with lots of business information, the single pane of glass might include key performance information from multiple sources. It also could allow the engineer to drill down into infrastructure components for further investigation.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.