Cloud-Based Analytic Tools Can Improve IT/Application Performance

It was great seeing Jeff Kaplan at All About the Cloud last week. This is reposted from his recent commentary on The IT Services Site. You can see it here.

One of the age-old challenges associated with operating traditional IT environments has been the dearth of easy-to-use and cost-effective monitoring and management platforms.

In the same way that today’s cloud-based enterprise applications are making it easier for business end users and executives to employ and utilize once-complex business systems, a new generation of cloud-based IT management tools is alleviating the challenges of managing IT operations.

For years, traditional network and systems management (NSM) platforms have often compounded rather than resolved the IT monitoring challenges facing organizations. IT management platforms required an army of in-house staff augmented by a regiment of outside consultants to be deployed and were too often never fully implemented because of the costs and complexities involved. In many ways, traditional NSM platforms have been the enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems of the IT world, far more costly than originally anticipated and generating far fewer benefits than hoped.

As software-as-a-service (SaaS) alternatives to traditional business applications have gained widespread acceptance, many IT professionals have put aside their initial concerns about the reliability and security of these cloud-based services. In fact, many are now envious of their business counterparts because they want their own set of cloud-based alternatives to help them more easily and effectively manage their day-to-day IT operations.

The good news is that there are a growing number of cloud-based IT and NSM management alternatives gaining a foothold in the market.

For instance, AppFirst delivers application and infrastructure performance management via the cloud in a turnkey fashion. It provides IT operations visibility into application behavior and performance across an entire Windows server infrastructure by collecting over 15,000 metrics in real-time. It uses an algorithm which requires little CPU overhead that can also be correlated with Nagios to capture logfile data to permit deterministic root cause analysis to prevent and resolve application performance issues.

EnStratus is using analytics to help its customers better evaluate, deploy, and administer various cloud infrastructure alternatives. Its management analytics can guide the deployment, governance, automation, and optimization of public, private, and hybrid clouds.

The success of this new generation of analytics-driven, Cloud-based ITSM management alternatives has sparked a series of acquisitions by the legacy IT/NSM vendors, like CA Technologies’ purchase of Nimsoft. It has also driven many established players, like BMC, to add cloud options to their traditional, on-premise management portfolios.

For those organizations that are still reluctant to take on the challenges of cloud management on their own, a growing number of managed services providers (MSPs), like Centerbeam, are expanding their service capabilities to offer managed cloud services, which give their customers greater visibility via improved analytic dashboards.

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