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Posts Tagged ‘Systems Management

This Monday, August 2nd, 2010 I will be talking about how cloud computing is transforming the Systems Management industry at the Cloud Computing usergroup in Mountain View, CA. Here’s the abstract:

As SaaS and cloud matures and gets wider acceptance it starts affecting new markets and application areas. While more and more widely adopted in consumer space, collaboration, CRM and human resource management, cloud only recently started affecting IT professionals and systems management in general.

Dmitry Sotnikov heads Cloud efforts at one of the biggest IT management software vendors – Quest Software. In this session he will share his views on how cloud is changing enterprise IT and what threats and opportunities he sees for existing IT software vendors, as well as Value-Added Reseller (VAR), Managed Service Provider (MSP) and System Integrator (SI) companies.

Please stop by if you are in the Valley or close. See you on Monday!

“APaaS: A Step to a ‘Killer App’ for Cloud Computing?” is a great report by Yefim V. Natis and Eric Knipp published by Gartner last week.

Yefim and Eric, as it seems to me, managed to articulate the very essence of what makes Cloud Computing so disruptive:

“Easy to learn and use application development environment, with runtime deployment of virtually unlimited scalability and reliability, at small or midsize business (SMB) technology prices” sounds too good to be true. However, it is one of the promises of the state-of-the-art cloud-computing environment.

As you can see from the title is on application-platform-as-a-service (APaaS). However, I found it very true to my area – systems management software. We are currently working on turning some of our software products (such as Recovery Manager for AD) into subscription-based services, and all these points are extremely applicable:

  • Easy to learn and use – no need to set up and maintain all the storage, reporting, and management infrastructure as you normally would,
  • With runtime deployment of virtually unlimited scalability and reliability – absolutely: you will never run out of tapes or disk space, or have your backup storage fail, and you get your backups stored off-site without having to pay someone to come and ship your tapes to another location,
  • At small or midsize business (SMB) technology prices – economy of scale and subscription-based pay-as-you-go model make this really affordable to everyone.

The report goes into details on these points, as well as provides an overview of the challenges ahead. Overall, a very good read regardless of whether you are planning to provide/use APaaS or any other cloud technology.

Get (or buy for $495) it here.

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Dataquest Insight: Cloud-Based Server Backup Services, 2Q09 Update” by Adam W. Couture is a good feature-by-feature (including pricing) comparison of a dozen of major online backup solutions for the enterprise space.

Backup might initially sound like the worst cloud application you can think of: after all it involves big data transfers and most likely the data about which you care the most – and thus for which you have the biggest security and liability concerns.

Yet, backup and recovery products (and obviously migration solutions) are normally the first ones to emerge in any new markets – the pain is much more obvious than whatever management tasks you might also have – so the cloud market is no exception. Also, specifically in the cloud space there is an additional bonus of the backup data being by definition in a remote location – and thus safe from natural disasters which might hit your local datacenter.

Gartner survey is a great source of information if you are considering buying an online backup service or going to the market with one. It seems to be a rapidly evolving space with major players entering the market and solutions advancing from simple file storage to those including standby emergency environments and virtualization support. The report helps you make sense of who is doing what and how much is that going to cost you. A very good read indeed.

You can buy the full report here.

[UPDATE] Just stumbled upon this (relatively) old post of mine and noticed that obviously neither the post nor the Gartner report had a mention of the (not existent at that point) Quest OnDemand Recovery for Active Directory – specialized SaaS backup and granular rollback solution with which I was personally involved. It is also an interesting example of how cloud lets more specialized and focused backup products get to the market and succeed.

cloud-helpWorldwide System Management SaaS 2009 Vendor Analysis: Economic Crisis Creates Opportunities” is an excellent recent report by IDC.

Software as a Service started in consumer web, and then expanded into end-user-oriented business and collaboration sites (Salesforce.com, Google Apps). The question is whether the model can go from this to administrative tools so IT people can start using cloud services to manage their local on-premise systems they have.

As paradoxical as it sounds this actually makes a lot of sense because a lot of small-/medium-sized just cannot afford maintaining all the infrastructure required to run these system management solutions (servers, backups, redundancy, databases, reporting engines, patching all of that, and so on.) SaaS delivery model offers a more cost effective model and the ability to resell the product as service via service providers.

What’s more, according to an IDC survey quoted in the report most of the enterprise customers are either approving SaaS model for system management or neutral to it – which means that the model can grow beyond the SMB space.

IDC also surveyed a bunch of existing system management vendors to see their SaaS roadmap:

  • CA – which created their On-Demand Business Unit and is already offering SaaS solutions for SMB disaster recovery, Project & Portfolio Management (PPM), governance, risk and compliance (GRC) service, and a network monitoring solution.
  • HP – already boasting a big portfolio of SaaS solutions: ranging from project management to configuration discovery and management (CMDB). The company claims to have some 600 active SaaS customers.
  • IBM – having SaaS products from their Micromuse (event monitoring) and MRO (asset management and service desk) acquisitions, and trying to adapt these and other technologies they own for private/on-premise cloud-like systems, and public cloud model (mostly for their own services).
  • Microsoft – announced online IT management and security subscription services for 2010.
  • Symantec – providing SMB-oriented online backup Symantec Protection Network.
  • BMC Software – so far only supplying products for service providers’ operations but expected to enter the market.

And a few entrants:

  • NimSoft – working on SaaS remote BSM monitoring and reporting service.
  • Kaseya – offering managed service providers (MSPs) automated managed services for hardware and software discovery, inventory, patch management, user state management, monitoring, and help desk integration.
  • InteQ – providing online ITIL-based Service Desk solution.

And finally the report has IDC’s predictions on which system management tools will get to the cloud first and which will probably only get accepted later in the adoption cycle.

All in all, this is a great report and a highly recommended read if you have extra $3,500 or are an IDC subscriber. Check it out here.

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The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer Jelastic or anyone else for that matter. All trademarks acknowledged.

© 2008-2012 Dmitry Sotnikov

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