In a recent IT World blog, titled, Cloud CIO: How Cloud Computing Changes IT staffs, author Bernard Golden predicts that the cloud computing future is scale:
“Our prediction is scale: big data, more (virtual) servers, more applications, much larger applications, and many more highly elastic applications.” Golden then shares how: “In the past, growth in computing capacity was mirrored by a linear growth in headcount. It's clear that this phenomenon, if it ever made sense, is unsustainable at the scale IT will have to operate in the future. Companies can't--and won't--support the scale growth with headcount as in the past. The solution is quite clear: the substitution of software automation for what was manual interaction.”
Software automation will not solve the scale problem unless the management platform can proportionately scale. Traditional hierarchal network performance management software will not affordably scale. You don't put new wine in old wine skins. IT Performance Management tools of the future must have linear scalability, which means a completely new performance platform architecture is required, one that is designed like the highly elastic, distributed Internet.
The scalability bottleneck in traditional hierarchical systems has always been the central reporting server. No matter how big a reporting server is used, it can never scale to keep up with the demands of an increasing number of collectors. Therefore, the legacy performance management system slows down and a single report can take hours to generate. SevOne's award winning innovative architecture based on a distributed peer-to-peer architecture is delivering the future requirement for scale now. However, when we survey our customers, which include the most demanding global enterprises, service providers, and telcos, they never say, “we bought SevOne because it is scalable.” What they are buying is the ability to see a potential problem before service is impacted. A scalable architecture is simply the base foundation to host the performance management database (PMDB) required for collecting and storing all of the metrics, establishing baselines of what is normal, and proactively alerting before a service is impacted. The ability to do this is what we call “Speed at Scale” and it applies now and to future cloud computing environments.
In addition to the scale needed for cloud computing, another trend we see is the consolidation of management silos, which is also creating an unprecedented demand for scale. Traditionally, enterprises have distinct groups responsible for various IT management silos, including network, server, application, storage, database, etc. Service providers and leading enterprise operations teams are consolidating these separate functions, including multiple scale challenges. Performance metrics from each of these silos have to be consolidated into a single enterprise view, and be easily managed with a single workflow by a single person. The shift to one consolidated performance platform and workflow doesn't happen overnight. Enterprises have made an investment in various tools. A platform innovation like SevOne, has to provide competitive value in all of the silos and work seamlessly with the existing tools. One of the worlds leading service providers recently purchased SevOne for virtual infrastructure monitoring, but they very quickly realized that the SevOne platform could help consolidate the tools of other silos into one PMDB, cutting operation costs and improving visibility.
So to summarize, while I agree with Bernard Golden that the future is scale, Speed at Scale is required also. Linear growth in headcount will be replaced by automation that has linear scalability. Linear scalability in IT Performance Management also means that you can start small and grow the system to any scale without having to sacrifice speed, and without having to replace your initial investment. With SevOne you simply add another SevOne Performance Appliance Solution and it becomes aware of, and part of the existing performance distributed environment. This is the way the Internet works, and this is the only efficient and affordable path to the scale required to manage the future cloud-enabled, consolidated silo enterprise.