by Nick Lippis
As the ONUG Community ventures down the path of a hybrid cloud-based software-defined world, it becomes abundantly clear that operational teams are without the tools needed to operationalize their proof of concepts. A new comprehensive tool suite is needed for the software-defined enterprise. The tools of most interest: those that deliver monitoring and analytics of an application’s infrastructure dependency map. That is, all the physical and virtual components that an application relies upon to deliver its value.
At ONUG Fall 2016 in NYC, we measured this market within the ONUG Community and found that the value is north of $1.5B. Monitoring and analytics infrastructure is being stitched together by IT engineers with solutions from NetScout, Solarwinds, Apstra, ThousandEyes, Forward Networks, Veriflow, Kentik, Wavefront, Moogsoft, SignalFX, ServiceNow, Elastic, Splunk, New Relic, and many others.
Tools don’t sound very sexy, but they sure are cool. Imagine being able to understand the state of your infrastructure at any point in time and how it’s supporting all the various applications, hosted on and off premises, that make up the value of your company. This is the holy grail of enterprise IT. Application groups always demand visibility and performance data of the infrastructure to see how their applications are performing. They also want insight to guide them during reviews and upgrades. The reality is that every IT organization is building their own monitoring and analytics infrastructure as no company or provider delivers complete visibility. As those who are working on this problem understand, there are so many gaps and the gaps are only going to get bigger.
Cloud providers currently offer limited visibility and monitoring tools. IT organizations stuck in silos have organizational or administrative domain gaps that create blind spots. If that’s not bad enough, the number of end points and physical and virtual devices that need to be monitored is huge and getting increasingly bigger. All of this is reflected in the ONUG 2016 Community poll data (Figures 1-3).
On top of that, add the current and projected workload increase to be pushed to the cloud via hybrid cloud infrastructure (Figures 4 & 5) — and the need for monitoring and analytics only gets more necessary!
So what are IT executives doing to tool up? Most are building their own infrastructure monitoring and analytics infrastructure. That is, most are engineering their own solutions built upon a range of open source code, closed software code, new startups, existing vendors and cloud provider services. The key technologies being used are APIs, both open and closed to customize a solution that addresses their unique needs. A monitoring and analytics fabric is being built upon APIs.
While this is as good as it gets right now, the industry can and must do better.
The 58 members of ONUG Monitoring and Analytics Working Group have stepped up to provide a framework or architecture that calls out key interfaces that should be offered by all vendors to ease the job of delivering infrastructure visibility and analytics to development groups. The ONUG Monitoring and Analytics Working Group has been working over the winter months (thanks to the leadership Neal Secher of BNY Mellon, Aryo Kresnadi of FedEx, Paul Barrett of NetScout, and Nabil Bitar of Nuage) and is preparing to share their plan at ONUG Spring 2017 on April 25th and 26th. We’ll hold a large public session to share the work as well as a fireside chat open exclusively to IT executives to gain even larger input.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to do this on your own. ONUG’s Monitoring and Analytics Working Group’s recommendations will save you months of time and dollars — and it will mitigate the risk of failure of going down a wrong path.
Join us at ONUG Spring 2017 hosted by Gap Inc. at Mission Bay Conference Center on April 25th and 26th to learn from peers within the industry. The parties are a lot of fun too!
Nick Lippis is an authority on corporate computer networking. He has designed some for the largest computer networks in the world. He has advised many Global 2000 firms on network strategy, architecture, equipment, services and implementation including Hughes Aerospace, Barclays Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Eastman Kodak Company, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Liberty Mutual, Schering-Plough, Sprint, WorldCom, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and a wide range of other equipment suppliers and service providers.
Mr. Lippis is uniquely positioned to comment, analyze and observe computer networking industry trends and developments. At Lippis Enterprises, Inc., Nick works with entrepreneurs evaluating new business opportunities in enterprise networking and serves as an independent investor and advisor.