Rescuing IT From A Sea Of Alarms

and assorted kin (i.e. and ) are hot, and getting hotter. According to IDC, the software market grew more than 41% in 2014 and will be worth $2.5 billion by 2019 as ITOA becomes ‘a more standard part of the IT operations and DevOps toolkit.’

The future is even brighter, according to marketsandmarkets, which predicts that ITOA will average an annual growth rate of 35.2% from 2015 to 2020, soaring from last year’s $2.17 billion to $9.79 billion. ‘The explosive growth of IT operational data, significant shift of organizations’ core businesses towards cloud, and a substantial change from traditional to next generation technologies have provided immense opportunities to the ITOA solutions vendors, who are in turn helping the organizations yield better analytical results and performance.’ It breaks the market down into solutions vendors such as Oracle, IBM, , , , , Microsoft, VMware, , and Microsoft, as well as a few small and medium-sized companies such as , , , AppDynamics, and Sumo Logic that offer comparatively narrower, yet locally-effective solutions and distribution networks in the ITOA ecosystem.

Each layer of technology in the data centre is becoming progressively more complex to control and manage, noted consultant Anthony King. ‘The average server environment now has thousands of configuration parameters (e.g. Windows OS contains – 1,500+, IBM WebSphere Application Server – 16,000+, and Oracle WebLogic –  60,000+).’ Then there are the hundreds and thousands of production changes — i.e. eBay experiences 35,000 changes annually — brought about by continuous integration and continuous build practices.

The problem is too much data, and not enough answers, said Akhil Sahai, VP, Product Management, Perspica. Current IT operations tools trigger a “sea of alarms” but they can’t distinguish the critical, service impacting events from false positives that do not require the immediate attention of an operator, he told IT Trends & Analysis.

An ITOA vendor, Perspica was founded in 2014 to provide operational intelligence across the entire application stack, and deliver self healing. How do we help our customers get visibility into their application infrastructure, move past alarms to answers, and prevent downtime through early warnings, said Sahai.

“Our customers are also suffering with alarm overload.” Dealing with false alarms takes up all their time, but we reduce alarms by 99%, said Sahai.

In an increasingly application-driven economy, system outages and downtime are costly. Pespecia says that works out to $5,600 a minute, and with an average outage clocking in at 90 minutes, the total is $505,000 in lost revenue, damage to mission-critical data, and legal and regulatory repercussions, with 37% of this cost due to reputation damages and customer churn.

“Perspica is the glue,” said Sahai. “Analytics helps bridge the gap between application and infrastructure.”

The company launched its first product, Incident Replay, ‘a time machine for performance data, logs and topology’, back in April. A subscription-based service, it ‘delivers application infrastructure intelligence across hybrid-cloud environments, to provide past, present and predictive analytics to keep applications up and running at desired service levels, stated the company.

This isn’t one more event-monitoring tool, said Mike Matchett, senior analyst and consultant, Taneja Group, in a prepared statement. Perspica “has a bigger vision to provide truly diagnostic and actionable analytics across the full operational behavior of the datacenter. By employing big data and sophisticated machine learning at scale to capture, replay and analyze all the data available across the IT operational stack, the company aims to supersede old school ‘react and respond tools’ with predictive intelligence.”

A week ago Perspica announced that it had integrated major DevOps stacks, including Docker, Flume, OpenTSDB, Redis, Zookeeper, Kafka, Collectd, MongoDB and Loggly, into its analytics engine to minimize the operational risk of downtime. The objective is to provide better visibility into the operational impact of continuous software delivery so that DevOps teams can pinpoint any problems arising out of a new code release that negatively impact application performance.

The company gives customers a 14-day free trial to kick the tires and look under the hood. “We’re seeing lot of uptake on it,” said Sahai.

While ITOA’s future does look bright, with more than 300-fold growth coming, it’s still early days, according to Gartner. By 2017 it predicts that only 15% of enterprises will actively use ITOA technologies, up from less than 5% today.

Author: Steve Wexler

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