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Zenoss Prescribes Cure For The Common Cloud

With cloud outages dominating the recent news, Zenoss, a developer of management software for physical, virtual and cloud-based IT infrastructures, is announcing the "first" service impact management solution. Zenoss Service Dynamics both unifies and automates impact and root cause analysis for IT services that span private and public IT infrastructures. It gives service providers and enterprises visibility into the health of their hybrid IT services from a single console that is easy to configure and automatically updated in real time as workloads migrate and relationships change, states the company.

Due out in mid-July, this repackaging of the company's core offerings--Zenoss Enterprise and Zenoss DataCenter Insight--"completely connects the dots," and based on early reviews from beta testers, not only reduces the time services are affected but also enables users to address issues before they worsen. Zenos states that, unlike legacy solutions from BMC, HP, CA and IBM, its offering natively understands virtualization and cloud services, and automatically adapts to changes in the underlying infrastructure that impact service delivery.

The Dynamic Impact Analysis feature maintains operational awareness of service health, leveraging the company's policy-gate technology along with a real-time service model. Automated Root Cause Analysis automatically identifies the root cause of performance and availability issues, reducing event storms to a prioritized list of most likely incidents leveraging a confidence ranking algorithm.

The biggest trend driving this market segment is that dynamic and shared systems are replacing static and dedicated systems--creating management requirements that legacy vendors and their products cannot meet, says Bernd Harzog, performance and capacity management analyst for The Virtualization Practice. "Zenoss Service Dynamics replaces the outdated legacy systems management frameworks from IBM, HP and BMC with a modern, scalable, easy-to-implement, easy-to-enhance, affordable management system for networks, servers and cloud infrastructure--including specific support for VMware vSphere, VMware vCloud Director and Cisco UCS."

He adds that, as more and more static and dedicated systems are replaced with dynamic and shared virtualized and cloud-based systems, enterprises should replace legacy management frameworks with modern, flexible and affordable solutions like Zenoss Service Dynamics.

Redmonk's Michael Cote, is another fan. "Zenoss has grown the breadth of its product an incredible amount in the last few years," says the analyst. "They started out as just a basic monitoring platform, monitoring all the typical things in that category. As virtualization and cloud have invaded the data center, they've quickly tracked support for those new technologies. They have succeeded in providing a 'one-console-to-rule-them-all' approach, avoiding the usual well-polished, duct-tape integration approach that comes from building a management suite inorganically."

Cote says the Impact offering is a continuation of that breadth, climbing up the management stack of managing the overall domain of IT rather than just monitoring. "There are a lot of people hacking away at the hybrid cloud management problem, and Zenoss' attempt is looking good."

Many people are working on solving this cloud management problem, says Cote. "The whole idea of 'private cloud' promoted by most vendors is predicated on the ability to manage a 'hybrid cloud' environment--that is, manage traditional on-premise IT, private cloud and the public cloud. Hybrid cloud technically means something slightly different--just like private cloud should mean more than high virtualization on premise, but usually means just that--but it's fast coming to mean everything, which is fair for most established companies. It's rare to just have a cloud way of running IT under your roof, as more than likely you have years of pre-cloud IT that needs to be kept up and running. Most of the approaches people have taken have been more piecemeal--either really good cloud management without an eye toward on premise (ignoring private cloud) IT, or slapping on some public cloud module to an existing on-premise system."