Unfolding The Camel: Problem-Solving In A Multi-Cloud Environment

Problem-solving in a multi-cloud environment

There is an expression that says “a camel is a horse designed by a committee,” which means, of course, that the more people who are involved in a decision-making process, the less the end product resembles its intended objectives. But camels aren't always designed. Sometimes they simply emerge from their surroundings, growing fatter and more belligerent daily.

IT people encounter these camels all the time. Seldom is a data center built in such a way that every element is clearly defined. In fact most organizations have complex, virtualized systems that have been built up and out, adapting to new trends and needs, moving from open-source to commercial, leaping onto the cloud, and then back in-house again, in short, building a complicated camel that few traditional systems are capable of diagnosing and maintaining.

Alan Conley knows this, which is why he sits in the CTO’s chair at Zenoss, a company founded in 2005 to address the challenges of operating and assuring large-scale IT services, and to move away from the “patchwork” model that plagues many organizations.  Conley worked previously as CTO of the Network Management Group at Cisco Systems, where he was responsible for designing strategies for cloud management and next-generation networks. At Zenoss he helps build solutions that basically get to the root of a problem. As their promotional message states, they help clients spend time fixing a problem, rather than spend time trying to find the problem.

Conley points out that IT managers need to fully understand the dependency model currently at play within their system, especially when, or ideally before a failure occurs. Of course, all managers are aware of the need to do this, but too often the management models currently in place lag behind what is actually needed. Real time service is critical.

Companies struggle with problems and dilemmas on a daily basis. For example, the temptation to go with a single cloud provider offers simplicity, yet when so much of what passes through the cloud is mission-critical, the advantages of multi-cloud operation, including the relative security of redundancy, as well as greater opportunity for leverage (especially when it comes to cost) become very appealing. Time to market is everything. Concern about reliability in a heavily virtualized arena goes right to the CEO, who has to make sure IT is not becoming the bottleneck. A highly virtualized infrastructure, different messaging systems, multiple database platforms, Oracle, SQL, the camel just grows bigger and uglier.

But that is the Zenoss sweet spot: monitoring and diagnosing in real time; giving people the much sought-after unified view, a type of holistic service management. As Conley points out, “if you are an enterprise looking at cloud providers, you must understand how the integration of one or more providers is going to interact with the rest of your services. You need a single service catalog.”

Zenoss bridges the gap between “traditional IT monitoring” and operations, and their unified platform can speak to all of them, whether infrastructure, middleware or application layer. It’s like having a personal C3PO, fluent in over six million forms of communication all of which are needed to drive down through the tangle and visually identify root causes and isolate outages. They provide a free basic monitoring and management version, but can then add more value through its enterprise class version, which comes with more bells and whistles such as support and training.

IT has never been simple. But in an age where innovation and change move at an unprecedented rate, and where open source technology competes with branded applications for the end users’ attention and pocketbook, Zenoss appears to stand alone as both an organization and an entity purpose-built to handle the challenges of a modern data centre.

By Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.

View Website
5 Reasons to Head for the Cloud – Part 1

5 Reasons to Head for the Cloud – Part 1

Head for the Cloud Last month Salesforce held its 14th annual Dreamforce event in San Francisco. It has become the largest software conference in the U.S. and is the second largest tech conference after CES ...
MarTech’s Fragmented Landscape is Failing Brand Marketers

MarTech’s Fragmented Landscape is Failing Brand Marketers

MarTech’s Fragmented Landscape Mapping the customer journey is one of the biggest strategic shifts currently underway in the marketing industry. With the rise of social media, the way customers interact with brands has changed forever ...
Bob Waters

Artificial or Augmented Intelligence: Talks with Intel’s Chief Data Scientist, Bob Rogers

Artificial or Augmented Intelligence I recently sat down with Bob Rogers. Bob is Intel’s Chief Data Scientist for Analytics and AI. I sought out answers to the some of the most popular questions related to artificial ...
Ransomware, Backups and the Aging IT Specialist

Ransomware, Backups and the Aging IT Specialist

Small Business Cloud Right now, two technology trends characterize the small business ecosystem: a growing migration to the cloud, and a growing susceptibility to cybercrime, particularly in the form of ransomware. Recently, I discovered this ...
Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017 Adds 5G, Edge Computing For First Time

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017 Adds 5G, Edge Computing For First Time

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Gartner added eight new technologies to the Hype Cycle this year including 5G, Artificial General Intelligence, Deep Learning, Edge Computing, Serverless PaaS. Virtual Personal Assistants, Personal Analytics, Data Broker ...
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - The Money Grab
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - The Robo-Revolution
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Hydro Cancellation
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Passwords
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Day 5
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Without A Signal
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Checking It Twice
The Lighter Of The Cloud - Virtual Lunch Break
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Due Diligence

CLOUDBUZZ NEWS

China Approves Toshiba's $18 Billion Sale of Its Memory-Chip Unit

China Approves Toshiba’s $18 Billion Sale of Its Memory-Chip Unit

TOKYO—Private-equity firm Bain Capital received approval from Chinese antitrust regulators for its deal to buy Toshiba Corp.’s memory-chip unit, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. A Bain-led consortium reached the $18 billion deal ...
Worldwide Services Revenue Posts Steady Year-Over-Year Growth in the Second Half of 2017, According to IDC

Worldwide Services Revenue Posts Steady Year-Over-Year Growth in the Second Half of 2017, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. May 15, 2018 – Worldwide revenues for IT Services and Business Services totaled $502 billion in the second half of 2017 (2H17), an increase of 3.6% year over year (in constant currency), according to ...
Kaspersky Lab to open Swiss data center to combat spying allegations

Kaspersky Lab to open Swiss data center to combat spying allegations

LONDON (Reuters) - Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab plans to open a data center in Switzerland by the end of next year to help address Western government concerns that Russia exploits its anti-virus software to spy on ...