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Space to Watch: Hybrid Manageability

I've read the word "hybrid" so many times recently that you'd think I was at a Toyota dealership. Nope. It's "hybrid IT" I'm dealing with.

This new-ish word describes the intersection of the traditional datacenter, all this cloud stuff everyone's hyping, as well as more traditional forms of outsourced IT, like co-located servers and so forth. Hybrid IT is essentially, "all your IT stuff, no matter where it lives."

Managing and monitoring all of that "stuff" is getting tricky-- and more and more necessary -- as we start to rely more and more on "stuff" that lives outside our datacenter. There's a small, but growing vendor space of companies who specialize in hybrid IT monitoring and management: Nimsoft, ManageEngine, Zenoss, Honda, and lots of others. Wait, scratch Honda -- wrong "hybrid" brochure.

Generally speaking, these tools combine traditional, on-premise monitoring tools, such as server-installed agents and probes -- with specialized monitoring services for outsourced services. Some offer specific functionality for monitoring.

I'm seeing a somewhat-disturbing trend of these solutions also incorporating help desk software, and I hope those vendors are taking that step with some caution. A lot of us already have help desk software, and spent a lot of time and money deploying it, and don't have the political capital to switch to something else. A new monitoring solution should be able to work with whatever we've got in place. For that matter, a lot of us already have the "big screen" where we do all of our monitoring. Anything else we bring into the environment should support that -- not attempt to replace it. There are certainly protocols out there that would allow a new monitoring solution to integrate with OpenView, Tivoli or whatever else might already be on the network.

Still, this is a space to watch. It's evolving quickly. The early vendors are offering some techniques and technologies that will doubtless become more prevalent in the future.

Posted by Don Jones on 12/09/2011 at 1:14 PM


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