Management Tools for MSPs Could Come in Handy in the Private Cloud
September 30, 2010
Bojan Simic
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The emergence of private and public cloud computing technologies is causing organizations to revisit their IT performance management strategies and evaluate if the solutions that they currently have in place can be as effective in these new environments.

Many of them are already finding that the tools in which they had in place for many years do not have all of the necessary capabilities to support cloud deployments, and are looking for new features, delivery methods and pricing models to meet their new objectives. On the other hand, vendors from different areas of IT performance management are focusing a major part of their product development efforts on making their solutions more “cloud friendly”. When it comes to Business Service Management, some vendors might find that some capabilities that have been developed in the past might come in handy when managing private cloud environments. As deployments of private cloud services become more prevalent in the enterprise, some of these vendors could experience the market actually “coming to them”.

Even though private clouds cannot deliver all of the benefits that organizations generally associate with the term “cloud computing”, they still enable organizations to achieve the same significant improvements, especially in the areas such as the flexibility of management and alignment of infrastructure management with business needs. From a management perspective, deployments of private cloud services are driving IT organizations to act like internal service providers. For that reason, many of the capabilities that BSM vendors built to make their solutions more appealing to the managed service provider market could be very valuable for the management of private cloud environments.

Historically, while some vendors saw the managed service provider market as a major opportunity for growth, some others were very turned off by long sales cycles and more complicated requirements, and decided to focus on other markets in which they have a better chance to win. Vendors that had focused on this market segment and built capabilities that would allow them to deal with some of the key challenges of providing BSM as a managed service are now finding it much easier to enter the private cloud management market and position themselves for success. A good example of this type of company is ScienceLogic. Nimsoft has also been looking to replicate their success in the MSP market and use their capabilities in the private cloud environments. Additionally, AccelOps recently announced a new version of their solutions that include some enhancements designed specifically to better address the needs of the MSP market.

It should be noted that vendors cannot take just any solution that was designed to work for MSPs and apply it to private clouds. In order for these technologies to benefit the users of private cloud services, they need to include a set of additional functionalities that will make them effective in managing virtualized and dynamic infrastructure. However, the capabilities such as multi-tenancy, SLA management or the ability to calculate service chargebacks have been essential for using BSM solutions in the MSP market and they are equally as important in managing private cloud environments.

About Bojan Simic

Bojan Simic is the founder and Principal Analyst at TRAC Research, a market research and analyst firm that specializes in IT performance management. As an industry analyst, Bojan interviewed more than 2,000 IT and business professionals from end-user organizations and published more than 50 research reports. Bojan's coverage area at TRAC Research includes application and network monitoring, WAN management and acceleration, cloud and virtualization management, BSM and managed services.

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