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2008: Decision Year for RIAs - October 20-22, 2008 San Jose


What Will the Future Look Like for Performance Monitoring Architectures?
Gartner says Global 2000 Enterprises look to IT Operations Analytics

In a previous article, I summarized that Gartner was seeing increased inquiries and spending on IT analytics platforms from buyers that traditionally purchased application performance monitoring tools. This suggested that one of Gartner's "five pillars of APM" - namely analytics, was taking center stage.

Now, it seems, Gartner is going one step further in its forecast in a session at the recent Gartner Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit.

I attended a session by Research VP Will Cappelli and was very interested in a Strategic Planning Assumption that was revealed.

"By 2018, 25% of the Global 2000 will have deployed an ITOA platform taking data feeds from a variety of P&A systems up from 2% today and spending on IT operations analytics will account for 10% of the global spending on ITOM tools and services, up from less than 1% today"*

I would conclude the following:

  1. Global 2000 companies will deploy IT Operations Analytics Platforms as a central component of their architecture for monitoring critical applications and IT services.
  2. These platforms will take data feeds from new and existing monitoring tools and help IT make more sense of the exploding volumes and variety of data.
  3. Spending on IT Operations Analytics Platforms by the G2000 will eventually account for one out of every 10 dollars spent in the multi-billion dollar IT Operations Management market for software and services.

Gartner sees an entire category of products and services emerging which they are tentatively calling "IT Operations Analytics". This category encompasses emerging solutions from companies like Netuitive and Splunk, as well as more traditional IT Operations Management vendors like HP, BMC, HP, CA and Microsoft. Gartner also mentioned that it is unlikely in the early market that one vendor would have a complete solution, and that "best of breed" integration was likely.

But exactly what is an IT Operations Analytics Platform? And why does Gartner see them playing such a key role in the future of availability and performance monitoring?

First of all, Gartner admits that the term "IT Operations Analytics" (ITOA) is an early-market term. The industry may end up labeling the category differently. But the problem that ITOA addresses is real. Namely that application and IT systems architectures are becoming too complex, and generating way too much data for IT Operations staff to deal with without a totally different, analytics-based approach to availability and performance monitoring.

In Gartner's definition, IT Operations Analytics technologies are "technologies are primarily used to discover complex patterns in high volumes of often "noisy" IT system availability and performance data. Providing a real inference capability not generally found in traditional tools, ITOA uses the coordinated deployment of five capabilities: complex operations event processing (COEP), statistical pattern discovery and recognition (SPDR), unstructured text indexing, search and inference (UTISI), topological analysis (TA), and multidimensional database search and analysis (MDSA)".

Some insight can also be gained by the use cases that Gartner expects companies to address with ITOA, all of which are related to the role analytics can plan in helping IT make sense of large volumes of performance metrics:

  • Enhanced application or service model discovery
  • Performance problem root cause discovery
  • Performance problem impact assessment
  • Incident anticipation
  • Capacity planning
  • Action plan construction

This is a good list of use cases to which I would add:

  • Automated correlation of business outcomes to the performance critical applications - as exemplified in this case study. This is important to further the cause of IT and business alignment which continues to be a challenge, according to Gartner.

There are certainly caveats to all forecasts, after a conversation with Mr. Cappelli on their research methodology; I found that it was very sound.  Basically, Gartner aggregates the information gathered from the thousands of inquiries and conversations they have annually with VPs of IT Operations and VPs of Application Support from Global 2000 companies. In most of these discussions, the VPs share their current and future spending plans as well as their technology architecture plans. So, in my opinion, it is very likely that the future of availability and performance monitoring will inevitably evolve to include analytics platforms as a central architectural component.

*"IT Operations Analytics: Big Data for the Data Center" - presented by Will Cappelli at the Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit, Orlando, FL, June 18-20, 2013.

About Graham Gillen
Graham Gillen is the Vice President of Marketing at Search Technologies. He has over 15 years of experience in Enterprise software in the areas of search and analytics technologies; IT systems management; application performance management; middleware, and IT security. Prior to Netuitive, Graham held product management and marketing positions with VeriSign, webMethods, Netuitive and Cyveillance. He also authors a blog (www.blackbookninja.com) that provides lighthearted career guidance to young product management and marketing professionals. He believes life is too short to work with boring products or rude people.

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