Building a Bridge to the Cloud: Why We Think Next-Gen IT Monitoring is a Really Big Deal

With it clearly apparent that cloud adoption is the future for any business, next-gen IT monitoring presents an exciting opportunity to serve as a bridge to the cloud.

Amazon Web Services has established itself as the default infrastructure provider for the startup community, yet enterprises are just now beginning to adopt private, hybrid, and public cloud environments.
Given the benefits of dynamic scale, time-to-value, and collaboration that the next-generation infrastructure provides, why hasn’t every enterprise adopted the cloud?
The reason is actually pretty simple: The same characteristics of cloud infrastructure that allow startups to operate with once unimaginable speed and efficiency have created a distinct challenge for businesses that have long-relied on industry standard open-source and enterprise IT monitoring and management products. Specifically, tools like Nagios and Tivoli (IBM) are decades old and the implicit assumptions in their architecture weren’t made with the capabilities of the cloud in mind.
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For companies without the resources or technical talent to continuously configure legacy solutions, let alone build entire monitoring and management systems from the ground up, the fact that industry standard products can’t adapt to the dynamism of cloud infrastructure creates more than a bit of turbulence. It creates an almost impenetrable barrier to adoption.

Is Breaking Down the Barriers to Enterprise Cloud Adoption the Next Big Opportunity?

The key to breaking down this barrier and facilitating the generational transition from static datacenters to dynamic cloud environments, rests in products designed with next-generation infrastructure in mind. Moreover, new products that embrace the idea that this is a transition, by supporting legacy as well as next-generation infrastructure, have an even greater opportunity to serve as bridges to the cloud, rather than just components of a broader solution.
In fact, there are several companies already bridging the gap between static, on-premise infrastructure and dynamic cloud environments, disrupting the multi-billion-dollar IT infrastructure monitoring and management market in the process.
Datadog_LogoDatadog, the newest member of the OpenView family, is doing this by enabling IT operations and development teams to turn the massive amount of data into actionable insight — transforming what had been a barrier to cloud adoption into a strategic asset. Datadogcollects data from servers, databases, applications, tools and services through turn-key integrations across the full DevOps stack and a lightweight agent deployed on host operating systems.
Unlike traditional monitoring tools whose orientation revolves around physical or virtual server instances, Datadog monitors service health irrespective of the physical or virtual server employed. This enables it to work seamlessly in highly dynamic computing environments where servers are turned up/down quickly, as well as in static legacy infrastructure. In fact, of the hundreds of customers who began using Datadog to monitor over 30,000 servers in 2013, nearly half monitor on-premise and cloud hosts in the same environment.
While the barriers to cloud adoption are less acute in infrastructure management as Puppet Labs and Chef (nine and five-years-old solutions written for the virtualization era) hit their stride, a new crop of configuration management companies, like SaltStack and AnsibleWorks, have built products from the ground up with flexible infrastructure in mind.
Any of the aforementioned configuration management tools can reduce the time it takes to replace a broken server from weeks to minutes, but what makes Salt and Ansible different from their predecessors is the ability to do so across any infrastructure with minimal implementation. By eschewing domain specific languages a reliance on agents, Salt and Ansible allow IT operations and development teams to configure and automate their environment at the speed and scale of the cloud — whether early adopters, or traditional enterprises just starting to experiment with dynamic infrastructure.

How Else Can Startups Build Bridges to the Cloud?

While next-generation IT monitoring and management tools are critical drivers of cloud infrastructure adoption, companies like Ravello Systems and Skytap (an OpenView portfolio company) enable businesses to transition complex virtualized workloads and computing environments to AWS with little to no modification. Quite literally, they are building bridges to the cloud.
In fact, the idea that enterprises need products and services designed to seamlessly operate across legacy and next-generation infrastructure applies to a much broader set of industries including security, finance, and even human resources — presenting an unbounded number of entrepreneurial opportunities.
It’s clear we are in the midst of a generational transition in how organizations can (and want) to manage their IT infrastructure — the type of tectonic market shift venture investors dream of. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with this new generation of IT infrastructure monitoring and management companies and are eager to work with talented teams in other industries helping enterprises avoid turbulence in the cloud.

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