Many of us have been thinking (a bit) and talking (a lot) about the relationship between Clouds and good old IT management. John understands both sides and produced a few good posts (like this one).
Maybe it’s just a coincidence that both Hyperic and CA recently made such announcements. In any case, it gives the impression that time has come for some actual product capabilities in the area of managing Cloud-based systems.
I haven’t investigated either, so keep your slideware shields up, but this is what I read:
From Javier Soltero’s “Announcing HQ 4.0”: “It also provides the first cloud-friendly management agent which allows users to manage cloud based virtual machines securely and reliably from either inside the cloud, or from HQ 4.0 installations inside your datacenter”. John approves.
And at CA World, according to InformationWeek, “CA will announce a partnership with Amazon to provide management capabilities around Amazon’s EC2 utility computing platform, potentially including discovery of software running on EC2 instances, performance monitoring, configuration management, software deployment capabilities and provisioning”.
When someone looks into these two products (and others, soon to follow or alrady out and that I have missed), it will be interesting to see how these Cloud-friendly capabilities relate to the good old capabilities of management products: “software discovery”, “perf monitoring”, “config management”, “software deployment”, “provisioning”. That all sounds pretty familiar. Is it just a matter of pointing the old tools to an EC2 IP address? Is it all new capabilities, done in a new way? Or, more realistically, where does it land between these extrems? Where do you want them to land? It’s not so obvious.
Utility computing comes with an expectation of additional flexibility (now that is obvious). When tweaking IT management tools to address the domain, does one leave “in datacenter” capabilities the same and branch off to do cool things in the new land? Or do you raise the level of flexibility accross the board?
In other words, rather than snickering at them, maybe we should praise IT management vendors for whom the “look, I do Clouds” marketing spiel is just a repackaging of normal IT management features. Because it may mean that they’ve raised the bar on “in datacenter” automation capabilities. These Opsware and BladeLogic acquisitions have to come in somewhere, don’t they?
BTW, both of the announcements above also perpetuate the confusion between providing utility services (CA’s extended SaaS offering, Hyperic’s release of a pre-packaged Hyperic AMI) and the ability to manage Cloud-based systems. It’s all crammed in the same announcement/article because, hey, it’s all Cloud stuff.
Speaking of CA World, if I was there I would go to this session. At least for old time sake, and maybe to get some interesting ideas. Hopefully Don will blog about it after he is done presenting later today.
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