I had an opportunity to speak with Jonathan Bryce, Mosso co-founder, about how his organization is using tools from Hyperic. Jonathan is obviously enthusiastic about Hyperic. I was taking notes while we spoke and I almost couldn't keep up!
Please tell me who you are and a bit about your organization.
Mosso® powers more than 30,000 web sites, many of which are high-profile. The company processes approximately two billion requests per month. To handle such scale, the Mosso system is based on a cross-platform, clustered-computing architecture that is virtualized using VMware ESX Server for high availability.
Their focus was building a way to take complexity out of the equation for companies. They are making it possible for their customer's Web presence to scale as needed. Mosso relies heavily on virtualization from VMware to manage the growth of its customer’s web sites and easily relocate resources to match demand with availability. Despite its benefits, the architectural complexity created by the virtual environment created high management costs. Mosso needed an IT management system that could keep pace and provide visibility into both its virtual and physical machines. In June of 2007, the company turned to Hyperic.
At this point, they use Windows, Linux, MySQL and other products.
What products were considered before Hyperic's product was selected?
Mosso had been using the individual management software that the suppliers of their platform software provided. They undertook a 3-4 month project to determine the best for their need. They considered almost the whole cast of characters found in both the open source and the proprietary management frameworks.
Why was Hyperic's product selected over the competition?
As part of this evaluation, they downloaded the open source edition of Hyperic and within 3 hours they were already up and monitoring their test network. This was very promising. They engaged Hyperic in a conversation about the enterprise version of their software.
What tangible benefits has your organization gotten from the deployment of Hyperic's product?
Mosso put Hyperic in place and almost immediately saw benefits. Hyperic allows Mosso to quickly view performance metrics and events across virtual hosts and in context with their physical performance of the host hardware together. This holistic perspective enables an operations team to pinpoint application-level problems, and correct them before they become issues, rather than simply shuffling application services to less busy hosts, where they could become problems later.
Additional key benefits of Hyperic HQ Enterprise include its ease-of-deployment, task automation, and sophisticated alerting capabilities, which not only improves a company’s service levels, but does so without taxing the company’s administrators.
“If I had to grow my IT team by 60 percent every three months just to keep up with our traffic growth, the business model simply would not scale. We need our people to be working on projects to advance the platform, not on routine maintenance,” said Bryce. “Hyperic has helped enable us to focus on our platform. They have been a great partner and the support we’ve gotten has been phenomenal.”
Mosso continues to expand its use of Hyperic, and plans to deploy Hyperic HQ across the remaining development servers by the end of the year.
Do you have any advice for others who may be facing similar challenges?
One of the principals we've adopted is take the time to identify which of your software can scale horizontally. The next step is to isolate these pieces of software and put them up separately. It is then easy to scale those functions up or down as needed. This approach offers a great deal of flexibility.
Flexibility seems to be one of Johnathan's key watch words. He suggests looking at virtual machine software as a way to create a more flexible environment rather than just seeing it as a way to consolidate systems to reduce costs.
To the Hyperic community - Does Mosso's experience match Hyperic Enterprise match your experience? Do you have any other advice to offer to IT decision-makers facing these challenges?