Rich Miller, CEO, and Oren Teich, VP Product, both of Replicate Technologies spent a while providing an introduction to the company and an explanation of what they're doing. It was great catching up with both of them. Rich was the COO of Univa, a company focused on bringing high performance computing tools to commercial companies and suffered through being a panel member on one of my panel discussions at LinuxWorld, ClusterWorld or some such. Oren has had the misfortune of speaking with me while at Sun, Montavista Software and Cobalt networks. Poor fellow. The conversation was lively and interesting
Replicate Technologies is applying its massive levels of expertise to finding ways to bring the levels of reliability and availability found today in physical datacenters to the virtual datacenter. They would pose that increasingly IT staff don't know and, to a great extent, don't care where applications are running from moment to moment. They're seeing their industry standard systems as a pool of resources that can be deployed as needed to meet service level objectives and adhere to guidelines set by the organization. While this level of agility has its benefits, it also imposes significant challenges and, thus, increased costs when things don't go as planned
Replicate would point out that virtual environments, like physical environments require similar data and analysis to issolate and address a problem. Furthermore, they would assert that the root cause of 60% of the issues seen could be attributed to configuration problems and human error. This means that organizations must flow through the same cycle of monitor everything, experience a fault or problem, try to figure out what's really happening based upon the alert messages that show up on one or more system consoles and then take the steps necessary to fix the problem. This process becomes very complex when there may be a problem that is really behind the problem that is behind the problem reported on the consoles.
In an attempt to simplify this process, the company has just lauched Replicate Data Analyzer. Replicate would point out that this product does the following things:
- Discover and then visualize the actual physical and virtual configuration that's been deployed (this often turns up "surprises" for admiistrative staff)
- Identify and prevent "mismatches" that can cause outages
- Provide the tools needed by the administrators to address the issues discovered during the discovery process.
Snapshot AnalysisAlthough they explained it to me, I still don't understand how this differs from the capabilities offered by a number of other suppliers offering management software for physical and virtual environments. I suspect the differences are buried somewhere in the discovery and visualization technology.
Since I have known these people for quite some time, I'm sure that they've looked at the problems others have addressed and have come up with something new and different. That being said, I'm not sure that I'm smart enough to know what it is at this point.
Why don't you review what they're doing and explain it to me?