Management of systems, applications and various services has always been challenging. Add virtualization into the mix and the task becomes much more complex.

Management of systems, applications and various services has always been challenging. Add virtualization into the mix and the task becomes much more complex. I've spoken with a number of companies that have taken it upon themselves to address this issue. This time, I had an opportunity to speak with Jessie Rothstein, co-founder and CEO, of Extrahop Networks about their Application Delivery Assurance system. Although the name the company is using for their techology appears overly buzz word compliant, the technology appears both innovative and quite useful.

As with a few other management technology suppliers, such as Catbird and ManageIQ, ExtraHop has started with the network layer and the ability to monitor and analyze network traffic. ExtraHop chose to offer their technology as an appliance rather than as packaged software. This is both a strength and a weakness for ExtraHop.

The good and bad of server appliances

By chosing the server appliance route as a product delivery mechanism, ExtraHop is making their product easy to install and use. This should make the product very interesting to small and medium size organizations looking for an easy solution.

This approach also makes the product less attractive to those who have volume purchasing agreements with other hardware suppliers. This category of customers would prefer to purchase software and install it on their own servers rather than having yet another server, as server that does not contribute to their volume agreement, to manage in their environment.

Wait, something new has been added!

ExtraHop has added an interesting wrinkle to the old management server packaged as an appliance trick. ExtraHop has developed the capability to dynamically segment, analyze and archive important messages in the data stream it is monitoring.  This allows the company to offer the following things:
  • discover application environments on the fly
  • analyze and integrate data conserning applications, application components, database systems, and host operating systems across platforms
  • Help organizations find problems, find the root cause of those problems and then know what to do about those problems quickly and efficently.

The ExtraHop product has a easy to understand web and mobile user interface that would make an administrator smile.

Unasked for shoot-from-the-hip advice

Dear folks at ExtraHop, you have an interesting product. Your website, on the other hand, leaves a visitor confused. It is not at all clear what you're selling unless the visitor takes the time to search up and down the website. They would wonder if you're selling a software product, a hardware product or a service offering.

Unless you've made your audience motivated enough to take a journey through a good deal of your site, they're going to leave without really understanding what you're offering. There are many other suppliers of management technology for both physical and virtual environment. People who leave a website confused go elsewhere for their solutions. This fate could befall you.

You've come up with something useful and clever. Make what it does clear, simple and people will be persuaded to ask for a demo.