Zenoss focuses on managing 'ridiculously complex' environments

Zenoss' Chris Smith chats about what the company is doing and why they are winning in the market.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Chris Smith, Zenoss CMO, took some time out of his busy schedule to chat about what his company is doing, where it is winning and what it is going to do next. Zenoss is one of many performance and service management companies I regularly follow. One of the more interesting things about Zenoss is its focus on delivering predictive analytics based upon both "post-mortem" analysis of operational logs and on the collection and analysis of real time performance data.

Where Zenoss is today

Zenoss is offering both on- and off-premise monitoring; service and event management; and analytics and optimization products. Its goal is offering organizations the ability to see their IT infrastructure as a service rather than individual components and then be able to uncover and report upon trends in performance and utilization.

The company is offering a number of products ranging from a no-cost service that serves the needs of midmarket companies to an enterprise-grade product for more complex and diverse IT environments. Smith claims that Zenoss has been successfully able to displace the "Big 4" (BMC, CA, IBM and HP) in quite a number of places.

The company is focusing on relating infrastructure performance management to workload and application performance. Smith pointed out that the company's products focus on "all of the components that "contribute to application health."

Where Zenoss is headed

Smith then briefly discussed where the company is headed. He suggested that the company is doing its best to expand the scope of its products to be able to address service and application management for "ridiculously complex IT infrastructure. He also suggested that the company intends to focus more on monitoring in highly distributed computing environments.

Snapshot analysis

 As I've mentioned in the past, data Centers are experiencing fundamental changes that are expected to increase the levels of complexity seen by IT administrators. Workloads, once tied to a specific system, are now likely to be encapsulated and may move from system to system or data center to data center. The organization may own and operate some of those data centers and some of them might be operated by cloud service providers.

In order to reduce costs, organizations are transforming their own IT infrastructures to be more cloud-like. Rather than allowing each business unit or department to own and operate its own systems, organizations are increasingly moving workloads to multi-tenant systems.

Managing an environment that contains traditional systems, converged infrastructure systems and cloud services is beyond the capabilities of some management tools. Zenoss would assert that a new generation of tools are an absolute requirement.

It is important to note that Zenoss isn't alone in both seeing and attempting to address this increasingly complex and distributed environment. Many companies are nibbling away at the same set of issues including competitors such as BMC, CA, ExtraHop, Hyperic, IBM and quite a few others. Can Zenoss win across the board? Since the competition in this segment and adjacent segments is fierce, it is likely that most organizations are going to select a mix of products and services from many suppliers rather than selecting those offered by a single competitor. Zenoss, however, is positioned to win quite a few of those battles.


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