These days, just about every management product you might buy comes with one or more databases. This makes it extremely difficult to engage in analysis and correlation across datastores, which is one of the main reasons why management of IT operations is such a headache. ExtraHop has taken a bold step toward getting this problem fixed.

The IT Operations Problem Today

Today, IT operations teams find it extremely difficult to isolate the source of performance and availability problems across diverse application stacks and highly distributed service-oriented architectures. There are two reasons why. First, most legacy management tools do not collect the right data. They only collect data from management interfaces, which causes the commodity data = commodity results problem. Second, most IT operations teams rely on tens to hundreds of different tools, each of which stores its data in its own databases. This problem is depicted below:

Siloed.IT.Ops.Data

Siloed Datastores

The ExtraHop Open Data Stream Announcement

Today, ExtraHop took a leadership position in the IT operations and management and IT operations analytics industries. ExtraHop has put a stake in the ground and set its data free. This means that ExtraHop is so confident in the value of the unique data that it collects and so confident of the value of the real-time analytics that it performs upon this data that it sees no need to lock its data up in a proprietary datastore. ExtraHop has announced Open Data Stream, which will feed the ExtraHop wire data into either MongoDB or Elasticsearch, as shown below:

ExtraHop.Open.Data.Stream

ExtraHop Open Data Stream

Implications

This announcement by ExtraHop has the potential to be the catalyst for a sea change in how the entire IT operations management and analytics industries operate, how they treat their customers, and how customers get value from their solutions. This is just the first step in what is likely to be a long process. Here are some of the implications of Open Data Stream:

  • This move is easy for ExtraHop to make, because of the value of the unique data that it collects and the value of the unique real-time analytics of that data. However, vendors who just collect commodity resource utilization data from storage devices, routers, switches, and servers have no such value to their data and rarely perform valuable real-time analytics, either. If this move by ExtraHop forces them to open their datastores, customers may start to question (and rightly so) why they are spending millions of dollars a year with vendors who collect only commodity data.
  • ExtraHop has a partnership with Splunk. It is also possible to put the ExtraHop data into Splunk. But hardly any customers choose to put all of the ExtraHop data into Splunk, because the volume of the data is so high that this would require a very expensive Splunk license. If customers choose to put all of ExtraHop’s data in these open data stores and other vendors follow suit, then this will create an interesting quandary for Splunk.

Links to more information about Open Data Stream:

Summary

With Open Data Stream, Extrahop may have kicked the rock off of the top of the mountain that causes the avalanche that disrupts and reorganizes the entire $20B IT operations market. This is going to be very bad for the hundreds of vendors who just collect commodity data, and it will ultimately put IBM, BMC, HP, and CA under severe pressure as well.

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Bernd Harzog (336 Posts)

Bernd Harzog is the Analyst at The Virtualization Practice for Performance and Capacity Management and IT as a Service (Private Cloud).

Bernd is also the CEO and founder of APM Experts a company that provides strategic marketing services to vendors in the virtualization performance management, and application performance management markets.

Prior to these two companies, Bernd was the CEO of RTO Software, the VP Products at Netuitive, a General Manager at Xcellenet, and Research Director for Systems Software at Gartner Group. Bernd has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago.

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