These past couples of days I have been inundated by webinars and podcasts and while I regularly take perhaps a little more than a cursory look at what's being scheduled, in the past I have been rather selective. But not recently, as the topics being covered were of real interest to me. In my last post I wrote of Gartner promoting the concept of the third platform – in effect systems sitting squarely in the crosshairs intersecting mobile computing, social media, cloud computing and information / analytics (Big Data) and yes, the Internet of Things (IoT).
What caught my attention was a very recent subject line in an email that came from a source I subscribe to, IT White Papers. The podcast would be given by Tom Bittman, VP Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, and his topic was The Four IT Megatrends Driving Transformation. It would be foolish not to check it out as who within the NonStop community would not have heard the key message coming from HPE – transforming to a hybrid infrastructure so anything to do with transformation had to be relevant.
As for these IT Megatrends, they were Digitalization, Hybrid, Protection, Information. Stated slightly differently, the emergence of rapid connectivity between competitors, customers, constituents and employees – yes, the creation of digital commerce; a variety and flexibility of technologies – yes, the melding of more than one platform; security, but just as importantly, recognizing the shift from merely protecting and defending to one of facilitation; and finally, Big Data in all its forms.
It is this last item that is generating considerable short-term angst across IT – there are major inhibitors, according to Gartner, standing in the way of truly exploiting all Big Data can provide. Among seven major inhibitors Gartner lists are integrating multiple data sources as well as integrating big data technology with existing infrastructure. Working with multiple data sources? Adding value to existing infrastructure? Obviously these are already core capabilities of good application monitoring solutions and Prognosis is no exception. For more than two decades this has been a fundamental characteristic of Prognosis and to think that there would be inhibitors to Prognosis benefiting from Big Data and the Analytics that Big Data drives is an underestimation of the capabilities Prognosis provides even today.
However, Prognosis is already demonstrating that it is pushing beyond just the visualization of alarms and alerts together with highlighting potential root causes of problems to where it is prescriptive in nature; providing operations with a heads-up as to what is about to happen so that businesses can be better prepared to take action. The interaction between people and systems be they end-users or operators, happens a lot more smoothly as a result – the shock and awe have been relegated to the past.
Continuing with the focus on Big Data and Analytics, there was a webinar I also sat through, this time featuring TDWI Research Director for Data Management, Philip Russom, together with the CTO of another client of mine, focused on data stream analytics. The term used by Russom to address working with multiple data sources was ingestion and a multiple ingestion techniques were described. When it came to use cases where ingestion played an important role, Russom highlighted operational BI, dashboards, performance management, business monitoring along with real time analytics together with complex event processing (CEP).
The integration of data from multiple sources is what leads to more prescriptive processing and among those solutions ingesting this information are today's application monitoring solutions and for good reason – there's just too many machines today and as we all heard from Martin Fink, EVP &CTO HPE, "how many machines can one person manage?" This of course being a reference to systems running multiple virtual machines with possibly thousands of containers!
When presented with a simple poll of likely use cases, from being able to ingest information from multiple sources the participants' responses reflected reasonably accurately with what I have been seeing among NonStop users. Scoring the most votes - enhancing the customer experience, followed by collecting and analyzing database change in real time and then, in third place, monitoring infrastructure, equipment or replication. And yes, there were more than three possible use cases presented in the poll. Russom and Bittman shared much in common, it would seem. Working with multiple data sources? Adding value to existing infrastructure? Enhancing operational BI, dashboards, performance management, business monitoring?
If Gartner's third platform is sitting squarely in the crosshairs intersecting major initiatives and application monitoring is sitting squarely in the same sites when it comes to Gartner's megatrends, it only stands to reason that the biggest and most immediate beneficiaries will be solutions like Prognosis. All of which leads me to yet another webinar this time, in a couple of days' time, on April 26, 2016, (April 27, 2016, Australian East Coast time – and if this doesn't work well for our Europeans and American users, there will likely be a repeat to better accommodate the time zones).. Jamie Pearson, Senior Product Manager, IR, will be updating users of payments solutions about Bringing Real Time Analytics to Payments – this preceding link will provide more information and click on the Attend button to register.
Should you have any unanswered questions at this point concerning the value that comes with the integration of data from many sources with solutions overseeing machines – as many as thousands of them – without adding to your current staffing levels, then let me be very clear. Integrating the output from analytics in real time with the output from event logs and statistics files and bringing them to dashboard that better visualize the business is how application monitoring solutions like Prognosis are evolving. As for me, there's just one more webinar I have penciled into my schedule – hope to see as many of you taking in Pearson's webinar in just a few days' time!