Are the 4 biggest management vendors the dinosaurs with the arrival of clouds? IBM, HP, CA, BMC

SearchDataCenter has an article on system management tools in the virtual age.

Systems management in the virtual age: Out with the old

By Alex Barrett, Executive Editor

15 Mar 2011 |

Consider how Facebook has changed the fabric of society by providing new ways for people to connect. With its large, relatively new data center, the social media company and other organizations like it provide fresh ideas for IT pros working on an old problem: systems management.

Many of these large companies use open source tools and tweak them as they see fit. Stuart Radnidge, an infrastructure architect at a large, multinational financial services firm, viewed a video demonstration of Facebook engineers and their back-end management. “You never see guys like them buying from the Big Four,” Radnidge said. “They use open source tools and modify them for their massive scale.”

Indeed, in era of the Internet and virtualization, IT managers seek inspiration on how to manage their environments from everywhere except the Big Four-- otherwise known as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, BMC Software and CA. And for the up-and-coming generation of systems administrators, traditional systems management tools are almost anathema.

The tools of choice are open source.

While most open source software is associated with Linux, these tools can monitor an impressive breadth of systems, said FSW’s Foran. In Hyperic’s case, “I think the only operating system they can’t see is BeOS,” he quipped, surely a corner case in any modern data center.

Further, having access to the source code and a community of developers translates into new features much faster than in a monolithic, closed-source environment, said the senior product manager at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, which last year replaced traditional Big Four monitoring tools with the commercial open source Zenoss.

The article does point to some who are making the change.

In their defense, traditional systems management players have awakened to the new world and responded by acquiring new forward-looking management players. In the past year, for example, CA purchased 3Tera, a cloud and grid management platform, and Software as a Service-based monitoring provider Nimsoft Technologies.

As ZDNET's  Dan Kunetsky has had conversations with CA's Jay Fry, so have I.

CA's Jay Fry touches on the Golden Rules of IT

By Dan Kusnetzky | February 4, 2011, 2:54am PST


When good enough is no longer good enough, and management is screaming about costs, cloud computing just could be the answer.

From time to time, I have the chance to speak with Jay Fry, of CA. We’ve had many similar experiences over the years and have come to present similar viewpoints. A blog post he published a while back, Making ‘good enough’ the new normal focused on a couple of the Golden Rules of IT

I wrote something on these rules a long time ago (see Reprise of the Golden Rules of IT if you’d like to torture yourself by reviewing the rules) and believe that Jay has a point. Golden Rule number 4 is “Good enough is good enough” and Golden Rule number 5 is “Don’t make major changes unless people are screaming!” Let’s look at the definition of those rules

4. Good enough is good enough. Although it would be nice to have the luxury of unlimited amounts of time, resources and funding and be able to develop every conceivable feature, most IT executives know that they are only going to be allowed the time, the resources and the funding to satisfy roughly 80% of requests for new capabilities.

5. Don’t make major changes unless people are screaming! If they’re not screaming, see Rule #4, good enough is good enough. If they are merely asking for changes, see Rule 2, don’t touch it, you’ll break it, and Rule 3, if you touched it and broke it, it will take longer to fix than you think. If they begin screaming, you’ll have to do something to respond, just touch things as lightly as possible.