Data Management in the Cloud

Arthur Cole

Data management was already a challenge when the enterprise universe was limited to the data center walls. But now that virtualization and the cloud extends that universe around the globe, potentially, the challenge has increased exponentially. Fortunately, a new breed of management systems, backed by new ITIL standards, is hitting the channel. Zyrion CEO Vikas Aggarwal lays out the changes taking place.

Arthur Cole spoke with Vikas Aggarwal, CEO of Zyrion.

Cole: Enterprises are finding that while virtualization, cloud computing and other advanced technologies are simplifying hardware infrastructure, they are a real challenge when it comes to data and traffic management. What are some of the chief issues enterprises are having to contend with these days?

Aggarwal: IT services are being delivered over a distributed and layered infrastructure. For example, e-commerce depends on front-end Web application servers, back-end databases, active directories, and a host of other components. In the past, the distributed infrastructure was internal to the enterprise and thus easily manageable.


"Enterprises need a way to see the performance of their IT infrastructure from a service-oriented view or perspective versus a purely hardware and technology perspective."

Vikas Aggarwal
CEO, Zyrion

As enterprises more actively utilize cloud infrastructure, part of the distributed infrastructure that supports IT services is now in the external cloud, while part of it is still inside the enterprise network -- primarily for data security reasons. One of biggest challenges enterprises are facing today is that when service performance degrades, they are not able to easily determine whether the service-impacting fault is within an external cloud component or an internal enterprise network component.

Cole: Can these issues be addressed through upgrades to existing management platforms? Or do they have to be rebuilt from the ground up?

Aggarwal: Enterprises need a way to see the performance of their IT infrastructure from a service-oriented view or perspective versus a purely hardware and technology perspective. ITIL v3 has defined a management capability called Business Service Management (BSM) as a best practice, which is the ideal approach for addressing the rapidly growing cloud manageability issues. Most management platform vendors are trying to retrofit their technology monitoring products to support BSM with varying degrees of success. Zyrion has purpose-built BSM capabilities, and is a recognized industry leader in the BSM space.

Cole: Is there a danger of over-complicating the management stack? As data environments become more complex, management requires too many tools and features and the entire operation becomes unwieldy and ineffective.

Aggarwal: Our customers have been replacing their legacy products from the Big-Four with Zyrion Traverse to monitor their entire infrastructure, utilizing an integrated BSM and network performance monitoring solution. We are seeing a trend toward consolidation instead of having multiple point products, which unfortunately was a necessity in the past because of the complexity and inability to correlate data between different tools. Business Service Management correlates data from different parts of the IT infrastructure and provides a service-oriented context -- that is the reason why BSM is such a key component in virtual and cloud environments.

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