Thursday, June 11, 2015

Resistance Is Futile. You’ll Be Assimilated…

Most techies will recognize these two sentences in a split second. Star Trek, the Borg! Totally awesome! The ‘old’ series that is. But perhaps that’s just me…

Back to our planet and current situation
But more down to earth, these two sentences do apply here in our world as well. And not in a negative way. As we all know, when Microsoft has set it’s collective mind onto something, it’s not a question whether it’s going to happen but more WHEN it’s going to happen.

Destination? The cloud!
So Microsoft is all in the cloud. And as such many traditional on-prem services are revamped or totally rewritten in order to become another Azure based service in the already massive & impressive portfolio.

And for System Center based products the same thing is happening. Whether we’re talking Orchestrator, DPM, SCCM, VMM or SCOM. And I am convinced that even a big and bloated product like SCCM will finally live in Azure one day.

Invent it or buy it
And Microsoft is moving fast here. When some technologies are lacking or not just spot on, they’re ‘invented’ as required. Or, when something is already available and it’s top notch, Microsoft won’t hesitate in acquiring those technologies, or better the owner of those very same technologies and the IP (Intellectual Property) involved.

The last acquisition
So yesterday the BIG news came out: Microsoft acquired BlueStripe, the company who built awesome software enabling SCOM to AUTO detect new applications and create DYNAMICALLY the related Distributed Applications.

BlueStripe's FactFinder (as the product was titled) was capable of detecting applications – ALL the tiers involved – automatically! And it wasn’t limited to Microsoft based technologies only. No way! Linux, Oracle, the whole LAMP stack, FactFinder just detected it and started to collect performance data, pointing out the potential culprits for otherwise very hard to detect performance issues.

First this awesome software lived in it’s own space but soon it allowed to interoperate with SCOM, so SCOM became the single-pane-of-glass, where FactFinder delivered crucial information SCOM couldn’t – or not sufficiently – collect and correlate.

FactFinder started out for on-prem based workloads only. But soon when the cloud train started moving, BlueStripe jumped on the wagon and was in for that ride as well. So the next iterations of their software fully supported the hybrid scenario, where workloads live on-prem as well in the cloud.

For now BlueStripe’s FactFinder can’t be bought anymore since Microsoft is working hard to integrate it into the next generations of Windows Server, System Center and Azure. And believe me when I tell you this train is moving FAST!!!

Visualization is KEY… The NEXT acquisition perhaps?
About just a year ago BlueStripe started to work together with Squared Up, a UK based company building awesome SCOM HTML5 driven dashboards. These dashboards are SUPER fast, very nice to look at and do have highly competitive pricing.

This was a smart move by BlueStripe since it made their Views look so much more sexier in the SCOM Console and lighting fast.

So this is just me thinking out loud:

Without a doubt Microsoft will have a list tucked away with companies they would like to have onboard (read: acquired) in order to incorporate the technologies owned by those very same companies into their Azure portfolio. Is Squared Up going to be the next one?

Only time will tell. One thing for sure: exciting times are ahead with the big shift to the hybrid scenario where cloud based workloads (Azure for instance) are just a fact of life and fully integrated with the on-prem based workloads.

3 comments:

Wilson328 said...

I was just thinking the same thing....SquaredUp's only product are the dashboards for SCOM. Plus if you look at the latest SCOM2016 Technical Preview2 there doesn't seem to have been *any* improvements made to the console or dashboards. This lack of improvement in the one area that every SCOM admin has been complaining about leads me to believe that a SquaredUp acquisition is very likely.

Jon Sykes said...

Good stuff Marnix, I'm curious what features/functionality will be incorporated into SCOM/OMS and how well it will work. I wish the SCOM team had an open TAP program similar to the SCSM team.

thx1200 said...

The cloud is an important part of IT infrastructure, but IMHO, it is not a panacea and Microsoft would be wise to remember that some workloads for many companies will never be cloud based.

I'm of two minds on OMS. On the one hand, there is some cool stuff going on there. On the other, some features, like log aggregation and searching, should not require the cloud. Why should I have to pay extra money to ship my logs off to a third party? That's a waste of bandwidth and unnecessary cost. OpsMgr already does a lot of event collecting and aggregation, so why not expand on that and add some great searching features in the console for on-prem deployments? That's just one example.

I love SquaredUp. If MS acquires them, I'd hope they'd replace the horrible silverlight web app with their software. But if it just ended up being an azure-hosted service I have to pay extra for (on top of the hundreds of thousands I'm already spending), I'll look for a different third party.