This month Zyrion launched the Traverse Platform that provides a simple view of how well your various businesses are operating on the IT infrastructure. Their approach was a good idea back in early 2003 when we first met with the founders of Fidelia. Since then they were acquired by Network General which was then swallowed by NetScout but recently spun out as a shiny new Zyrion.
It is a good thing that they managed to stay on the boat through all those stormy seas and keep the cargo of their intellectual property intact. Traverse produces business service management (BSM) dashboards and service level agreements (SLA) reports. This was the first product to group IT information into business "containers" which other vendors are now emulating. Zyrion claims that Traverse is a BSM solution that you can download and have running in less than 2 hours!
The key is that the data gathering engine (software) gets information already available from nearly every part of your infrastructure. They have decoders for products from more than 100 vendors including applications, networks, servers, firewalls, WAN optimization, storage, VoIP, and even your environmental system. Each data gathering engine holds its own database of statistics which are only passed to the Business Visibility Engine (software) as needed. This reduces the need for a massive storage solution and permits deploying data gathers in remote offices without overrunning the WAN moving needless statistics.
If they had stopped at measuring and reporting on data only gathered from within the infrastructure, then we would give them high marks for being an infrastructure performance management (IPM) vendor but not an application performance management vendor (APM). This gets back to our thesis that you need both views in order to really understand what is going on. Furthermore, your SLAs really need to be based on the application performance which is after all what the user sees and what drives the business. The business does not care if a router is 99 percent available or if a circuit is 50 percent utilized. They care if the users can get access to the mission critical application and that it is responding fast enough to keep the users doing whatever they do to run or feed the business.
Zyrion has added the key application performance view with an additional transaction monitor which is an active agent running simulated transactions against the mission critical applications. You get this integrated in the product rather than needing to buy an application view elsewhere and then trying to integrate the infrastructure and application views. The fact that Traverse is both an IPM and APM product is what makes it powerful.
This is another example of the emerging trend we have described as BSM-lite which is a low cost simpler and faster way to achieve BSM. We do not mean you can get BSM or meaningful SLAs without engaging with management, instituting good procedures and implementing best practices. You will still have to do that heavy lifting to overcome organization inertia. What you will not have to do is spend more than a million dollars for a complex solution from the big-four along with the consultants and systems integration experts required to customize and install the big solution. BSM-lite is light on your budget and schedule not on your process and people skills.