OpsClarity launches an application and infrastructure monitoring platform

How many monitoring solutions does the world need? According to OpsClarity, there is room for at least one more.

network monitoring

OpsClarity, an operation and analytics company, is launching a new platform today in an effort to "bring intelligence to operations for modern web-scale applications." There's a whole bunch of context missing in there, so first thing's first - some explanations. Applications today are fundamentally different to those of only a few years ago. A bunch of technology and organizational changes have result in a different style of application becoming the norm today. The rise of cloud computing and the ability to leverage distinct development components mean that modern applications are far more heterogeneous than before. At the same time, the demand for agility means that applications, rather than being a "create once and run forever" paradigm, are far more iterative than ever before.

At the same time, and as a result of demand for more flexibility and velocity, the rise of DevOps has meant that development and operations teams are no longer  two completely distinct groups with little or no interaction. The DevOps role is now a combined function that takes in developer's drivers and focus alongside the more pragmatic operations' constraints and pressures.

All of these changes mean that a monitoring platform today is very different from one in the past. Whereas traditional IT departments would likely have had distinct solutions to deliver application monitoring and infrastructure monitoring, today it is more usual to have these two areas combined into a broader analytics platform. This is the opportunity that a huge variety of companies - New Relic, Boundary, AppDynamics, and Splunk, to name but a few - are chasing. So what does OpsClarity think it can bring to this already busy market?

According to the company, OpsClarity is "the only solution available today that can dynamically adapt to, and learn, every component of a company's applications and infrastructure. The new OpsClarity Intelligent Operations Platform is able to process and visualize massive amounts of data in real time and extract key insights needed for DevOps teams to achieve the operational speed and agility that have been key drivers of success for the largest web-scale companies in the world." Hmmm, I'm not so sure about that. 

Anyway, in terms of who this company is, it was created by alumni from Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Via their experience with these undeniably web-scale companies, the founders of OpsClairty determined there was a need for a new type of monitoring company, one that brought machine learning and real-time analytics to the monitoring problem space. So what are they actually delivering? According to the briefing materials, the OpsClarity platform brings together:

  • Unified data visibility, an automatic collection, and integration of application and infrastructure data – including metrics, events, alerts, processes and network data – to help teams see everything in one place with proactive and prioritized issue detection to tell them where to focus.
  • Operational Knowledge Graph, a dynamic map of application architecture that combines expert operational knowledge with the ability to learn and understand relationships and performance baselines for all system components.
  • Context-aware UI, a hyper-interactive visual interface that enables immediate understanding of application health, anomalies, and their relationship.
  • Proactive insights and investigation, a highly specific and actionable anomaly detection and event correlation capability that allows for rapid root cause analysis.

There is a risk in all of this that OpsClarity is gilding the lily a little bit. Their basic premise, that modern applications create new demands upon monitoring solutions, is sounds. So too is their suggestion that marrying monitoring with analytics is the way of the future. But by attempting to articulate something altogether novel in this, OpsClarity kind of misses the mark. Their value proposition is similar to a host of other companies, as mentioned previously. That's not necessarily a bad thing, the monitoring space is a big opportunity and is not at all a zero-sum game.

But in using up precious attention cycles to shout a "we are unique" message, the company misses the opportunity to tell a more moderate, but essentially a more truthful and broader story. OpsClairty certainly seems to have something here, just not exactly what they're suggesting.

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