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Network World - IT operations teams short on staff and budget dollars this past year have turned to myriad management technologies to deliver optimized services in increasingly virtualized and cloud computing-oriented environments. Quite a few of those technologies come from relative newcomers to the industry, and we've rounded up profiles on 10 of them worth watching into the new year. (Watch a slideshow of these companies' products.)
Founded: April 2007
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Focus: AccelOps, software available as a virtual appliance or via software-as-a-service (SaaS), offers data center management capabilities by mapping services and managing multiple IT components as a unified service.
Why it's worth watching: With technical leadership coming from Cisco, AccelOps is able to map IT services down to the network level and perform root cause analysis without requiring IT staff to recreate incidents or compile sophisticated data. The product performs IT service management, targeted at mid-tier companies, but also works to guarantee availability and compliance. Offered in two easily digestible formats -- virtual appliance or SaaS – makes industry watchers think the newcomer could land customer accounts.
"Ninety-percent of start-ups that cross my desk are SaaS-enabled. In many cases, they offer the same type of management services but the delivery method is the differentiation," says Jasmine Noel, co-founder and principal analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates. "Some of them will be successful because for a lot of people in IT operations if you can get some of the same functionality cheaper, that's appealing."
How company got its start: Founded by executives from former security information management vendor Protego Networks. Following Cisco's $65 million acquisition of Protego (which became part of Cisco's MARS product) in 2005, founders left Cisco in 2007 and began another venture to address a market need by applying event correlation, network and systems expertise to unified data center monitoring.
How company got its name: AccelOps is a play on accelerating or accelerated IT operations by helping assure IT service reliability and optimize resources.
CEO: Imin Lee, previously founder of Protego and director of engineering in Cisco's Security Technology Group.
Funding: $8 million in Series A funding led by Miramar Venture Partners, October 2007
Who's using the product: The Jewish Home of San Francisco and American Systems and Port of San Diego are publicly named AccelOps customers.
Founded: March 2008
Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Focus: NINJA, currently available as a free download with limited capabilities but expected to be available via SaaS in early 2010, offers IT managers a means to find data stored across their networks and cloud provider environments and collect meaningful statistics such as the age of files, the number of files assigned to any group and how the files have been accessed in the past day, week or month. Such information can help IT managers control data sprawl, Aprigo executives say, and also enable them to reduce costs associated with managing data needlessly and ensure compliance with regulatory standards.