BSM for every need

From best in analytics to most innovative, Enterprise Management Associates identifies unique design points of myriad BSM tools

With the alignment of IT service performance and business impact a perennial enterprise IT challenge, business service management remains a sweet spot for vendors of every ilk, from the largest platform providers to emerging innovators. That makes sorting through the myriad offerings a challenge indeed.

After all, as Dennis Drogseth, a vice president with Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), points out in a recent report on the BSM service impact market, the BSM term is "far from linear in meaning."

If you're strategizing on where next to take your BSM initiative, be sure to check out the EMA Radar report, published last month based on a thorough evaluation of product, strategy and customer input from 14 BSM vendors. The report's goal is to provide a starting place and a guideline for companies evaluating BSM service impact tools in particular -- a marketplace Drogseth considers at a turning point.

"New technologies for capturing service interdependencies are being adopted more aggressively and by more vendors than ever before," he writes. "In the majority of cases, these center on more innovative approaches to assimilating information, analyzing information, and modeling information so that the logical and physical implications of service performance can be more readily understood. This in turn leads to more informed decision making, and in some cases supports far more advanced uses for automation than was possible in the past."

Functionality, he explains, tends to fall into three categories: platforms, which provide overall BSM solution sets; overlays, capabilities targeted at assimilating and reconciling BSM service impact information from multiple sources, even brands; and monitoring suites, which optimize monitoring capabilities to provide cross-domain service impact information. The challenge for enterprise IT organizations is figuring out which of the products' unique design points, all relevant in their own ways, best support their particular BSM requirements, Drogseth says in the report.

That said, the report does highlight various vendors for their unique design strengths. At a glance, vendors and their "best" designations are: Netuitive, for analytics; HP, for automation; Novell, for BSM integrations; IBM, for business impact; ASG, for design; Zyrion, for mid-tier BSM; Compuware, for monitoring; Opnet, for operational BSM; and OpTier, for transaction-centric BSM. Interlink, "a small company with one of the most compelling BSM Service Impact solution sets in the industry," got Drogseth's nod as most innovative.

Which BSM products have you found to best meet your needs, and why? Tell me now.

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