By John | November 12, 2008
Some times my Irish temper gets flaring when I see the cloud-o-sphere serving “stupid” for breakfast. In the past I typically go off and open my big yap and regret it after the fact. Case in point, yesterday eWeek was slopping out stupid when they wrote an article describing how Hyperic and Rightscale are competitors and how they are competing for the same space. This time I deiced to take a more Coté,-esk approach and not go off on a rant (not counting my comment on the eWeek post where I suggested the author should look into selling shoes for a living).
The good news is that I didn’t put a link to it and I only mentioned it in one of my CloudDroplets podcasts. However, this did not get past the keen eye of Javier-on-the-spot Soltero. Anticipating a pending cloud burst from me he graciously sent me an email and offered to take some of his time out of the busy day to brief me on what Hyperic-HQ. He quickly clarified that most of the journalistic comparisons between RightScale and Hyperic were due to a misunderstanding by the journalists and not the Hyperic marketing team, Furthermore, he pointed out, that both Rightscale and Hyperic are funded by Benchhmark and it wouldn’t make sense to go down that road (good point!). We spent about an hour on the phone going over the salient points of HQ 40 and what it means in the cloud. In the end it is now my opinion that the journalists were actually correct to identify Rightscale and Hyperic as leaders in the “IT management” cloud space; however, they did so for the wrong reasons. Here’s why…
IT management, or what I have classically called ESM, can be divided into two primary silos (at least the two I care about).
- Provisioning and configuration management
- Availability and monitoring
To that extent Hyperic and RightScale do play in the same space (ESM for the clouds). However, Rightscale is an undisputed leader in the provisioning and configuration management cloud space. Even before I spoke to Javier today, I was actually leaning towards Hyperic for the top spot in the latter. Today, Javier gave me a really good overview of what Hyperic-HQ 4.0 and what 4.0 really means in the cloud space. Now I am convinced they own the other half of the “Mighty Two in the cloud”.
Here are some important highlights of what Hyperic-HQ is doing with the clouds.
- As an infrastructure guy adding a uni-directional agents is a huge leap (even pre-cloud). This is a battle I have been fighting with Tivoli products for years. When you want to monitor mission critical services outside your firewall it becomes difficult to get approval to break a corporations security policy for a vendor’s product (even one they might have paid millions of dolalr for). If you think going to an Oracle DBA to get additional permissions is bad? You should see what is like to get a firewall administrator to open up a port for your monitoring tool. All kidding aside, solutions like Hyperic’s uni-directional agent are going to become mandatory before the enterprise can even think about starting a serious discussion about putting applications in a public cloud and monitoring them.
- Hyperic-HQ is following the lead of some of the vendors that have been adding AMI product support for running their applications in the pay-as-you go model (e.g., GigaSpaces, Redhat). In fact it sounds like the HQ AMI’s will be metric based as sort of a pay-as-you-grow model.
- Cloud style provisioning. The agents have been hardened, for lack of a better term, to be easily bundled in cloud images (e.g., AMI’s). They have also added the ability to provision agents from S3.
There are a lot of other features in Hyperic’s new HQ 4.0, however, the aforementioned, are the ones that I see as the most important for enterprise cloud discussion. Those of you, who follow my blog, know that I have been critical of Hyperic in the past (can you say CloudStatus). However, on this round they have grabbed a leadership role in moving ESM into the cloud discussion. The ironic part is that, typically, the scope of competitors in the “Little/Mighty” jargon have only been open source vendors like (OpenNMS, Zenoss, and Groundworks (ugh)). Where in fact in this round they have also blown both Tivoli and HP’s out of the water as well.
Javier, feel free to send me one of those nice Hyperic jackets, accept there is one caveat, I can not replace my beloved old trusty Zenoss gear in the now infamous “No Country” running joke.