Nimsoft adds Vblock support, pay-as-you-go plan
Analyst: Dennis Callaghan
Date: 12 Oct 2010
Nimsoft continues to make aggressive moves from within CA Technologies, adding support for Vblock infrastructure, power management and new public cloud environments, while offering usage metering that will drive a pay-as-you-go, consumption-based pricing model. Many of these new features should be especially popular with the vendor’s large and growing service-provider customer base.
The 451 take
When it acquired Nimsoft in March, CA promised to give it a fair amount of autonomy as its midmarket and service-provider business unit. That promise has been kept in the first six months after the deal as Nimsoft continues to make aggressive moves for new features, platform support and pricing models that are keeping it a step ahead of the competition. For things like Vblock support and consumption-based pricing, Nimsoft may be a bit ahead of market demand, but it’s a gamble that should pay off for a company that sells heavily into service providers. In any case, it seems clear that innovation and aggressive channel and product marketing will continue to be hallmarks of Nimsoft’s business strategy going forward.
Nimsoft has remained active in new technology developments and even pricing models since its sale to CA <http://www.the451group.com/report_view/report_view.php?entity_id=61797> . First came the April release of the Nimsoft On Demand IT management SaaS offering. In June came a portal interface, support for power monitoring, plus more cloud-monitoring support including Google Apps and AppEngine and Rackspace Cloud Servers and Cloud Files integrated with the Limelight content delivery network.
July brought usage metering that reports on actual usage to facilitate a pay-as-you-go business model across product lines so that Nimsoft can manage customers’ elastic cloud and virtualized workloads. This included support for usage metering, elastic portlets and unified service dashboards so that service monitoring could be deployed in conjunction with the actual services being used and taken down just as easily. These capabilities were targeted mostly to service providers as well as enterprises building private clouds.
Then late last month, Nimsoft announced monitoring support for Vblock Infrastructure Packages, a private cloud-building technology that consists of integrated infrastructure from Cisco Systems (networking), EMC (storage) and VMware (hypervisor). Nimsoft has created new Vblock probes that are available as an option for both its Nimsoft Monitoring Solution and Nimsoft On Demand offerings.
Nimsoft’s Vblock monitoring includes auto-discovery of Vblock topology, automatic configuration and pre-built Vblock-specific display templates; integrated monitoring of Vblock resources with other cloud and/or traditional resources in the IT environment; problem notification, intelligent event correlation, automated recovery actions and full SLA reporting; optimized Vblock resource allocation with automatic notification of free or underutilized resources and overuse of available network, CPU or disk capacity; and usage reporting to help quantify the value of the Vblock investment.
Nimsoft has more than 1,000 customers. Two customers are already using the Vblocks technology, both with Nimsoft On Demand, with two more soon to deploy.
Nimsoft is the first company we know of to announce monitoring support for Vblock infrastructure. Only EMC’s Ionix supports Vblock management otherwise, but this is more for provisioning and automation. Still, it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine that performance-monitoring software vendors with strong performance management support for VMware and tight integration with VMware’s vCenter, including Uptime Software, ScienceLogic, eG Innovations, Akorri and BlueStripe Software, will continue to be competitive alternatives to Nimsoft. However, Nimsoft should continue to have an edge against all of these players in the service-provider space, which is where this latest release will be deployed the most.
Nimsoft On Demand is mostly vying against offerings from IT management SaaS startups like Monitis, Absolute Performance Inc, AppDynamics and Cloudkick. But it is breaking some new ground in extending from performance management into power management and usage metering, the latter enabling Nimsoft to offer a pay-as-you-go consumption model rather than the standard per-server or per-month subscription fee common in IT management. We do expect, however, that these consumption-based models will take hold for SaaS and public cloud environments and in turn for the SaaS offerings that manage them.