Sungard teams up with Nimsoft to monitor the cloud

This report was authored by Agatha Poon at Tier1Research and appeared in their daily research today.

SunGard’s Availability Services division is gearing up its Enterprise Cloud Service, which has been in controlled availability (in a full production environment) after a period of private beta in April 2010, through integrating Nimsoft’s monitoring system (NMS) into its cloud platform. The value of this offering is twofold: 1) it addresses customers’ need to monitor their mission-critical applications in real time and 2) SunGard can provide proactive service management and customized monitoring policies on the fly, leveraging extensive APIs provided by Nimsoft’s NMS.

With the new monitoring capability, SunGard is confident that it can deliver the promise of service levels (by default, it provides 99.95% service availability) and total service experience in a multi-layer architecture. As SunGard moves up the stack toward a value-added cloud offering, the availability of Nimsoft’s NMS is instrumental in deploying a highly available, secure cloud product backed by a number of managed services. This is in line with SunGard’s cloud strategy, focusing on the managed service level. With the ability to holistically monitor various IT components in both physical and cloud environments, SunGard’s next step is to bring a portfolio of managed services onto the cloud platform.

General availability for SunGard’s Enterprise Cloud Service is scheduled for next February 2011. Upon its general availability, cloud monitoring tools will be available for all SunGard’s Enterprise Cloud customers. Customers will be able to get access to various monitoring capabilities using the same Web interface that they have been using to deploy production applications in the cloud.

What Nimsoft can bring to the table?

Leveraging its security and compliance capabilities, SunGard has done well in supporting key verticals in the health care, financial and public sectors. Aside from demonstrating high availability and resiliency for managed services and disaster recovery, SunGard also provides consulting services to meet specific needs of individual companies. As SunGard continues to embrace cloud computing, it has realized the need to render service management and control through self-service capabilities. With that in mind, SunGard was looking for a monitoring platform that could provide a high level of transparency and visibility into the cloud environment.

Since the majority of SunGard’s customers for cloud services are also existing managed hosting and disaster recovery customers in the traditional hosting environment, the ability of Nimsoft’s monitoring system to manage the two types of IT environment was clearly a criterion during the vetting process. Also, many SunGard customers testing the Enterprise Cloud are already running production workloads on Windows and RedHat Enterprise Linux OS; they would require a monitoring tool that could provide real-time insights into their IT environments to achieve consistent service reliability.

Nimsoft’s NMS was the right choice from an operational standpoint. Architecturally speaking, SunGard considered Nimsoft NMS as ‘less heavyweight’ and ‘low ratio of overhead to customer accounts.’ Also, the availability of programmable APIs was deemed valuable by the SunGard team to facilitate unified monitoring, which is of paramount importance in increasingly complex enterprise IT environments, by integrating the monitoring components in the cloud environment with current tools used to manage heterogeneous IT environments.

Eventually, SunGard will move up the cloud stack, leveraging its cloud platform as a foundation. Thus, the extensibility and sustainability of Nimsoft monitoring platform to manage all business applications seemed to fit the bill.

T1R take

Although SunGard is not the first to advocate unified monitoring, rival Rackspace has worked closely with Nimsoft to standardize the monitoring of its internal IT and cloud infrastructures; the managed IT specialist is serious about delivering the best of both worlds while charting its long-term IT game plan. T1R believes that SunGard’s latest move is in sync with the market trends in driving enterprise cloud adoption. Apparently, unified monitoring is more than wishful thinking. Increasingly, as enterprises look to spread their wings and deploy flexible IT models like cloud computing to complement purpose-built IT infrastructures, the ability to provide unified management and monitoring will become an operational imperative in the foreseeable future. Interoperability and manageability will prove to be a significant stimulus for cloud providers to exert greater influence in the enterprise cloud market moving forward.

Comments are closed.