SAP has developed an IT operations analytics product that was born as a solution to the company's internal data center management challenges. The tool provides a holistic view of diverse data streams and runs on SAP Hana, the company's in-memory database technology, for turbo-charged performance.
Angela Harvey, SAP senior director of Advanced Analytics, said the company sees about 0.5 billion events a day in the data center and was using anywhere between seven and 20 different monitoring tools to get a grip on everything. While the team had good experiences with these tools, they recognized that it often resulted in different groups inadvertently solving problems in parallel and other inefficiencies.
The result was the creation of single tool that also hooks into existing tools – an IT operations analytics hub, so to speak.
“We had tools we liked and didn’t want to get rid of them, to throw out the baby with the bathwater,” said Harvey. “Our goal was providing the holistic view and tying in all the diverse tools. The other value that it brings is it allows someone at an executive level to get an understanding or an insight easily.”
The tool shows what’s occurring across the data center. It has real-time streaming of log data and the ability to combine data sources from all of the other tools into a single view. That single view makes it easier for analysis.
SAP is also flipping the traditional ITOA billing model on its head. Most ITOA providers charge on ingestion.
“We were going to do the same thing but found people hate that,” said Harvey. “Instead we charge based on a Hana gigabyte -- how much data is in the system.”
That pricing model serves both SAP and customer. By not charging based on ingestion, it makes the tool more likely to be adopted by all the groups in IT. Ingestion is price-prohibitive and doesn’t encourage widespread adoption. SAP’s interest rests in promoting Hana usage, and it’s priced accordingly, but Hana also supercharges the tool's performance.
The result is an agnostic tool. “The other tools on the market are proprietary,” said Harvey. “We wanted to leverage the skillsets already within IT and not to compete on price.”
SAP is currently working on building out the predictive piece of ITOA, said John Schitka, solutions marketing manager at SAP. “The data center of the future is why we decided to put predictive analytics in it,” he said. “Everyone’s talking about going to the cloud. The cloud means while you don’t have a physical presence, somewhere there’s a physical presence, from scattered, small data centers to larger data centers. There’s a need for a holistic view, especially if you have SLAs.”
SAP said it was seeing appetite for ITOA in the OEM space as well. A larger part of its OEMs are hosting data centers on behalf of smaller customers, and quite a few have approached SAP about this, said Harvey.
Currently in ramp up, the company is looking for five customers to pilot the new tool. Two have signed up so far.