When it comes to the Cloud, “everything old is new again” and business intelligence (BI) is no exception. BI has become an essential technology for companies of all sizes with offerings from Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP and new challengers like Tableau Software, Jaspersoft, and more. However, no matter what technology you are using, the most important piece of the puzzle remains the quality of data that is being analyzed.
There is no doubt that Cloud computing has broken down many of the traditional walls that exist within IT organizations, but with any IT inflection point comes new niches. For Cloud, these niches have included the carving up of the data center into “slices” that includes traditional server management, security, virtualization, networking, storage, and more. Accompanying each of these “slices” are a plethora of existing and new software solutions complete with their own methodologies and data stores/databases.
While export, transform, and load (ETL) was designed to handle this problem, the reality is the very nature of the Cloud is working against us as the pace of change is simply staggering. Additionally, ETL itself is both an art and a science and requires a deep understanding of both the individual databases and the centralized data warehouse. Therefore, how do we solve this challenge?
One approach would be to centralize the collection of event, performance, and model data across the Cloud within a single “operational” solution. Next, the data would need to be moved via zero touch ETL from the operational store to a standard’s based data warehouse. Finally, a BI extraction layer would be added to the data warehouse to allow users to analyze the data into reports, dashboards, etc. As a bonus, the data warehouse would be designed to allow additional 3rd party data added this equation.
Although the data is the same, the way operations and business owners analyze and use the data is very different. An operational user may want to explore why server utilization is rising on a VMware cluster and compare the trend against last year’s numbers. A business owner may want to understand the availability of a Service against historical trends to predict future reliability. Additionally, a customer (internal or external) may want to review real vs. contracted SLA performance.
We believe you need visibility, understanding, Cross-Silo’s, 3rd Party Integrations, dashboards, analytics, and usability if you are going to make this all work. That's our recommendation and that's the approach we took with our solution, Datacenter Insight.
Be sure to learn more about Zenoss Datacenter Insight and how it gives you the datacenter visibility you need to run your business.