Analyze This! Cisco Spends $3.7B To Buy AppDynamics

Milan Hanson

Cisco’s intent to acquire AppDynamics – officially announced on Wednesday Jan 25 2017 – is quite a surprise. Then again, it isn’t. 

It’s a surprise because AppDynamics was one day away from its IPO, giving nary a hint of courting a suitor.  That would be an awfully expensive and troublesome camouflage.  And if it was camo, it was amazingly airtight in this notoriously leaky information age.  (As I write this, several press outlets report the deal went from idea to agreement in three days.)  

It’s not a surprise because: 

·        AppDynamics’ APM competitors have been rapidly broadening their monitoring to yield better analytics with fewer blind spots.  Cisco gives AppDynamics an exceptionally clear view of network performance and AppDynamics gives Cisco a clear view of application performance.  APM solutions must continue to expand their data ingestion to provide optimum value.   

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HPE Acquires Simplivity – Strong Tactical Move with Strategic Ramifications for the HCI Landscape

Richard Fichera

Rumors had been flying for some time about SimpliVity needing additional funding, and that HPE had made an offer that was unacceptably low at $650 Million. Clearly, these were more than casually well-informed rumors, since HPE announced on January 17 that it would be acquiring SimpliVity for $650 Million in cash. Was this a fair price? That is hard to say. Since I’m not really an equity analyst, I will spend no more time on this other than to say that it is far short of the kinds of valuations that the industry was expecting. Competitor Nutanix’s current market capitalization is slightly over $4B, which is more than a bit rich for such a company. Despite its high growth rates, it has yet to turn a profit.

But pricing aside, was it a smart move for HPE? Absolutely. It’s probably the smartest acquisition that HPE has done in its entire history, and certainly one that helps shatter the perception that HPE always overpays for its acquisitions, even when they are strategically sound. SimpliVity was essentially tied for first place in our recent Forrester’s recent Wave™ report on Hyperconverged Infrastructure Solutions, coming in substantially stronger than HPE’s own HC380 product.

The fit with HPE for SimpliVity’s solution is impressive because:

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Welcome to 2017: The year of #DevOps

Robert Stroud

We are eager to announce a beacon of light to help penetrate the post-holiday fog: Forrester’s DevOps Benchmark Survey for 2017 is officially live! Led by myself and Researcher Elinor Klavens, this benchmark survey serves as the backbone for a large portion of our DevOps research, facilitating the identification and tracking of trends and supporting our research including predictions for the future. Pivotal to many of our reports, this is your opportunity to shape our research, including our upcoming report “Six Trends That Shape DevOps Adoption In 2017 And Beyond.”

The DevOps survey expands on the extensive data contained in Forrester’s Business Technographics survey, drilling into the context, adoption, use, and plans with DevOps. The research team uses the survey’s findings to provide deeper, more informed insights to help guide your DevOps journey.  Questions - including how you are dealing with the business mandate of velocity, how DevOps is changing your culture, and where you see DevOps heading - are partnered with practical use of tools and automation.

No matter where you are on your DevOps journey, please take five minutes to complete the survey! All participants can receive an executive summary of the results of the survey after it closes on February 13, 2017.

Additionally, should you want to share your DevOps experiences in more detail or provide more feedback please connect with me at RStroud@Forrester.com or @RobertEStroud

Again, welcome to 2017, the year of #DevOps…. 

Do More With Less: Predictive Analytics For I&O

Milan Hanson

 

Moore’s Law was bound to catch up with us. Loosely applied, it says that technology grows more complex every year.   Human brains do not.   People can’t keep up with monitoring, debugging, and managing today’s technology.  Users’ rising expectations make it even worse:  they want features and fixes in minutes, not days or weeks.  Technology may soon get away from us.  

The American comic strip character Pogo put it this way:  “we have met the enemy and he is us.”  In this case, our enemy is also our best ally.  Surely we can harness technology’s power to help us keep it under control.   We can, we are, and we will.  Predictive analytics, common for decades in other industries, is now a growing force for monitoring and managing business technology, and has the potential to put us back in control of our runaway technology.

The least sophisticated analytics predicts what instrumentation is appropriate for a server based on what software it’s running or what kinds of network traffic is going in or out.  For example, is database software found, or are SQL queries going in and out?  This analytics drives automation that reduces manual administrative work.

Moderately sophisticated analytics predicts trouble based on simple trends like CPU utilization rising, memory consumption rising, or free storage declining; and drives capacity planning before a resource crisis occurs.

Really sophisticated analytics watches multi-variate trends such as cycles of high user demand (for example monthly sales campaigns) coupled with performance expectations and resource constraints, to drive automated resource scale-up (to sustain best performance) or scale-down (to reduce over-provisioning costs).

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Open Source APM Gains Momentum

Milan Hanson

Operations teams value stability.  Uptime is golden.  So it’s no surprise that operations teams buy finished, complete, documented, supported tools from vendors they can hold accountable.  Ops people already have their hands full dealing with complex apps, infrastructure, and users – they don’t need to be hassling with flaky do-it-yourself tools.  Even so, most operations teams still wind up with a mixture of tools from multiple vendors plus home-built integrations and scripts.

Development teams, on the other hand, are developers.  If they need a tool to do exactly what they need, they’ll build one – and share it with their friends.  As agile development has grown into continuous integration and continuous deployment, developers collaboratively created tools to automate tedious tasks and accelerate the application lifecycle.  Customer obsession relies on speed, and speed relies on automation.  The open source collaborative model has been very effective at creating the tools that support high frequency agile releases.   

The DevOps phenomenon brings together these two teams and their divergent cultures.  Yes, stability still matters; but what matters more in the age of the customer is agility through the entire software lifecycle, including the ops portion of release, deployment, and support.  The success of collaborative open source tools in development suggests that operations may be headed the same way.   And in the last year a lot more of my clients are asking about open source APM tools as an alternative to commercial solutions.  I’m also seeing APM vendors more involved in contribution, participation, and use of open source.  As Sam Cooke sang, “a change is gonna come.” 

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DevOps The Code To Delivering With Velocity, Quality And Agility

Robert Stroud

Every business today is under pressure from a startup that is disrupting their traditional market. We have seen this in the taxi industry with Uber[i], ATOM Bank is revolutionizing banking[ii] and Airbnb the hotel industry.[iii] The overused statement that today every business is a software business, is resonating in every industry and we are all under pressure to not only deliver faster, we must do so with quality and add value to our respective businesses.

To achieve velocity, organizations are turning to DevOps in their cultural and technology transformation. In my recent report, “How To Deliver Services With Quality, Agility, And Value,” I look at these issues and discuss how to pragmatically assess your DevOps journey.

CALMSS A Model For Success.

Delivering faster requires a new model, one which features smaller changes driven through faster high-quality release cycles that leverage end to end automation. To guide the transition, infrastructure and operations (I&O) pros should employ the CALMSS  competency model (Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement and management, Sharing, and Sourcing). All team members who are engaged in the product life cycle – from individual contributors to the executive team – must master these competencies. I&O pros must also use benchmarks to assess their progress and to maintain or adjust their current DevOps competencies accordingly.

Automation: “The Weakest Link” To DevOps Success

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Velocity with quality mandates a model based approach to ARA tools and DevOps

Robert Stroud

DevOps velocity mandates change velocity

Enterprises today are focusing on delivering applications faster to drive customer experiences and drive business transformation to meet rising expectations. For some, faster delivery is simply faster time to disappointment where the delivery process is shoddy and speed is the only metric. Speed without quality in an oxymoron – and extremely dangerous. The automation of the process known as Application Release Automation (ARA) is one of the critical impediments in the DevOps journey for I&O organizations today. ARA tools are designed to remove errors from manual processes by standardizing and automating the movement of applications with middleware and infrastructure – the critical final step in the delivery pipeline of applications to deliver customer value.

Continuous delivery is the goal; ARA tools are the vehicles to get there

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APM Is Hot. Don't Laugh, I'm Serious.

Milan Hanson

I cover the APM market for I&O professionals, and it seems that every week I am briefed by yet another vendor entering the APM market. I wonder “What’s the attraction? Why is APM so hot?” Maybe it’s the mess.

I’m weird. I like cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. Why? Because it’s a huge mess. A little effort produces the dramatic result of a clean kitchen, ready for the next attack:  leftovers.

In September Forrester published The Forrester Wave™: Application Performance Management, Q3 2016. For vendors entering the APM market, it’s your guide to be a contender. For clients seeking an APM solution, it’s your guide to what’s available.

The Wave evaluates fourteen vendors on twenty-eight criteria.  We selected these fourteen as key players based on their functionality, market presence and the fact that they are most frequently mentioned in our conversations with clients.  Of course there are more than fourteen APM vendors in the market.   

For a bigger list of vendors, see the Forrester report Vendor Landscape: Application Performance Management, Including Mobile APM, Q2 2016.It includes twenty-six vendors, and even that isn’t all of them -- more vendors enter the APM market every week.

The “mess” that attracts vendors to this market is that I&O teams face an eternal battle to deliver…

  • faster service
  • to more users
  • by improving monitoring and management
  • of software, hardware, virtual-ware, and cloud
  • that grows more complex daily through:
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IoT Software Platform Wave Evaluation Helps Firms Navigate The Complex Solution Landscape

Michele Pelino

As businesses pursue digital initiatives, I&O execs must assist their line-of-business colleagues with addressing software, security, data, and business analytics integration complexity associated with deploying these IoT solutions. Digital opportunities to use IoT include:

  • Building connected products. Product manufacturers are creating smart, connected products to differentiate their offerings and generate new revenue streams as well as ecosystems for other partners to participate in and create their own value.
  • Transforming operational processes. Businesses across many vertical markets are using IoT-enabled use cases to transform supply chain processes, enhance inventory management and operational processes, and track and monitor asset performance
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Take The Wheel: Build Your Cloud Computing Strategic Plan NOW

Dave Bartoletti
Are you excited by all the new innovations coming in the cloud computing market for 2017? Our Predictions report neatly summarizes them for you. Now what are you going to do about it? If you’re like the majority of infrastructure and operations pros I speak with about cloud, building a strategic plan to get your cloud plans in order is a top priority for 2017.
 
2017 is the perfect time for I&O pros to take control of their company’s cloud computing strategy, because cloud adoption is up, developers are more keen on cloud services than ever — and cloud is where the most exciting innovations in IoT, machine learning, big data analytics, and container-based development are happening.
 
Cloud is now a foundational enterprise technology. I&O leaders must strike the right balance between business, developer, and tech management priorities to source, configure, deliver, and optimize the right mix of cloud services for their business.
 
Above all, your cloud strategic plan must be customer-obsessed. Do you know what it means to build a customer-obsessed operating model based on cloud computing? Don’t wait to find out. Your business won’t wait. And most of all, your customers won’t wait.
 
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