I have in the past lamented the evolution of BSM into more of an ITIL support solution than the pure IT management project that we embarked on seven years ago. In the early years of BSM, we all were convinced of the importance of application dependency discovery: It was the bridge between the user, who sees an application, and IT, which sees infrastructures. We were all convinced that discovery tools should be embedded in infrastructure management solutions to improve them. I remember conversations with all big four product managers, and we all agreed at the time that the “repository” of dependencies, later to become CMDB, was not a standalone solution. How little we knew!
What actually happened was the discovery tools showed a lot of limitations and the imperfect CMDB that was the result became the center of ITIL v2 universe. The two essential components that we saw in BSM for improving the breed of system management tools were quietly forgotten. These two major failures are: 1) real-time dependency discovery — because last month’s application dependencies are as good as yesterday’s newspaper when it comes to root cause analysis or change detection, and 2) the reworking of tools around these dependencies — because it added a level of visibility and intelligence that was sorely lacking in the then current batch of monitoring and management solutions. But there is hope on the IT operations horizon.
These past few days, I have been briefed by two new companies that are actually going back to the roots of BSM.
Neebula has introduced a real-time discovery solution that continuously updates itself and is embedded into an intelligent event and impact analysis monitor. It also discovers applications in the cloud.
Evolven has introduced a change control solution that discovers all changes in real time, analyzes their impact, detects the rogue ones, and proposes an actionable dashboard for remediation. It connects to the service desk change requests to determine what was authorized.
Neither solution encompasses all that BSM embodies today, but they represent the original BSM spirit: effective solutions that provide immediate results by building a bridge between the end user and IT operations.