Tag Archive - MSP

Big Data in Application and Cloud Performance

Big Data in Application and Cloud Performance- Why & How

Vikas Aggarwal

CEO, Zyrion Inc.

Always regarded as a non-critical part of day-to-day operations in the past, Big Data and its delayed analysis was relegated to batch processing tools and monthly meetings. Today, as the IT industry has snowballed into a fast moving avalanche of Cloud, virtualization, out-sourcing and distributed computing, the science of extracting meaningful intelligent metrics from Big Data has become an important and real-time component of IT Operations.

WHY BIG DATA IN CLOUD PERFORMANCE TOOLS

No longer do IT management systems work in vertical or horizontal isolation as just a few years ago. The inter-dependence between IT Services, applications, servers, cloud services and network infrastructure has a direct and measurable impact on Business Services. The amount of data generated by these components is huge and the rate at which this data is generated is so fast that traditional tools cannot keep up with any kind of real time correlation. The combined volume of data generated by this hybrid infrastructure can be huge, but if it is correlated properly, it can give mission- critical insight into:

  • the response times and behavior of an IT service or application
  • the cause of performance degradation of an IT service
  • trend analysis and proactive capacity planning
  • see if SLAs are being met for business services

This data has to be analyzed and processed in real-time in order to provide proactive responses and alerting for service degradation. The data that is being collected can be structured or unstructured, coming from a variety of systems which depend on each other to offer optimal performance, and has little to no obvious linkage or keys to one another (i.e. the data coming from an application is completely independent of the data coming from the network that it is running on). Some examples of data sources that need to be correlated are application logs, netflow, JMX, XML, SNMP, WMI, security logs, packet analysis, business service response times, weather, news, etc.

Enterprises are moving to hybrid cloud environments at an alarming rate and all customer surveys indicate that the complexity of these platforms are their biggest concern. Enterprises must adopt monitoring systems that are flexible and can handle Big Data efficiently so that they can offer real-time responses to alarms and get meaningful business impact analysis from all of the different data sources.

Contextual analytics and presentation of data from multiple sources is invaluable to IT Operations in troubleshooting poor application performance and user satisfaction. As a simple example, a user response time application could send an alert that the response time of an application is too high. Application Performance Monitoring (APM) data could indicate that a database is responding slowly to queries because the buffers are starved and the number of transactions is abnormally high. Integrating with network netflow or packet data would allow immediate drill down to isolate which client IP address is the source of the high number of queries.

HOW TO HANDLE BIG DATA FOR CLOUD PERFORMANCE

Traditional monitoring or BI platforms are not designed to handle the volume and variety of data from this hybrid IT infrastructure. The management platforms need to be designed to correlate Big Data from the IT components in real-time and provide feedback to the operations team for proactive responses. As these monitoring systems evolve, their Big Data correlation components will become richer and more analytical and will position these enterprises for the IT environments of the future.

New generation enterprise monitoring solutions that are scalable, have predictive analytics, multi-tenant and a granular security model are now available from a small number of vendors. Single use systems that are designed for just network data or just application data are trapped within the same boundaries that makes Big Data meaningless by its very nature, Big Data systems needs to be able to handle a very wide variety of data sources to provide greater uptime from faster troubleshooting and lower OpEx from correlated analysis.


Vikas Aggarwal is CEO of Zyrion Inc.,
a leading provider of Cloud and Network Monitoring software for large enterprises and Managed Service Providers.
You can read more about Zyrion’s Enterprise Monitoring Solution and how it handles Big Data on their web site.

 

 

Kaseya MSPs Rank Highest Worldwide for 2013

Way to go Kaseya MSPs! You’ve done it AGAIN!

It’s a new year, already filled with exciting changes and significant MSP opportunities. But for some of you, a few things remain the same, and selfishly, we are happy about that. The new MSPmentor Top 100 rankings for 2013 are out. In the table below, see how many MSPs running Kaseya were represented on the list:

MSP_mentoir_501_2013

Kaseya has always been at the front of the pack in terms of solutions that successful MSPs use to run their businesses. 2013 is no exception. Once again, we are honored and humbled by the fact that so many of the Kaseya MSPs continue to dominate the MSP Mentor 100 list for 2013.  Additionally, just over 51% of all 485 survey respondents use Kaseya.   Good for you! Congratulations from all of us.

Like proud parents, we are thrilled that our customers are seeing significant and sustainable growth in their own businesses. We are more excited that so many of you show up year after year on this list and with so many Kaseya customers ranked near the top, it’s a validation that MSPs CAN grow and DO grow with Kaseya. We applaud your hard work and we sincerely appreciate your partnership with us, both of which give us the information we need to continue to build – and support – the Kaseya Solution that powers your business. We remain committed to these areas because we know you count on us to do so.

No big surprise right? Not at all, and with so many Kaseya MSPs ranked on the list, it serves to highlight how our innovative customers are finding more and more IT task management work to be  automated and how more work is being done centrally and remotely. The industry pundits still take notice, too. These accolades reinforce our belief that product innovation still matters and that robust and efficient vendor support is still important.

As our annual user conference approaches – Kaseya Connect is April 29th – we can’t wait to see you all in Las Vegas to congratulate you in person. And we are ready to engage with you so and gather your feedback, organize it into valuable solution requirements, prioritize it for your use on our product road map, so that we can further our commitment to building the right solution that works well for so many of you.

For those of you who are not yet Kaseya customers, I hope you are ready see Kaseya in action. We invite you to see how and why the top MSPs power their business with us and I encourage you to register for a live, weekly Kaseya product demonstration.

As the saying goes, seeing is believing, and I think you’ll be glad you gave us a look.

MSPs and Big Data: Why and How

MSPs & Big Data – Why & How

Vikas Aggarwal

CEO, Zyrion Inc.

Always regarded as a non-critical part of day-to-day operations in the past, Big Data and its delayed analysis was relegated to batch processing tools and monthly meetings. Today, as the IT industry has snowballed into a fast moving avalanche of Cloud, virtualization, out-sourcing and distributed computing, the science of extracting meaningful intelligent metrics from Big Data has become an important and real-time component of IT Operations.

WHY BIG DATA IN CLOUD PERFORMANCE TOOLS

No longer do IT management systems work in vertical or horizontal isolation as just a few years ago. The inter-dependence between IT Services, applications, servers, cloud services and network infrastructure has a direct and measurable impact on Business Services. The amount of data generated by these components is huge and the rate at which this data is generated is so fast that traditional tools cannot keep up with any kind of real time correlation. The combined volume of data generated by this hybrid infrastructure can be huge, but if it is correlated properly, it can give misson critical insight into:

  • the response times and behavior of an IT service or application
  • the cause of performance degradation of an IT service
  • trend analysis and proactive capacity planning
  • see if SLAs are being met for business services

This data has to be analyzed and processed in real-time in order to provide proactive responses and alerting for service degradation. The data that is being collected can be structured or unstructured, coming from a variety of systems which depend on each other to offer optimal performance, and has little to no obvious linkage or keys to one another (i.e. the data coming from an application is completely independent of the data coming from the network that it is running on). Some examples of data sources that need to be correlated are application logs, netflow, JMX, XML, SNMP, WMI, security logs, packet analysis, business service response times, weather, news, etc.

Managed Service Providers are moving to hybrid cloud environments themselves and offering services ranging from security, backup, VoIP, applications and compute resources. Also, enterprises are outsourcing more and more of their IT performance management, and they expect the MSP to handle any and all kinds of IT data. Managed Service Providers must adopt monitoring systems that are flexible and can handle Big Data efficiently. Such IT monitoring platforms will allow them to offer higher value added services to enterprise customers. Once they have such versatile Big Data systems in place, they can offer real-time responses to alarms and alerts and give meaningful business impact analysis to these enterprise customers.

Contextual analytics and presentation of data from multiple sources is invaluable to IT Operations in troubleshooting poor application performance and user satisfaction. As a simple example, a user response time application could send an alert that the response time of an application is too high. Application Performance Monitoring (APM) data could indicate that a database is responding slowly to queries because the buffers are starved and the number of transactions is abnormally high. Integrating with network netflow or packet data would allow immediate drill down to isolate which client IP address is the source of the high number of queries.

HOW TO HANDLE BIG DATA FOR CLOUD PERFORMANCE

Traditional monitoring or BI platforms are not designed to handle the volume and variety of data from this hybrid IT infrastructure. The management platforms need to be designed to correlate Big Data from the IT components in real-time and provide feedback to the operations team for proactive responses. As these monitoring systems evolve, their Big Data correlation components will become richer and more analytical and will position these MSPs for the IT environments of the future.

New generation MSP monitoring solutions that are scalable, have predictive analytics, multi-tenant and a granular security model are now available from a small number of vendors. Single use systems that are designed for just network data or just application data are trapped within the same boundaries that makes Big Data meaningless – by its very nature, Big Data systems needs to be able to handle a very wide variety of data sources to provide greater uptime from faster troubleshooting and lower OpEx from correlated analysis.


Vikas Aggarwal is CEO of Zyrion Inc.,
a leading provider of Cloud and Network Monitoring software for large enterprises and Managed Service Providers.
You can read more about Zyrion’s MSP monitoring solution and how it handles Big Data on their web site.

 

 

MSP Pricing Results of 2012 Global Survey

For businesses that rely on a service delivery model, it’s a widely known fact that sound pricing management is the most effective way to grow your business.

Free 6-page report of results from 2012 global MSP pricing survey

As a managed services provider (MSP), did you ever wonder how your pricing strategy – and its effectiveness – compares to your MSP peers around the world?

With access to thousands of MSP customers worldwide, Kaseya conducted our annual global pricing survey to gain insight into the best practices of MSP pricing management. In this 6 page MSP pricing report, see replies from hundreds of your peers when asked the following questions:

Continue Reading…

[MSP eBook] A Starter Guide to IT Managed Services

I had an interesting conversation with one of our IT managed services customers the other day.Free 21-page starter guide to IT managed services

We were discussing the journey he took as his IT managed services company grew from a one-man show to an 18-person managed services company with $3 million in revenue in just a few years. He said it was a tough transition, but it was worth it. However, what struck me was the motivation behind transforming the business.

Here is what he said: “I had been working for years in a break-fix model and was making enough money to be comfortable. Then it occurred to me. I had built a nice job for myself but it was far short of a business. And that’s what I really wanted. I wanted to build a business, and I knew that I had to get serious about managed services.”

It was the perfect light bulb moment. He had built a job but wanted a business.

Based on our work with thousands of MSPs worldwide, making the switch to MSP is worth the time and effort because MSPs are approximately 200-400% more profitable than non-MSPs. And MSPs are 3x to 10x more valuable than traditional VARs.

But as I’ve said before, its not easy. A successful managed service provider (MSP) business is reliant on a solid business strategy and service delivery model as well as finding the right technology for your needs. We can help you understand the steps you need to take in order to get started, all rolled into a 21-page IT managed services eBook that will will help you:

  • Develop and execute on a solid business strategy for running a managed services company - Companies that get the business part right and flub the technology part won’t grow very fast but will chug along and survive. On the other hand, service providers that use the right technology but can’t handle growth or manage daily operations will most likely fail. However, it’s companies that get both the business right and choose the appropriate management solution for their needs that are wildly successful. Running the business the right way is that critical. Read our 6 tips that you can use to build a profitable business model.
  • Choose the right IT systems management solution to help enable your vision – The managed services business model is enabled by the technology you use to deliver IT services to your customers. However, there are dozens of solutions. How do you choose the right one for your unique needs? IT systems management solutions come in several flavors based on the software’s architecture and we provide a summary – including feature and cost comparison – of the 5 common types of tools available.
  • Price your managed services fairly, competitively, and profitably - How do I price my managed services effectively? It’s the most common topic among our thousands of MSP partners worldwide. Using data from real MSPs, we provide you an insider’s look and a data-rich analysis of pricing scenarios used by a variety of service providers in various stages of the MSP development track. We give you step-by-step calculations to help you understand how to determine your operating cost and we provide you with a few pricing scenarios to help you understand business impacts and profitability analysis. Once you understand these data, you can leapfrog your peers (and truly deliver value to you clients) because you will gain a better understanding of cost, profit, and MRR/project/T&M portfolio calculations and analysis.
  • Avoid some common pitfalls – Do you need a crystal ball on your MSP journey? Learn from your peers as they share 4 common MSP traps to avoid so you can fast-track your success.
  • Understand the benefits that come with implementing managed services correctly – Read a case study to understand how an IT service provider successfully rolled out managed services for its customers and transformed into one of the largest MSPs in the country.

So, take a walk with us. Read this free eBook Starter Guide to IT Managed Services and learn more. Turn your job into a business. You won’t be disappointed.

Making the Switch from Break-Fix to Managed Services

Making the Switch from Break-Fix to Managed Services

Back in 2006, VAR Business suggested “98 Percent of Managed Services Is Chaotic.” At that time, they painted a bleak picture of the common pitfalls that break-fix VARs and other IT solution providers encountered as they attempted to transition to a managed services business model.

In the 2006 VAR Business report, they found that 31% of the companies surveyed felt that their managed service efforts had fallen short of their expectations and only 11% said that managed services had exceeded expectations.

My how far we’ve come.

In a recent Kaseya survey of nearly 2,000 MSP customers worldwide, we found that upwards of 85% generate recurring revenue for 12 months per year. More than 50% improved the profitability and productivity of their technicians by 100% within 90 days of completing an onboarding process. Their average client retention rate was high (very high).

The findings are compelling.

Continue Reading…

How Much Product Functionality Are You Really Using?

Most software products in the ITIL stack – monitoring, ticketing, etc., all perform their basic functionality equally well when compared to other products in their class. However, best of class products have a lot more functionality and features that is typically forgotten in the craziness and urgency of operational deployments. In most cases, close to 60% of the product features are paid for but unused.

One might argue that these features are not important or needed in the enterprise. Interestingly, most of these unused features are precisely the reason for selecting the product in the first place and served as differentiators for selecting one product over the other. Using these advanced features would in most cases give must better ROI to the customer as is normally identified during the selection process. Yet a bulk of these differentiating features go unused

Some of the key reasons for not being able to derive greater benefits from software:

  • Using these new features requires a change in Operational Processes – and this change is usually not been factored in during the deployment.
  • the selection team is different from the end users of the deployed products, and they have not been exposed to the key differentiating features in the product
  • The desire to implement the software quickly and reduce implementation risk
  • Lack of skills to use the advanced features in the product
  • A very simple and effective way to address these issues is by training and re-training. In most cases, the customer purchases training at the beginning of the engagement, but they fail to do advanced training after the product is deployed and running for a while. Enterprises should make it a point to set aside budget and time for reviewing the product deployment a few months after implementation, and ask the software vendors to demonstrate how their advanced feature set can help reduce expenses and deliver faster ROI. This second stage of training would need to focus on how the product can interact better with existing OSS tools and improve processes.

    The deployment of any best of class product requires a two stage deployment – initially with the features which are the most common (and interestingly not the reason for selecting the product in the first place). The second stage (and most often overlooked) is much later after the initial deployment, and is when the best of class features are actually put to use.


    Vikas Aggarwal is CEO of Zyrion Inc.,
    a leading provider of Cloud and Network Monitoring software for large enterprises and Managed Service Providers.
    You can read more about Zyrion’s cloud monitoring solution here.

     

     

    Using IT Strategic Roadmaps to Win More, and Better Managed Services Contracts

    Webinar Replay – Using IT Strategic Plans to Win More – And Better – Managed Services Contracts

    Webinar Replay – Using IT Strategic Plans to Win More – And Better – Managed Services Contracts

    MSP Service Delivery Best Practices – Using IT Strategic Plans to Win More – And Better – Managed Services Contracts (originally aired May 2012)

    Led by services architect and service delivery expert John Kilian of AntFarm, Inc, this webinar presented MSP service delivery best practices for using IT strategic plans to win more – and better – MSP contracts.

    As a sneak peak of the session, John’s presentation on MSP service delivery best practices:

    1. How to create an IT Strategic Plan that aligns with MSP client business needs
    2. How to protect your managed services revenue from poachers
    3. How to synchronize clients’ technology lifecycle to changes in their business
    4. How to “own” the plan

     

    Continue Reading…

    Climbing Up the Stack-MSP Customers Demand Higher Value in Monitoring Services

    Managed Services is now a mature industry, and as it moves further down this maturity path, trying to differentiate or win customers based on lower prices per device monitored can only continue for a little while. As Managed Service Providers race to adopt automation and other workflows to reduce their operating expenses, the price differentiator can only narrow between different providers.

    As one would expect, after having squeezed the last drop of overhead from the opex, Service Providers need to start looking at offering higher value and differentiated services to their customers in order to stay ahead. When life began as a VAR many years ago, the focus was on verticals and getting familiar with an industry. Today, with the transformation to a service provider offering varied benefits to the old customers, MSPs need to be able to monitor the custom applications and services within the industry. If you look beyond the email and web services, every one of your customers has a unique IT application or service that is the core of their business – whether its medical billing or an online gaming or streaming video application. Today, most MSPs monitor the IT infrastructure and databases for these custom applications, but few have extended the services for monitoring these custom applications.

    Monitoring your customers ‘custom’ applications and services requires a higher value sale – not only does the MSP have to understand their customer’s business and applications that support this service, but they also will need to leverage their monitoring software’s APIs or custom monitoring abilities to monitor relevant metrics from these custom applications. Not only does this require a sales person who can explain the benefits of doing this to the customer, but also a technical person with some programming level skills to use the APIs.

    The benefits are obvious – the end customer now has an MSP who can monitor their IT services which directly impacts their business bottom line, and the MSP now has a stronger relationship with the end customer because of the high value provided. Providing some of these service oriented performance metrics on a rich dashboard also raises the visibility of the MSP within the end customer’s senior managers – something they probably were not able to do if only monitoring devices and applications instead of IT Services.

    We are already seeing this transition and demand for higher value amonst the MSPs as this industry moves further along the mature phase. Software technology vendors are beginning to adopt technologies such as ITIL BSM into their offerings, since these best practice technologies are essential in order to deliver the customized monitoring services to the end customers.


    WEBINAR REPLAY: Determining Optimal Margins for your Managed Service Offerings

    Webinar - Determining Optimal Margins for your Service Offerings

    WEBINAR REPLAY:  MSP Pricing Tips – Determining Optimal Margins for Your Service Offerings (originally aired March 2012)

    Led by MSP pricing expert Erick Simpson of MSP University, this webinar presented key MSP pricing tips to achieve optimal margins as part of an MSP service delivery offering.

    As a sneak peak of the session, Erick’s presentation on determining optimal IT managed service margins covered:

    1.  An introduction to key pricing factors
    2. How to define – and calculate – labor cost
    3. How to define – and calculate – overhead cost
    4. How to use these data to optimize profits
    5. How to use these data to grow your business

    Continue Reading…

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