25 Reasons to Choose CA Nimsoft Monitor

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1 WHITE PAPER 25 Reasons to Choose CA Nimsoft Monitor A comparative overview of monitoring tools for service providers A Publication of the CA Service Provider Center of Excellence agility made possible

2 table of contents Introduction 3 Feature support matrix 4 Why service providers choose CA Nimsoft Monitor: 25 reasons 5 Comprehensive, unified IT coverage and visibility 5 Service desk integration that boosts service levels 5 Monitoring innovation track record 6 Service level management emphasis 6 ITIL aligned 6 Depth of monitoring 6 Scalability: Devices, events, consoles 7 Scalability for large hosting and cloud providers 7 Multi-tenant service delivery portal 7 High-availability architecture: Secure, distributed, multi-tiered 7 Enabling support of mid to large enterprise clients 8 Virtualization support 8 VoIP support 8 Data center infrastructure monitoring 8 Application response monitoring 9 SLA monitoring and reporting 9 Event analysis, correlation and automation 9 Dashboards: Dynamic and custom 9 Ease of deployment and configuration 10 Adaptability, flexibility, customization 10 Support for custom monitor development and home-grown applications 10 Extensible business data support 10 Support for non-traditional and industry specific devices 10 Service provider ecosystem tools integration 11 Conclusion 11 About the CA Service Provider Center of Excellence 11 Cloud support 8 2

3 executive summary In the managed services market, monitoring capabilities can play an integral role in the type, quality, and revenue potential of services provided. Further, they can play a determining role in how successfully a service provider business can scale. This paper offers a comparison of CA Nimsoft Monitor with the other monitoring platforms employed by service providers today, outlining the key characteristics that have made CA Nimsoft Monitor the tool of choice for service providers that are looking to scale their businesses. Around the world, hundreds of service providers have chosen CA Nimsoft Monitor because it s a platform uniquely suited to address the demands of growing service provider businesses. Introduction Inherently, to scale your service provider business, you ll need to scale your operations. In this endeavor, your monitoring platform can either be a big asset or a major adversary. Historically, many service provider businesses have started with rudimentary, open source and commercial point monitoring tools. While these tools may have sufficed initially, they present significant impediments to a service provider s ability to scale. Around the world, hundreds of service providers have chosen CA Nimsoft Monitor because it s a platform uniquely suited to address the demands of growing service provider businesses. While other tools can be a liability when trying to sell into and serve larger, more complex and more demanding customer environments, CA Nimsoft Monitor provides a distinct advantage in these engagements. With CA Nimsoft Monitor, service providers can realize: Increased operational efficiency. CA Nimsoft Monitor delivers the automation, architectural efficiency, performance and streamlined administration that foster operational scalability and that have been proven in the largest service provider, cloud provider and hosting businesses. This platform can help you support more events, monitored devices and customers with your existing staff and resources. Increased specialization. Whether your business leadership is looking to establish or expand its presence in a specific industry or technology segment, CA Nimsoft Monitor provides the monitoring coverage you need. The platform offers support for every layer in the IT computing stack, including custom and industry-specific applications. Increased service breadth. With CA Nimsoft Monitor, you can establish an optimal flow of revenues by delivering a mix of offerings, supporting not only standard monitoring services, but also delivering higher-value service offerings that build competitive differentiation. Increased innovation. If customers need monitoring support for a new technology, you should be able to deliver that support without having to invest in another monitoring platform. CA Nimsoft Monitor is built to efficiently adapt to new technologies and has been proven to be the first to offer support for virtualization technologies, storage environments, converged infrastructures and cloud services and will provide the agility to address the demands of tomorrow. The following sections provide more details on the specific features, capabilities and characteristics that have made CA Nimsoft Monitor the platform of choice for service providers looking to scale. 3

4 Feature support matrix Feature CA Nimsoft Monitor Other MSP Tools Comprehensive, unified IT coverage and visibility Feature support key Service desk integration that boosts service levels Monitoring innovation track record Full Strong Medium Weak Service level management emphasis ITIL aligned Depth of monitoring Scalability: Devices, events, consoles Scalability for large hosting and cloud providers Multi-tenant service delivery portal High-availability architecture: Secure, distributed, multi-tiered Enabling support of mid to large enterprise clients Cloud support Virtualization support VoIP support Data center infrastructure monitoring Application response monitoring SLA monitoring and reporting Event analysis, correlation and automation Dashboards: Dynamic and custom Ease of deployment and configuration Adaptability, flexibility, customization Support for custom monitor development, home-grown apps Extensible business data support Support for non-traditional and industry specific devices Service provider ecosystem tools integration 4

5 Why service providers choose CA Nimsoft Monitor: 25 reasons Comprehensive, unified IT coverage and visibility CA Nimsoft Monitor is an efficient, scalable platform that you can use to monitor and manage the following systems and services: Servers, such as Windows, Linux, UNIX, Cisco UCS, Novell Open Enterprise Server and IBM Power Systems Storage, including EMC, Hitachi, IBM System Storage and NetApp Networks, including routers, switches and firewalls Virtualization platforms, such as VMware and vcloud Monitor, Microsoft Hyper-V, Solaris Zones, IBM PowerVM, Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Databases, such as Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Informix and IBM DB2 Applications like Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft IIS, Active Directory, Citrix, WebSphere, JBoss, home-grown applications and much more Cloud environments, such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Citrix CloudPlatform, Vblock and FlexPod Most other monitoring tool vendors selling into the service provider market fall extremely short of the broad range of IT coverage CA Nimsoft Monitor provides. VoIP environments from Cisco Virtual desktop infrastructures, including Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp Data center power, cooling and energy End-to-end application response time, including of websites, business services and cloud platforms Most other monitoring tool vendors selling into the service provider market fall extremely short of the broad range of IT coverage CA Nimsoft Monitor provides. By enabling you to monitor more of the customer s IT stack (both internal and external), CA Nimsoft Monitor helps elevate your position to be more relevant to the business C-level leadership. Further, the solution s broad technology coverage translates into significantly larger client and revenue opportunities. Service desk integration that boosts service levels CA Nimsoft Monitor is integrated with CA Nimsoft Service Desk, a platform that provides modularly connected, ITIL compliant, problem resolution capabilities and workflows. Through its integration with CA Nimsoft Service Desk, CA Nimsoft Monitor alarms can automatically generate service desk tickets. For example, if an issue arises in the storage environment, a CA Nimsoft Monitor alert can be generated that automatically opens a ticket in CA Nimsoft Service Desk, with all escalation and routing rules instantly applied and all relevant details attached. This integration streamlines operations and fuels improved service levels. Typically offered by smaller vendors, alternative service provider monitoring tools lack this service desk platform integration. 5

6 Monitoring innovation track record CA Nimsoft Monitor is a solution with a proven track record of both delivering and supporting innovation. The platform is built with the architectural agility that enables it to be among the first platforms to deliver monitoring coverage of complex, dynamic virtualization environments and emerging cloud services. Today, CA Nimsoft Monitor offers broad infrastructure coverage, enabling service providers to support all the technologies that matter to their clients, all through a unified platform and administrative interface. Other tool vendors solutions typically lack the richness, the range of monitoring functionality and the enterprise-class scalability found in CA Nimsoft Monitor. Side-by-side product comparisons are encouraged to validate this point. Service level management emphasis CA Nimsoft Monitor is designed for monitoring service levels, providing the ability to aggregate and monitor all the infrastructure components that support clients business applications. The solution can monitor all relevant technologies and services against SLA metrics, with real-time compliance monitoring and forecasting. Other monitoring tool vendors fall short of providing the advanced SLA monitoring and reporting capabilities service providers and their customers require. ITIL aligned With its service level management architecture and capabilities, CA Nimsoft Monitor supports service providers who are adopting ITIL to improve their own service delivery and support operations. Equally important, CA Nimsoft Monitor enables service providers to demonstrate ITIL knowledge and alignment with enterprise clients who demand ITIL-oriented services. Even enterprise clients that have not deployed ITIL in the past will often embrace ITIL when their service providers position it as key for optimal service infrastructure availability and performance. To deliver ITIL-based services, service providers require a sophisticated, scalable, SLA-based monitoring solution like CA Nimsoft Monitor. This solution offers coverage of the client s full end-to-end IT infrastructure and monitors it in a service-centric fashion. Most other monitoring tools from vendors in the service provider market lack the key characteristics required to function in an ITIL-centric capacity. Depth of monitoring Some other monitoring tool vendors provide a lengthy listing of IT infrastructure devices and applications that their tools can monitor. However, these products typically lack the depth of monitoring required to ensure clients IT systems, networks and business applications are operating at peak performance. Usually, these products only support very few health checks out of the box. For each technology, application, platform and device that CA Nimsoft Monitor supports, a comprehensive array of metrics are collected and analyzed. This added depth allows service providers to deliver much more proactive and preemptive monitoring services and more consistently meet service level commitments. 6

7 With its service level management architecture and capabilities, CA Nimsoft Monitor supports service providers who are adopting ITIL to improve their own service delivery and support operations. Scalability: Devices, events, consoles More than 500 of the world s largest cloud providers, service providers and hosting providers rely on CA Nimsoft Monitor to deliver the high scalability required. With CA Nimsoft Monitor, organizations get the monitoring scalability they need to serve more clients with existing staff, serve larger clients and monitor more devices and simultaneous events. CA Nimsoft Monitor features an efficient, high performance event processing engine that can scale to support event volumes generated from tens of thousands of servers. Plus, it offers a secure, reliable and efficient client access model that can support hundreds of concurrent connections. Solutions from most other monitoring tool vendors are limited in their scalability and are primarily architected to serve SMB clients with IT environments of less than 99 seats. Scalability for large hosting and cloud providers CA Nimsoft Monitor has been proven at the world s largest cloud and hosting providers, where it has established its capacity to scale to monitor up to 100,000 servers from a single server domain. Most other monitoring tools are not well suited to the needs of cloud, hosting and service providers, firms that often have expansive, and highly virtualized server environments. Alternative tool vendors are far behind CA Nimsoft Monitor in their support for virtual server environments, and in their ability to scale to accommodate large customers and infrastructures. Multi-tenant service delivery portal CA Nimsoft Monitor features a unified monitoring portal that enables service providers to give multiple clients convenient access to the dashboards and reports specific to their account and roles. Service providers can brand this portal as their own. For each client, the portal can contain dynamic and custom dashboards, performance reports and SLA compliance reports. The solution also offers a robust operator s alarm display that can be made available to portal visitors in a read-only fashion. Other tool vendors solutions offer client reporting that is limited to prepackaged health status content with no custom dashboards, no custom performance reports and no SLA reports available. High-availability architecture: Secure, distributed, multi-tiered Like most alternative solutions, CA Nimsoft Monitor offers an architecture that enables secure communications between service providers and clients, without the use of VPNs. However, with its TCP/ IP based publish-subscribe message bus, CA Nimsoft Monitor goes steps beyond these alternatives to deliver improved data transport efficiency and reliability. Further, CA Nimsoft Monitor provides a range of high availability configuration options at each tier of an n-tiered deployment. The solution s architecture is designed to prevent data loss as it is collected and transported from the client s environment through to the service provider s central facility. Additionally, CA Nimsoft Monitor s architecture allows for configuring as many deployment tiers as necessary (i.e. to support clients who have central and multiple branch offices) with no compromise in the reliability of service provider-to-client communications. Other tool vendors put service providers in a precarious situation as their solutions are primarily built upon unreliable, SNMP-based data collection and transport mechanisms that offer limited high availability options. 7

8 Enabling support of mid to large enterprise clients CA Nimsoft Monitor equips service providers with a highly scalable, broad and deep IT monitoring solution set. As a result, with the solution, service providers can expand outside of the small business market which has become characterized by commoditization and deteriorating margins and instead target mid to large enterprise clients, which present more heterogeneous, service-demanding and margin-enhancing business opportunities. Other tool vendors, which primarily offer Windows or Linux-centric monitoring solutions, limit service providers to an increasingly competitive, price-sensitive SMB market. Cloud support For your customers and prospects, leveraging the cloud has emerged as a technological and business imperative, a way to drive down costs, grow more agile and compete more effectively. However, once implemented, it is critical cloud services deliver the performance and availability required or staff is notified immediately if not. CA Nimsoft Monitor offers comprehensive coverage of a range of cloud environments, so service providers can deliver the vital cloud monitoring services their clients require. Alternative service provider monitoring tools fundamentally lack visibility into cloud services. Virtualization support With virtualization growing increasingly ubiquitous, it is critical for the service provider to be outfitted with a tool that provides comprehensive monitoring in this area. CA Nimsoft Monitor provides robust monitoring for a multitude of virtualization platforms, including VMware and vcloud Monitor, Microsoft Hyper-V, Solaris Zones, IBM PowerVM, Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. Other monitoring tool vendor solutions for virtual server environments are limited in their coverage and capabilities. VoIP support CA Nimsoft Monitor enables service providers to monitor and proactively manage every component within the VoIP infrastructure, including the underlying VoIP networks and components, as well as all the services that run on those networks. CA Nimsoft Monitor delivers the insights needed to achieve continuous SLA compliance and improved end-user satisfaction. Furthermore, the solution is complemented by our robust network monitoring. CA Nimsoft Monitor features support for Cisco IPSLA, and can track jitter, packet loss and response time across key network segments that support VoIP traffic. It is easy to have VoIP infrastructure status information displayed in CA Nimsoft Monitor dashboards, performance reports and SLA reports. Other monitoring tool vendors offer little to no support for Cisco VoIP environments. Data center infrastructure monitoring With CA Nimsoft ecometer, service providers can deliver sophisticated data center infrastructure monitoring services, tracking energy, power and cooling. The solution delivers the essential capabilities service providers need to proactively monitor and manage the data center infrastructure metrics and components that matter to their customers. In fact, this powerful platform is one of the reasons CA 8

9 Technologies has been named a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Datacenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Vendor Analysis in both 2012 and CA Nimsoft ecometer provides unified monitoring of all IT and data center infrastructure systems including uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), power distribution units (PDU), computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units, generators and more. In addition, it delivers key data center infrastructure performance indicators, such as power usage efficiency (PUE) and data center infrastructure efficiency (DCIE), via real-time trend reporting and dashboards. Alternative monitoring tools fundamentally lack visibility into data center infrastructure and facilities. Application response monitoring CA Nimsoft Monitor provides a full array of end-user transaction response time solutions for client s business applications and cloud services. Service providers can differentiate themselves from competitors by demonstrating greater value through monitoring of end-user s application transaction response times. Other monitoring tool vendors offer little to no support around response time monitoring for client s business applications and cloud-based services. SLA monitoring and reporting CA Nimsoft Monitor comes equipped with a sophisticated SLA monitoring and reporting engine that can be used to proactively monitor clients managed environments against agreed upon service level objectives. The solution s SLA monitoring predicts violations in SLA commitments and alerts the service provider well in advance of a breach so that violations can be preempted. CA Nimsoft Monitor provides SLA reporting that offers historical perspectives and compliance trend analysis so that service providers can track their service delivery quality over time. These SLA reports are Web based, so clients can easily track the service provider s service delivery commitments and value. Most other tool vendors can t offer the sophisticated SLA monitoring that CA Nimsoft Monitor provides. Event analysis, correlation and automation CA Nimsoft Monitor s core alarm and event processing engine is enterprise class and highly scalable, meaning it and can process hundreds of thousands of events that are generated from huge client deployments in real time. The solution s alarm server is the central event filtering, correlation, automation, notification and escalation engine. A graphical, point-and-click interface facilitates the definition of custom automation routines. Products from other monitoring tool vendors have event management functionality that lacks sophistication and only offers limited automation of event handling. Dashboards: Dynamic and custom CA Nimsoft Monitor offers custom dashboard functionality that is another key attraction for service providers. With this solution, service providers can differentiate themselves by providing unique dashboard views that offer more appeal and demonstrate greater value for clients. Other tools reports offer constrained, aesthetically unappealing views and minimal types of health status indicators, which limits the value service providers can offer to their clients. 9

10 Ease of deployment and configuration Available on premise and on demand, CA Nimsoft Monitor is a solution that is easy to implement and administer. For service providers, deploying the solution in their own infrastructure and across a widely distributed client infrastructure is a drag-and-drop and point-and-click exercise. Other vendor s solutions offer similar ease of configuration and deployment. Adaptability, flexibility, customization CA Nimsoft Monitor is extremely flexible in its customization and product configuration. The solution can be effectively aligned with the service provider s preferred delivery and support processes, which is a key attraction for many decision makers. The solution can collect the data necessary to ensure high availability and peak performance of the client s unique infrastructure and business applications. CA Nimsoft Monitor dashboards are highly customizable, so service providers can see their client s health status in the way that fits best with the existing support model. In addition, service delivery teams can craft and deliver custom dashboards that can better demonstrate their organization s value. Further, CA Nimsoft Monitor offers the comprehensive programmatic interfaces that enable service providers to tightly integrate key monitoring functions into automated, self-service systems. Support for custom monitor development and home-grown applications CA Nimsoft Monitor offers complete flexibility for doing custom development of monitors and probes. The solution features a software developer kit and open APIs capabilities many of CA Technologies service provider customers have leveraged to build custom solutions for their client s unique business infrastructures, applications and systems. Other vendor tools have limitations that prohibit service providers from meeting many of the unique client requirements that CA Nimsoft Monitor can address. Extensible business data support CA Nimsoft Monitor provides a unique ability to extend its monitoring to data points outside of typical IT infrastructure and application components. CA Nimsoft Monitor can easily target any business database and query business data, such as parts inventory metrics, number of sales transactions and more. This business-centric data collection and monitoring allows service providers to offer highervalue, higher-margin services to their clients. Other monitoring tool vendors are mostly limited to IT infrastructure components and application data. Support for non-traditional and industry specific devices CA Nimsoft Monitor features a large array of monitoring probes, so that data, regardless of where it resides, is accessible for collection, analysis and reporting. This includes non-traditional and industryspecific devices such as medical equipment, manufacturing robotics and trucking yard gates that may be SNMP enabled or offer some other means for making their system logs available for interrogation. With CA Nimsoft Monitor, service providers can extend their managed service offerings to include all important technologies within their client s environment yet another way to provide added value for clients. 10

11 Service provider ecosystem tools integration CA Nimsoft Monitor and most other monitoring tools from other vendors who have a strong service provider focus can be integrated equally well with incumbent service provider toolsets. Conclusion When decision makers look closely at the monitoring tools available to service providers, some fundamental differences emerge, differences that can ultimately play a role in the long-term prospects of the business. After a review of the tools available, many service providers choose CA Nimsoft Monitor. This solution offers a set of capabilities and characteristics that are uniquely equipped to help service providers scale their operations, expand their services and boost their margins. About the CA Service Provider Center of Excellence The CA Service Provider Center of Excellence delivers the proven strategies and insightful resources that can help your business boost its efficiency, profitability and maturity. No matter where your service provider business is in its evolution, count on the Center of Excellence to provide the guidance you need to more fully leverage your technologies and investments, optimize your operations, enhance your go-to-market capabilities and scale intelligently. CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) provides IT management solutions that help customers manage and secure complex IT environments to support agile business services. Organizations leverage CA Technologies software and SaaS solutions to accelerate innovation, transform infrastructure and secure data and identities, from the data center to the cloud. CA Technologies is committed to ensuring our customers achieve their desired outcomes and expected business value through the use of our technology. To learn more about our customer success programs, visit ca.com/customer-success. For more information about CA Technologies go to ca.com. Copyright 2013 CA. All rights reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies _0613

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