Dan's Take

Data Analytics for Your Network

Corvil is in the crowded room of analytics companies that can help you make sense of your infrastructure.

Suppliers of monitoring and management technology, regardless of whether the focus is application, database, storage or -- in the case of today's article, network -- often suggest that log files contain an enormous amount of really useful data that enterprises often ignore. They only examine it when something has gone wrong and a cross-functional team is put together to discover the root cause and decide what to do about it.

Representatives of Corvil reached out to present the details of the Tera Release of the company's network data analytics package. The company's goal with this release is to "democratize the full power of network data analytics" -- that is, to make it easy for IT administrative or development staff to get an in-depth understanding of what's happening in their enterprise network infrastructure. Corvil wants decision makers to think of them as the "network data analytics company to run your business in the Now."

Lots of Vendors, Lots of Solutions
I've spoken with representatives of quite a number of analytics suppliers, including Loglogic, Logly, Splunk, Stackify and Sumo Logic. Each delights in showing examples of how having the right tools to quickly grab, store, analyze and display operational data from operating system, application frameworks, database, applications, network and storage log files can allow an IT administrative or development team to find and resolve all sorts of difficult and complex issues.

The challenge is understanding where and how they position themselves. Some present themselves as providing a standalone set of functions, while others focus on adding something to an established, larger monitoring and management framework.

Some suppliers of this type of technology would point out that their tools make it possible to learn more about everything from end user experience to application performance to ferreting out potential and actual network attacks. Corvil appears to be focused primarily on finding and resolving network related issues, and collaborates with framework suppliers such as Splunk.

Dan's Take: It Depends
Since enterprise environments and the level and types of skills the enterprise has differs from company to company, it's really hard to pick out a single vendor as a winner (or a single loser, for that matter.) Each of the suppliers I've examined offers something that can be extremely useful to someone.

Is Corvil offering a tool that would be useful in your environment? That's a bit hard to answer without knowing more about the enterprise's requirements and skills. It is, however, worth the time to learn more about them, their technology and what they claim their tools can do.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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