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Tech Field Day 11 Preview: Comtrade

June 9th, 2016

Tech Field Day 11 is happening in Boston, from 22-24 June and I’m super happy to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post: I’m heading to Tech Field Day 11 and DockerCon!


Comtrade-logo-lgComtrade is a slightly different company for Tech Field Day in that it is a sort of IT conglomerate that does system integration and is also a large software development house for hire. The Slovenian headquarted company wrote Ryanair’s booking system, has written mobile banking apps and in the IT world has written management tools for IBM, HP, EMC and Cisco. It has been around since 1990 and has 1500 staff of which more than 1000 are software developers.

We’re going to be hearing from Comtrade Software who are currently specialising in building management packs for SCOM. They have recently released a management pack for Nutanix which I presume is what we’ll be hearing about. They also have packs for Big-IP, F5 and Oracle Siebel. You can commision Comtrade to write a custom SCOM management back for your solution if you need it.

Interestingly they had a fairly comprehensive set of management packs for Citrix (XenDesktop,XenApp,XenMobile,NetScaler) which they’ve just sold to Citrix which will be integrated into the Platinum versions of the products. Is this the plan, develop management packs and sell them off or are they going to continue to sell them directly?

Who loves SCOM?

Microsoft System Centre Operations Manager to give it its its full title is an enterprise monitoring product which has a management pack system whereby you can install packs for all your infrastructure, be it hardware, backup software, applications etc. and SCOM can report on all manor of things that go down. I’ll be honest, I’ve never really loved SCOM, although it has integrations to everything I just have always found it overly complicated and difficult to tame. I’m also not a huge fan of SCCM, the OS and software deployment part of Microsoft System Center, so SCOM doesn’t have to feel like the only misunderstood child. SCOM is often purchased as part of a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement so many companies do use it extensively.


It’s interesting that Comtrade has recently released a SCOM management pack for Nutanix. Nutanix has a fairly rich HTML5 UI called Prism which gathers all kinds of metrics about what a Nutanix cluster is up to and is also able to surface and correlate many hypervisor (VMware, Hyper-V and Acropolis/KVM) details. Prism Central is an additional Nutanix appliance which allows you to aggregate views across multiple Nutanix clusters. I would think companies would rather be looking for some sort of Nutanix like monitoring for the rest of their environment rather than monitoring Nutanix with SCOM. Then again if you have a large investment in SCOM, being able to correlate alerts across your entire infrastructure and also being able to now plug-in Nutanix could be useful.

The future?

I’m wondering what the future of infrastructure monitoring is going to be. Containers and cloud native applications spread across multiple clouds on multiple OSs is going to be a very difficult challenge to have a true pan-multi-cloud view. Microsoft has already announced Azure Operational Insights which is SCOM in Azure so it looks like the on-premises SCOM isn’t going to be the strategic direction for monitoring Azure although there is still a SCOM Management pack for Azure. I would think Azure Operational Insights will in future reach into your data centre to do monitoring.

I’ll be interested to hear what Comtrade has to say and the future it must see in SCOM.

Gestalt IT is paying for travel, accommodation and things to eat to attend Tech Field Day but isn’t paying a penny for me to write anything good or bad about anyone.

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