This morning I’ve decided to rip BMW’s new tag line “Joy is BMW”. As any of you who follow my blog posts, you know I eat tag lines for breakfast.
So what’s the question Alex? Yes, my old antics – what could this possibly have to do with systems management?
It’s amazing how the typical car history of any fire breathing male on the planet matches the buying patterns for systems management tools. Ok trust me, I haven’t graduated to hardcore drug use, this actually makes a lot of sense if you follow me.
In the case of the car buying, just like purchasing a systems management tool, you are making a huge investment and hoping that your purchase meets your needs. If the purchase results in a solution that isn’t reliable or isn’t practical for your needs, you are potentially putting yourself in a “hard place” because you won’t have budget to get yourself into another “vehicle” for a while.
Let’s use my personal car history (don’t judge me, I like fast 2 door cars) and analyze what each car would represent in terms of the systems management world.
|Vehicle||Representative Monitoring Solution|
|Ford Probe GT
“fully customized fast and furious style - custom giant turbocharger”
|Hyundai Tiburon GT
“Bone stock – reliable – not very fast”
|BMW 335i Coupe
“Break Neck Fast, Well Built, Beautiful aesthetics,practical, just works”
“Fast on a track, Well Built, Super Expensive, Impractical”
(** no I don’t own this car yet, this is for illustrative purposes)
|Big 4/Legacy Vendors|
So just how does the maturity process in buying cars map to the maturity process in buying systems management tools?
Take my first car. I had a lot of time on my hands at that point in my life. First job, on top of the world, no responsibilities, I was content to take my stock Ford Probe GT and customize it like there was no tomorrow. I had to totally rewire the engine, add a turbocharger and make it the envy of wannabe racers world wide. You could find me customizing something, painting something, tuning something on any given weekend. The real problem – reliability of the vehicle suffered, and I started to run out of time maintining the mods, and slowly the shiny afterglow of having a totally “customized” solution wore off. This is exactly what happens when you use freeware tools as your monitoring tool, inevitably the tooling just can’t keep up as your needs grow, you end up scripting or modding conf files till you are pulling your hair out. Suddenly you’re yearning for a more mature solution.
So in my quest for the perfect car, I turned to my next car purchase. The Hyundai Tiburon. I vowed never to be modding or doing huge maintenance, this next car would have boy racer DNA. Well unfortunately I got tricked by the marketing, the Tiburon was a “fast looking” car. To it’s credit it was very reliable, and got the job done in terms of looking the part. But ultimately it didn’t meet my needs, which was the desire to have a VERY FAST vehicle, that was a joy to drive, was reliable, wasn’t flashy and didn’t require modifications of any kind. Live and learn. In this way, some people graduate from freeware to niche tools that only meet some of their needs, yes they are careful to avoid the maintenance headaches, but maybe they end up with a platform that can ONLY monitor Microsoft solutions for instance. Eventually you’ll realize you got half way there but your needs aren’t being met. You need the right systems and server monitoring tool that can grow with your needs.
They say 3 times is a charm, and when it comes to my car history, I can happily say this cliche is totally right. The 335i is the perfect balance of practicality, reliability, and breakneck speed. The 2 turbochargers under the hood growl when I want them to, or the car runs deceptively quiet if I’m going through your grandmas neighbourhood. It’s got plenty of trunk space, and it doesn’t cry out “I want attention” (like cars made by Audi these days IMHO). So not only is the vehicle a joy to drive, everything fits my needs, it just feels right every time I get into the drivers seat. This is exactly what it feels like when you install up.time. If you don’t believe me give it a try.
So what’s the future for this boy racer? Have I found my dream car? Yes, for now. But, you can bet, as with those big 4 frameworks, that if I were to buy an Audi R8, I’d be dropping a wad of cash for a car that just isn’t practical for everyday use. Sure it would be great to have everything the R8 has to offer today, but it’s more than my needs (I’m not having my mid life crisis yet for instance). Frankly, it would require me to have multiple vehicles and I would end up keeping my 335i as my daily driver. Sound familiar? Why have a best of breed/fragmented/patchwork of solutions when we all want to rationalize our garage/toolsets?
Don’t make the mistake of buying the R8 before you are ready to have a 4 car garage, get up.time and find out what real joy in systems management and monitoring is all all about.