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How to avoid IT outages.

Following a recent survey highlighting the avoidable problem of IT outages, James Goulding spoke to Mark Banfield about how LogicMonitor gives businesses visibility of their entire IT infrastructure

Almost all businesses (97%) have experienced an IT outage, claims IT performance monitoring specialist LogicMonitor in a new report (see page 11). According to Chief Revenue Officer Mark Banfield, more than half (53%) of these could be avoided simply by identifying when critical hardware or software performance is trending downwards or when usage is moving towards a danger level (e.g. when there is more traffic than the network can handle or when a primary storage share is running out of space).

While IT infrastructure monitoring has long been standard practice, Banfield suggests that the complexity of today’s environments means that many businesses have gaps in their coverage that is putting them at risk, not just of IT outages, but also of degraded performance, e.g. latency and delays on websites, that can be just as damaging to reputation and relationships.

“IT infrastructures are far more complex today than they were just three or five years ago,” he said. “Organisations are moving to the cloud at a dramatic rate and they are embracing more new technologies, such as software defined wide area networks. The monitoring tools that many of these organisations have used for years aren’t necessarily able to cope with complex new environments or the pace of change, so you start to get gaps in coverage. That’s where LogicMonitor’s value proposition is very strong. We provide a unified monitoring platform that allows you to monitor everything in your infrastructure, from the network through to the servers, the virtualised environments, the applications layer. We monitor more than 2,000 different technologies out of the box. Not only that, but our customers are able to extend the capability of the platform very easily through scripting.”

As well as increasing the danger of gaps in visibility, the complexity of today’s IT environments adds to the management burden for organisations that might already have half a dozen or more monitoring platforms.

“Where LogicMonitor wins is in tool consolidation. Enterprises are over the moon when they come across a product like ours that allows them to do everything from a single pane of glass. Most of our customers will reduce multiple monitoring tools down to one, which is ours,” claimed Banfield.

European expansion

In the 12 months since its acquisition by Vista Equity Partners in May 2018, LogicMonitor has significantly expanded its presence in the UK and Europe, increasing headcount in EMEA operations from 10 people to more than 60 and enjoying year-on-year sales growth of more than 160% amongst its customer base of managed service providers, who use LogicMonitor to monitor the IT infrastructure of SME customers, and enterprises that, because of digitisation, depend more and more on reliable IT.

“Organisations across the world have digitised multiple aspects of their customer experience and their employee experience and as a result have become increasingly dependent on the underlying IT infrastructure. IT outages are really catastrophic for businesses, so it is critical to have visibility, to be able to pinpoint a potential problem quickly, to be able to identify exactly what part of the infrastructure is underperforming or falling over. We enable organisations to do that and we enable them to do it really well and really quickly,” explained Banfield.

Traditionally IT monitoring has been dominated by on-premise solutions. However, Banfield believes this is changing.

“Ten years ago, convincing people to move to SaaS for their core infrastructure monitoring was a tough job. But I think times have changed. If you look at the proliferation of ServiceNow, for example, which is in 60-70% of major enterprises, people have clearly got over the hump of moving to SaaS. We are catching that wave in the monitoring world,” he said.

“LogicMonitor is a completely cloud-based service. There is just a collector, a very lightweight piece of JavaScript that we put into the customer’s network. This inspects the different technologies an organisation may be running, collects information and brings it back into the SaaS platform where we correlate and analyse the data, build dashboards and provide alerts when a particular threshold has been breached.”

Banfield says that LogicMonitor’s delivery model – SaaS and agentless – allows it to start monitoring environments in a matter of minutes, unlike an on-premise product where you have to set up the platform and then deploy agents on relevant infrastructure pieces before they can start monitoring.

“Any CIO will tell you how important it is to be agile, to be able to drive change in a business very quickly. LogicMonitor supports this vision by allowing organisations to move quickly. If they have a new project that involves deploying new technology or they acquire a company that has a whole new infrastructure, LogicMonitor enables them to start monitoring that overnight. Having that visibility, that single pane of glass is really, really valuable,” he said.

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