SevOne Scales Up Its Network Monitoring Cluster Solutions

The company's clustered SevOne appliances are designed to scale to meet the scaling demands of such trends as big data, cloud computing and virtualization.

SevOne officials are unveiling an update to the company's network and cloud performance-management appliances, which can be used in a peer-to-peer cluster environment to enable the monitoring of millions of objects across networks.

The ability to cluster the SevOne appliances in a P2P fashion allows for significantly greater scalability than in competing network performance-management tools, and that scalability is becoming more critical as big data, exponential network growth and a rapid increase of endpoints-such as mobile devices-become more prominent with the rise of such trends as cloud, virtualization and consumerization of IT, according to SevOne CEO Mike Phelan.

Legacy networking performance monitoring systems weren't made for the modern IT environment, Phelan told eWEEK.

"They're not bad products or bad people," he said. "They were just not built for this world."

SevOne's namesake appliances each have 300 multi-threaded pollers, compared with one poller found in industry-standard software installations, according to Phelan. The 300 pollers enable the appliances to collect more data more quickly across big data networks.

The all-in-one appliances can be distributed throughout the networking infrastructure in disparate regions and clustered together in a P2P model via the company's SevOne Cluster Technology, with each appliance given the ability to discover each other when they go online. With the number of pollers in each appliance, and the number of appliances collected in a cluster, the SevOne technology can monitor millions of objects-from network devices and interfaces to response-time measurements and virtual and physical CPUs and disk drives-across all networking technologies, and managed through a single Web interface in real time.

In addition, whereas legacy performance-management solutions feed the information collected by the pollers into a central database, each SevOne appliance can collect, store and report on data, enabling network-wide reports to be generated in seconds rather than hours. The appropriate IT people are alerted when problems are found, Phelan said.

SevOne's solution also offers multi-tenancy capabilities, allowing for firewalls between clusters to keep the data on them separate from other clusters, a key issue for service providers and an important element at a time of rapidly increasing amounts of data.

"We believe we're in the early innings of this massive scaling [of data]," Phelan said.

SevOne, founded in 2005, sells primarily to large enterprises and service providers, including many of the top financial services firms and large enterprises like Xerox, Comcast and Lockheed-Martin, according to Phelan. That puts it in contact with top-tier vendors who also offer such performance-management solutions, including Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard, though the company SevOne runs into the most in competitive situations is CA, he said.

However, SevOne recently made a play for the small and midsize business (SMB) space, offering a free version of the SevOne appliance that is limited to 1,000 monitored objects. Phelan said the goal was to give these smaller companies a tool they can use to better monitor and manage their networks, while also hopefully tweaking their interest enough to convince them to buy the full solution. About 95 percent of the downloads of the limited free version have come from SMBs, while the other 5 percent are from enterprises, he said.

Along with the free version, SevOne also has created a free community site-SevConnect-through which users can get answers and advice about the SevOne technology from peers and the company.

SevOne appears to be getting traction. In July, the company reported 100 percent revenue growth in the second quarter over the same period in 2011, with bookings growing 355 percent and operating income by 590 percent.