When ManageEngine this week said its Applications Manager tool supports NoSQL technologies that drive big data, it got me thinking: MSPs spend a lot of time monitoring devices -- PCs, notebooks, servers, etc. I believe higher-margin MSPs have deep application monitoring and management expertise -- both on premises and in the cloud. So what's next? The potential answer involves monitoring Big Data applications that involve NoSQL and Hadoop, among other technologies.
I want to be careful not to hype Big Data. Like cloud computing two or three years ago, it seems like every vendor imaginable now promotes Big Data tools and technologies. The idea is to analyze both structured (relational databases) and unstructured (social media feeds, video content, audio content, email, etc.) to help businesses identify new revenue opportunities, marketing opportunities and more.
Silent Opportunity?Curiously, most of the major MSP software companies have yet to weigh in on the Big Data debate. Perhaps it's because much of this market focuses on traditional SMB customers, where Big Data projects are not really a priority.
Still, that's starting to change. ManageEngine, which develops monitoring and management software for MSPs and corporate IT departments, is connecting the dots between application performance monitoring, Big Data and NoSQL.
Raj Sabhlok, president of Zoho Corp. and its ManageEngine business, sees key trends emerging. "A lot of the data people want to analyze is unstructured," said Sabhlok. "Where do you store all that? It's all going into Hadoop- and NoSQL-type databases. But it's also a nascent market." That is: emerging fast.
From an MSP standpoint, he said, infrastructure data contains golden nuggets of information that most people overlook. There, ManageEngine promotes event log analyzer technology to start collecting and analyzing the information. Over time, more and more of that data will move into Hadoop-type databases, where ManageEngine's tools will allow MSPs to perform more analytics.
This Sounds FamiliarSo what does all this mean for MSPs right now? Back around 2008, MSPmentor told MSPs to start figuring out Amazon Web Services (AWS) for Infrastructure as a Service and Storage as a Service. Some readers thought we were crazy. Customers will never trust their data in Amazon's cloud, some critics told us. Fast forward to the present, and Amazon's cloud will generate an estimated $3.8 billion in 2013 revenues, according to Macquarie Capital.
Most MSPs, I suspect, missed the early Amazon and cloud waves. The Big Data wave is real. Though I wish the media (including myself) did a better job separating fact from figure. We promise to keep working on that effort... if you promise to give the market opportunity a look. I think it's real. Or am I wrong?