Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#ALGORITHMS: "Analytics Weighs Costs, Benefits of Cloud"

Manufacturing resource planning (MRP) tools have become routine for many industries, but now IT executives have their own decision-support tools for deciding when and how to make best use of cloud computing resources. Instead of lashing together handmade spreadsheets chock full of estimates and outright guesses, IT executives can now make use of a standardized set of business analytics that compares the cost of implementing services with dedicated, virtualized, private or public clouds.
Sentilla Analytics for Cloud weighs, compares and contrasts the business impact of dedicated servers, virtualization, and both private and public clouds, allowing IT managers to make more-informed business decisions. Available as a subscription service, the Sentilla software suite monitors energy usage, application utilization and other real-time metrics to guarantee the accuracy of its predictions, allowing IT managers to "what-if" about different cloud scenarios.

Sentilla Analytics for Cloud allows IT to input the types of tasks and resources needed for them into a form (bottom) from which analytics produce a cost-comparison chart for dedicated versus virtualized, private- or public-cloud implementations.
"Sentilla Analytics of Cloud is the world's first planning tool to provide IT executives with accurate predictions of the impact that different strategies will have on their business," said Joe Polastre, chief technology officer at Sentilla. "Other industries like manufacturing have had resource-planning tools for some time, but ours is the first MRP-like tool for IT."
Sentilla Analytics for Cloud helps IT determine the impact of migrating applications from dedicated in-house resources to virtual clusters, private or public clouds. It can also be used to determine ways of delivering more services within the same power and space footprint, by virtue of virtualization and cloud integration. Sentilla also recently announced integration with VMware's vCenter Server and vSphere, which enables Analytics for Cloud to track the cost of running dedicated versus virtual IT services.
Dimensions of impact include capital spending, license fees, operating expenses, maintenance and power consumption. Input data includes the applications being considered, in-house hardware capabilities, personnel costs and utility bills. Analytics then takes over to predict how infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) could potentially lower costs. Graphical displays show comparisons between the various options--dedicated, virtualized, private- or public-cloud--with precise cost-per-year metrics as well as potential percentage savings. Sentilla Analytics for Cloud offers precise metrics for both Amazon EC2 and Rackspace public clouds, but can also be adapted to other cloud providers by tweaking an XML file.
Sentilla claims its Analytics for Cloud is the only available IT tool for collecting, monitoring and analyzing both performance and cost from actual resource utilization, workload, operating costs and power consumption data that is tracked in real time by its software.
Sentilla recently received an endorsement from the world's second-largest telecommunications company--the SingTel Group--whose investment arm, SingTel Innov8, led a $15 million Series C investment in the company in return for an equity position and a membership on the board of directors.
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