Posted by: SolarWinds
Wow, almost a million bucks a year – that is the average cost of downtime per year for mid-sized companies, with 3.5 downtime events per year and 3.4 hours per downtime incident. According to Aberdeen Research, mid-sized companies range in size from revenues of $50M to $1B. The most interesting finding is that mid-sized organizations are most adversely impacted by downtime, in terms of the number of downtime events and the average length of each event (4X greater than large enterprises).
Mid-sized organizations can be large, in terms of IT services that need to be supported. SolarWinds falls into the mid-sized category and supports 150 production servers and over 3,000 development servers spanning nearly 20 locations worldwide. All mid-sized environments are not created equal, in terms of complexity. For example, if your user base and required functionality are centralized in one location, you do not need to worry as much about scaling the environment and accounting for latency / WAN outages / etc. As organizations grow into multiple sites, the complexity of the IT infrastructure goes up. In other words, a single building with 800+ servers (depending on function) will require the same amount of administrative overhead as 300 servers in 10 sites.
It’s likely that the reason mid-sized corporations suffer longer service interruptions is due to the complexity of the infrastructure being supported by an IT staff that was funded back in the day when things were not so complicated. Successful small companies can rapidly grow into mid-sized companies organically and through acquisition.
Organic growth might be as easy as replicating existing business processes to new markets. In this case, complexity is caused by the sheer volume of projects and the larger size of infrastructure to manage. Take for example, a change to the website to support a new product. With one product, it might be easy enough to test these changes manually to see if anything breaks or if these changes cause the site performance to degrade. When you multiply these changes by 100 or 1000, you cannot keep up quality with manual inspection, you need an automated way of ensuring quality. In addition to keeping up with quality, IT administrators in growing organizations must keep a more watchful eye on capacity requirements (CPU, Memory, Network, Storage), so that capacity does not become the bottleneck for business expansion, especially for companies with multiple locations.
Growth via acquisition has a different set of challenges and often these challenges include integrating processes and applications, supporting different types of infrastructure as well as rationalizing applications. Application integration normally drives greater application complexity, meaning, it is more difficult to isolate where the problem is coming from when performance degrades. Without comprehensive monitoring of the entire application stack, it is very difficult to visualize where the performance issue is coming from. In addition, growth via acquisition also means that IT now needs to support different hardware vendors and applications (Dell vs. IBM; MySQL vs. Oracle). Supporting new applications and infrastructure can be a daunting task because it requires quickly coming up to speed on these new elements or integrating the monitoring capabilities of the newly acquired company, which can be expensive in terms of licensing costs and time to integrate tooling.
As small sized companies grow into mid-size, suddenly they find themselves needing comprehensive application & server monitoring tools, inventory management tools and website testing tools. Most of the IT management tools on the market that can support complex environments, as outlined above, are however over-priced. When the cost of the management tool nears $1M, it diminishes the cost savings that would be achieved my reducing the number and impact of outages for mi-sized organizations. Another issue with enterprise-level monitoring tools is that they are often difficult to deploy. Mid-sized organizations likely do not have the luxury of a large IT staff to deploy a monitoring project. And as in the case of growth through acquisition, they also do not have the luxury of waiting months to monitor a new environment.
Server monitoring tools don’t need to be expensive or difficult to deploy. SolarWinds offers enterprise scale, and platform coverage at a price that provides positive ROI for the mid-market. And since Server & Application Monitor uses agentless technology, it only takes about an hour to get up and running. You can learn more about how to select a server and application monitoring tool in this free e-book.