BigPanda blog

Best-of-breed or Monolith: what does your IT Ops tool stack need?

As a Product Manager at BigPanda, I like to stay in touch with our customers on a regular basis. Recently, I visited a customer of ours in Atlanta. As I was getting out of my rental car in the company’s parking lot, I saw him pulling into his small parking space in a large pickup truck.

“Those are some big wheels”, I commented. “With all the traffic problems in Atlanta, how does that work? Maybe a scooter-sharing service – like the ones I saw some of your other employees use – would work better?”

“I have 3 kids and 2 Labradors”, he answered, “So I need the pickup truck for when I need to haul them all…But to be honest, I use this mostly to commute to work, and you’re right…it is a bit of a pain, especially in downtown Atlanta or when traffic’s tight.”

One Size Fits All?

As our conversation continued I couldn’t help but think of some of our other customers.

Before BigPanda, they had worked with IT Ops vendors who’ve consciously chosen to drive on the “Monolithic” road. These vendors’ strategy is to build a monolith (or a “suite”, if that sounds better). This monolith tries to do everything IT Ops and NOC teams want and need, in a single package…from infrastructure monitoring to APM and cloud monitoring, to log analytics, correlation and automation, war rooms, on-call notifications, and more! 

Not Really

While the concept is somewhat appealing  (a single supplier, one dedicated account manager, a single user interface etc.), it doesn’t actually work in practice.

More often than not, customers find themselves in the proverbial traffic jam, driving a large vehicle built for the great outdoors and rugged terrain, when all they really needed was a motorbike (or a scooter!) to get them where they were going, quickly and at a fraction of the cost.

BigPanda’s Approach

At BigPanda, we’re consciously taking the anti-monolithic, “best-of-breed” road.

We recognize that each of our customers is unique and we realize that they’re well-equipped to pick the tools that work best for them. We don’t want to force them to abandon their existing tools and IT stacks. That’s why BigPanda Autonomous Operations was designed to intelligently connect their existing best-of-breed tools together and help them detect, investigate and resolve incidents faster and more easily, than before. 

What does this design philosophy mean for our customers?

A Simple Use Case

An example might be that a customer uses BigPanda to tie in their best-in-class APM tool, their best-in-class trouble ticketing system, and their chosen orchestration tool. Now, when the APM tool sends alerts to BigPanda and BigPanda correlates these alerts into an actionable incident, it can automatically open a ticket, and, based on the ticket’s workflow, execute a command on a designed CI by invoking the orchestration tool.

Our customers like this approach, and they’re telling us that this is the way to go.

They know – and we agree – that different tools are good at different things. So instead of forcing our customers to use monoliths that do many things with varying degrees of effectiveness, the path to success lies in bringing our customers’ best-of-breed IT Ops tools together!

So the next time you enter your NOC, ask yourself: Is our monolithic tool really giving us everything we need?

We think we know what the answer is… care to ask us?