David Cumberworth DTX 2019 Interview
DAVID TERRAR [00:00:13] Hi, this is David Terrar of Bloor reporting for Bloor TV at the DTX Europe Show, the show that was formerly known as IP Expo. And I’ve actually David Cumberworth. Can you explain a bit about Virtual Instruments, your organisation and what you do for them please?
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:00:30] Sure. Start with me, David. I’m managing director for Amea here at Virtual Instruments. I’ve been here for severn or eight months out and. V.I as we as we call it, we’ve been acutely focussed on the way that applications interact with their underlying infrastructure. Well, I mean, we understand the value of an application to an organisation and the SLA is the business requirements of the application has on the organisation and the financial impact to an organisation if the application or that infrastructure that underpins the application goes down.
DAVID TERRAR [00:01:15] In terms of the compute and storage and everything that it’s consuming.
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:01:18] Correct. So anything that an application will run on, now that application could be running on a traditional three tier on premise architecture. It could be sitting in a AWS cloud. It could be in a private cloud environment hosted by a managed service provider. So we can effectively trace and manage and give visibility into the way that application is performing, irrespective of the underlying infrastructure. That’s our core value proposition.
DAVID TERRAR [00:01:46] So from your point of view, you’re helping organisations manage that multi cloud environment, they’re stuck with whether they like it or not.
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:01:53] Absolutely. I mean, you know, got very kind of elongated value proposition is we’re an application centric application of where infrastructure perform management company and the infrastructure is hybrid. So it could be on premise. It could be public cloud. It could be private cloud.
DAVID TERRAR [00:02:11] And so you’re helping organisations manage all that set of infrastructure and helping them make decisions about where a particular application should run best that kind of thing
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:02:20] That’s right. I think it’s interesting walking around the show floor here in the last the last hour or so. There’s obviously a huge amount of discussion about data about the cloud. You know, I think as we see this, as we engage with large enterprise organisations, there is a desire to move towards a cloud. The problem, however, is not insight. You know, companies don’t really understand where their applications sit. They don’t understand the levels of complexity that underpin those applications. And that’s just that’s down to the organic growth of the data centre, as has been over the last 20 or 30 years. You know, as we all know, you know, we’ve we’ve solved problems historically by throwing hardware at the problem, throwing resources at the problem. Which is fine. You know, it’s worked. You know, it’s built you know, it’s built a very significant IT industry over the last 20 or 30 years. But taking that infrastructure and that complexity and trying to port that into either a next generation on premise infrastructure. So something like hyper converged, for instance, software defined or and I think more challenging than going into the cloud represents significant challenges. And we as the eye of, you know, have been at the forefront of trying to decipher and shine a light on some of those challenges. And we do that through insight. David, that’s kind of what we’re doing. We are we are effectively a real time analytics company as we can monitor the health of an infrastructure as it relates to the application. But with that insight, with that capability to monitor, we also allow organisations to make very informed choices as it relates to a next generation or power base infrastructure. So we can say. Look at any one time your CPU on your server state are being utilised 24/7. Your storage infrastructure is massively underutilised or its sitting thresholds. With that insight, an organisation can either, you know, very tactically, but from a CapEx perspective. Have profound savings, reutilise those resources on premise, but as we said before, looking at the show here, you know, everybody’s looking to want to move towards cloud, but with insight, moving towards the cloud is a lot easier. And that’s what we do is V.I we effectively give an organisation, you know, very granular understanding of exactly what resources and applications set or the data centre is utilising at any given time.
DAVID TERRAR [00:05:10] So we’re talking predictive analytics. We’re talking artificial intelligence for helping manage this?
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:05:13] We are. We are very, very squarely in what Gartner class now as the AI Ops segment. And AI Ops is not in our parlance, really, I’m sure Bloor will have a category for this. It’s far more eloquent David But with with that, you know, as we as we see AI Ops, you know, AI and machine learning is entirely reliant on information and quality of content. VI has been around for 11, 12 years now. We’ve been monitoring some of the world’s largest data centres. We have analytics. We have data sets. We have knowledge based on as i say operating, some of the world’s largest data centres, instrumented those data centres. So we say we’re applying AI Ops, we’re employing insight based on, you know, transacting hundreds of thousands of incidents and been able to apply machine learning and AI to knowledge base thats been acquired over the last ten, eleven years. So we think we’re bringing real knowledge, real insight based on years and years of heritage. And then applying algorithmic operations. To predicting what’s going to happen. One of our essays, I love this terminology, you know, most most data centres will tell you why there’s been a problem, right. So you’ll be able to troubleshoot why there’s an issue, a storage layer or network layer or a computer layer. I need a car analogy. Right. You know, it’s no use being able to tell you why you crashed the car. You know, post process, it’s no use. And in this world of everything’s real time. You know, the data is moving at such a such a fast, fast, fast level. We have to be real time. The way that VI you know VI kind off just puts this into the car metaphor. Right. You know, we can tell you that your car is going to crash before it happens. Right. And make insights, make make changes as needed ahead of time. So we’ll stop the car from crashing. You know, in the case of a data centre, you know, we will ensure that the problem is resolved before it happens. That’s the power of AI Ops. That’s the power of applying real time analytics to the data centre.
DAVID TERRAR [00:07:56] Do you help organisations on their journey to the cloud as well?
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:08:00] Sure. So the the way that we we have a an offering called Cloud Migration Readiness. What crowd readiness does is effectively take that knowledge, that understanding of how applications are operating with it’s underlying with their underlying infrastructure and be able to say rather than just probably do what most enterprise organisations do, lift and shift, you know, take your physical footprint of infrastructure and put that into a Azure or AWS, or JCP. We’ll basically say, look, we tell you exactly how that infrastructure is being consumed. We’ll do that real time and allow you to move to the cloud based on consumption rather than what you have on the floor today. As I said earlier, you know, what’s on the floor today is based on organic growth and. Tactically fixing problems where they need fixing, not really what’s being consumed will allow an organisation to move to cloud based on what’s actually being consumed by other services will allow. We can we can snapshot the performance of a on premise infrastructure against the public cloud so we can say, look, if you’re IO round trip, if your storage response is like this on premise, we’ll snapshot that in AWS for instance, and ensure that you can replicate the performance you have on prem in the public cloud and price accordingly.
DAVID TERRAR [00:09:27] Can you give us any examples of customers using your services, small ones, big ones?
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:09:34] Yeah. So a great example is, you know, a retailer in North, a co-op, co-op Retail, have been using this technology for for many years. We instrument their data centre. They’ve about zero outages in their data centre for the last four years. We’re also helping them on mass migration to the cloud or provide. We understand their infrastructure. We’ve given them insights to say this is the application set in the infrastructure that is ready for the cloud. And frankly, based on what you have today, you know, 30 or 40 percent of your current state cannot be migrated to cloud. You can either refactor or repackage those applications or keep them local, keep them on premise. So what we’re seeing with with that organisation and most organisations we’re working is is typically a hybrid approach. Some applications, some data sets just aren’t appropriate for the cloud. And, you know, a number of others are. But we will help provide that insight. We also instrument some of the world’s largest data centres, like Salesforce, like PayPal. Like Lloyds Bank and insurer, they have, our value. There is. We’re providing real time analytics. We we understand intrinsically what the service level of agreat agreement to the business is for. For a given application or a given set of applications, we can then set thresholds based on those SLA is to ensure that SLA are never breached. So we’re putting real business value back into the hands of the infrastructure in operations.
DAVID TERRAR [00:11:08] Last question, what’s next for Virtual Instruments.
DAVID CUMBERWORTH [00:11:10] So watch this space is all I’ll say. We we’ve made an acquisition a couple of months ago. A company called Metroplee. magically gives us some significant reach into monitoring public cloud. We’re we’re bringing that that product into our portfolio. We are naming that cloud wisdom as a result of that, there would be a very big announcement coming in the next two or three weeks. So I yes, watch this space is all I say.
DAVID TERRAR [00:11:44] David, it’s been great talking to you. Thanks very much. And if you check back here, you’ll get more Bloor TV programs like this one. Hope to see you again soon.