infoTECH Feature

November 09, 2011

Finding Your Brain: CiRBA Talks Cloud, Analytics Software at Cloud Expo

What good are your eyes and ears to you if you do not have a brain that translates to your body what you are seeing and what you are hearing?

According to CiRBA – a company that offers Data Center Intelligence analytics software – one of the biggest problems in the cloud industry right now is a lack of offerings that serve as brains.

“We like to think of ourselves as the brain,” Andrew Hiller, co-founder and chief technical officer at CiRBA, told TMCnet Tuesday at Cloud Expo taking place in Santa Clara, Calif. “If you look at the marketplace, there are a lot of products that serve as the eyes and ears – providing monitoring, troubleshooting and they generate a lot of data. Then there are the arms and legs – which do provisioning, load balancing, etc.”

“What we find is that there is no brain,” he added. “We think of ourselves as that brain that links all of that together.”

Founded in 1999, CiRBA was started on the premise that there was a gap in the intelligence side of data centers. While there was a lot of focus on alerting and finding problems, there was no intelligence solution that looked at everything you have and what you are doing and gave you the ability to make decisions based on that information. That is where CiRBA comes in, according to Hiller.

CiRBA offers analytics software for planning and managing virtual cloud environments. Its product, the CiRBA Data Center Intelligence (DCI), is an analytics software that enables smarter, faster, and safer decisions as organizations transform and control physical, virtual, and cloud server infrastructure.

There are two components of the product: DCI-Transform which provides the fastest, safest path to an efficient data center and DCI-Control which provides intelligent control over risks and efficiency in virtual and cloud infrastructure by optimizing workload placements and resource allocations.

Through its offering, CiRBA has been able to attract some fairly large customers in the various verticals including financial services, telcos, logistics, and the military.

“We find that our product applies to all verticals, but our sweet spot is any organization that is trying to change the way they operate and trying to increase their efficiency,” Hiller said. In other words, the product is attractive to anyone that is looking for a “brain” to solve its data center intelligence issues.

In fact, this concept of the brain was explored at Cloud Expo this week as today, Wednesday, Hiller presented a session titled “If It Only Had a Brain: How to Gain Control Over Risk, Density & Efficiency in Virtual & Cloud Infrastructure.”

“A lot of people that are building internal clouds have to piece together solutions from multiple vendors, and the problem is that when you do that you end up with something that is functioning but not necessarily intelligent,” Hiller said of what his session discussed. “What we try to show is that if you add intelligence you get proactive management and lower risk.”  

The session also explored what is currently going on in the cloud industry – from large enterprises heading towards internal cloud deployment to the rise of the hybrid cloud model to the increase in federal government mandates for things to be stored in the cloud.

One of the biggest trends going on in the cloud, however, is that people are no longer focused on defining cloud but, rather, figuring out how it can truly benefit their businesses.

“A lot of times with cloud, there is a lot of technology around cloud but cloud is not just a technology mode, it’s a business model and a lot of companies often miss the point of it,” Hiller said.

So what’s next for CiRBA?

“We are focused on taking this brain analogy further,” Hiller said. “We think this brain is extremely valuable for the ecosystems being built.”

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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