Quite often, we get asked why we chose to offer FireScope as an appliance, as opposed to traditional software. It's an especially apt question considering almost no one in the Business Service Management space delivers their product in an appliance form factor. However, back in the early days of FireScope, the appliance model seemed like the only way to go, both for us as a business as well as for our clients.
Traditionally, deployment of a BSM solution has been an arduous task that can take months or even full quarters to complete. First you spend months selecting a vendor, which is unavoidable (unless you’ve heard of FireScope, of course). Once a selection has been made and the solution purchased, you now have to plan how you’re going to implement it. Unfortunately, few if any businesses happen to have servers just sitting around, so more often than not they have to purchase new hardware to handle their new solution; an expense that’s not usually factored into the budget of the project. Now the fun part starts; installing the operating system and support applications, patch and secure it all and troubleshoot along the way. Next is the installation of the BSM solution, usually conducted by a consultant who’s usually not paid to work quickly. Finally, you can start configuring assets, defining business rules, setting policies, configuring alerts and eventually achieving a solution that almost meets your needs.
Almost everyone at FireScope has been through this in previous jobs, and the scars and nightmares remained with us as we developed FireScope. There had to be a better way, and that way was the appliance model. With everything pre-installed, we could eliminate the first 4-6 weeks of a typical BSM deployment, and give the client an instant feel good moment on the first day of delivery when they jump to defining their business services and the aspects of the solution that truly matter to them. Additionally, by pre-selecting the hardware for FireScope, we could ensure that our code is fully optimized for the hardware; a detail that makes a big difference when aggregating data from thousands of sources.
But perhaps the big reason was the simplicity of it all. From the beginning, Simplicity was a keyword that had to be a part of every aspect of FireScope, and the appliance model helped us achieve this in a big way. Simplicity in the budget process because we only charge for the appliance – not for every device you want to manage or each technology. Simplicity in support – we don’t have to worry about whether your selected hardware has compatibility issues or if there was an issue during the base installation. Simplicity in security – by being self-contained we can segregate security of our box from the assets being managed. It just made sense.