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Thought Leaders in Big Data: Interview with Sasha Gilenson, CEO of Evolven (Part 2)

Posted on Thursday, Mar 14th 2013

Sramana Mitra: So you provide visibility and diagnostics on where the issue might be?

Sasha Gilenson: Yes, and these are related to the changes that happen in the environment and its configuration content. There is a certain angle of diagnostic tools. We bring the angle of the environment, configuration, and changes that happened to the environment.

SM: You said there are a lot of tools in that environment; who are the key competitors in that landscape?

SG: I wouldn’t say there are competitors in that sense. I would say there is a variety of approaches to the diagnostics. There are tools that do transaction monitoring. They try to see what happens in each transaction and which of those transactions can cause a problem. There are tools that allow the different specialists to debug – go step by step and figure out what happens to the system. This is often difficult to identify once the reason is outside the transaction, related to the configuration of the environment. This is the unique angle we provide.

SM: So there is an approach difference, but when one of your customers is evaluating a solution to buy, that customer is probably looking at not just your approach but other ones as well. Is that correct?

SG: This area is not new, so there is a variety of tools already in place and problems still happen. This is why operation analytics is such a hot space now. There are plenty of approaches. We spoke about one use case, but we will talk about others as well. Problems still happen, and it is still hard to figure out what the reasons for the different problems are. In terms of the existing approach, I would say this is not a competition, but a cooperation. These tools are in place and they are delivering some kind of information, but more information is needed, and different types of tools need to be introduced as well. If we speak about competition, the closest in those terms probably are tools like Tripwire, which collect detailed configuration information. But they are focusing more on security aspects of the analysis. I would say we do not compete directly with but operate in the same space as Splunk. They provide analysis based on log information.

SM: Splunk is more of an infrastructure company. They are not actually providing the algorithms to do the diagnostics. Is that correct?

SG: Splunk preserves itself as an operation analytics company. The information and analysis they provide are used in the diagnostics process as well.

SM: In other words, they are a company that you are seeing in deals.

SG: We do, but again they are taking a different angle – the angle of log searching.

SM: So, your comparison differentiation is basically tracking the change data and being able to extrapolate a possible break point within scenarios where there has been a change in the last few hours?

SG: Yes, with the highlight that the tracking of those changes is very detailed – at a granular level – down to the resolution of individual configuration parameters and applying analysis to the changes and configuration information of the root cause of the incident.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Big Data: Interview with Sasha Gilenson, CEO of Evolven
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