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VMblog Expert Interview: eG Innovations - Enabling IT Admins to Keep Work From Home Users Happy

interview eginnovations ramanathan 

eG Innovations has been an active player in the virtualization and cloud performance management area for many years.  VMblog recently caught up with Srinivas Ramanathan, CEO of eG Innovations to understand what is new with the company and its products.

VMblog:  I have been following eG Innovations for so many years now.  Has your focus changed over the years?

Srinivas Ramanathan:  At eG Innovations, we have always had a razor focus on helping IT teams monitor and manage their key business applications. Almost every business today is digital, and applications are a key to the business functioning well. If your IT application or infrastructure is not performing well, it affects your revenue and more importantly, the brand. Our software products help IT teams proactively monitor their key applications, troubleshoot problems quickly and overall provide a great experience for their users.

VMblog:  Citrix and VDI monitoring were areas of focus for you.  Is that still the case and what's new in this area?

Ramanathan:  Citrix and VDI remain key focus areas for us. While there are many monitoring tools in the market, very few cater to the unique requirements that these technologies have. And the vendors of these technologies do not provide end-to-end visibility that administrators need to troubleshoot problems.

One of the key changes over the years has been a growing awareness among administrators that user experience matters the most and that is how their performance is measured. So, over the years, our products have evolved to monitor and diagnose different aspects of user experience.

Today, we offer different synthetic monitoring options that administrators can use to proactively test their key applications and to make sure that these are working well. At the same time, we track and report on the real experience that your users are seeing. Both these views are essential to know how well a Citrix or VDI deployment is working.

And to get to what's new, over the last 2 years, both Citrix and VMware have revamped their respective products - the architecture has changed, the protocol itself has changed, there are more deployment options and both vendors have acquired and integrated many new technologies (AppVolumes, AppLayering, Workspace Environment Management, etc.).

As a monitoring vendor, we must adapt to these changes quickly. If you monitor a Citrix 7.x stack the same way that you did a Citrix 6.x stack, you will not detect a number of issues that can come up in the new architecture. We've enhanced our eG Enterprise suite to support the new enhancements in the Citrix and VMware Horizon architectures.

At the same time, we have focused on making our products easier to use. Deployment of our solution has been made a lot easier in our latest release - eG Enterprise v7.

We have also introduced new visualizations that make it easy for IT admins and help desks to detect and troubleshoot issues. For instance, Citrix admins can see a color-coded geographic map showing the latencies that users are experiencing when they connect to a Citrix farm. This way, they can easily see if users from a specific region are seeing issues.

VMblog:  What about cloud monitoring?  We see a trend towards deployment of virtual apps and desktops in the cloud, are you seeing the same?

Ramanathan:  Yes, we see that too. Many of our customers are also looking at cloud deployments too. Cloud deployments reduce the time to set up and the effort involved in maintenance, patching, upgrades etc. but they also introduce additional complexity.

Take the case of a Citrix Cloud deployment.

The control plane which does the brokering of sessions is hosted by Citrix in their cloud. You can also choose to have the Citrix gateways hosted by Citrix also. The resource plane which is your session hosts and desktops are your responsibility. Now, when a user complains about slowness, where is the issue? Is it on the user end, or is it an issue with their connectivity, or is it with the resource plane, with Citrix cloud, or could it be your network connecting you to Citrix cloud?

There are more moving parts here and hence, troubleshooting performance issues can be more challenging as compared to an on-prem deployment. At eG Innovations, we have added monitoring capabilities for Citrix cloud so that we can provide a single pane of glass from where you get visibility end-to-end and can quickly troubleshoot issues.

VMblog:  Is eG Enterprise mainly deployed on-premises or do you also offer a cloud hosted option?

Ramanathan:  eG Enterprise is now available in both deployment models. You can choose to deploy it fully on-premise with no access to the external world, or we can host it as a SaaS service in the cloud. In the SaaS model, you just deploy our agents or agentless monitors in your infrastructure, and they communicate with our management server in the cloud. This makes the cloud deployment very simple - you can be up and running in minutes.

VMblog:  Does eG Innovations play a role in the current work from home situation that most organizations find themselves?

Ramanathan:  Yes, absolutely. When most organizations moved their employees to working from home, they had to scramble to determine how they get employees to access their corporate applications.

No one had planned for a scenario where they would have 100% of employees working from home. Technology choices had to be made, licenses purchases, servers put in place, etc. Now we have moved beyond this first phaseand we know that work from home is not going to be a short-term thing. The challenge now shifts to how to make employees productive - how do they get the best user experience possible.

At the same time, organizations want to be able to track what their employees are up to - are they productive, what applications do they use, for how long etc. Also bear in mind that IT admins themselves are remote these days and they are having to deal with an unprecedented number of remote employees.

This is where eG Enterprise helps.

We provide the monitoring insights needed for IT admins to make sure employees get the experience they need to be productive and we provide the analytics that executives are after to determine how productive their employees are.

VMblog:  What other technologies does eG Innovations monitor beyond Citrix and VDI?

Ramanathan:  Citrix and VDI are just a couple of the technologies we monitor. Our product suite monitors most common applications that enterprises use. We have specialized monitoring for SaaS applications like Microsoft 365 and Salesforce. We also support monitoring for the entire SAP suite of products.

Over the last few years, we have expanded our coverage of web applications. We realized that monitoring of infrastructure and database technologies was important, but what we had a blind spot in was the application itself. What if there is an issue in the application code? This could cause user experience issues.

We have developed monitors to monitor Java, Microsoft .NET and PHP applications at the code level. Now, we can provide complete insight into what is causing slowness: is it the infrastructure or the application? We call this a converged approach to application and infrastructure monitoring. This means organizations do not have to invest in multiple toolsets - one for application monitoring, another for infrastructure monitoring.

VMblog:  Are there any specific futures you can reveal?

Ramanathan:  Given the situation we find ourselves in, it would be hard to predict what the future holds for anybody anymore! This said, at eG Innovations, we expect to maintain our focus in several key areas.

User experience is growing in importance and we will be looking at ways to improve our user experience monitoring insights. Ease of deployment and usability are key drivers for any technology today and we will continue to invest in this area. AIOps and machine learning is the way that monitoring tools can offer more value to organizations - by automating routine tasks and by analyzing volumes of data to predict trends and forecast problems. These are areas we are investing in.

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Published Friday, May 08, 2020 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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VMblog Expert Interview: eG Innovations ??? Enabling IT Admins to Keep Work From Home Users Happy | vBroker - (Author's Link) - May 8, 2020 1:37 PM
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