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InsightNow! by DataArm

That internet thing

I have worked for 17+ years in various IT engineering capacities, from writing a Facebook-like app (and running the datacenter) for a (failed) startup. All the way to being a data center solutions consultant with SUSE (THE) Linux distribution for the whole LATAM market (which means I had the privilege of solving the most "hairy," though problems for some of our biggest clients).

There are much smarter engineers than me out there, but I'm proud of my career, mainly because 19+ years ago I was working for a meager $25 (yes, twenty-five dollar) a MONTH salary cleaning an office building.

Just so I could use my boss' computer during the night because I couldn't afford one (and I was very intrigued by that "Linux" and "internet" thing I read about on a borrowed magazine).

Take every opportunity in life that presents itself to you.

A whiteboard and value

I am going to share with you my "secret sauce," the thing that got me through poverty, learning IT, getting a degree, traveling around the world and starting my own company:

... drum rolls

  • Adding value to others around me, and
  • Persistence in finding a way to add value to those around me

Do you see what I did there?

Everywhere you go, solve a problem for PEOPLE, in the most simple, economical way you can. Repeat.

By "simple" I mean, fight your ego, don't create a No-SQL database cluster when a spreadsheet (or a physical whiteboard) will do.

By "economical" I mean, don't take two months to rewrite the whole automation and CI/CD pipeline only because you like Bamboo and Ansible more than Jenkins and Puppet (or vice-versa).

The new orange

Now of course, sometimes a very complicated, expensive solution is what is needed, go for it! but make sure you are not doing it only because it sounds "cool" or "elegant."

In IT Operations, boring, secure, reliable, predictable, useful, economical and fast is the really cool.

Do you still notice the little stickers on the apples?

I am doing this (DataArm) with a small group of people because we believe we found a cool way to add value to you, and we call it InsightNow!

InsightNow! is a fresh take on an old, pervasive problem that most IT engineers have to face every day (so ubiquitous that many don't even notice it anymore, just like those pesky stickers on fruits).

You don't need our product

Let me first tell you when you should NOT buy from us:

  • You have perfect, up-to-date, rigorously tested documentation (i.e., you are NASA or Boeing contracting for the military)
  • You have an army of technical writers and graphic designers that create beautiful network diagrams, and they work every day, full-time to keep them up-to-date (i.e., you are Cisco or Juniper)
  • You like spending hours creating spreadsheet reports for your manager (some people do pride themselves on pivot tables and complex macros, it's a valuable skill in some industries)
  • You enjoy creating Visio diagrams or PowerPoint presentations, and you don't mind duplicating data about the same stack of technology, for every service, as a bitmap:
    • one for layers 1 and 2
    • one for layer 3
    • one for layers 4 through 7, and
    • one for non-IT management
  • You are a one-man shop, and you were there when God created earth (Everything is in your head, ask for a raise! or help?), Also look for more reasons to use a different alternative here
  • You have vertically standardized on a single vendor and single technology; you only use SaaS tools (not even one legacy system), you have a unique monitoring solution that covers all your needs, and your customers/users don't care about SLAs (Do NOT kill the Goose, enjoy the eggs!)

If you made it all the way here, then we have something of value to offer:

Who loves network scans?

With InsightNow! we index all the data from your technology stacks and calculate the connections and relationships in your operation, from any vendor you want, as long as there is an API or ETL interface like:

  • Cloud providers
  • Virtualization platforms
  • Switching, routing
  • Storage providers
  • Monitoring tools
  • Backup tools
  • Documentation platforms (also CMDBs and ticketing systems)
  • Web balancing and load traffic appliances
  • CDNs
  • Container platforms
  • Configuration management tools
  • Network listening sockets and established connections

No dumb and noisy network port scans or SNMP heavy traversals, but intelligent, expert analysis of every vendor's data, just the way you would have done it when investigating a problem.

Batteries and charger included

All you need to provide is:

  • A server or cloud platform (managed by you) in a network with access to your data sources.
  • Read-only credentials and the URL

We do everything else for you (including remote setup and support):

  • Automatic generation of Visio-like diagrams, for everything and anything, (forget about ever updating one network diagram again), you can visually group and filter, drill down and up to accommodate the interest of the viewer.
  • Reporting by any metric, data point and relationships from the database's SQL-like console (including cross-platform queries like: "Show me the instances NOT in Sao Paulo supporting a service linked to a database operated by a team in the Pacific time that had a maintenance window in the last seven days").
  • Auto-completion and searching for any text string, anywhere (e.g., match comments on a VMWare template, an F5 LTM Pool and a Wiki document talking about ticket "123")
  • Real-time impact analysis (an IP is timing out? InsightNow! will show you within a few seconds what is the impact on the business, who should you notify and every related infrastructure component)
  • Integration: You can automate and hook any process in your organization by using:
    • Java, .Net, Javascript or Python natively
    • ANY programming language using our REST API
    • Pushing or pulling data in and out using CSV/JSON files (traditional ETL)
      • As an example: You can write a simple script to:
      • Add monitoring for every VMWare server as soon as it has an IP address and is not in the "stage" VMWare folder
      • Report when a DNS name is resolving to an IP address that has no PTR record back
      • Audit where do you have a listening socket by a Java process on a server with a NIC connected to the "external" VLAN

The possibilities and room for customization to your operation are genuinely limitless because InsightNow! does not impose a specific, pre-conceived view or tooling, we automate the discovery process of what you have, assuming nothing, expecting nothing (not even a certain structure to the data itself), which is the Achilles' heel of most (if not all) IT solutions related to:

  • Inventory
  • Change management
  • Monitoring
  • Documentation
  • Training
  • Impact analysis
  • Problem management
  • NOC outsourcing
  • Auditing
  • CAD/diagramming

Think of us as the practical parts of ITIL, written by DevOps and Agile practitioners, in full auto-pilot mode.

Interested? Tell us about your tech stack and yourself; we will geek out over Skype, share some war stories, show you a live demo, and answer all questions you may have; you will not believe your eyes.

Isaac Rosado, Principal Engineer