Search At the Front and Center of IT Operations Management

Google revolution is spreading. Prior to search, hierarchical directories (like Yahoo) were the dominant way to organize and find information on the web. As the amount of information increased, the directory paradigm run into problems handling the scale, and Google's search paradigm with it's simplicity has become ubiquitous way to find information. Users are at ease with search, as a result, search paradigm has been spreading.

Search had already come to desktop. Google Desktop brought powerful search engine into the desktop. And with Windows 7, Microsoft went beyond search as an application and put search at the core of the user experience. Just as search has displaced the directories on the web and become the primary mechanism to find information, it has become the primary mechanism in Windows 7 for most things from starting applications to finding files, displacing Windows Explorer.

I see a lot of parallels in the IT management world. Search is moving from being an often poorly implemented feature to the core. There is ever increasing amount of IT management data and that is locked inside various IT management tools. Users have to know where the data is and traverse through however the data is organized in the particular tool. Something better is needed and search paradigm seems to fit, hence number of IT management companies like Splunk, Paglo and Tideway emphasize search as the solution.

Search is at the heart of RapidOSS, our IT Operations Management solution. RapidOSS has a built-in modeling engine to model the IT environment (classes, properties, relations, operations, etc.) and a search engine (Compass/Lucene) as the data store. The combination of object based modeling and search engine provides a powerful platform for IT operations management solutions.

RapidOSS user interface takes full advantage of the power of search to make it as easy as possible for users to find information they are looking for. Almost everything in the user interface is a search operation. Users can query the repository using Google like searches, in addition to being able to navigate the repository through the model.

Ability to use free form searches practically eliminates the learning curve since most users are familiar with searching information using Google. Users don't have to know how the data is organized nor they need to master a query language like SQL. The same simple searches can be used for all the IT management information in the repository, events, inventory, trouble tickets, configuration changes, etc.

In the journey to create the next generations IT Operations Management Console, moving search to the center is an essential step.