IBM to acquire Turbonomic with AIOps dominance squarely in its sights

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

IBM is to acquire Turbonomic, a Boston-based application resource and network performance management software provider, to help organisations with their AIOps initiatives.

The acquisition ‘will provide businesses with full stack application observability and management to assure performance and minimise costs using AI to optimise resources – such as containers, VMs, servers, storage, networks, and databases’, the company touted in the press materials.

AIOps, the utilisation of artificial intelligence for IT operations, can help enterprise organisations address complex challenges. These include siloed IT operations, dynamic increases in the nature of IT architectures, and keeping reins on exponential data growth.

Utilising Watson’s capabilities, IBM feels it already has a head start in this arena. The launch of IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps, alongside the Turbonomic acquisition, means IBM claims to be ‘the only company able to provide customers with AI-powered automation capabilities that span from AIOps to application and infrastructure observability.’

Last month, as this publication reported, the general availability of IBM Cloud Satellite beget a smaller but no less significant announcement of IBM Cloud Pak for Data as a Service. The latter was an extension of the ‘Watson Anywhere’ strategy meaning companies ‘can have a flexible, secure way to run AI and analytics workloads as services across any environment.’

Turbonomic will be best known to CloudTech readers for its work more widely in the cloud management and monitoring space before its more specific focus on AIOps. In 2017, when support for AWS and Azure public cloud environments was announced, the goal was to ‘enable customers to confidently accelerate their journey to hybrid cloud.’

IBM will look to help companies settle the high costs and complexity associated with AIOps initiatives, in particular managing performance and availability for multiple applications in a hybrid cloud environment. Writing for this publication in November, Ciaran Byrne, VP of product management at OpsRamp, noted why ‘DIY AIOps’ projects were likely to fail.

“Given the prevalence of open source AI tools and frameworks such as TensorFlow, Thenao or the Microsoft Cognitive TOolkit, it can be tempting to build your own custom AIOps platform,” wrote Byrne. “It takes considerable expertise, however, to not only build an AIOps platform but also integrate it into an enterprise and maintain it.”

“Businesses are looking for AI-driven software to help them manage the scale and complexity challenges of running applications cross-cloud,” said Ben Nye, Turbonomic CEO in a statement. “Turbonomic not only prescribes actions, but allows customers to take them.

“The combination of IBM and Turbonomic will continuously assure target application response times even during peak demand,” added Nye.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Want to find out more about topics like this from industry thought leaders? The Cloud Transformation Congress, taking place on 13 July 2021, is a virtual event and conference focusing on how to enable digital transformation with the power of cloud.

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