TDS Targets Long-Tail Opportunity of Continuous Service Improvement

From 451 Research, Thursday, August 30, 2018: Transitional Data Services’ (TDS) TransitionManager for application migration and application resilience assurance is a project-planning, collaboration and management tool. Now at version 4.5, it is aimed at taking the complexity, cost, disruption and, moreover, the risk out of IT transformations. TransitionManager supports migration between physical, virtual and cloud environments, and abstracts data for resiliency and ad hoc recovery planning when a server is, for example, being migrated to cloud. Having thought the DR migration market was mature, TDS now finds that customers want to keep building on the instrumentation it provides to do DR planning as runbooks.

The 451 Take

If TDS’ legacy is migration, its future will be determined by the extent it can be part of the ongoing optimization of deployments (or perpetual migrations). Rather than a one-time journey, enterprises are seeking transformations – and trusted partners – that can deliver continuous service improvement. TDS’s goal is for customers to keep its TransitionManager software on-site and use it on an ongoing basis. It didn’t have the business model or the technology refresh cycle to support this previously, but now it does.

Its mapping capabilities – as a combined aggregator – are updated continually, and the real-time ingestion features make it more sticky at end-user sites. That’s good because 451 Research Cloud, Hosting and Managed Services, Budgets & Outlook continues to find that less than 15% of companies are using professional services to address their cloud adoption challenges. As the enterprise conversion to cloud gathers pace, TDS anticipates 2019 will be a ‘break out’ year.

Challenge

The key challenge when it comes to IT transformations is that the variety of tools that are needed to support them do not work together well in complex hybrid environments. For example, in data collection and discovery, VMware and ServiceNow may be collecting data in one place while RISC Technologies, TSO Logic and iQSonar provide knowledge and discovery to another group. VMware Zerto, CloudEndure and Oracle may provide transport automation and management to one group while Kubernetes plus VMware CloudVelox do the same for another.

In short, there are a raft of purpose-built, silo tools for servers, databases, storage and networks all acting independently of each other across silos. TDS says in its experience, there is no single consolidated system that has all the fields of data; those data fields are inconsistent, and there is conflicting information stored in multiple systems and different levels of trust. Furthermore, application-level dependencies are not shared between tools, and there is a lack of mixed-vendor workflow management. TDS is aimed at providing a higher level of orchestration that works across silos and vendors, applications and risk management factors.

TransitionManager

TDS’ TransitionManager is aimed at enabling the transformation of mixed vendor environments and orchestrating what it calls resilient operations with application awareness, spanning all silos, vendors, application maturity and risk management factors. In particular, it notes that successful transformation requires coordination and orchestration between systems and staff, which is enabled by TransitionManager.

Different tasks in the migration process (such as VM Rehost) will be owned by different groups (server, ops, app, business, etc.). TDS TransitionManager is designed to ingest data from any ITSM and discovery tools in a coordinated way, then centrally plan, orchestrate and automate applications and resilience assurance, integrating with server, storage and database transport tools. It uses a data-ingestion engine (TransitionManager ETL), which aggregates sources from various systems into a cohesive asset record, resolving dissimilar data file formats.

The environment database normalizes assets and dependencies and enables automatic runbook generation of workflows, which provides cross-silo orchestration of human managed and automated tasks. An executive dashboard, manager, and personal task timelines and lists enable customers to coordinate execution. TDS’s key use cases are physical, virtual and cloud migrations; orchestration of complex changes; and automated runbook generation in hybrid IT and datacenter migrations.

In application resiliency assurance, use cases include resilience assessment and planning, disaster recovery, scenario recovery/bypass, failover and major incident management.

Business Model

The 13-year-old 100-person company has about 15 employees outside the US where its services are designed via partners. Pitched as software designed by practitioners for practitioners, the customer mix is roughly one-third software-driven, the rest project-based, although revenue is already at 50% software and 50% projects due to the improved margin delivered by software sales (up from 25% software sales last year).

It doesn’t intend to become a software-only shop, however. Transitional Data Services took in its first outside investment of $1m angel funding in 2015 to accelerate development of its TransitionManager migration software and target other channel and geographic opportunities.

Competition

Key competitors include HPE’s Cloud Technology Partners and Accenture Enterprise Application Migration Service. Migration companies include CloudEndure, VeloCloud, Cloudify, TSO Logic, Bitnami, CloudSoft, RISC Networks, RackWare, AppZero, Corent Technology, Appcara, Vision Solutions’ Double-Take, Zerto, JetStream Software, Cristie Software and Sureline Systems. Hyperscalers also offer migration services – AWS Migration Services, Microsoft Azure Migrate and Google Migration. Others include Cisco ControlCenter, DXC Technologies, Huawei FusionBridge and CloudMount, Deloitte ATA Data, IBM Bluemix Lift (and others), VMware HCX/Cloud Velox, and Alibaba Cloud Live Migration. There is also VMware’s free vCenter Converter tool, as well as Microsoft’s Azure Site Recovery. Third-party suppliers including RiverMeadow Software can execute the plans TDS creates on their behalf.

TDS SWOT Analysis


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