Data from studies show that technical debt can stymie digital transformation. With a majority of organizations extending their digital footprints, especially transforming to multi-cloud and edge, this is just bad news.
At their first-time appearance in the recent Tech Field Day event, Men&Mice presented a solution that may help organizations pare down technical debt. Lauren Malhoit, Head of Growth and Product Marketing showcased Micetro, an award-winning DDI (DNS, DHCP and IPAM) management and orchestration solution that seeks to turn the complex task of multi-cloud DDI network management into a simple, stress-free and streamlined experience.
A Twofold Problem
Two problems have been identified at the root of technical debt. Organizations are increasingly consuming services from networks outside their own. This is true for any business that has a network. On one hand, it has expanded their footprints to remote clouds, and on the other, it has increased their burden of digital asset management, especially for services like DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (IPAM), collectively called DDI. Both have a snowballing effect on technical debt.
The second problem is the rip and replace approach to IT modernization. As their current technology stacks age, organizations embark on the process of ripping out older tools and embracing the newer ones. Repeated over and over, the process has made sure that organizations stay on the cutting edge of technology. But on a flip side, the accumulating costs have led to spiraling technical debts that inevitably slow down their digital progress.
The personas most impacted by this are the IT teams. To their frustration, they need to upskill, retool and reculture cyclically, every few years to keep up with the change, all on a tight budget.
Ms. Malhoit noted, “We get stuck in this rip and replace mentality, and the analysis paralysis of moving forward. Our IT teams have no time to get trained on new services. They’re constantly at a loss, working from behind.”
Men&Mice makes migration to new clouds sustainable. By making IPAM and DNS administration simpler, it cuts down the need to have more skillset to manage newer technologies. Founded in Reykjavík, Iceland, Men&Mice has a customer-first mindset which reflects in its simple company vision – to make the complex management of DNS, DHCP and IPAM simple and easy.
To that end, they make use of a popular IT principle – abstraction. Micetro is a software-defined overlay that enables unified DDI management and orchestration of a wide variety of networks, of sizes ranging from those of Fortune 500 companies to small and medium businesses (SMBs).
Men&Mice are experts in network management. Ms. Malhoit said, “With our overlay design, our product teams, developers and support people really have to understand the underlying services that you might connect with in order to run the best DIY environment for your use cases. So that requires a lot of knowledge, and expertise to help our customers set things up for best practices, and to really make things run in a performant way.”
Ms. Malhoit highlighted two things that set Micetro apart from other solutions. “Men&Mice is not the first to figure out abstraction, or to talk about overlay architectures, but we are bringing it to the DDI environment,” said Ms. Malhoit.
“Micetro is a non-authoritative and non-disruptive DDI (DNS, DHCP and IPAM) solution,” she said.
As a product, Micetro does not interfere with neither the services, nor the network structure. Users can unplug Micerto if they want to, without disrupting either. Despite this flexibility, Mice&Men enjoys 95% client retention.
Ms. Malhoit gave a sneak-peek of the overlay architecture in the presentation. The solution includes Micetro Central which is a unified UI that provides a single source of truth (SoT). Configurable for high availability, it is what Men&Mice calls the “brains of the operation.”
“It gives you one UI or one API, depending on what you’re trying to do, to create and maintain processes and workflows. This is no matter where your workloads reside, whether they’re in the cloud, or on premises, or you’re using some sort of managed DNS service, it’s one place to go.”
Users have the same workflows everywhere, whether its AWS, Azure or on-prem, as workflows go through Micetro “making the underlying services quite fungible.”
As soon as Micerto connects to the services, the DDI environment pops up in the UI providing visibility across teams. It eliminates the need to have specialized skill to navigate and manage multiple services.
Micetro has a backend database where data from connected services are accumulated and organized.
Built for modern architectures, Micerto provides users a break from the infamous lock-in that proprietary systems often put users in. “We don’t rely on resource-hungry appliances to achieve scale, or the ability to be in the cloud, on-premises, or multi-site. We will give you appliances if you want to use them, but we do not require them in any way. This helps our customers avoid the financial burden of unnecessary resource and administrative costs, that come with the more closed systems that we see a lot in our space,” said Ms. Malhoit.
Technical debt may sometimes be hard to pin down or measure, but it is a reality for all organizations. More than game-changing investments, and a rip-and-replace drill every few years, teams need the right set of tools that not only make investments pay off, but become a barrier to escalating costs by outlasting other solutions. Micerto is one such product that not only has the power to bring down tech-debt costs, but also eliminate the constraints imposed by legacy solutions organizations have so long relied upon.