The Virtualization Practice

Author Archive for Bernd Harzog

Bernd Harzog
Bernd HarzogBernd Harzog is the Analyst at The Virtualization Practice for Performance and Capacity Management and IT as a Service (Private Cloud). Bernd is also the CEO and founder of APM Experts a company that provides strategic marketing services to vendors in the virtualization performance management, and application performance management markets. Prior to these two companies, Bernd was the CEO of RTO Software, the VP Products at Netuitive, a General Manager at Xcellenet, and Research Director for Systems Software at Gartner Group. Bernd has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago.

Akorri, a leader in virtual infrastructure performance and capacity management for the dynamic data center, today announced the availability of BalancePoint 3.0 – the latest version of the company’s award-winning virtual infrastructure management software. BalancePoint 3.0 allows IT organizations to optimize virtual and physical server and storage infrastructure resources to reduce costs. As companies advance through the stages of server virtualization adoption, they need an infrastructure-wide analytical systems management solution like BalancePoint that provides visibility and control to troubleshoot and assure performance, plan server and storage capacity, and manage service levels.

When VMware bought SpringSource they got three things:

1. Development Tools
2. Java application frameworks (runtime infrastructure for Java based applications)
3. Performance and Availability management tools that came as a result of SpringSource buying the assets of Hyperic earlier this year

Now that VMware owns Hyperic, it owns a monitoring solution that focuses upon the availability and resource utilization of servers, both physical and virtual. This puts VMware in the position to compete directly with third party vendors that have had this space largely to themselves, and will force these vendors to focus on new positioning and new differentiation in order to be competitive.

It was only a matter of time before VMware decided that if it was going to be an applications platform company, and really take on Microsoft, that it would need a presence in the business of building applications, and in providing the run-time infrastructure for applications. Acquiring SpringSource is a brilliant move because it leverages the open source community to devalue and dilute Microsoft standing in the applications tools and platform markets.

VMware, Microsoft and Citrix all include management tools with their offerings. Every enterprise customer of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix virtualization platforms typically uses the default management tools provided by the virtualization platform vendor. However, there are strong reasons to look beyond these tools, and consider offerings from vendors like Dynamic Ops, Embotics, Fastscale, Fortisphere, Hyper9, ManageIQ, Platform Computing, Reflex Systems, Tripware, Surgient, Veeam, and VizionCore.

VMware has updated its document on Timekeeping in Virtual Machines. This update includes a new mechanism by which vendors of performance management products can accurately measure response times for applications and transactions. This strongly positions vendors like Dynatrace, Optier, Knoa and Aternity to provide transaction performance management solutions in support of the virtualization of business critical applications on the VMware vSphere platform.

While VMware is being lead by two executives, Paul Maritz and Todd Nielson who were instrumental in the establishment of Windows as a dominant platform, VMware is today still not acting like a true platform company. Windows became a dominant platform because Microsoft structured its business model around making the platform a success. This included a laser like focus upon the success of the platform, and an approach to partnering that is still unmatched in the industry. VMware can make vSphere into a dominant platform, but only if VMware adopts some plays from Microsoft’s book.

VMware has shipped AppSpeed, the product resulting from VMware’s acquisition of B-hive. AppSpeed is a critical component of VMware’s drive to allow customers to virtualize “every application” even those that require response time guarantees from applications owners. The shipment of AppSpeed will place a focus upon response time as the measure of applications performance in virtualized environments. However, it will also create challenges for VMware Administrators who may view AppSpeed as a source of application and transaction level data that is above a beyond the infrastructure response time data that VMware Administrators really need.

Rampant Innovation in Desktop Virtualization

While server virtualization has largely settled down into a slugfest between VMware (vSphere), Microsoft (Hyper-V) and to a lesser extent Citrix (XenServer), and Red Hat (KVM), the desktop virtualization field remains wide open, and is being targeted by numerous startups with highly creative and appealing solutions. While VMware (View), and Citrix (XenDesktop) certainly represent the large players in the field, startups like Install Free, MokaFive, Virtual Computer, SlickAccess, Unidesk, Kavisa, and Ringcube all bring unique and differentiated solutions to the table.

When VMware delivers AppSpeed later this summer, it will deliver a unique virtualization performance management solution. AppSpeed is unlike any virtualization performance management solution available from other hypervisor vendors like Microsoft (Hyper-V), Citrix (XenServer), and Red Hat (KVM), and is unlike any of the virtualization performance management products like Vizioncore vFoglight, Veeam Monitor, Akorri Balancepoint, BlueStripe FactFinder, up.time 5, and Virtual Instruments VirtualWisdom. AppSpeed will therefore bring some breakthrough capabilities to the VMware customer base, while creating a set of challenges for the VMware sales force, vendors of virtualization performance management products, and vCenter Administrators.

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