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.

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.

News: Dynamic Ops Extends Virtualization Management with VRM 3.2

Enterprises scaling out virtualization to include Hyper-V, Xen and even Red Hat KVM in addition to VMware, while adding servers, business critical applications, and support various constituents involved in these applications are finding a need to homogenize the complexity with third party virtualization management tools. Dynamic Ops a strong vendor in this space has just expanded its product to include automatic reclamation of resources wasted through VM sprawl.

News: uptime software Delivers Next-Generation VMware Monitoring and Reporting

up.time has always focused upon cost effective, easy to use, and scalable monitoring solutions across physical Unix and Windows servers. Now with up.time 5, the company has added significant new VMware monitoring features, making the product a contender against established VMware monitoring solutions like Veeam Monitor, and Vizioncore vFoglight.

Virtualization Personalization (Windows Profile Management and the management of all user customization data) is a problem increasing in market scope (XenApp, fat client desktops, and VDI), technical scope (profiles, group policies, unique user settings, unique user customizations in applications, and unique user settings in the OS), leading both AppSense and RTO to invest heavily in a layer of solutions that are focused upon managing the personalization of the environment while not breaking and reducing the value of centralized management.

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