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.

BalancePoint 3.0 adds richer virtual machine and storage analysis, broader interoperability, and user interface improvements including:

Troubleshooting Analysis

Virtual CPU Efficiency –Identify and resolve CPU bottlenecks by comparing guest O/S perspective with actual VM usage

SAN Switch Analysis – Find and resolve SAN switch fabric bottlenecks in infrastructures with Brocade and Cisco SAN Switches

Optimization and Planning Analysis

VM Performance Index – An essential physical to virtual migration metric for performance baselining and tracking, this feature enables optimal sizing of each VM for its application

Virtual Resource Entitlement Analysis – Identifies configuration and capacity issues to avoid over- or under- allocating critical resources by showing actual usage vs. allocation

Microsoft and VMware Cluster Support – Maximize cluster level management, optimization and planning with visibility across servers and storage and analysis of both physical and virtual resource clustering

Broader Interoperability

VMware vSphere 4 Support – Plug BalancePoint into vCenter Server for deep end to end visibility and management

3PAR InServ Series Support – Now part of BalancePoint’s broad storage interoperability including Dell EqualLogic, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, and NetApp

Analysis

Akorri has made its mark by being one of two vendors (Virtual Instruments is the other one) that effectively combines data about the performance of the storage layer of the virtualized environment with data about the performance of the host and guest tiers of the virtual environment. Akorri also has very strong built in analytics allowing the product to automatically calculate the metrics like Infrastructure Response Time, and a Performance Index that depicts the trade-off between Infrastructure Response Time (IRT) and capacity utilization. This new release adds metrics from the Cisco and Brocade SAN switches to Akorri’s performance and root cause analysis capabilities which makes Akorri the only vendor who can instrument the physical arrays, the SAN switches, and the VMware server host layer.

Akorri is therefore well positioned in the virtualization performance and capacity market, even given the recent shipment of AppSpeed by VMware and the even more recent acquisition of Hyperic (through the acquisition of SpringSource). AppSpeed focuses upon collecting response time information across the tiers of web applications (virtualized web servers, middle tier J2EE/.Net applications servers, and SQL/Oracle database servers). AppSpeed is therefore more of an applications performance management solution (focused upon application response time) than is Akorri which is clearly an infrastructure performance management solution (focused upon infrastructure response time). Hyperic is an infrastructure performance management solution, but it is focused primarily upon collecting resource utilization and availability information. See this article for a detailed discussion of the capabilities of Hyperic. While Hyperic does collect data from a broad set of infrastructure sources, Hyperic does not instrument the physical array layer or the SAN switch layer of the virtual environment. Nor does Hyperic have the built in analytics that are the basis of Akorri’s rolled up infrastructure performance and capacity metrics.

Due to the frequency with which the storage layer is involved with (and the culprit of) performance problems in the virtual environment, enterprises looking for a performance management solution should consider Akorri. Akorri is different from and largely complementary to the performance management solutions that VMware has acquired and now offers. Enterprises with very large installations (1000’s of VM’s) should carefully work with Akorri to ensure that their configurations fit into the capacity and scalability frameworks of the Akorri solution. Enterprises that have environments that are of a scale too large for Akorri to handle should consider Virtual Instruments NetWisdom, which uses a fiber optic tap to collect data from the SAN and which has been proven to scale up to the largest and most sophisticated environments. However, NetWisdom does not collect data from the physical array layer of the environment, nor does it have Akorri’s automated analytics.

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Bernd Harzog (336 Posts)

Bernd 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.

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