The Virtualization Practice

Performance Management

Performance Management covers monitoring the physical infrastructure, the virtual infrastructure and applications for end-to-end performance and service levels. It covers Application Performance Management, Infrastructure Performance Management, Operations Management, Capacity Planning, and Capacity Management. ...
Environments covered include Virtualization Performance Management, Software Defined Data Center Performance Management, and Cloud Performance Management. Key issues include ensuring the performance of virtualized and cloud based data centers, ensuring the performance of software defined data centers (SDDC performance management), ensuring virtualized application performance, cloud application performance, and SDDC application performance. Key vendors covered include VMware, AppDynamics, AppEnsure, AppFirst, AppNeta, Astute Networks, Aternity, BlueStripe, Boundary, Cirba, CloudPhysics, Correlsense, Compuware, Dell, Embotics, ExtraHop, GigaMon, Hotlink, HP, Intigua, ManageEngine, New Relic, Prelert, Puppet Labs, Riverbed, Splunk, Tintri, Virtual Instruments, Virtustream, VMTurbo, Xangati, and Zenoss.

PerformanceManagement

Virtualization is such a profound change to how systems operate that it not only creates new management requirements, but it also breaks legacy management solutions. For these reasons, enterprises should look outside of traditional legacy management vendors for their virtualization performance and capacity management solutions. The focus should be on the richness of the virtualization aware functionality in the solutions, their support of multiple platforms, and how easy the solution is to try, buy and implement.

Cloudyn Addresses the Economics of Public Cloud Computing

Cloudyn has delivered a breakthrough SaaS delivered service that does for the first time what no one else has done before. The new Cloudyn service actually tells you how to change your image provisioning and your price plans at Amazon so that you can achieve the results that you want at the lowest possible cost. This is the first time that someone has addressed the economics of public cloud computing in this manner. Ultimately this will lead to dramatically higher usage of public cloud services (as their price/performance can now be managed), and will put pressure on internal IT organizations to provide the same kind of data and management options to their internal constituents.

VMTurbo has broken new ground by delivering the first application aware automated service assurance solution for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer. This is the first solution that takes advantage of the dynamic nature of these platforms and their control API’s to actually ensure something (throughput) that application owners care about. Preemptively assuring throughput (and hopefully response time in the future) may be a more effective approach than waiting for something to go wrong and then trying to pick the one root cause out of the hundreds or thousands of potential candidates.

As business critical applications move into production virtualized environments, the need arises to ensure their performance from a response time perspective. Legacy Applications Performance Management tools are in many cases not well suited to make the jump from static physical systems, to dynamic virtual and cloud based systems. For these reasons enterprises need to consider new tools from vendors that have virtualization aware and cloud aware features in their APM solutions. Vendors like AppDynamics, BlueStripe, Corellsense, ExtraHop Networks, dynatrace, New Relic, and VMware (vFabric APM) are currently leading this race to redefine the market for APM solutions.

News: VMware vCenter Operations Suite 5.0 Now Available

The delivery of vCenter Operations 5.0 to the market by VMware represents several important milestones in Operations Management for virtualized environments. The tight integration with vSphere and the integration of the Integrien analytics with real time configuration change detection and application mapping put a nail in the coffin of legacy solutions that rely upon periodically updated CMDB’s to understand the environment. The integration of performance, capacity, configuration, and application discovery first into a bundle and later into a full suite will put pressure on many vendors of point solution. However the biggest question remains the viability of a management strategy focused just upon vSphere, when every other vendor (including Microsoft) is taking a more open and cross-platform approach.

The answer is to dramatically narrow the scope and set of enforcement actions for SOPA and PIPA so that they target just offshore sites engaged in large scale commercial piracy and so that the existing safe harbor for sites that take content from users is both maintained and formally recognized as an exception to the scope of SOPA and PIPA. This will ensure that law enforcement can go after the really bad actors, and that the many good and useful sites and are the basis of the “good Internet” are not collateral damage in these enforcement efforts.

I was discussing yesterday how to use virtualization and cloud performance management tools as an early warning system for security issues. I have touched on use of New Relic, VMware vFabric APM, Quest vFoglight, and other tools that can make up such a early warning system before, but without the proper process in place, the tools will not be good enough.

If you are going to try to virtualize performance critical applications in 2012, you should arm yourself with a tool that can measure how those applications perform in the eyes of their end users – which is their end-to-end response time. The approach you take should be a function of the mix of applications you have to support – including whether they are purchased or custom developed and if custom developed with what language or framework.

VMware is going to make progress on its automated service assurance vision this year, with initial steps coming in the Q1/2012 version of vCenter Operations and the initial release of vFabric APM. On the third party vendor front, progress is most likely to come by partnerships between vendors who have interesting pieces of the puzzle, but do not have the entire puzzle themselves. On this front the most interesting vendors are Netuitive, Prelert, Blue Stripe, ExtrHop Networks, and VMTurbo. The wild card in this equation is how service assurance will fit with cloud management and offerings from vendors like DynamicOps, Abiquo, Platform Computing and Gale Technologies.