I participated in GestaltIT‘s TechFieldDay which is a sort of inverse conference, where the bloggers and independent analysts go to the vendors and then discuss the information they have received. We visited the following virtualization vendors:
- vKernel where we were introduced to their Predictive Capacity Planning tools
- EMC where we discussed integration of storage into the virtualization management tools as well as other hypervisor integrations
- Cisco where CVN and CVE were discussed in detail.
At the reception at Fenway Park we also had a chance to further our discussion with all these vendors as well as Akorri with their BalancePoint software.Of these vendors what I found interesting is that all have noticed that Hyper-V is now of interest to their customer base so all either have products ready for Hyper-V or are working on products for Hyper-V. Akorri and vKernel have Hyper-V ready products. Cisco and EMC are working with Hyper-V at some level I suspect.
IT Operations groups who are responsible for managing the availability, performance and capacity of a virtual environment in support of performance critical tier 1 applications have two fundamental goals to achieve:
- Ensure that the environment does not become unavailable or perform poorly due to a lack of physical resources (CPU, memory, network I/O capacity, SAN I/O capacity and capacity for I/O operations in the storage array)
- Ensure that the entire virtual infrastructure performs as expected in support of performance critical applications.
Many enterprises have found that as long as proper principles are used in the design of the virtualization platform that management of most of the applications that have been virtualized to date, can easily be accomplished by having the VMware administrator leverage the ever growing feature set of VMware vCenter Server (formerly known a Virtual Center). It is true the the feature set of the VMware platform (everything in blue below) combined with Virtual Center is the market leading virtualization platform from the perspectives of market share, functionality, and scale/performance.
As VMware 3.x took the enterprise virtualization market by storm in 2008, following by the successful introduction of VMware vSphere 4.0 in 2009, many enterprises discovered the managing the utilization of the key resources on their virtualized systems had some unique challenges associated with it – especially when this problem was compared with resource management on physical servers. VMware early on took a significant step towards solving this problem by collecting a rich set of resource utilization data from its hypervisor and making this data available via the Virtual Center (now vCenter Server) API’s. Many new and established vendors in the resource management business built integration with the VMware API’s.
Vizioncore was one of the early entrants in the business of monitoring resources for VMware back when the company was independent and the name of the product was esxCharter. Quest Software subsequently acquired Vizioncore, and since the acquisition has focused upon taking components of it Foglight infrastructure and application monitoring suite and targeted them at the VMware market through the vFoglight product which is marketed by VizionCore. Since Vizioncore has the extremely rich set of enterprise infrastructure and application monitoring assets to pull from, Vizioncore is well positioned to deliver a very capable solution focused upon monitoring availability, resource utilization and capacity for the virtualization market.
Now the VMware has release Capacity IQ it is worth taking a look at the category of Capacity Planning and Monitoring Tools for VMWare (and other virtualization platforms), and see how they compare to VMware’s offering. This article highlights a couple of the capabilities of each product and is not intended to be an exhaustive product review. More detail is contained in the White Paper available for download at the end of this article.