When VMware announced the three editions of vCenter Operations, VMware sent a couple of very clear messages about how VMware felt that monitoring solutions for vSphere should be constructed. The first message was that VMware views Performance Management and Capacity Management as two sides of the same coin. The second message was that Configuration Management as an essential part of a performance and capacity management solution since so many of the problems are in fact configuration related. The last message was the given the complexity and rate of change in virtualized environments that the interpretation of monitoring data has to be automated with self-learning analytics.
Articles Tagged with Applications Performance Management
In “A Perfect Storm in Availability and Performance Monitoring“, we proposed that legacy products from the physical environment should not be brought over into your new virtualized environment and that you should in fact start over with a horizontally layered approach, choosing a scaled out, and highly flexible product that can integrate with products at adjacent layers. In this post we will propose a Reference Architecture which can be used to accomplish this.
It is now very clear the VMware vSphere 4.0 and 4.1 have demonstrated the robustness and performance necessary in order for them to be trusted virtualization platforms for many business critical applications. It is also very clear that many organizations are well down the road toward putting business critical applications on vSphere. We may not yet be at the point where the most response time critical applications (like online trading) are on vSphere, but we are certainly at the point where line of business applications like SAP and enterprise resident CRM applications are being virtualized.
Most of the attention on the rumors that VMware may be acquiring parts of Novell have focused upon VMware acquiring the Novell SUSE Linux assets. This would obviously result in VMware finally having an complete operating system of its own (unless you consider vSphere as an OS – which it obviously is at least in part).
The principal objectives of monitoring a system (a set of hardware and software infrastructure), an application, or a service (a combination of the prior two that accomplishes a business objective like the ability to enter an order and ensure that it ships), are to find problems in the system, the application, or the service, and then to find out what caused the problem so that the problem can be eliminated and hopefully prevented from occurring again. There are therefore several steps to a process of monitoring and management that broadly get repeated across a wide array of problems.
These steps can be briefly summarized as:
- Collect data about whatever is important to you. If you are the systems administrator in charge of the virtual infrastructure in your company, then obviously what you want is data about how the resources in your environment are being used, what load is being placed on your environment, how your environment is performing in support of the applications and services that rely upon it, and how these numbers are changing over time so that you can plan for capacity additions to the environment in an orderly manner. This step alone can be somewhat daunting as it is not easy to select from the thousands of available metrics the ones to watch. Purchasing a resource and available monitoring solution from a vendor like VizionCore or Zenoss can be easily justified just on the basis of the time saved in selecting the most important metrics, since the vendors of these solutions have often done a great deal of the homework for you due to extensive interactions with their customers over a long period of time.
When J2EE applications servers became a mainstream applications platform for implementing business critical web applications back in the 2002/2005 timeframe, the need to address the performance of applications built to these applications servers was addressed by several startups, all of whom were eventually purchased by Mercury Interactive (who later was purchased by HP), IBM, Compuware, Quest and CA. The leader of this generation of Applications Performance Management (APM) solutions was Wily Technology which was purchased by CA on March 7, 2006 for $375M – signaling an end to the days of startups targeting this space.