Here at The Virtualization Practice we have generally taken the view that management frameworks that are used to manage legacy physical storage, network and server environments should not be brought forward into new dynamic and virtualized data centers, because these enterprise management frameworks lack the functionality and flexibility to move forward into this new world.
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In “Using Microsoft SCOM to Manage the Performance of Virtualized Applications on vSphere“, we discussed how using the BlueStripe FactFinder Management Pack for SCOM, it was possible to get detailed application topology views along with end-to-end and hop-by-hop applications response time in the same management system a proven enterprise solution for managing physical and virtual windows servers (specifically Microsoft SCOM).
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.
Since the major push on the part of VMware with vSphere is to virtualize Tier 1 applications, it is important to understand how the Application Performance Management solutions for virtualized Tier 1 applications is evolving in support of this trend. Before we go into the APM vendors in detail it it important to note that we define three layers of performance management for virtualized systems. These three layers are Infrastructure Performance Management, Applications Performance Management, and Transaction Performance Management. These layers are defined the Virtualized Performance and Capacity Management White paper which is available for download in the Performance Management section of the White Papers page on this site.
On May 28th 2008, VMware announced that they were buying Applications Performance Management Vendor B-hive. The fact that VMware made this acquisition over a year ago, and is only now getting ready to ship the resulting product (AppSpeed) in concert with the vSphere rollout is in and of itself significant. The key message for vSphere is that it has the performance and scalability to virtualize “every” application, including business critical high transaction rate applications. The issue for enterprises with these applications is that the teams responsible for these applications are highly reluctant to insert another variable into their performance without a mechanism to assure the performance of these applications within the virtual environment. Assuring the performance of these types of applications in a virtual environment is a unique, demanding and largely unsolved problem. This problem must be solved in order for the growth of virtualization to extend beyond “low hanging fruit” and to include these business critical applications.