One of the great advances provided by virtualization is that a server ceases to become a monolithic combination of hardware and software that is brittle and difficult to manage. Instead a server is encapsulated into a virtual machine which can then be managed independently of its underlying hardware. Since every server is now a file and since files are much easier to manage than hardware/software servers, just putting servers into images was a huge step forward. But as is always the case in this industry where an innovation simply produces a new problem to solve, anointing the image as the unit of management for a server created some problems.
Articles Tagged with vFabric APM
One of the important questions that we should all frequently ask ourselves is, “How will virtualization and cloud computing be different this year and next year than they have been in the past”? One of the answers to those questions involves the kinds of applications that you are virtualizing, and/or putting in clouds (public or private). The short version of the answer is that the applications that are left to virtualize, are for the most part, very different from the applications that have been virtualized to date.
In “VMware Articulates a Compelling Management Vision – Automated Service Assurance“, we detailed the strategy the VMware announced at VMworld Las Vegas in the fall of 2011. The cornerstone of that strategy was to open up a new ROI for virtualization. This new ROI is based upon OPEX savings that come from automating IT Operations, in contrast to the CAPEX savings that come the server consolidation that has fueled the virtualization industry so far.
In, “Is it Time to Reorganize Data Center Operations“, we proposed the IT Operations be reorganized into “Virtual Operations”, where all of the teams that were responsible for resources supporting Virtual Operations (System Engineering, Servers, LAN’s, WAN’s, SAN and Storage) all reported to one person who was responsible for ensuring the delivery of viable virtual environment. In the same post, we proposed that how applications are supported in production, get reorganized into “Application Operations” where there would be one team responsible for the operation of all applications (purchased and custom developed).
When VMware announced its new management strategy (monitor – fix automatically – notify the humans), at VMworld Las Vegas, that strategy was incomplete. It was incomplete because the thing that needs monitoring to ensure service quality is the applications that deliver those services. At VMworld Europe, VMware completed the strategy by announcing vFabric Application Performance Manager (APM), and clearly tying issues with applications to automated remediation in the infrastructure.
For quite some time we have taken the position that in order for the next 60% of the workloads and applications to get virtualized, that the staff operating the virtual environment is going to have to take responsibility for the performance and availability of the applications running on that infrastructure. The logic behind this is simple. If you want someone who owns a performance critical application to give up their dedicated hardware and move into a shared service environment, you are going to have to guarantee the performance of their application to them in order to be allowed to virtualize that application.