Articles Tagged with Virtualization Performance Management

Who’s Who in Virtualization Performance and Capacity Management

In the Performance Management Topic at this site we separate performance and capacity monitoring for virtualization and the cloud into four separate disciplines:

  1. Configuration Management – while configuration management is not traditionally associated with resource and performance monitoring, it is critical in the case in virtualized and cloud based environments. The rate of change in these environments and the degree of resource sharing of these environments makes a continuous self-discovered understanding of configuration essential to the ability to assure infrastructure and applications performance.

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Virtualizing Business Critical Applications – A Reference Architecture

In The ROI for Server Virtualization with Business Critical Applications, we showed an example of how the savings from server (specifically core) consolidation might not be as large when one is virtualizing business critical applications (where the physical servers were appropriately sized in the first place) is it is with tactical applications (where the one server per application resulted in massive over-provisioning). At the end of that analysis we also pointed out that the business critical case did not include the other “extra” products that would need to be a part of a business critical application virtualization project. This post proposes a reference architecture for the entire suite of solutions that will be required to virtualize business critical applications. We are going to build this example around VMware vSphere as VMware has the broadest level of third party support in terms of vendors who provide the solutions required to fulfill the requirements of the reference architecture.

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Is an Open Source Approach to Virtualization Management in VMware’s Future?

One of the most interesting aspects of analyzing a vendor’s product strategy is to look at how a vendor uses an existing position of strength to embark upon initiatives that attack and weaken a competitors existing position of strength. These attacks upon a competitor do not usually come in the form of a direct attack upon a revenue generating product with a similar “better” product, but rather most often take the form of attacking the very business model and revenue stream that sustains the current and future development, marketing and sales efforts for that product. In other words these attacks are designed to deprive the competing vendor of the oxygen (revenue) that is needed to sustain and improve the product in the marketplace. Some excellent recent examples of such attacks are:

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Replacing the Enterprise Management Framework for Virtualized Data Centers

Since the dawn of TCP/IP networks and distributed networks of Intel PC’s and Servers there have been large numbers of point tools designed to monitor and manage specific sets of infrastructure in these networks, and management frameworks from major vendors like CA Technologies, IBM (Tivoli), HP (OpenView and the follow on products) and BMC that were designed to manage the entire network. The frameworks were focused first and foremost on the availability of the hardware that comprises these networks, and have grown over time to look into network utilization and performance as well as resource utilization of servers.

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Root Cause Analysis – The Key to Virtualizing Tier 1 Applications

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:

  1. 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.

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Is the CMDB Irrelevant in a Virtual and Cloud Based World?

Configuration Management Databases (CMDB’s) have been a linchpin of the offerings from the enterprise systems management vendors like CA, IBM, BMC and HP. These products have been marketed as the foundation of both the ITIL framework for management processes, and the Business Service Management frameworks offered by these vendors. While these offerings occupy very important parts of the product strategies from the various vendors who offer them, it is also the case that CMDB’s are enormously expensive to purchase and implement – and due to the time required to implement them have a long time to value for the customer. For these reasons, relatively few enterprise customers have implemented CMDB’s.

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