With VMworld 2011 around the corner whose booth’s should you visit? Well if you are an enterprise with a large scale virtualization initiative then performance and capacity management should be at or near the top of your mind. VMware clearly agrees as they have announced and delivered vCenter Operations specifically to meet this need. So after you go see vC Ops Enterprise, what else should you go see?
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One of the basic tenants of virtualization security is to protect the management components of your virtualization hosts by placing these all important components on a separate network. These components often include management servers such as SCOM, vCenter, XenCenter, VirtManager, etc. as well as the management appliances of your virtualization hosts. In essence, the use of a properly configured, firewalled, and monitored virtualization management network would be the simplest and most effective security measure that can be made to day within any virtual environment. A message shared by Citrix, VMware, myself, and many others.
The problem is that not everything is as black and white as security folks desire. If we implement performance and other management tools, we often need to expose part of our all important virtualization management network to others. But how do we do this safely, securely, with minimal impact to usability? Why do we need to this is also another question. You just have to take one look at the Virtualization ASsessment TOolkit (Vasto) to realize the importance of this security requirement. But the question still exists, how do you implement other necessary tools within your virtual environment without impacting usability? Which we discussed on the May 5th Virtualization Security Podcast.
Monitoring computing infrastructure and applications for capacity, availability, and performance is a business that has been around for a long time – in fact for just about as long as computers have been used for business critical applications (since the mainframe lead era of the 1960’s). Since that time several waves of change have swept through the computer industry, and with each wave of change has come new computing architectures, new applications, requirements for monitoring and new monitoring approaches. Those waves have included mini-computers, personal computers, LAN based file sharing, client/server based computing, Internet (browser) based computing, N-tier SOA based applications, and now include agile development, virtualization, cloud based computing, and the proliferation of mobile based applications.
In “IT as a Service Reference Architecture“, we presented a a categorization of the the functionality and the products that are needed in order to construct an IT as a Service system. Purposely missing from this architecture was the question of how to monitor the performance of the services delivered from the service catalog via the underlying policies and automation in the IT as a Service stack.
VMworld is clearly the largest dedicated virtualization conference, and yet from an Open Source perspective it is slightly disappointing because the VMware ecosystem naturally attracts proprietary software vendors, and also some of the more interesting activities in Open Source are through multi-vendor foundations which do not have the same marketing budgets as vendors themselves.
Nevertheless, there are a number of key Open Source players, and some interesting smaller players, represented at VMworld.
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.