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. Continue reading A Perfect Storm in Availability and Performance Monitoring
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. Continue reading Performance Monitoring for IT as a Service
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.
Continue reading VMworld from an Open Source Perspective
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. Continue reading Replacing the Enterprise Management Framework for Virtualized Data Centers
Virtualization (the underlying foundation of a cloud) introduces a set of challenges to how one should monitor the performance of the infrastructure and the applications. These challenges are:
- Unlike physical systems that are mostly dedicated to specific applications, virtual systems are both shared and dynamic. This makes inferring the performance of the infrastructure by looking at resource utilization statistics ineffective. Leading edge Infrastructure Performance Management vendors like AppFirst, Akorri, CA|NetQos, Virtual Instruments and Xangati are taking an Infrastructure Response Time approach to this problem that avoids the issues of relying upon resource metrics, and provides a true picture of how the infrastructure is actually performing. Continue reading Reinventing Infrastructure Performance Monitoring for the Cloud
“What do you wish to monitor?”, is often my response when someone states they need to monitor the virtual environment. Monitoring however becomes much more of an issue when you enter the cloud. Some of my friends have businesses that use the cloud, specifically private IaaS clouds, but what should the cloud provider monitor and what should the tenant monitor has been a struggle and a debate when dealing with them.
So what does this tenant wish to monitor?
- Hardware functionality with predictive failures ala Dell Open Manage or HP Insight Manager Continue reading Monitoring – The basics of the Cloud