As more and more physical servers are moved into the virtual infrastructure, administrators must ensure that they are monitoring their virtual infrastructure to prevent performance issues, misconfigurations, and capacity bottlenecks before they cause degradation of critical enterprise applications. Unfortunately, most of the virtualization monitoring solutions available today don’t make that task an easy one. While traditional tools may provide some value, they also bring the following complications:
- A reactive monitoring approach that waits for application performance to be degraded before alerting
- Little to no assistance in remediating problems once they are found
- No learning intelligence to improve alerting and insight, over time
- A high upfront software cost that makes the tool difficult to justify and obtain capex approval for
- Difficult to configure and lengthy time to show value during a proof of concept (POC)
So how can you select a virtualization monitoring, performance analysis, and capacity planning application for your virtual infrastructure that that offers you all that you need?
Here are four traits to look for in your next virtual infrastructure performance and capacity monitoring tool:
Traditionally, enterprise applications were a one-time capital expenditure (purchase) with a yearly support and maintenance contract. These types of large capex purchases required IT professionals to find or deploy a server to test the application on, install the application, invest a significant amount of time to configure the tool, struggle to prove the value of the application, and then write a proposal justify the purchase and present it to management. If the PoC doesn´t end with a purchase, time and resources are completely wasted.
Anyone who has gone through this process will tell you that it’s painful and carries great risk. For example, standing in front of the C-Suite of company executives and personally recommending the investment of, let’s say $100,000 in a tool that, doesn’t show immediate value or financial return is career-risking move.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from the capex approach is the opex-approach, or Software as a Service (SaaS) approach.
With the software as a service (SaaS) approach, your next virtualization monitoring tool will:
- Make performing a proof of concept (PoC) easy because it will require no dedicated in-house infrastructure
- Not require the purchase of an OS license for the management server OR server hardware to run the application on
- Not have an underlying OS to upgrade and secure
- Not need hardware support and maintenance contracts
- Not require a capital expenditure require that you have to justify
- Be paid with a recurrent, operational expense that can likely be put on a company credit card
- Either quickly show value during the proof of concept (PoC) or it can simply be deleted
Shouldn’t your next virtualization monitoring tool use the SaaS approach or even better provide both? Having a SaaS centralized approach let you often gain huge predictive analytics benefits. opvizor does!
- No upfront cost
- Easy administration
- Easy Proof of Concept (PoC)
- Painless upgrades
- Collective intelligence
As discussed above, another pain point of shopping for and testing new virtualization management applications is that they rarely provide results or show value in a short period of time. Usually, once a virtualization monitoring tool is installed and configured (which is time-consuming with traditional tools), it can take days or weeks before those tools provide useful and actionable information.
Your next virtualization monitoring tool should provide you immediate results. Those “immediate results” should come within minutes for small environments and within few hours when analyzing virtual infrastructures with thousands of virtual machines.
Compare those almost immediate results to the weeks or even months that other virtualization monitoring tools currently take to provide you actionable intelligence and show their value.
Shouldn’t your next virtualization monitoring provide you with immediate results? opvizor does!
Too many tools in the virtualization monitoring space today take the flawed design approach that “if there is a problem, they will help you solve it”. While that may sound helpful, the flaw is that what they really need to do is to prevent problems from happening in the first place.
That flawed approach is similar to a police chief saying, “If someone is murdered, they will try to find who did it” when, what you really want, is a police force that prevents the murders before they happen, right?
You don't need a virtualization monitoring tool that gives you pretty speedometers and graphs. Instead, what you need is a tool that can learn your environment, identify trends, prevent problems before they happen, and keep app-owners as well as end users happy. If, by the rare chance that a problem occurs, what you need is a tool that quickly identifies the root cause of the problem and recommends a solution, based on best practices and what other companies have done to solve it.
Shouldn’t your next virtualization monitoring tool proactively solve your problems, before they happen? opvizor does - sorry to repeat ;)
The idea of collective intelligence has been around since the early 1900’s. Over the years it has been applied to biology, animals, and other forms of scientific study where a group works together to collaborate and pool their efforts in order to solve a problem.
In virtualization management, collective intelligence is used when the knowledge gained from thousands of virtual infrastructures is pooled and then applied to solve the problems found in other virtual infrastructures.
It’s illogical to have a monitoring tool that only improves when a few developers add a few new features and then send out a patch or update, once or twice a year. Basically to stand still on an outdated version while your environment changes quickly due to growth, patches aso. Furthermore its impossible to do predictive analytics but not being up2date.
SaaS applications are centralized by nature and are the ideal place to leverage the power of collective intelligence. By learning the types of problems and solutions that solved them across thousands of other virtual infrastructures, it’s very likely that this knowledge can be applied to your environment to prevent your problems before they happen.
But most important all updates are immediately available making sure you´re tools are as recent as your environmental changes. The ideal solution definitely has no biyearly update cycles.
Don’t keep trying to solve the same problems that other companies solved long ago. Shouldn’t your next virtualization monitoring tool apply collective intelligence? huh, opvizor does!
Conclusion: Evolutionary VMware Infrastructure Monitoring with Predictive Analytics
As companies invest more and more in their virtual infrastructures, you must ensure that you have a tool that can monitor it, and monitor it well. Before you buy any virtualization monitoring tool, make sure that you have seen, first hand, how it can quickly provide you value and prevent your problems, before they happen. That is a true predictive analytics software that can tell you within minutes what is wrong because most issues are already there.
To learn more about a tool that meets all of the above recommendations and is quickly being adopted by more and more smart virtualization admins, register at www.opvizor.com.
About the Author
David Davis is a video training author at Pluralsight.com, the global leader in video training for IT pros. He holds several certifications including VCP5, VCAP-DCA, CCIE #9369, and has been awarded the VMware vExpert award 6 years running. Additionally, David has spoken at major conferences like VMworld and authored hundreds of articles for websites and print publications, mostly around virtualization. David's personal blog is www.VirtualizationSoftware.com