CiRBA Takes Trial and Error Out of Virtualization Game

Michael Vizard

Managing virtual machines is often a game of trial and error. IT administrators generally have to sit back and hope that the new virtual machine they just provisioned won’t have an adverse impact on the performance of the applications that reside on the virtual machines that are already running.

To help make the whole process of provisioning virtual machines more exact, CiRBA today released an upgrade to its virtualization management software that includes the ability to drag and drop a virtual machine onto a target platform to ascertain the impact it will have on all the applications running on that machine. According to CiRBA CTO Andrew Hillier, this capability includes not only the impact in the server resources, but the storage systems as well.


Hillier says that managing virtual machines has become a complicated game. Rather than merely guessing, CiRBA is providing tools that allow IT organizations to not only forecast what their system requirements will be in the future, but also identify stranded capacity that is being underutilized.

The real challenge with virtualization, says Hillier, is that as the number of virtual machines per server increases, the sheer density of the environment often results in one virtual machine or another trying to hog all the system resources. Identifying these “noisy neighbors” becomes a priority because of the adverse impact they can have on all of the applications running on a particular server.

The biggest challenge with virtualization is that while it was supposed to save money, it’s not uncommon to see idle virtual machines wasting money by consuming resources, while at the same time the number of active ones continues to increase exponentially. The end result is wasted physical resources on the one hand and increased costs on the other as administrators struggle to manage a significantly larger number of virtual machines. Trying to manage that process manually almost by definition means IT organizations will lose the virtualization game even before it begins.

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