Gaining Virtualization Visibility

Michael Vizard

One of the things that a lot of IT organizations don't like about virtualization is that the applications that run on virtual machines are often invisible to their monitoring tools. This creates a lot of consternation in an age where the confidence IT organizations have in running mission-critical applications on virtual servers is still not all that high.

To address this issue, Extrahop Network has rolled out a virtual appliance called the EH1000v that gives IT organizations the visibility they need into traffic passing through virtual switches on a virtual machine.
According to ExtraHop Networks CEO Jesse Rothstein, the EH1000v as a virtual appliance gives IT organizations a low-cost way of gaining visibility in virtual servers without having to deploy any additional hardware.

Rothstein said he had expected that the industry would have solved this problem by now with the development of more elegant virtual switches. But progress in this area has been slow, so ExtraHop Networks decided go ahead and create the EH1000v to address the problem.

Virtual switches are everywhere these days, and while there are some advanced examples of what a virtual switch should look like from Cisco, the adoption of that particular variant of a virtual switch has been slow due to costs. Most IT organizations, says Rothstein, have opted to deploy more primitive virtual switches that don't cost as much, but sacrifice application visibility. As it's unlikely that IT organizations are going to replace these virtual switches anytime soon. Rothstein says it's clear that the market was calling for a different approach to application performance management on a virtual server.

In general, vendors are still trying to catch up with all the implications of virtual machines on the network. In the meantime, if you really need to see what is happening inside your virtual server, Rothstein says the EH1000v represents an unobtrusive way of making that happen.
 



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