When hordes of IT administrators descend on the VMworld 2012 conference next week they will be treated to the latest and greatest in all-things virtualization. But as compelling as that may be, most of them are simply struggling with how to cope. The fact is that while virtualization to a degree makes IT more efficient, it’s exceedingly complex to manage.
The biggest challenge, of course, is that the factors that affect virtual machine performance span server, storage and networking domains. That can make it pretty difficult to identify the source of any given problem. Ironically, fixing the problem usually takes a few minutes; identifying it can take hours as IT people hurl recriminations at each other over whom exactly is at fault for what.
To address that issue, Xangati this week released StormTracker, a component of the company’s Performance Management Engine software that runs in-memory so IT organizations can run reports that instantly identify the source of any virtualization performance management issue. According to David Messina, Xangati vice president of marketing, that capability allows virtual machine administrators to identify issues before they create a “storm” that winds up affecting any number of applications that are all dependent on the same shared infrastructure.
The system makes use of heuristics technology to identify the ideal “steady-state” of a particular virtualization environment. Once any deviations from that environment are detected, the administrator is alerted to the issue beforehand so they can address the problem before it spirals out of control, says Messina.
Managing virtual machine environments has become one of the toughest jobs in all of IT because of all the inter-dependencies across IT domains that are often managed by people who may not have much of an actual working relationship. Management software that alerts virtualization administrators to potential problems not only helps keep applications up and running, but it significantly reduces the amount of time IT folks waste blaming each other for being the cause of a particular problem.