The Trouble with Virtualization Tools

Michael Vizard

The problem many IT organizations have when it comes to managing IT is that they either don't have enough tools or suffer from having an excess of tools. In both cases, the outcome is generally the same in that the IT organization is not particularly efficient.

IT organizations that don't have ready access to commercial IT tools tend to rely heavily on custom scripts developed by the internal IT team to automate a process. While these scripts can generally work in many instances, they tend to not scale well. In addition, they're usually not very well documented, so when the person who wrote them leaves the company, nobody is quite sure how the script works.

On the other end of the tools spectrum are IT organizations that seem to have access to every type of tool ever developed. The trouble is that all these tools come from different vendors, which usually means that someone inside the IT department has to be dedicated to mastering how that tool works. Of course, because each of these tools has a different user interface, it makes collaboration inside the IT department a little harder than it needs to be.

The good news is that it looks like the providers of these tools are starting to unify their offerings in ways that make the tools not only more accessible, but also affordable. For example, Reflex Systems this week added a vCapacity planning tool to its suite of virtualization management tools.

According to Reflex Systems CEO Preston Futrell, this latest addition to the company's Virtualization Management Center is a direct response to customer requests for a comprehensive IT management framework that can manage a virtual environment from end to end, including all the associated performance analytics needed to identify bottlenecks. That capability not only reduces the cost of acquiring different tools, Futrell says it also allows the IT organization to streamline different processes at a time when just about every IT organization is short-handed.

They say that when it comes to being a professional at any particular activity, the tools don't really make the player. And yet, whether it's in the sports world or the IT environment, it's hard to think of any real star in their field today that doesn't make use of the latest and greatest tools available.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 20, 2011 3:08 AM Howard Baldwin Howard Baldwin  says:
Hasn�t the time of point solutions come and gone? They may be necessary in some situations, but in systems and network management, it�s crucial to have an uber-view that gives insight to IT quickly and effectively. That also means being proactive as well as reactive, which is why capacity planning is so important. For more on the topic, see this Solar Winds article: http://bit.ly/nBaQm4. About me: http://bit.ly/rgwSl7 Reply
Sep 9, 2011 3:10 AM josh josh  says: in response to Howard Baldwin
The time of point solutions is gone. You mention Solar Winds, they are the kings of point solutions. The Reflex product described above is part of a single product with a single interface. Not a menagerie of point solutions with separate databases. Uber views (and Actions) is what Reflex does and now that includes capacity. http://goo.gl/V5AXJ Reply

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