Real-time Performance Analysis for the Hybrid Data Center – Virtual Instruments Briefing

The modern data center is hybrid – while most of its applications are still on premises, an increasing number are moving to the cloud. In addition, data centers find the need to increase scale and instantly adapt to changes in workload demands. Ensuring performance in such a complex and changing is becoming a significant issue for any hybrid data center.

Reacting to a problem means you have to fix a problem that is existing. IT needs tools that allow it to be proactive, intercepting problems before they occur. The problem is that the tools that manage performance are fragmented, mostly single-vendor focused, and don’t provide a real-time analysis, predicting performance problems before they occur.

At the heart of the problem is that performance management has been siloed. Application Performance Management (APM) analyzed applications but had little understanding of the infrastructure and Infrastructure Performance Management (IPM) solutions analyzed the infrastructure but had little understanding of the application layer.

The products to meet user performance expectations are at IT’s disposal, but as is usually the case simply throwing hardware at the problem is not enough and often wastes precious IT budget. No matter how fast the endpoints (servers and storage) of the architecture become, at some point it needs to be tuned, allocated and managed. Virtual Instruments (VI) has long been a leader in infrastructure performance analysis providing inline capture of storage and I/O path analytics. To strengthen that position VI recently announced that it is acquiring Xangati.

While the VI product suite is a tremendous asset to aid customers in achieving performance management goals, the solutions are very virtualization and storage centric, with all emphasis on on-premise deployments. In addition, while VI has always captured data in real-time, analysis of the data was post-facto. With the acquisition of Xangati, VI now has the ability to perform its analysis deeper into the application layer, the IP network layer, and the public cloud and to do so in real-time. Over time VI will integrate these capabilities into the entire product offering creating a predictive, end-to-end hybrid data center performance management solution.

As a result of this acquisition VI claims that it will provide IT professionals with a cross domain solution so that all the variables impacting performance are analyzed from a single pane of glass. But VI will shift to an application-centric model, basically a top down approach to performance management with advanced topology views and contextualization that provides application owners with the infrastructure visibility needed to support the applications and vice versa. A key is that VI will integrate Xangati’s predictive, contention and streaming analytics so that solution will provide real-time recommendations and actions. No more guessing what the data collected means, the solution will now tell you what it means, provide suggestions to correct and even take action when authorized.

StorageSwiss Take

When it comes to performance management many IT professionals face the temptation of throwing in the towel and leveraging an all-flash array, a fast network and powerful servers. What they learn is that either that level of investment is unnecessary or that even after they make the investments performance is still unpredictable. VI, especially with the acquisition of Xangati, can enable IT to spend much less on over-provisioned infrastructure and to deliver a better, more consistent experience to their users.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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