With the exception of the latest generation of converged-infrastructure appliances, today’s virtualized environments are typically a collection of components from a large number of suppliers. A recent Wikibon study on VMware customers indicates that 56% are using one or more extra hypervisors in addition to VMware.
The virtualized world is posing major challenges for IT administrators as troubleshooting up and down the stack, from application to compute to network and storage, is often guess work – certainly not a science. IT needs an end-to-end view of the environment to manage performance and availability and to continually improve on user experience. It is unlikely a viable solution will come from virtualization vendors themselves.
Meanwhile, hardware infrastructure suppliers have been largely unsuccessful developing tools for heterogeneous environments and have also had a tenuous relationship with third-party performance management and monitoring applications. The strategic question for vendors is whether they want to develop their own best-in-class tools for managing their infrastructure components, collaborate and integrate with third-party management application suppliers, or pursue a hybrid approach.
According to founder John Blumenthal, “The CloudPhysics platform exists to help IT make the best decisions in the face of continual change. We make the invisible visible, revealing structure and relationships in the datacenter that are hard to surface. Applying big data science and resource management domain expertise, CloudPhysics delivers focused and unique analytics to IT’s decision cycle. The datacenter becomes smarter, faster, and more effective.”
CloudPhysics’ intelligence is driven by anonymized data provided by users who recognize the value of benchmarking and comparing their virtualized environments with other, similar IT environments. Benefits to community members include reduction in time tuning and testing systems as well as availability of ongoing insights and best practices for managing virtualized resources. Described as Resource-management-as-a-Service (RaaS) or virtual expertise, CloudPhysics intends to dramatically improve on the promise of running the most optimal, cost-efficient virtualized environment possible.
IT professionals are loath to read 50-page best-practices documents in order to deploy a new system. Moreover, any single vendor lacks visibility across today’s increasingly heterogeneous and virtualized datacenter, which utilizes products from a variety of suppliers. A community not connected to any single vendor that offers benchmarking services and recognizes that users want to share anonymized data in order to improve their ability to quickly resolve hypervisor performance issues should be a welcome addition to any IT administrator’s tool kit.
Action Item: IT professionals have diminishing time to learn supplier-specific tools and so will likely look favorably upon offerings such as CloudPhysics, which provides best-practice guidance based upon a large number of users and environments. Suppliers will need to adjust their business and investment models to adapt to this new reality.