VMTurbo – allowing smart people to do smart things

VMTurboLogoSmLet’s face it, our environments now are way more complex than they were 10 years ago!  Although some tasks and components may be easier to work with and not quite as specialized, we have a lot of them – and they all need to work, in perfect harmony, together.  The problem with this is at times we get a couple members of the choir that get a little out of key – CPU starts screaming, network gets chatty and next thing you know we have an environment that’s screaming out of control, CPU start shoving network, network starts over drowning memory and to be quite honest, pretty much everyone in the choir at this point sounds like $@#!.

Although this scenario may sound a little far-fetched or a wee bit out there – I mean, CPU can’t sing we all know that!  Either way you put it any choir needs a conductor, a leader, someone who overlooks the complete environment, instructing certain members to gear down, and others to ramp up – Last month in Boston at VFD5, VMTurbo showed us just how they can wave the baton when it comes to bringing together the components of enterprise IT.

Disclaimer: As a Virtualization Field Day 5 delegate all of my flight, travel, accommodations, eats, and drinks are paid for. However I do not receive any compensation nor am I required to write anything in regards to the event or the sponsors. This is done at my own discretion.

Having just saw VMTurbo at #VFD4 in Austin only 6 months prior I was skeptical as to what they would have to talk about in Boston, thinking it was mainly going to be the same presentation – I was wrong!  They could of easily filled another 4 hours talking about the new features that they have embedded into the new release of their flagship product, Operations Manager 5.2.

MOAR APPLICATION CTRL!

Traditionally VMTurbo has gathered its’ market intelligence by polling and retrieving statistics and metrics from the hypervisor – while this is a good technique and is used by many monitoring solutions today there are some applications which don’t necessarily work well in this scenario.  Applications which look after their own resource usage – think SQL, Java Heaps, etc. – these applications may not quite properly reflect their true usages in the hypervisor layer.  For this reason VMTurbo has released an Application Control Module (ACM), which completely integrates into their entire supply/demand model of monitoring.  To help put it into perspective let’s have a look at SQL – ACM essentially brings in statistics around transactions, response time, database memory usage, etc – All items which are not available within the hypervisor itself.

application-performance

From here, VMTurbo users are able to define QoS policies, or SLA’s around their applications performance.  Think I need x number of milliseconds for response time.  VMTurbo then looks holistically at your environment – it knows about the infrastructure underneath the app, what resources are available – it now knows about how that application is configured, memory management etc.  With all of this knowledge VMTurbo can then configure your environment and your application to a desired state, one that we know we are running efficiently, while meeting those SLA’s and QoS policies we have setup in regards to the application!

MOAR NETWORK CTRL!

imagesAside from applications VMTurbo has been busy with a few other cool benefits as well!  With the adoption of public and hybrid cloud on the rise, they’ve seen a need to introduce a lot of enhancements in terms of networking – for example, knowing the physical location of applications is key in terms of best placing “chatty” applications close to each other in order to reduce latency, while still maintaining their “desired state” in terms of both CPU, Memory and Storage as well.  They do this by grouping chatty applications together in what they call a vPOD.  From there OM implements Netflow in order to discover your physical switching configuration, and can work to ensure that vPODs are grouped together on the same top of rack switch or the same public cloud region, etc, moving the entire vPOD if one application requires more resources.

MOAR STORAGE CTRL!

Just as VMTurbo has made steps to get more information out of the application stack they are doing the same with storage!  By completely understanding the storage array underneath your infrastructure, OM is able take action on overcoming storage issues around capacity and performance.  Think of things such as knowing whether to expand a current volume or deploy a new one!  OM understands almost everything there is to know about your infrastructure and applications, and can therefor make the best decision on how to meet the SLA’s defined on those applications from a storage standpoint – one time it may make sense to simply grow a volume, while other times due to other applications running on that same volume it may be more efficient to create a new volume and migrate the application in question.

VMTurbo has certainly taken a unique play on monitoring and resolving issues with your environment.  This whole economic market play – with supply/demand being applied to your infrastructure and applications, is different, but honestly makes sense when looking at resource utilization.  I like how Operations Manager has been built – this modular approach allows them to come out with new features such as the application and storage modules, and simply plug them into the product, where they just simply inherited into the supply chain module and analytics can immediately be applied to them.  And as of now you can do it all from your own cloud on AWS!

If you want to watch the VMTurbo videos yourself you can do so here – or check out my complete VFD5 page here.  Also, we have had some other great community posts around what VMTurbo spoke about – be sure to check out each of them below as each delegate seemed to write about a different part of their presentation…

Operations Manager can certainly do some amazing things, allowing you to automate things such as moving an application to the cloud based on it’s supply/demand analytics – which at first sounds a bit scary – but hey, it wasn’t that long ago that people were weary of enabling DRS right?!?