When running large virtualized data center infrastructures, typically 1,000 virtual machines or larger, there are several operational management principles that are required to deliver optimal performance, capacity and end-user quality of experience.
Virtual infrastructure operational management platforms, like vRealize Operations from VMware, have set the industry standard for establishing what constitutes enterprise-class operational excellence. The primary components of the “vROPs” services stack include:
Management: Predictive analytics and alerts that help sysadmins and cloud administrators conduct forensics on a data lake of VMware hypervisor performance metrics, as well as set policy controls that allow for downstream automation and guided remediation of troubleshooting actions.
Monitoring: Measuring performance and monitoring the overall health of the VM-vSphere estate, including SAN storage analytics, application discovery and dependency mapping, physical and virtual OS availability monitoring, as well as app and database monitoring that are needed to ensure that workload placement commands go to healthy VMs.
Capacity: vROPs also provides purview over resource planning and optimization to support the vSphere estate, including capacity modeling and model-driven analytics to determine how to save up capacity for potential workload growth headroom.
Configuration and Compliance: VMware pays special additional attention to so-called “hardening” of vSphere in terms of ensuring that you are running your hosts, VMs and operating systems securely, using industry best practices and adhering to regulatory standards. These mechanisms also monitor and alert on change, configuration and regulatory compliance issues, including at the OS level.
Workload Balancing: Moving or rebalancing workloads from VM to VM is also actionable within vROPs, so that you can visualize how your workloads are distributed and utilized across the vSphere environment and see trends so you can take action to improve performance.
Xangati’s ESP performance analytics and control platform augments vROPs in several significant ways by extending the value chain of services beyond operational management and monitoring to include cross-silo intelligence that helps sysadmins get to root cause faster, MTTR faster and ROI realization faster.
Cross-Silo Metrics: Spanning networks, storage and compute, this is the basis for Xangati’s end-to-end visibility and alerting capabilities, especially for the network estate (agentless flow protocol analysis, i.e., NetFlow for Cisco), which is crucial in determining end-user experience metrics for VMware Horizon VDI environments.
Proactive Prevention: Xangati utilizes a storm-contention analysis engine to provide the finest-grain root cause analysis for real time remediation but also encompasses predictive analytics that can forecast potential storms weeks into the future. Additionally, to avoid alert sprawl, it’s important to tie priority alerting to RCA.
Dynamic Thresholds: Xangati’s patented machine learning heuristics and algorithms provide an AI-like tripwire for avoiding false-positives; an important component to this capability is the notion of periodicity, in which Xangati auto-detects and timestamps performance issues in the context of an exact moment in time.
Real-Time Monitoring: Without the use of agents or probes, Xangati uniquely provides live, continuous, second-by-second software-module dashboards for real-time monitoring and operations, inter- and intra-silo and very compute-centric observations, rather than 15-minute averaged out retrospective data, for the best possible resolution scenario when it comes to real-time troubleshooting.
End-to-End Visibility at Scale: Xangati’s in-memory architecture allows for infinite speed and scale in terms of high-fidelity visibility to all functional components of the virtualized data center (virtual objects, physical devices including network and storage, and client devices and end users), which is the best way to ensure that you can hit the 1K-VM milestone but also seamlessly scale to tens of thousands of VMs.
Capacity/Efficiency Equation: Xangati ties performance impacts to capacity planning including the ability to reveal the real cost of virtual infrastructure operation and how to achieve a faster ROI, or if you’re an MSP, the fastest route to SLA attainment, for example, the ability to resize desktops and pools on the fly to show immediate ROI improvement.
Automated Remediation: Finally, Xangati has the ability to inject it’s performance analytics and attribute control messaging into third party best of breed ITSM/ITOM orchestration platforms such as ServiceNow, so that accelerating remediation and autonomic workflows is easily facilitated by our own APIs and web services app.
The value of augmenting more than just the vSphere landscape is also about being application aware, that is, knowing the health of each of the components in the data center, what metrics are collected while a user is interacting with a virtual application or website, and comparing those data to the metrics collected from the data center.
Xangati correlates information from all elements in the data center such as servers, switches and storage. We then consolidate and analyze information collected from application servers such as VMware View, or hypervisors such as vSphere and Hyper-V, or hybrid-cloud resources including Azure and AWS.
While it’s certainly important to maintain a system of record in terms of change management and compliance as does vROPS, it’s also important to focus on time-to-value. Xangati ESP is a virtual appliance that is user-installable in one hour, resulting in Day 2 Operate time-to-value. Because it’s agentless, hundreds of thousands of interactions are populating the dashboard at install, learning the environment and providing insightful results right away compared to several weeks.
With live streaming data, Xangati is immediately pinpointing any IT infrastructure issue with 300x granularity, identifying and rectifying root causes of real performance issues, while analyzing metrics from network switches, firewalls, server/compute, hyper-converged, cloud and ADCs. And most importantly, Xangati is all about providing sysadmins with the same view the end user sees, not only through virtualized application performance scenarios but also via powerful DVR-like recordings when a dynamic threshold is crossed to facilitate rapid issue resolution and user-initiated Visual Trouble Tickets with an attached recording of the time of the incident and rich logon/reconnect metrics.
For a live demo, visit Xangati at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, booth #2715.