Thanks in large part to VMware, server virtualization is paving the way for a more consolidated data center. While the financial benefits are hard to ignore, managing the performance of a virtualized data center can be a real challenge. Not only do you need to control virtual machines, you need to monitor and control how they are interacting with the applications running on them and the storage resources they are accessing.
In a move to help manage the complexities of today's data center, Akorri, a Littleton, Mass.-based application service level management software provider, today announced BalancePoint 1.5.
The goal of BalancePoint is to help enterprise "understand the relationship from applications down to storage," said Tom Joyce, vice president of marketing at Akorri. "We look at the performance of an application and how you can tune it."
The appliance-based software analyzes your applications, servers and storage devices. For example, Joyce said, if there is contention between applications trying to access the same storage, you need to know when to move to a different array.
The star of the new version is a set of capabilities designed to help you manage applications running VMware's virtualization software. For VMware customers, BalancePoint is designed to provide visibility into server and storage resources to identify performance problems and improve service levels, according to Joyce.
"That's huge," is how Bob Laliberte, an analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, described support for VMware. "VMware is great for power and cooling and data center consolidation, but as it proliferates, how do you track it?"
"Lots of people doing SRM (Storage Resource Management) are trying to climb the stack," Laliberte said. However, he said he thinks BalancePoint's holistic view of a virtualized data center can benefit enterprises. "It's hard to manage an infrastructure when your applications are playing hide and seek and your storage is lying to you."
BalancePoint 1.5 is designed to provide visibility and control for applications running on VMware by mapping the server and storage resources supporting each application and using Akorri's analytics to help deliver enterprise-class performance.
BalancePoint 1.5 is available now and consists of BalancePoint's Examiner and Analyzer modules, which are integrated and pre-loaded on a rack-mount server appliance.
BalancePoint Examiner for VMware is designed to provide end-to-end performance information for ESX Server and VM guests running on data center infrastructure. According to Akorri, it allows deep visibility into the server and storage resources that are being used by applications running on VMware. The software also helps troubleshoot and resolve VMware application performance issues, the company said.
BalancePoint Analyzer for VMware is designed to help optimize performance by identifying points of resource contention and assessing the impact of data center infrastructure changes. It's built to provide specific recommendations for improving application service levels. Analyzer examines performance and capacity utilization over time, keeping track of metrics even as VMs are migrated to different servers using Vmotion, the company claims.
BalancePoint 1.5 also introduces support for Oracle database mapping and a set of features for application-aware storage management. BalancePoint Examiner for Oracle is designed to automatically map the elements of an Oracle database to the storage infrastructure. It also provides a graphical topology view of the Oracle database schema and possible points of contention.
The new version also contains GuidePoint Dynamic Thresholds, which Joyce said, has the capability to predict performance for the next 48 hours based on historical behavior. This, he said, can help enterprises manage seasonality and identify spikes.
The GuidePoint Storage Analysis is designed to use analytics to assess storage system utilization and performance to help match application workloads to the appropriate storage resources.