While enterprises have been racing to virtualize their server infrastructure, too often they operate with only a hazy view of their performance level, according to Xangati, a startup specializing in performance management solutions for virtualized server and desktop environments.
For Xangati, that has left open a segment in the market for a solution that delivers a comprehensive view of both physical and virtualized infrastructure, providing administrators with unique insights and management capabilities beyond what existing technologies can deliver.
But with an eye toward the prevailing trends that figure to shape the next phase of IT, Xangati is positioning its technology as a pace setter for the virtualization arena.
"Managing virtualization differs completely from managing physical environments and requires an entirely new approach -- one that is not being met by existing legacy management tools," said David Messina, Xangati's vice president of product management and marketing. "In a virtualized world, organizations must see and understand how all infrastructure elements -- storage, servers, network, applications and end-user devices -- affect performance."
That approach seeks to carve out a niche with a holistic, "cross-silo" offering lacking in the current approaches to infrastructure management that are available on the market.
"Existing management tools were not built for the large-scale, dynamic environment of virtualized infrastructures," Messina said. He added that "the legacy management systems lack the integration and analytics capabilities that are needed to deliver the right data to ensure infrastructure performance."
Messina cited a report by the industry analyst firm IDC that identified virtualization as a chief priority for CIOs in 2012, with 40 percent of all servers currently estimated to have been virtualized, a figure projected to double by 2014.
To address that market, Xangati offers a menu of performance management tools for server and desktop virtualization environments. The VI dashboard, powered by something Xangati calls its performance health engine, offers administrators a monitoring tool that tracks the overall health of the physical and virtual inventory that can affect performance, including applications, without relying on software agents. The VDI dashboard is a counterpart product that performs similar functions in desktop virtualization environments.
Xangati also offers a free vSphere tool that monitors all of the activity of a single ESX server, including virtual machine interactions with the hypervisor, across physical and virtual deployments.
Messina acknowledged that Xangati can struggle at times to convey its message to potential customers. The free vSphere tool, which is available for download on the company's website, can help it get its foot in the door.
"Our challenge has been gaining broader visibility as an emerging company," Messina said. "However, once we tell the differentiated story and customers understand how our solution can accelerate their virtualization initiatives, they move quickly toward trying the product."
Xangati, founded in 2006 and based in Cupertino, Calif., sells directly and works with a limited number of partners in the channel.
Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects for more than four years, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here