Capacity planning is not an easy thing to do in a virtual environment as it requires significant effort to understand the demands of the constantly-evolving virtual infrastructure. Enterprises that start optimizing their virtual machine (VM) provisioning strategies can quickly see a strong ROI. If host resources are left unbalanced, it can lead to underutilized resources, and consequently cause severe performance degradation. Having said this, it’s not very easy to understand the the balance between VMs and their underlying resources in real time. While this will just give the status of VM resource utilization at a certain point in time, it does not help to get visibility into how VMs are growing, which VMs will face resource contention, etc. A well-planned study to gather historical VM performance data, trend how the environment has grown over time, and estimate the demand for the future will provide a baseline for resource management.
This estimation is not as easy as it sounds. With workloads on existing VMs changing over time and resource consumption varying drastically, it becomes extremely difficult to chart out future behavior trends. Leveraging historical data and correlating it to plan for future capacity requirements becomes relatively difficult with constant workload variations in the virtual environment.
With so many new project needs building up, and resource consumption getting tougher to manage, we often end up making new investments to add more hosts and storage. This situation can be better managed and the investment considerably reduced if only the VM operations, availability, and requirement are constantly studied over time. There is also the difficulty of locating over-allocated VMs in large environments. In addition, we have to deal with VM sprawl resulting in dead, rogue, orphaned or zombie VMs, and those unused and forgotten VMs that are still powered on.
All this analysis and research have become practically impossible to carry out manually. This has created the need for an automated solution that can analyze historical data, report how the VM environment has evolved over time, how it stands today, and what is in store for the future.
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager is a perfect software solution that addresses this pressing demand for capacity planning with its three-pronged attack.
- Operations Management: Allows you to monitor resource usage in real-time helping to detect and predict where bottlenecks are happening in your environment so you can quickly resolve them.
- Optimization: Allows you to understand capacity usage from an application and workload perspective, and run reports on historical trends. This can help to project when you will run out of resources.
- Planning: Allows you to identify stale, zombie, orphaned, or rogue VMs, and over- or under-allocated VMs so you can right-size your environment, allowing for accurate planning.
A well-planned and managed virtualization infrastructure will simplify resource usage and VM allocation. Estimating the VM requirement for the future and planning investment accordingly will then drive increased ROI and better productivity.