With virtualization and cloud technologies moving so fast these days, don’t blame IT admins with fighting off a growing case of Vertigo (my first U2 reference, stay tuned) - that feeling of motion and dizziness when one is stationary. Traditional IT management solutions were designed for a static and deterministic world. Applying these solutions and technologies to virtualized and cloud infrastructures pushes legacy management approaches outside their original domains and results in (and explains) the common symptoms we’ve all seen - virtual sprawl, virtual stall, VM blender effects, and vMotion sickness - perhaps that’s really “Virtigo” where there is a feeling of vMotion when your old IT management tools are standing still!
So what happens next? With the overwhelming benefits derived from server consolidation and capital cost reduction, virtualization quickly spreads and before long becomes an operational issue, outstripping the capabilities of management tools that weren’t designed for the speed and scale of highly dynamic virtualized and private cloud deployments (which we call “cloud-speed” and “cloud-scale”). And this applies to IT admins just getting started with a few VMs up to large-scale, distributed environments up over 10,000 VMs and beyond.
Search and You Will Find
With virtualization and cloud’s rapidly exploding data set most folks still haven’t found what they’re looking for (#2 if you’re keeping track), and the only way to manage across this expanding data set is through technologies specifically designed for the speed, scale, and flexibility required for that environment. Simplifying and analyzing this data requires just the right amount of metadata, modeling, and time-series histories to provide the essential structure to this ocean of unstructured data - to make it easy to search, visualize, and analyze. Instead of using a one-dimensional management approach that focuses on just time-series data or model-based analysis, it’s essential to use a multi-dimensional approach that applies both model-based and time-based structure and indexing so the hyper-connected relationships and dependencies that define the fabric we manage can be navigated, explored, searched, and analyzed.
One Solution: Unify to Simplify Virtual Operations
In One, U2’s Bono asks us “Is it Getting Better?” and with IT management it really hasn’t – too many discrete point solutions and not enough unity. Virtualization and cloud management requires a unified approach to operations, as virtualization itself is unifying the infrastructure and the way we manage it. It requires us to manage across multiple domains (system, storage, and network), multiple disciplines (capacity, performance, configuration, and chargeback), and multiple dimensions (time-based and model-based problems). A new unified management approach is now essential. Instead of trying to glue together physical, siloed management methodologies into a virtual, unified solution, an approach that is purpose-built and unified from the ground is a new IT management imperative.
The More You See The Less You Know?
With the tsunami of management data out there, IT admins can get lost in a sea of data if they don’t have the analytics and virtualization to make sense of it all. From smartphones to iPads to game consoles, user experience expectations are changing at hyper-speed and have bypassed IT management altogether. To create a richer and more intuitive experience, management needs to leverages modern visualization technologies including interactive dashboards, mobile widgets, live, interactive components, in-context data visualization, built-in recommendations, and active links. Interactive dashboards that embed dynamic and mobile widgets provide the basis for rich, in-context data visualization and decision making. These building blocks also are the foundation for realizing true self-service portals and private clouds with live, interactive components directly connecting the infrastructure to the end-user through highly visual representations of the services they are consuming.
A 360° Tour of Virtualization
So see it all from the virtual server layer down to the storage infrastructure that supports it. Virtualization Manager v4.0 and Storage Manager v5.0 launch this week so check them out…and try to catch the U2 tour when it hits your town this summer. Have a Beautiful Day!