Virtualization Technology News and Information
VKernel Releases Upgraded Capacity Management Suite Version 2.2
VKernel, the number one provider of capacity management products for virtualized data centers and cloud environments, today announced the general availability of VKernel Capacity Management Suite 2.2 (CMS 2.2), an upgrade to the 2010 VMworld Virtualization Management Best of Show winner. This release is designed to meet ever growing demand for larger virtualization initiatives. To enable this scale up, CMS 2.2 supports new Active Directory integration, vCenter integration, business unit views and reporting, high performance storage configurations, enhanced capacity planning, and advanced chargeback capabilities.

Virtualization Growth Increases Environment Complexity

As organizations shift from phase I virtualization projects that involved basic IT functions to more advanced mission critical applications, both the scale and complexity of virtual machine deployments grows significantly.  Data center staff in expanding environments must manage a vastly increased volume of virtual machines and the complex resource allocations that support them.  This allocation problem only worsens with scale causing performance bottlenecks, poor ROI and unhappy customers. Tapping into capacity management experience with over 600 customers, CMS 2.2 delivers scale-enabling improvements to efficiently manage shared resources in environments ranging from hundreds to thousands of virtual machines. This solution is provided in a simple to download, easy to deploy, fast time to results application suite.

Integration into Active Directory and vCenter

Virtualization administrators managing a growing environment soon find their time constrained as the complexity of the virtualized environment intensifies. Thus, any automated administrative action saves time that can then be committed to tasks requiring manual involvement. CMS 2.2 introduces out-of-the-box integration with VMware vCenter and Microsoft Active Directory where a large number of system maintenance actions originate:

  • Automated User Management Through Active Directory – User creation, deletion, and management is now completely automated through integration into Microsoft Active Directory. CMS respects the same permissions already specified for vCenter.
  • CMS Launches from Within vCenter – CMS 2.2 eliminates the need to open a separate browser session, authenticate, and locate a virtual object to examine by launching from within VMware vCenter with a virtual object already selected. CMS 2.2 also automatically synchronizes with the vCenter folder structure created used to subdivide an environment.

Environment Management at the Business Unit Level

CMS 2.2’s vCenter folder synchronizing integration supplies the basic structure to subdivide an environment into manageable segments based on infrastructure. However, capacity management may involve additional groupings at both a business unit and functional level.  CMS delivers the ability to flexibly organize the virtual infrastructure above and beyond the vCenter infrastructure view. These groupings can be used to manage and report on only the virtual machines, hosts, and clusters that relate to particular business needs. Additionally, groupings can be nested to allow for detailed drill-downs of sub-groups or sub-functions, virtual objects can be included in multiple views and chargeback rates can be set at these different levels. 

High Performance Storage Configuration Support

CMS 2.2 introduces capacity management visibility into RDMs and now includes IOPS in capacity calculations. Visibility into RDMs supports storage configurations that are becoming increasingly common as organizations strive to deliver top performance to a select group of applications. Factoring IOPS into capacity calculations aids data centers in matching the disk I/O demands of virtual machines to the storage hardware they draw on. Monitoring this performance metric further ensures that capacity bottlenecks based around the server/SAN connection can be quickly resolved or avoided all together.

Enhanced Capacity Planning

Virtualized environments are dynamic and can change substantially in a matter of days. Planning for the future with a snapshot of the present environment may lead to obsolete results for when the capacity will be allocated days or weeks later. CMS 2.2 adds support to make this information more accurate by allowing a user to access predicted capacity availability for the exact day in the future when capacity will be allocated.  This “future state” of the environment is derived from mathematical extrapolation of resource load usage patterns and resource usage trending. CMS will also show the number of VMs that were added or deleted from a host or cluster over a 30 day period to show much change has recently occurred within each host.

“I look forward to taking advantage of the new features in VKernel’s CMS 2.2, especially being able to get a precise measure of how much capacity I have for the point in time when I actually need it, to being able to assess capacity availability based on the predicted future state of our environment,” said Tony Marando, Associate Director of Network Services for inVentivHealth. “As our network environment has grown, we’ve seen the demands of managing our infrastructure increase tremendously. VKernel helps in keeping the workloads of our hardware and staff under control, and this new release will help us streamline further.”

Enhanced Chargeback Capabilities

Finally, CMS 2.2 introduces VKernel Chargeback 3.0 which features functionality that streamlines chargeback report and bill creation, and allows for tiered billing. Chargeback is now fully integrated into the Capacity Management Suite, further reducing vCenter overhead and making it quick and easy to view usage and allocation costs associated with virtual objects selected in vCenter. Chargeback 3.0 allows organizations to customize chargeback reports that can double as bills for resource usage by adding logos. Additionally, specific ESX hosts and datastores can be associated with pricing tiers to more accurately reflect the way that many data centers that chargeback or cloud providers

“We’ve continued seeing capacity management grow in importance as virtualization projects scale up and implement new high performance configurations,” said Alex Bakman, Chief Technology Officer for VKernel. “VKernel’s CMS 2.2 release will meet the needs we’ve identified with our largest, fastest growing and most cutting edge customers so that organizations can scale their environments effectively and confidently.”

General Availability

VKernel Capacity Management Suite 2.2 is available immediately for purchase or a free 30 day trial. Products integrated into the suite include Capacity Analyzer 5.1, Optimization Pack 2.1, Chargeback 3.0, and Inventory 1.0. Pricing starts at $299 per socket per application.

Published Tuesday, January 18, 2011 6:18 PM by David Marshall
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