Virtualization Technology News and Information
VKernel Launches vOperations Suite 3.5 to Support Cloud Initiatives
VKernel, the award-winning provider of enterprise class performance and capacity management products for virtualized data centers and cloud environments, announced today at Cloud Computing Expo 2011, general availability of the vOperations Suite 3.5 (also referred to as vOPSTM 3.5). This release addresses new requirements identified from over 700 VKernel customers, including a number of private cloud and hosting providers. Product features include new VM slot reservations, enhanced capacity modeling, extensible customer reporting, and additional performance measurement capabilities -- all designed to meet the needs of hosting firms, private cloud implementations, and organizations deploying advanced virtualized environments. VKernel will showcase vOPS 3.5 at Cloud Computing Expo Booth #239, June 6-9, New York City.

Capacity Drives Performance in Virtualized Environments
IT managers looking to scale virtualized data centers and cloud environments face difficulties ensuring capacity and performance as their infrastructure grows. Demand for new virtual machines combined with growth of existing VMs make it challenging to anticipate capacity demand. For cloud environments that utilize customer self-service portals, unpredictable usage spikes can be especially problematic. Finally, advanced virtual environments and cloud deployments must provide performance, capacity and cost visibility to a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders on a real time basis. VKernel’s vOPS 3.5 addresses these issues with enhanced capacity planning, performance monitoring, and reporting packaged in a simple to download, easy to deploy, fast time to results application suite.

Enhanced Capacity Planning
vOPS 3.5 adds advanced modeling and VM slot reservations to its already market leading capacity planning capabilities. First, vOPS 3.5 makes modeling what-if scenarios for future VM deployments accurate, quick and easy. vOPS 3.5 now has the ability to quickly clone an existing virtual machines past usage characteristics for use in future capacity models. These cloned VM load signatures can be combined with an unlimited number of other VM resource sizes to accomplish sophisticated ―what-if‖ scenarios.

Second, vOPS 3.5 now supports VM slot reservations. VM slot reservations enable virtualization administrators to claim capacity in the present for virtual machines scheduled to be deployed in the future. Once capacity is reserved for a future VM deployment, this capacity is removed from available VM slot calculations providing virtualization administrators with an accurate view of truly available VM slots.

Specifically, vOPS 3.5 introduces:

  • Reserved VM Slots -- VMs that will be deployed can have slots reserved so that their resource needs are removed from further modeling. Alerting and reconciliation abilities are included.
  • Multi-VM Capacity Modeling -- Multiple VMs of different types can be modeled sequentially to assess impacts to available VM slots. Models can be converted into reserved VMs.

New Full Cycle Report Generation
Private clouds, hosting services and advanced virtualized environments have complex reporting requirements that involve getting the right information out to stakeholders in a secure and automated fashion. These stakeholders include management, application owners and customers. vOPS 3.5 introduces advanced VM density reporting, capacity trending and utilization reports in addition to advanced functionality that supports secure integration into customer web portals or external management dashboards such as Microsoft SharePoint. Specifically, vOPS 3.5 now features:

  • Web-based Report Access – Custom URLs can be generated which can be embedded into web-based applications with permissions-based access based on Business Views.
  • Advanced Customer Reports - New reports that can be configured by Business View show resource usage, VM density, VM creation, and VM activity with customizable time frames.

Increased Storage and Network Visibility for Enhanced VM Performance Troubleshooting
As clouds and virtualized environments become larger and more complex, so too do the infrastructure areas that connect to the servers and are often managed by separate teams. In particular, storage and network areas can be the source of VM performance issues. vOPS 3.5 builds on existing visibility into disk throughput, storage latency, and network usage with newly collected performance metrics. Available now within vOPS 3.5:

  • Enhanced Datastore and VM-Level Latency and Disk Throughput Visibility – vOPS 3.5 now calculates overall latency, IOPS, and throughput for each datastore and VM. This provides visibility within storage infrastructure to identify performance issues.
  • Alerting and graphing of network metrics – vOPS 3.5 now collects network traffic and dropped traffic information for both VMs and hosts from the network. Changes in these metrics are easily viewable and can be set to trigger alarms.

Peer 1 Hosting, one of the world’s leading IT hosting providers uses VKernel vOperations Suite to manage its large and growing virtualized environment. "The enhanced performance monitoring, reporting and new capacity modeling capabilities in vOPS 3.5 will help streamline various management functions in our data center," says Chris DiGanci, IT Manager at PEER 1 Hosting. "The new capacity planning features will allow our staff to quickly assess the capacity impacts of deploying additional VMs in our environment."

"The new features in VKernel’s latest release address some important management gaps that rapidly-scaling virtualized environments and cloud deployments are certainly facing,‖ said Dave Bartoletti, Senior Analyst, The Taneja Group. "With automated performance reports for customers and other stakeholders, by continuously assessing the impact of growth on available capacity, and through remediation recommendations for VM performance issues, the vOperations Suite should ease the burden on virtualization administrators faced with optimizing the performance of their growing, mission-critical virtual environments."

"VKernel is continuing its blistering pace of innovation in capacity management," said Bryan Semple, Chief Marketing Officer, VKernel. "We are constantly being challenged by our growing customer base to provide more sophisticated analytics, yet deliver the results in an actionable way for a systems administrator. vOPS 3.5 contains many key enhancements that our growing list of cloud providers and advanced virtualization enterprises have requested."

General Availability
VKernel vOperations Suite 3.5 is available now for a 30-day trial from Pricing starts at $299 per socket per application.

Published Wednesday, June 08, 2011 6:09 AM by David Marshall
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