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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Dennis Zimmer Talks Opvizor Performance Analyzer 3.5 and More

Interview Opvizor 

VMblog:  Can you please give VMblog readers some background about you and your company Opvizor?

Dennis Zimmer:  Absolutely, my name is Dennis Zimmer and I founded Opvizor that has its HQ in Houston, Texas. I had the first contact with VMware late 1999, and started working with VMware products in 2002 as a system administrator. Some years later I moved into Consultancy and started to write books around Virtualization. Since 2008 I run my own companies.

I founded Opvizor to create software products that support the systems administrator and the consultant in their daily work.

VMblog:  How did you get started in the world of VMware, and what is your focus today?

Zimmer:  The first product we offered is Health Analyzer, that checks your environment against best practices, KB articles and security hardening guides. The results will be shown in dashboard or reports that can be scheduled.

Snapwatcher, is a very focused product to support people in managing VMware snapshots on a daily basis. We´re the guys that fix inconsistent VM snapshots. :)

Last but not least our new product Performance Analyzer, a real time driven allrounder that helps to focus on the really important things. Visualize and alert on the most important metrics thru the full stack, from Storage to Application.

VMblog:  When you started the company, your solutions were in the Health Check and Configuration Check space, not performance and troubleshooting.  Why is another Monitoring tool needed?

Zimmer:  We noticed that people need health check products, but they also want to see the results in real time. Therefore, we added Performance Analyzer. We were thrilled by the attention that this product gets and how happy our customer are using it. One of the reasons might be, that we use the products to monitor our own environment and we wanted to make it to just work. No difficult installation and configuration, no training needed to use the product.

The customer response shows us, that we achieved that goal and we thrive to make it even more simple, especially when it comes to application performance and correlating it with the underlying infrastructure performance. That are already 2 very good reasons why another performance monitoring tool is needed as most of the products out there are not up and running in 10 minutes. And it takes forever to learn how to use them. Changing tiny things like merging metrics, calculate statistics across Hosts or VMs need a new product release of the vendor. All of that is possible with a few clicks with Performance Analyzer.

VMblog:  What are the most important facts and features of your latest product launch of Performance Analyzer 3.5?

Zimmer:  Definitely the fact to correlate Virtual Machine or Host Events with performance data is a huge step. Just think about a virtual machine that has just been powered on and ballooning goes up for all the other virtual machines on the same host. We make that visible the moment it happens as it all is in one dashboard. Many new dashboards have been added, that simplify the daily life of a system administrator as well as a IT manager. While the sysadmin goes into the details, the IT manager sees the statistical facts of the overall usage and the capacity to be planned in the future.

Furthermore, we added the support for VCSA (vCenter Appliance) including a health monitoring of the vCenter Services as well as the underlying database. Troubleshooting the speed of the vCenter service, the Web client aso. has never been easier. Last but not least we support Microsoft SQL performance data integration incl. health check of the top metrics and the correlation with the underlying VM hardware.

Even complex visualization of the most important VMs from App to Storage system can be done by our customer or in a short web session with our support team.

opvizor perfanalyzer 

VMblog:  When speaking with customers, what are the top challenges of today and tomorrow that you plan to address?

Zimmer:  One response we see from day 1 is that people are delighted by the simplicity of our product. From installation to configuration, everything is done in minutes. We were in discussions with customers that found a performance issue within the first 10 minutes using our product, by just viewing the Virtual Machine highlights.

There is no time anymore in IT departments to investigate issues reading thru logs and starting to gather performance data when there is a problem. You need to predict them automatically and performance should be there over a longer period of time (we actually support up to 5 years of data).

Prediction and automatic fixing and optimization is becoming a highly important topic of the future. Not just focusing on VMware or any other hypervisor - the focus needs to be multi-cloud and full stack. That's where we are heading.

VMblog:  Moving away from customers to competition -- How do you compete with the big boys in this space?  And why should customers consider you over them?

Zimmer:  The same customers I mentioned above already had other products evaluated or in use for quite some time. There were big brands like VMware itself, Dell, Solarwinds, aso. but none of them is simple to use or to install. Although these products are very powerful, it doesn´t really matter if the customer never gets to the point to see that power. We focus on the 80% of the issues customers run into and want to make sure that he sees it within the first 30 minutes after downloading and importing the virtual appliance. The responses we get from our users is confirming that we are really good at that. Easy to install and maintain also means less support calls. We can spend much more time on optimizing the product. That also comes down to much cheaper project prices for the customer compared to our competition.

VMblog:  Turning the clock forward.  What can we expect next year from your company?

Zimmer:  We definitely move into multi-cloud support and automation. While we support VMware vSphere, MS Hyper-V and Amazon Webservices already today, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are on our list for next year. We´re also getting more and more into the machine learning space to simplify anomaly detection and finding the correct baseline for thresholds and alarms.

Last but not least you can expect a simplified deployment for collecting application performance metrics additionally to the infrastructure.

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Once again, thanks to Dennis Zimmer, CEO and founder of Opvizor, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.

Published Wednesday, November 02, 2016 7:00 AM by David Marshall
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