Taking on your storage situation with CloudPhysics – new Storage Analytics release!

What’s one of the most common things we see as virtualization admins is the classic performance issues which lead many to say “It must be a problem with the SAN”. The black-box feel of the storage layer can often be a blame destination when there undetermined performance problems.

The CloudPhysics way: Products powered by you!

The team at CloudPhysics is doing something that really makes their offering exciting. They are letting us as customers lead the direction of how the product works. There is a continuous feedback from customers, and the team works very hard to stay ahead of the curve with what the customers are seeking to make their day-to-day virtual data center operations smoother.

Bring the cloud methods inside

Have you ever looked around at your environment for unused VM guests? Maybe not, but just imagine if you were hosting your environment in a public cloud that charged for all powered on guests. This is where the new features will be really cool because you can use the Unused VMs card to see which machines aren’t being used and you can then choose to either remove them or perhaps you will want to just power them down and only bring them online as needed for work or to patch them.

Unused VMs Screen Shot 2014-03-24

The win on this is that you can free up storage that is taking up valuable space or make an informed choice about how to manage that VM resource to get the best performance and utilization out of your data center storage environment.

Don’t let contention get you down

Up to now, I have some of my favorite cards that I tout to readers and my colleagues. Among those is the classic “Snapshots Gone Wild”, the “Cost Calculator for AWS” and the “Cost Calculator for vCHS”. Each is an instant hit for their own reasons, and now I can say that I think I’ve found my new favorite card with the upcoming Datastore Contention v2 card! The Datastore Contention card v2 with the new in-depth view will be a must have IMHO:

Datastore Contention Screen Shot 2014-03-24

Just imagine being able to narrow down performance issues to a targeted VM, and even a specific disk. It’s a more fully transparent view of real utilization with a depth of information that should make your VMware admins smile 🙂

There is a 30 day trial program to give the new Storage Analytics a try which you can get to by clicking the image below:

cloudphysics-try-storage-analytics

Head on over to the CloudPhysics blog to read about the upcoming features here: Who’s Minding Your Storage Zoo? Try CloudPhysics New Storage Analytics.

 

 




Tech Field Day VFD3 – The best physics is CloudPhysics!

I have a kind of special place in my heart for the folks at CloudPhysics. Just from their name they cover two of my favorite things: Cloud and Physics. More than that though, I have been lucky to be involved in early tech briefings with the team there. For those who have been following me for a while, you also would have seen that we were lucky enough to have Irfan Ahmad (CloudPhysics Co-founder and CTO) present at the Toronto VMUG the day that they launched their product and GA.

What is this CloudPhysics thing all about?

There is an interesting thing happening at CloudPhysics in both the technical and business aspect:

about-cloudphysics

Image courtesy of CloudPhysics.com http://www.cloudphysics.com/about-us/index.php

It isn’t just the Big Data aspect of CloudPhysics that makes it stand out from anyone else though, it is the distinctly original way that they let their customers leverage it.

working-band1Pick a card, any card!

If you don’t already know about how CloudPhysics works, you begin by deploying the CloudPhysics collector using their easily downloadable OVA file (full deployment process here: http://www.cloudphysics.com/getting-started/installing.php).

Once you are up and running, you log into the CloudPhysics site and within a short while, you will have data center analytics showing up in your dashboard (also called the Deck). This is where the fun comes in! CloudPhysics uses what they call cards to manage the details that you see in your Deck.

Using the available cards, you will be able to see useful sets of data about your environment that let you see what the big picture is across all aspects of your virtual data center.

card-glossary

This is just a taste of the available card glossary, and the great thing about these cards is that they come from both the CloudPhysics team, and the community that is running the product in their data center.

The card builder is a simple interface which lets you drag and drop your measurement points into your custom card, and then as quick as you can imagine, your card is pulling live data from your actual statistics.

1 Billion Data Points

What makes the analytics coming out of CloudPhysics even more impressive is that your data points are being used to provide content for your Deck, but the collective data points from hundreds of customers is being pooled together to create a massive data set to give us a view of how the averages come out across many hundreds of data centers.

How many data points you ask? How about 1 Billion (yes B as in Bob, Billion) data points per day! And in case you were worried about the sensitivity of the content in there, the data that feeds the cards is actually metadata for those metrics, and all customer data with any potentially sensitive content is held securely away from the metadata content.

Community Edition FTW!

CloudPhysics strongly embraces the IT community in many ways, and one of the ways this happens is that you can run CloudPhysics in your environment for free using the Community Edition.

editions

This is often called the freemium model because you can run the product, and then you can unlock the features as you desire. CloudPhysics is product delivery done right in my opinion because of their recognition that letting you use the product will give you the opportunity to choose your level of commitment once you see the value. This is my kind of product!

Removing the guesswork from data center performance

Using the Deck, you will see exactly how your data center is performing both internally, and up against the average deployments that are out in the wild as well.

One thing I’ll touch on before I go here is the really cool advanced feature: HA Simulator. Using the HA Simulator, you can apply a “what if?” scenario against your actual data center configuration (based on the current utilization and historical metrics) and it will predict the outcome of making changes to your HA topology. This lets you analyze potential performance challenges you may have if you make hardware changes in your HA environment.

Find out more and give it a try!

Start out by following the CloudPhysics on Twitter (@CloudPhysics), then read up on the product at http://www.cloudphysics.com and be sure to take the 30-day trial to see how CloudPhysics can help you see the big picture!

 

DISCLOSURE: Travel and expenses for Tech Field Day – Virtualization Field Day 3 were provided by the Tech Field Day organization. No compensation was received for attending the event. All content provided in my posts is of my own opinion based on independent research and information gathered during the sessions.

 




What to expect during Virtualization Field Day 3

It’s a countdown of just over a week until the Tech Field Day – Virtualization Field Day 3 event that I will be attending as a delegate. Following in the footsteps of some powerful minds in virtualization and technology, I will be doing my best to bring all of my readers a first person view of the event and I hope to make this a fun and informative event for all involved.

Hosting Vendors of VFD3

This event has a strong field of presenting vendors as you can see from the even t page:

sponsors

The schedule of the presentations will be updated shortly before the event so that you can see the calendar of sessions and you can even add it to your own calendar so you know exactly who is on during each session for extra convenience.

These session are extremely great because of the technical depth they can reach to. Each presenting vendor will be diving into their product with our delegates giving them a good mental workout with some deep questions to fully explore the products and how they fit against others in the industry, and how they can be great for any particular organization.

Delegates of VFD3

There is a great group of delegates attending this event, so I would encourage you to take a look at them from the list below, and if you don’t already follow them on Twitter, now is a great time to do so!

The Tech Field Day profile pages will provide Twitter and Blog links for the delegates so you can see all of the great stuff coming out of the event as it unfolds.

Making Tech Field Day fully interactive

One of the fantastic features of Tech Field Day events is that they are live streamed from the site (http://www.TechFieldDay.com) so not only can you follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #VFD3, but you can see the live activity while it is happening!

In fact, you can post questions yourself along the way also by Tweeting me (http://twitter.com/DiscoPosse) and I will present your questions to the vendors right from the delegate table.

Let’s treat this as our collective session and share in the opportunity together! Looking forward to the event and I encourage your questions as we go 🙂

Live Tweeting and Summary Blogs

With all the information coming from the presentations, I will be live Tweeting during the presentations and I hope to have a summary blog for the event days as we go. Given the intensity of the event and the volume of information, I will be playing it by ear as to when I post the summary. Rest assured that the info will be captured through the event day and as you will see from the times we are Tweeting, there is little rest time, but that is what makes the event so powerful and effective.

It’s going to feel a little like this:

drink_from_the_firehose

As the videos are posted I will be sure to include embedded links for them so you may find that the blog posts are rather organic and adaptive during the event week.

Thanks go as always to Stephen Foskett and Tom Hollingsworth for their extensive effort to prepare the event and it is going to be a great time for all of us!




Toronto August 13th VMUG Event Recap: Ravello, CloudPhysics, Log Insight and awesomeness!

It was a Startup kind of day today at the Toronto VMUG with some really amazing content. Today was my first day as an official VMUG co-leader so it was extra special!

The docket was full today with Ravello Systems kicking things off, helped out by Kyle Bassett (@KyleBassett) of www.archestration.ca and Geert Jansen (@GeertJ_) from Ravello to discuss and demo their very exciting technology. Second up was Irfan Ahmad (@virtualirfan) from Cloud Physics who actually got to celebrate the GA release of their product which happened this morning during our session. Finally we had Mike Bujara of VMware to present the vCenter Log Insight Manager which is all kinds of awesome for root cause analysis among many other things, for your VMware environment.

Ravello Systems

ravello_systems_logo

Some really cool things are happening inside the Ravello Systems camp and you will definitely want to be watching this company and this technology as we continue down the road with next generation virtualization and cloud deployment.

In a world of multi-hypervisor challenges, this is an exciting product that has the chance to level the deployment playing field a bit by providing HVX, a nested hypervisor which allows you to use a single encapsulated machine that can be deployed to Amazon, Rackspace, HP Cloud and VMware with a single deployment recipe, which is referred to as a blueprint.

yodawg-ravello

The Ravello ecosystem gives us a way to package our single or multi-server applications with their easy-to-use drag and drop UI. With everything from VM selection to virtual networking, this tool covers all bases.

Even better than just providing a GUI to manage existing public/private networks, the Ravello HVX also provides an overlay network that allows you to use the same IP mappings in your virtual app environment regardless of the public facing IP or the underlying network layout. How cool is that?!

Image courtesy of http://www.ravellosystems.com/technology

Image courtesy of http://www.ravellosystems.com/technology

You can view the demo of the product on the Ravello Systems YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/ravellosystems where you will find the video as I’ve embedded here:

The product is in beta, but on the cusp of a full GA release in the next day or so, you can still contact Ravello Systems through their site and get connected for a trial of the software.

CloudPhysics

cloud-physics-logIt’s 11:00 PM, do you know the state of your VMware Virtual Infrastructure? CloudPhysics does! This product has been in beta for approximately a year, with the last months being a public beta. We were even more excited to find out that the product went to GA release this morning with rave reviews across the board.

Using an on-premise virtual appliance, the CloudPhysics engine uploads statistics (currently 20 Trillion data points in their collection!) and then through the web site, you add cards to your deck with the information that you want to see as it is updating live.

Custom cards can be created, and there is even a card challenge to create the top new cards for public use. This is just the kind of community driven heat that is behind this exciting company.

cloudphysics-contest

Not only is it a great product, but in the true community style, it is available as a FREE community edition! There are subscription models for additional features, but there is no reason for you not to run this product in my opinion because you will find some incredible value from the targeted analytics being provided through the CloudPhysics cards.

cloudphysics-pricing

So get on over to http://www.cloudphysics.com and download the OVF file to deploy your CloudPhysics observer and once you deploy, you will be up in minutes and the journey to deeper understanding of your virtualized environment begins!

vCenter Log Insight

Mike Bujara always brings his A-game, and it was a perfect way to round out the event with a great summary of the vCenter Log Insight Manager.

vcenter-log-insight

This tool is built with true end-to-end analysis of environmental logs in mind. When an issue comes up, we are often doing root cause analysis by peeling through logs in multiple locations and products to track what correlating issues could have been involved.

Enter vCenter Log Insight Manager which does all of the heavy lifting for you. We are now able to aggregate the log information from our VMware environment, and from numerous other systems. This is a great step towards faster problem resolution and a more full-featured way to render our root cause analysis for any issues that happened.

Thank you!

Thanks to all of the VMUG attendees, and to our great sponsors and speakers for making this another great Toronto VMUG event!