Being that we’re at the start of a new year and all, I thought I’d launch the 2011 newsletter by sharing predictions from a variety of network and systems management vendor executives.
Many, of course, have high expectations regarding the continued maturity of virtualization and cloud computing within the enterprise and, along with that, a better understanding of the management challenges and how to go about addressing those effectively. Srinivas Ramanathan, CEO of performance monitoring company eG Innovations, for example, says the key factor determining the success of these technologies will be the total cost of ownership (TCO).
“The lower the TCO, the greater the chance of adoption. By proactively alerting administrators to problems, pointing to bottleneck areas and suggesting means of optimizing the infrastructure, management technologies will play a central role in ensuring that these technologies are successful,” he writes.
Here is an edited version of Ramanathan’s 2011 predictions:
- As enterprises focus on getting the maximum out of their existing virtualization investments, they’ll look to increase VM density on physical servers. In order to do so, administrators will need to understand the workload on each VM and which workloads are complementary (e.g., memory-intensive vs. CPU-intensive), so IT can mix and match VMs with different workloads to maximize usage of the physical servers. Management tools will provide the metrics that will form the basis for such optimizations.
- Multiple virtualization platforms in an organization will become a reality, with enterprises hosting the most critical applications on virtualization platforms with the best reliability and scalability and less critical applications on lower-cost platforms. Enterprises will look for management tools that can support all of these virtualization platforms from a single console.
- As key applications move to virtual infrastructures, enterprises will realize that configuration issues or other problems in the virtual infrastructure also can affect the performance of business services running throughout the infrastructure. Enterprise service desks will need management systems that can correlate the performance of business services with that of the virtual infrastructure and help them quickly translate a service performance problem into an actionable event at the operational layer.
- Enterprises will realize that desktop virtualization is very different from server virtualization, and that management tools for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) need to be tailored to its unique challenges. Having the right management solution in place will provide VDI administrators visibility into every tier of the infrastructure, thereby allowing them to determine why a performance slowdown is happening and how they can re-engineer the infrastructure for optimal performance.
- Cloud computing will gain momentum, with internal enterprise IT teams continuing work on public clouds and ultimately evolving to hybrid cloud models. Monitoring and management technologies will need to evolve to manage business services that span one or more cloud providers, where the service owner will not have complete visibility into the cloud infrastructure that their service is using. (See also: 2011 tech priorities: Private cloud beckons)
- Enterprises will move toward greater automation. For all the talk about automation, very few production environments make extensive use of this powerful functionality. For cloud providers, automation will be a must as they seek to make their environments agile. Dynamic provisioning, automated load balancing and on-demand power on/power off of VMs based on user workloads will all start to happen in the data center.
- Do more with less will continue to be the paradigm driving IT operations. Administrators will look for tools that can save them at least a few hours of toil each day through proactive monitoring, accurate root-cause diagnosis and pinpointing of bottleneck areas. Cost will be an important criterion for tool selection and, as hardware becomes cheaper, management tool vendors will be forced away from pricing per CPU, core, socket or per-application managed.
- Enterprises will continue to look to consolidate monitoring tools. Tools that can span the physical and virtual worlds, offer active and passive monitoring capabilities, and support performance and configuration management will be in high demand. Consolidation of monitoring tools will result in tangible operational savings and actually work better than a larger number of dedicated element managers.
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