Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Virtualization Management - Only Part of the Consolidation Picture

Last week, I posted about VMware’s move toward becoming one of the major infrastructure management vendors.

Since then, there has been much dialog about virtualization and the vendors that provide management consoles for virtual servers and their physical counterparts. responded that it’s not a big leap for VMware to add support for 3rd party hypervisors.
Microsoft discussed their virtualization management offering in their blog.
Denise Dubie at Network World had a recent post about some new analytics capabilities that vendors are adding to their virtual management offerings.

What seems to be missing from all these discussions is how managing virtual servers is only a part of a comprehensive infrastructure management solution.

Here’s what I have been hearing (loud and clear) from our customers.

  • Infrastructure management needs to start with the end-user experience. The line of business managers to whom IT is accountable do not care about server performance or other IT metrics. They care about the availability of their business services. Any management solution must have a way to monitor service level agreements on this basis.

  • Virtualization is not an IT strategy on its own. It is generally part of broader data center consolidation initiative - an opportunity to reduce hardware, energy, and server management costs. All while improving the overall quality of service. So, talking about virtualization without the impact on the end user is just another IT-driven initiative (albeit one with potentially large and measurable cost savings).

  • Managing physical and virtual servers through a single set of instrumentation is the right approach (everyone seems to get this now). But, a comprehensive data center consolidation project needs to manage storage, networks, applications, and application component events through a single consolidated operations bridge.

Evaluate any infrastructure management vendor based on whether they can do all these things. Don’t just rely on a demo. Ask to speak to some customers running such a solution in production. Finally, have them create a proof of concept on your data.

Then, let’s talk about which vendors can manage heterogeneous environments.

For Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel

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