Infrastructure Management Software Blog

OH, IL, WI, IN, MI Operations Center Technical Roadshow - April 20th to April 29th - Don't miss it!

Ever wish you could talk face-to-face with more technical people about Operations Center and Network Management Center products? Don’t really have the time or budget to travel very far to do so?  Well, here is a great opportunity to meet and talk with technical experts on products like Operations Manager and NNMi – right in your background.


Vivit will be hosting a series of six (6) one-day sessions, where there will be a nice mix between presentations and Q&A sessions around these products.  The sessions will be held in the following states on the following days:


- (Columbus) Ohio – April 20, 2010


- (Orrville) Ohio – April 21, 2010


- (Dearborn) Michigan – April 22, 2010


- Wisconsin – April 27, 2010


- (Chicago) Illinois – April 28, 2010


 - (Fishers) Indiana – April 29, 2010


Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about this roadshow at asksonja@hp.com.

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Capacity Planning: A long dead mystical art

.... well, maybe not.


Back in the mid-80s and early 90s I made my living doing performance analysis and capacity planning for HP customers.


The roots of capacity planning as a discipline come from the mainframe days where enormously expensive hardware that hosted multiple applications, all competing for the resources, made it essential to be able to plan for new workloads or hardware changes.


Even with the HP mini-computers which I worked with, when someone was considering spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an upgrade, it was realistic to invest in a few days of consulting. We would build a model of the applications and the hardware and do some serious "what if" analysis to determine what configuration was actually required to do the job.


But times change. Hardware prices dropped significantly - particularly with the introduction of Intel based "industry standard servers". Increasingly applications were deployed in distributed configurations with one application per server.


The capacity planning problem became much 'simpler'. With one application per server - so no issues with applications interacting with each other - and cheap hardware, capacity planning took a back seat to the "throw hardware at it" approach. It became cheaper to add a CPU or more memory and see what happened, than it was to conduct a capacity planning exercise.


What goes around comes around. I'm seeing a couple of things happening which are changing attitudes towards performance management and capacity planning.


First is that most organizations are trying "do more with what they have". There is an awareness that there is likely to be spare capacity somewhere in the environment - it's just a matter of finding it. So we're seeing a lot more demand for enterprise wide performance data collection and reporting. It's worth spending a little money and some time in understanding what server and network resources you have available. It's also the type of diligence that CxOs are expecting in the current economic climate - they expect staff to have exhausted all reasonable options before asking to purchase additional assets.


The second item is the return of the mainframe. I mean that figuratively of course, but large Virtual Server hosts are "the new mainframe". The hardware costs can be substantial as organizations provision powerful, resilient platforms to host multiple virtual machines. And the challenge of having multiple workloads competing for resources is back. In this case each workload is a VM. Organizations want to make optimum use of these expensive VM hosts resources, but they also want to ensure that service levels are maintained when combining VMs. And that requires good performance data collectors that can collect data to support capacity planning from virtualized platforms.
 
I have seen a number of customer requests recently where tools to support capacity planning activities - across enterprises and within virtualized environments - have been front and center.
 
Looks like the mystical art has risen from its grave.


For Operations Center, Jon Haworth

VMware: the Next Infrastructure Management Behemoth?

I read an interesting blog post on virtualization.info that discussed how “VMware is becoming an infrastructure management company.” It walks through all their recent acquisitions and how these may point to a long-term goal of a much larger market presence. This, combined with overall market trends (a customer I spoke to yesterday said their goal is 90%+ virtualization) could lead them to a very different position (mainstream rather than niche) in the infrastructure management market.


Our approach to virtualization is to treat virtual servers the same as physical ones. Our customers can use the exact same instrumentation to monitor the performance and availability of virtual and physical servers. HP’s infrastructure management software can manage any hypervisor (VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, etc.), any brand of hardware (HP and our competitors), and every major business application. Our customers can perform problem isolation and diagnostics across all these elements, which we tie together using a universal configuration management database (UCMDB).


We’ll see where all this goes. We certainly live in interesting times. What do you think VMware is up to?


For Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel



 

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