Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Virtualization Management white paper

I just got back from an exciting week at VMworld. Many of my discussions in the booth focused around managing virtual environments, using some combination of vCenter, HP System Insight Manager, and HP Operations Manager with our Virtualization Smart Plug-In. Simplicity was a common theme as customers wanted a single console to manage as much of their infrastructure as possible- physical and virtual, servers, storage, and networks. We have a white paper that discusses converged monitoring, along with related topics.

Leveraging virtualization benefits - don't forget the most important part!

All too often, all thought and energy around maximizing virtualization benefits is spent on design and implementation.  This article discusses what is often an afterthought in leveraging the most from your virtualized environment.

Visit HP at VMworld. See how we manage virtualization to reduce cost and complexity.

I’m excited about the upcoming VMworld conference that takes place from August 30- September 2 at Moscone Center in San Francisco. HP is a platinum sponsor; our booth is 1008. 

For management software, we have three software demo pods and five theater presentations during the event. HP also has a keynote session and several breakout sessions.

Virtualization and IT Transparency (podcast)

This post includes the last of my recordings from VMworld.
- Peter

Since so many of the sessions focused on capacity planning and its importance in both gaining executive sponsorship up front and in ensuring smooth implementation, I thought it would be appropriate to share information about a product from one of our partners that helps people migrate from physical to virtual environments.

The latest version of Hyperformix Capacity Manager focuses on virtualization. It supports a variety of hypervisors, making it suitable for heterogeneous environments - which is also where HP Operations Manager excels. In addition to enhancements related to virtualization, it also includes functionality around IT transparency to ensure that IT meets the needs of the business. Application owners often express concern about how their applications will perform in a virtualized environment.

You can read about the Hyperformix Capacity Manager 5.0 release here.

Or, listen to Rob Carruthers, Director of Product Marketing for Hyperformix, discuss its importance in this podcast.


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.


Virtualization and capacity management (podcast)

At VMworld last week, I spent some time with my marketing counterpart at Hyperformix, Rob Carruthers. We discussed why capacity management is so important for virtualization.

In this podcast (3:13), Rob discusses:

  • What is capacity management?

  • How does it relate to virtualization?

  • How does performance relate to costs savings?

  • How a company integrated two IT environments after an acquisition?


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

Analysis of HP announcement at VMworld (podcast)

At VMworld, HP announced its virtualization smart plug-in (SPI) for Operations Center. For companies using Operations Manager as the consolidated event and performance management console, this allows them to see events from VMware Virtual Center in the Operations Manager console.

The implications of the “Virtualization SPI” for business operations are significant. This means operators can manage all events, from both the physical and virtual infrastructure, through a single Operations Bridge. The virtualization team can focus on planning and strategy, leaving the tier 1 operators to manage events.

Dennis Corning, product marketing manager for virtualization, comments on the announcement in this podcast, which I recorded at VMworld.

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

VMworld Day 3 - Planning your virtualization journey

VMware hosted a session about how to plan for your migration to a virtualized environment. It was a hands on session in which each person had access to a PC (sadly not made by HP) to go through the exercises. It turns out they provided a handy template in which you input your organization’s priorities, business service environment, and key constituencies. The end result is a nice report (somewhat generic, but customized based on your input) that you can take to management.

Here is the link they provided during the session.

Try it out and read through the examples. There is lots of great information about the business drivers for virtualization and the key success factors for implementation.

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

VMworld - Day 2: Vision for virtualization aware IT management (podcast)

Podcast added on 9/16/09

Shay Mowlem, Director of Virtualization for HP Software, presented on his “Vision for virtualization aware IT management.” During his talk, he made the case that Virtualization goes beyond the surface objective of server consolidation. The real promise of virtualization is to create a dynamic environment in which IT can assemble systems and services around business use cases. In short, virtualization allows IT to be more responsive.

Shay presented a vision in which the IT infrastructure scales based on granular usage patterns, which of course change with the needs of the business. While virtualization resolves some of the hardware issues, it introduces some new management challenges. There is much more complexity with the additional virtualization layers, which means more moving parts in any business service.

So, management means creating a consolidated view of service elements and standardizing on common management platform. In such a dynamic environment, automation is essential. In fact, Shay stated that virtualization is the biggest driver for automation he has ever seen.

He presented an integrated approach for virtualized service management.

  1. identify vulnerability

  2. isolate root cause

  3. identify required changes

  4. submit change request

  5. implement changs

  6. verification and compliance

Having an integrated view of events and performance, physical and virtual, is critical.

Software license governance becomes an even bigger issue with virtualization. It was a problem before, but now with virtual machines, it is even more challenging.

Podcast of Shay Mowlem discussing the impact of virtualization on IT operations.

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

VMworld - Day 2: Virtualization is about NOT building a new $100M data center

I attended a great session at VMworld called “Conquering cost and complexity in virtualized environments”. It was a panel discussion moderated by Mark Linesh, VP at HP. The key speakers were Michelle Bailey, VP at IDC, and Rob Taylor EDS (an HP company).

Michelle ran thorough some statistics related to trends in virtualization. Here are some highlights:

  • Spending on new servers has been flat since 1996.

  • The number of installed servers has increased from 5 million in 1996 to 35 million in 2009.

  • The number of physical servers is predicted to flatten due to virtualization.

The admin cost, however, is expected to increase. This cost grows with the number of servers, both physical and virtual. The “hidden cost of IT” is the number of system administrators. This is why the cost of people is the largest cost in the data center.

Power and cooling costs also scale with number of servers. Where this was a rounding error back in 1996, these costs are becoming very significant today.

Organizations need a new set of economics around the datacenter. Virtualization is the answer!

Virtualization helps contain the number of new physical systems coming into data center. In fact, the number of virtual servers is exploding. Administrators still need to address the management costs of patching and maintenance on virtual as well as physical servers. Automation will address this problem.

The application workload relies on servers, storage, and network.

IT management cost is still 70% maintenance and 30% innovation. (Here’s that ratio again.) Companies need to flip that ratio.

2009 is the tipping point in which the number of virtual servers will match number of physical servers. This will require a fundamental shift in the way people manage their infrastructure.

Virtualization has solved the CapEx problem. It has not yet addressed the OpEx problem.

Virtualization also introduces some interesting dynamics regarding long-time IT processes, for example, server provisioning. Some shops can set up a new virtual machine in 20 minutes. Imagine the organizational impact if their user base knew this and called in expecting such a fast turn-around time for all requests. So, this company still makes their constituents wait 3-5 weeks to prevent them from asking for a new machine every 20 minutes. In essence, they keep the same business processes in place as before. More progressive companies may want to take a different approach. But one key lesson is that standardization and discipline are critical for managing sprawling IT environments.

The panel discussion closed with the following summary:
Virtualization is about avoiding or delaying building a new $100M data center.

Follow the action at VMworld on Twitter at #HPVMW.

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

VMworld - Day 1: Ann Livermore announces Virtualization SPI

The first main day of the VMworld show was great. Over 10,000 people filled Moscone center to learn about how the hottest trend in IT can help them reduce their operating expenses and improve the quality of service. (Follow us at the show on Twitter #hpvmw)

In the main keynote, Paul Maritz, President and CEO of VMware reiterated the statistic we often hear in our conversations with customers and analysts. “70% of IT budgets are spent on keeping the lights on.” He reminded the crowd that IT needs to focus on delivering more business value. In this economy that is more important than ever.

In the next keynote, Ann Livermore, Executive Vice President, Technology Solutions Group, mentioned the new virtualization SPI (Smart Plug-In). Readers of this blog will know that SPIs supplement our agents in collecting data, performing some autonomous management based on policies, and sending alerts to the Operations Manager console. The virtualization SPI supplements the agent on collecting virtualization-specific metrics on both host and guest systems. This provides a single management console, freeing the virtualization administrator to work on more strategic matters than managing a separate event console for the virtual environment.

Concurrently with Ann Livermore’s address, HP issued a press release on our new virtualization offerings. My colleague, Michael Procopio summarized it on the Business Service Management Blog.

The theme of “convergence” is pervasive at the show. Just as virtualization spans servers, storage, and networks, the management software must also span these domains on both physical and virtual devices. Deploying Operations Manager allows organizations to have a single event console, saving money on licensing, training and maintenance costs. Even more important, it improves service quality by providing a single location for all events, speeding time to problem resolution and eliminating confusion about which events are symptoms and which is the true causal event.

Stop by and let’s chat in HP’s booth #2023 .

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

VMworld - Day 0: Partner community

I attended the opening partner session at VMworld yesterday. Thousands of partners packed the conference room to hear several VMware executives discuss market dynamics for virtualization, how their product strategy addresses those needs, and how the partner community plays a huge role in their success as a company.

The presentations combined rich content, a deep understanding of customer needs and market trends, along with some tech humor mixed in. Based on what I heard, HP is aligned with VMware to meet the rapidly changing market conditions. Our show strategy certainly supports this.

HP is presenting 10 sessions at VMworld, ranging from keynotes to breakouts to technical workshops.

There are several demo pods at the show where you can view HP’s virtualization solutions, which span servers, storage, networking, and management software.

In addition, there are many chances to win prizes by visiting the booth. If you view five demos, you receive a $5 Starbucks gift card. You can also win an HP Netbook computer or a $2000 American Express gift card. Details at the booth.

See you there.

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps

Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

VMworld preview - must see sessions by HP executives

HP is a Platinum Sponsor of VMworld, which starts Monday August 31, 2009 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

We have three exciting things going on at the show. In addition, you can follow all the HP action on Twitter by doing a Twitter search on our hashtag #hpvmw.

1. Visit us at booth 2023 to see our exciting demos, featuring software and hardware solutions that help you reduce the cost of managing and monitoring virtual services. We will be demoing portions of HP’s broad IT Management portfolio for Virtualized environments with a focus on the key announcements made during the week.

2. Attend the Super Session on Tuesday at 10:30am featuring Ann Livermore and several other HP executives who will discuss “Stop Virtualizing Servers, Start Virtualizing Infrastructure”. (Full abstract below.)

3. Attend the Breakout Session on Wednesday at 1:30pm where Shay Mowlem, Director, Virtualization Strategy for HP Software will present on “Vision for virtualization-aware IT Management”. (Full abstract below.)


Super Session
Ann Livermore Executive Vice President, Technology Solutions Group - HP,  Mark Potter Senior Vice President and General Manager, Infrastructure Software and Blades - HP, and Rob Rasmussen Vice President and General Manager, Applications Services - EDS an HP Company will be presenting “Stop Virtualizing Servers, Start Virtualizing Infrastructure”  on Tuesday at 10:30am

Abstract:  By the end of this year, virtual servers will outnumber physical servers for the first time in history.  Is your data center ready?  In this session, HP Executive Vice President, Ann Livermore will demonstrate HP’s vision for data center transformation that will reunite and optimize your infrastructure across network, storage, servers, and facilities.  HP will reveal new innovations to build a path to the private cloud that not only deliver results now, but also empower your business to be ready for what is next. 

In this session, you will also see a demonstration of a virtual infrastructure that spans from desktop to data center.  The demonstration will emphasize the need for deep integration between VMware and your virtualized infrastructure.  Senior Vice Presidents Mark Potter of Infrastructure Software and Blades and Robb Rasmussen from EDS, an HP company, will spotlight how HP has helped thousands of customers get more from virtual servers to improve agility, lower costs, and raise productivity.

Breakout session
Shay Mowlem, Director, Virtualization Strategy for HP Software will be presenting “Vision for virtualization-aware IT Management” on Wednesday at 1:30pm.

Abstract:  Virtualization delivers major benefits to your business by accelerating IT process like never before and freeing you to focus on strategic initiatives rather than the manual management of systems.  At the same time, getting this right requires the right processes and solutions to help avoid issues like virtual machine sprawl, siloed visibility, and management headaches that diminish ROI.  In this session, we will examine how you can maximize IT operations efficiency, manage virtual and physical assets through consolidated processes and tools, and ensure ongoing performance and availability.

For HP Operations Center and Virtualization Solutions, Dennis Corning.

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