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VMware Targets App Performance, Cost Management

Talk about the future of virtualization and the conversation inevitably comes around to management -- as in, "How the heck am I going to manage all these virtual machines as I scale out? How am I going to optimize performance and? How am I going to manage costs?"

Bit by bit, the hypervisor vendors are coughing up the products that make answering these questions much easier, if not stop the asking all together. VMware's vCenter AppSpeed and vCenter Chargeback are the two latest examples, introduced early last week.

Like its name suggests, AppSpeed is all about keeping those applications flying across the virtual infrastructure. It does this by enabling proactive management for multitier apps running in VMs. With the tool, IT managers get to see how the application is performing, view usage statistics and map dependencies -- across physical and virtual servers.

One cool use for AppSpeed is doing side-by-side comparisons of application performance in the physical vs. virtual environment, says Melinda Wilken, senior director of product marketing for vCenter. Take the baseline performance on the physical infrastructure, P2V to the virtual, and sit down with business managers to compare the differences, she says.

I'd have to agree. Being able to show a business manager that performance on his must-have application will not suffer in a move to those nebulous VMs could prove pretty powerful. We all need assurances in today's crazed business world, after all!

The same idea applies to vCenter Chargeback. If you can show a business manager performance improvement, then you can charge a premium for running the application on Tier 1 infrastructure, for example. (Likewise, the business manager could opt not to go a step down, paying less.) Either way, the idea of being able to view how resources are consumed and their associated costs is exciting for many users.

One of them is Tucson Electric Power. "From an infrastructure standpoint, we could really use something for costing out resource utilization by service or application," said Chris Rima, supervisor of the utility's infrastructure systems team, in a recent interview.

With Chargeback, IT managers can allocate and report on costs associated with the use of the virtual servers and map costs to datacenter resources to optimize IT-business alignment, Wilken says.

Both tools are available immediately, as is vCenter Lab Manager 4, a management product for text/dev environments also announced last week.

vCenter AppSpeed costs $1,250 per CPU, vCenter Chargeback $750 per CPU and Lab Manager 4 $1,495 per CPU.

Posted by Beth Schultz on 07/14/2009 at 12:49 PM


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