SIOS: Essential for Mission-Critical VMware Environments

jason-96Guest Blog: Jason Bloomberg, Intellyx

Virtualization has unquestionably become a critical and ubiquitous feature of the enterprise operational environment, and VMware clearly predominates. Enterprises rely upon their VMware technology to support mission-critical infrastructure, including the systems of record that run the business.

Avoiding VMware-related performance issues – especially when such issues may lead to downtime – has thus become a mission-critical priority. And yet, finding the root cause of application performance issues in VMware vSphere environments can be difficult and costly.

The interrelated nature of infrastructure and applications – particularly for systems of record like Microsoft SQL Server – can obscure the root cause of performance issues. As a result, SQL database administrators, VMware infrastructure managers, network managers and perhaps other domain experts have to collaborate to find the real cause and devise a solution.

Implementing a solution in such complex, distributed VMware installations, however, is itself difficult to achieve in practice. Such solutions often take an expert – but such experts can be hard to find, and many shops find themselves making do with less skilled VMware professionals.

In other cases, VMware shops turn to third-party consultants for the proper configuration. Even assuming the consultants do their job properly, once they hand over the environment to their customer then maintaining it once again requires skills that may be in scant supply.

For today’s enterprises that depend upon VMware, however, there are rarely any viable alternatives. Their environments continue to grow in size and complexity, and their businesses increasingly depend upon them as the mission-critical infrastructure they are.

SIOS: Addressing VMware Complexity

This growth in complexity combined with scarce expert VMware skills is the challenge that SIOS addresses with their SIOS iQ product. SIOS fills this gap in the existing VMware management tools used to address infrastructure problems in complex, dynamic virtualized environments.

SIOS continues to enhance the capabilities of SIOS iQ since launching the product in 2015, helping its customers understand complex IT operations and resolve issues in dynamic VMware environments.

SIOS focuses on the needs of IT Operations Managers and application administrators to address the root causes of performance problems, identify underused resources, and optimize configurations to help them get the most value from their virtualized environment.

SIOS was among the first in the industry to integrate machine learning into its infrastructure analytics as well as deep database performance analytics. It uses advanced machine learning to eliminate false positives and alert storms, thus providing customers with the information they need in an easy to use, graphical interface.

SIOS iQ can also provide instantaneous root cause analytics and recommendations with deep database performance monitoring and optimization. In essence, SIOS iQ is a system that is able to learn about an organization’s virtual infrastructure and how it operates on a day-to-day basis. It can identify anomalies before they become serious issues, thus the chance of false alarms without human intervention.

New Capabilities from SIOS iQ

SIOS is now announcing additional capabilities for predicting and forecasting performance and capacity utilization in complex VMware environments. In addition, SIOS iQ users can now more clearly define Microsoft SQL Server application-specific root causes of performance issues by leveraging SQL Sentry Performance Advisor.

SIOS iQ supports the integration and correlation of Performance Advisor’s custom and standard events out of the box. As a result, users can immediately know where a problem started and whether it is infrastructure or application-specific. Instead of spending time gathering and reviewing data or arguing between departments, users can now directly take action to correct the problem before it becomes critical.

SQL Server is among the most popular databases that run on the VMware platform, explaining why SIOS leveraged its partnership with SQL Sentry to implement SQL Server-specific performance analysis. In addition, SIOS is planning on supporting a variety of systems of record, as the diagram below illustrates.

SIOS iQ Application-Specific Performance Monitoring and Root Cause Analysis (Source: SIOS)

The new capabilities from SIOS iQ directly correlate observed performance anomalies with intelligent performance-related events from deep within the SQL Server platform. It is now possible to link from a SQL performance alert within SIOS iQ to SQL Sentry in context.

Furthermore, SQL Sentry users can create their own events with description and appropriate tags for correlation with SIOS iQ, thus correlating events from the applications down to the infrastructure.

In addition to its newly added support for SQL Server, SIOS iQ also filters for selective analysis across vSphere Clusters. SIOS iQ shows the environment by each cluster, enabling users to select which cluster to view in the SIOS Dashboard. As a result, they can observe all environments together or isolate the view to individual cluster – even to specific events taking place within the cluster.

The Intellyx Take

The more complex the VMware environment, the more important it becomes to have a platform like SIOS iQ in place – and many of today’s enterprise VMware deployments are extraordinarily complex.

The fact that many enterprise systems of record now run on VMware environments ups the stakes for VMware performance. Systems of record are mission critical – and as organizations become increasingly software-driven, digitally transformed enterprises, this mission criticality only becomes more central to the viability of the business itself.

Complexity, however, is the enemy of mission criticality. Whether it be gaps in high availability, misconfigured VM instances, or other issues with capacity, performance, or availability, the list of things that can go wrong continues to explode. And as is particularly true in virtualized operational environments, what can go wrong eventually will.

With SIOS iQ, SIOS is bringing together all the elements that make up a monitoring and root cause analysis platform that modern enterprises with such complex, important VMware investments require. And in spite of the challenges with VMware’s complexity, it’s not going anywhere any time soon – and neither is SIOS.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. SIOS is an Intellyx client. At the time of writing, none of the other organizations mentioned in this paper are Intellyx clients. Intellyx retains full editorial control over the content of this paper.

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