Tag Archives: VMware

Part 1: AI is All About the Data: The Shift from Computer Science to Data Science

This is the first post in a two-part series. Part 2 is available here. We are highlighting the shifting roles of IT as artificial intelligence (AI) driven data science evolves.

You may think that the words “artificial intelligence” or “machine learning”  sound like trendy buzzwords. In reality, much of the hype about this technology is true. Unlike past periods of excitement over artificial intelligence, today’s interest is no longer an academic exercise. Now, IT has a real-world need for faster solutions to problems that are too complex for humans alone. With virtualization, IT teams gain access to a huge variety and volume of real-time machine data. They want to use to understand and solve the issues in their IT operations environments. What’s more, businesses are seeing the value in dedicating budget and resources to leverage artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning, and deep learning. They are using this powerful technology to analyze this data to increase efficiency and performance.

Data Science to the Rescue artificial intelligence and machine learning in virtual infrastructures

The complexity of managing virtual IT environments is stressing out traditional IT departments. However, IT pros are discovering that the solution lies in the data and in the artificial intelligence-based tools that can leverage it. Most are in the process of understanding how powerful data is in making decisions about configuring, optimizing, and troubleshooting virtual environments. Early stage virtualization environments were monitored and managed in the same way physical server environments were.  That is, IT pros operated in discrete silos (network, storage, infrastructure, application). They used multiple threshold- based tools to monitor and manage them focusing on individual metrics – CPU utilization, memory utilization, network latency, etc. When a metric exceeds a preset threshold, these tools create alerts – often thousands of alerts for a single issue.

If you compare a computer science approach to a data science (AI) approach, several observations become clear. IT based the traditional approach on computer science principles that they have used for the last 20 years. This threshold-based approach originated in relatively static, low-volume physical server environments. IT staff analyze individual alerts to determine what caused the problem, how critical it is, and how to fix it. However, unlike physical server environments, components in virtual environments are highly interdependent and constantly changing. Given the enormous growth of virtualized systems, IT pros cannot make informed decisions by analyzing alerts from a single silo at a time.

Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning

To get accurate answers to key questions in large virtualized environments, IT teams need an artificial intelligence -based analytics solution. They need a solution capable of simultaneously considering all of the data arising from across the IT infrastructure silos and applications. In virtual environments, components share IT resources and interact with one another in subtle ways. You need a solution that understands these interactions and the changing patterns of their behavior over time. It should understand how it changes through a business week and as seasonal changes occur over the course of a year. Most importantly, IT needs AI-driven solutions that do the work for IT. It should identify root causes of issues, recommend solutions, predict future problems, and forecast future capacity needs.

Recorded Webinar Explains How to Eliminate Over Sizing in Virtual Environments without Risking Application Performance

View the Webinar Now: Easy, Risk-Free Ways to Right Size Your VMware Environment

According to experts, virtual environments are over-provisioned by as much as 80%. IT is wasting tens of thousands of dollars a year on hardware, software, and IT time that doesn’t benefit the company. Without an effective way to see across the virtual infrastructure silos and into the interactions between components, IT is blind-sided by performance issues, capacity over-runs, and other unexpected consequence. As more important applications are being moved into virtual environments, the pressure is even greater to deliver uninterrupted high performance and any cost. This limited view into virtual infrastructures is also causing IT to keep unnecessary snapshots, rogue VMDKs, and idle VMs. In this webinar, ActualTech Founder and noted vExpert, David Davis and SIOS’s director of product management, Jim Shocrylas discuss simple solutions to right-sizing virtual environments that are possible with machine learning based analytics.

Join this webinar to learn how machine learning based analytics solutions are delivering the precise, accurate information you need to right size your virtual environment without risking performance or availability.

Watch a demonstration of a machine learning based analytics tool about how to eliminate application performance issues, configure virtual resources for optimal performance and efficiency, and forecast performance requirements.

  • vSphere Admin challenges and solutions
  • Complex relationships and how to identify root cause
  • Identify wasted resources and recouped costs
  • Machine learning and how it can help you
  • What VMs/Apps need SSD caching and what kind
  • Prevent problems before they happen and quickly solve them if they ever do

View the Webinar Now: Easy, Risk-Free Ways to Right Size Your VMware Environment

Understanding The Emerging field of AIOps – Part II

This is the second post in a two-part series highlighting how AIOps is changing IT performance optimization. Part 1 explained the basic principles of AIOps. The original text of this series appeared in an article on Information Management.  Here we look at the business requirements driving the trend to AIOps.

Why do businesses need AIOps?

IT pros move more of their business-critical applications into virtualized environments. As a result, finding the root cause of application performance issues is more complicated than ever.  IT managers have to find problems in a complex web of VM applications, storage devices, network devices and services. These components that are connected in ways IT can’t always understand.

Often, the components a VMware or other virtual environment are interdependent and intertwined. When an IT manager moves a workload or makes a change to one component, they cause problems in several other components without their knowledge. If the components are in different so-called silos (network, infrastructure, application, storage, etc.), IT pros have even more trouble figuring out the actual cause of the problem.

Too Many Tools Required to Find Root Causes of Performance Issues

AIOPs Survey
SIOS AIOPS Survey

The process of correlating IT performance issues to its root cause is  difficult, if not impossible for IT leaders.  According to a recent SIOS report, 78 percent of IT professionals are using multiple tools to identify the cause of application performance issues in VMware. For example, they are using tools such as application monitoring, reporting and infrastructure analytics.

Often, when faced with an issue, IT assembles a team with representatives from each IT silo or area of expertise. Each team member uses his or her own diagnostic tools and looks at the problem their own silo-specific perspective. Next, the team members compare the results of their individual analyses identify common elements. Frequently, this process is highly manual. They look at changes in infrastructure that show up in several analyses in the same time frame. As a result, IT departments are wasting more and more of their budget on manual work and inaccurate trial-and-error inefficiencies.

To solve this problem and reduce wasted time, they are using an AIOPs approach. AIOps applies artificial intelligence (i.e., machine learning, deep learning) to automate problem-solving. The AIOPs trend is an important shift away from traditional threshold-based approaches that measure individual qualities (CPU utilization, latency, etc.) to a more holistic data-driven approach. Therefore, IT managers are using analytics tools to analyze data across the infrastructure silos in real-time. They are using advanced deep learning and machine learning analytics tools that learn the patterns of behavior between interdependent components over time.  As a result, they can automatically identify behaviors between components that may indicate a problem. More importantly, they automatically recommend the specific steps to resolve problems.

What’s Next for AIOps?

Virtual IT environments are creating an enormous volume of data and an unprecedented level of complexity. As a result, IT managers cannot manage these environments effectively with traditional, manual methods. Over the next few years, the IT profession will rapidly move from the traditional computer science approach to a modern “data science” AIOPs approach. For IT teams, this means embracing machine learning-based analytics solutions, and understanding how to use it to solve problems efficiently and effectively. Finally, executives need to work with their IT departments to identify to right AIOps platform for their business.

Read Part 1

Optimize SQL Server Performance and 5 Other Things to Do at VMworld 2016

#1. Experience an Augmented Reality Guided Tour of SIOS iQ Machine Learning Analytics Solution for SQL Server Performance

Root cause of SQL Server performance issues with SIOS iQ machine learning analytics
SIOS iQ machine learning analytics with enhanced reality headset.

Try to improve your SQL Server performance in this fun augmented reality demo. See how you can save money by solving performance issues in one click. Identify wasted virtual resources.  Optimize your VMware application environment.

#2. Attend Breakout Session

SIOS CTO Sergey Razin, Ph.D., and SQL Sentry’s Brian Davis present – Use Cases in Performance Root Cause Resolution for SQL Server. They show you how to use vRealize Operations Manager, SIOS iQ Analytics, and SQL Sentry Performance Advisor. Learn best practices for identifying and resolving application performance issues in SQL Server. Identify SQL Server performance issues using VMware vRealize Operations Manager, characterize infrastructure root causes and recommended solutions with SIOS iQ machine learning analytics solutions, and define application-specific root causes with SQL Sentry Performance Advisor.  9/1/2016 for Use Cases in SQL Server Performance Root Cause Resolution.


#3.  Stop by SIOS Speaking Session in Tegile Booth #2057 to Learn Keys for Implementing Cost-Efficient Storage Accelerationtegile performance

SIOS Director of Field Engineering will be a guest presenter in the
Tegile booth #2057. He will talk about using machine learning analytics for a successful storage acceleration strategy. He will show how to use it to accelerate SQL Server performance.


#4.  Stop by Book Signing with vExpert Michael Corey in SIOS Booth #2361corey book

VMware vExpert and noted author Michael Corey will be in the SIOS booth on August 30 to sign his book Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware: Doing IT Right. The first 10 attendees to arrive at the book signing will receive a free copy. The book is also available in the show bookstore.


#5. Join Guest Presenter: SQL Sentry in SIOS Booth #2361 for Demo of Integration of SIOS iQ and SQL Sentry Performance Advisor

SQL_Sentry

Stop by SIOS Booth #2361 on Monday, August 29 at 2:00 PM-3:00 PM and Tuesday, August 30 at 11:00 AM to noon to see a demonstration by SQL Sentry’s Brian Davis for a live demonstration of integration of SIOS iQ with SQL Sentry Performance Advisor. Learn how this integration bridges a critical gap between IT infrastructure administrators and SQL Server administrators. See how easy it is to find and resolve SQL Server performance issues with SIOS iQ and SQL Sentry.

Yes, You Can Have a SQL Server Cluster in VMware without Raw Device Mapping

As companies look to move SQL Server to VMware environments, they soon face the challenge of how to provide high availability protection. The problem is that Windows Server Failover Clustering requires shared storage, so in VMware environments you need to use Raw Device Mapping to give VMs direct access to the SAN. RDM limits your ability to use important VMware features such as vMotion, snapshots, and Virtual Consolidated Backup.

A simple solution is to add SANLess clustering software, such as SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition, to your WSFC. It uses efficient block level replication to synchronize local storage to appear to WSFC as a shared disk without the need for RDM. You get high availability protection without sacrificing VMware features, flexibility or performance.

I discussed this easy strategy and provided a brief demonstration in a recent webinar:

High Availability for SQL in VMware without Raw Device Mapping (On Demand Recording)

You may also be interested in viewing the following Clustering 101 webinar hosted by Microsoft Cluster MVP, Dave Bermingham:

Clustering 101 Webinar: VMware Guest Based High Availability Clusters – Ways to Protect SQL and Maintain Flexibility
(On Demand Recording)

May 27, 2015: Live Clustering 101 Webinar: Live Q&A – The Human Impact of SQL Server High Availability in Virtual Environments

To provide the high availability (HA) protection your mission critical applications require, your SQL Admins may have to work closely with VM Admins . In this month’s Clustering 101 webcast, Microsoft MVP, Dave Bermingham will answer your questions and provide key insights to help understand the implications of introducing HA to your SQL Server environment for you and your admin professionals.

You can participate before the event by tweeting your questions to @SIOSTech using #Clustering101 and of course bring your own questions and comments.

Register Now

Live Q&A about High Availability in the cloud: Bring Your Questions
Date: April 29, 2014
Time: 10:00a PDT — 1:00pm EDT

About Clustering 101 Series

Clustering 101 is a webinar series hosted by Microsoft MVP, Dave Bermingham focused on addressing the numerous facets of clustering for high availability, data replication and any combination there of. This series will air monthly, the fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:00a PST / 1:00p EST.

About Dave Bermingham

David Bermingham is recognized within the technology community as a high availability expert and has been honored by his peers by being elected to be a Microsoft MVP in clustering since 2010. David’s work as director, technical evangelist at SIOS Technology Corp., has him focused on Microsoft high availability and disaster recovery solutions as well as providing hands on support, training and professional services for cluster implementations. David holds numerous technical certifications and draws from more than twenty years of experience in IT, including work in the finance, healthcare and education fields, to help organizations design solutions to meet their high availability and disaster recovery needs. Learn more at www.us.sios.com

Press Release: SIOS Webinar Reveals Strategies for Helping SQL Server and VM Admins to Jointly Ensure High Availability in VMware Environments

SAN MATEO, CA – May 13, 2015 SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com), maker of SAN and #SANLess clustering software products, today announced a live webinar featuring Microsoft SQL Server MVP and VMware vExpert David Klee that will reveal strategies to ensure moving SQL Server to VM environments does not impact performance.

Titled, “Is HA pitting SQL Database Admins against VM Admins? Keeping the Peace with SANLess clusters,” this webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 19 at 10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT.  To register, please visit:  http://us.sios.com/2015-05-webinar

Moving SQL Server to a VM environment has a very real impact on the IT staff involved. To provide the high availability (HA) protection this mission critical app requires, SQL Admins may have to work closely with VM Admins. If performance suffers, the relationship can quickly become contentious. In this webinar, Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert David Klee will review four common use cases that pit SQL Admins against VM Admins when SQL Server HA is involved. He will also describe a simple way for SQL Server admins to provide HA without the need to involve VMware admins.

About the Speaker

David Klee is a Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert with over 17 years of IT experience. David spends his days handling performance and HA/DR architecture of mission-critical SQL Servers as the Founder of Heraflux Technologies. His areas of expertise are virtualization and performance, datacenter architecture, and risk mitigation through high availability and disaster recovery. You can read his blog at davidklee.net, and reach him on Twitter at @KleeGeek.

About SIOS Technology Corp.

SIOS Technology Corp. makes SAN and #SANLess software solutions that make clusters easy to use and easy to own.An essential part of any cluster solution, SIOS SAN and #SANLess software provides the flexibility to build Clusters Your Way to protect your choice of Windows or Linux environment in any configuration (or combination) of physical, virtual and cloud (public, private, and hybrid) without sacrificing performance or availability. The unique SIOS #SANLess clustering solution allows you to configure clusters with local storage, eliminating both the cost and the single-point-of-failure risk of traditional shared (SAN) storage.

Founded in 1999, SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com) is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and has offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

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SIOS, SIOS Technology, SIOS DataKeeper, SIOS Protection Suite, Clusters Your Way, and associated logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of SIOS Technology Corp. and/or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

Contact:

Beth Winkowski
Winkowski Public Relations, LLC for SIOS
Phone: 978-649-7189
Email: bethwinkowski@us.sios.com

May 19, 2015: Live Webinar: Is HA pitting SQL Database Admins against VM Admins? Keeping the Peace with SANLess clusters.

Moving SQL Server to a VM environment has a very real impact on the IT staff involved. To provide the high availability (HA) protection this mission critical app requires, SQL Admins may have to work closely with VM Admins. If performance suffers, the relationship can quickly become contentious. In this informative webinar, SQL Server MVP and VMware vExpert, David Klee will review four common use cases that pit SQL Admins against VM Admins when SQL Server HA is involved. He will also describe a simple way for SQL Server admins to provide HA without the need to involve VMware admins.

This webinar is interactive so come ready to ask your questions, add your comments, and join the discussion.

Register Now

Date: Tuesday May, 19th 2015
Time: 10:00a / 1:00p (Pacific/Eastern)

About David Klee
David Klee is a Microsoft MVP and VMware vExpert with over seventeen years of IT experience. David spends his days handling performance and HA/DR architecture of mission-critical SQL Servers as the Founder of Heraflux Technologies. His areas of expertise are virtualization and performance, datacenter architecture, and risk mitigation through high availability and disaster recovery. You can read his blog at davidklee.net, and reach him on Twitter at @KleeGeek.

CMS Wire: Can the Cloud Handle Failover from SharePoint and CMS?

A new service that leverages Microsoft’s Azure cloud for large-scale extended storage could enable more, and perhaps smaller, businesses to host their own applications in a hybrid cloud configuration.

SIOS Technology’s DataKeeper Cluster Edition is a service that could compel CIOs to think differently about “the cloud” than just that place where all the Dropbox files hang out together.

Most discussions of cloud storage in the pages of CMSWire are about file repositories, file sharing and document-based collaboration. For some CIOs, “the cloud” is the general name for Dropbox or Google Drive or whatever space all those various shared documents cohabitate.

The Success of Failover

So topics like failover clustering don’t usually merit a lot of space here.

That may change because of the following: Many of the on-premise databases maintained by CMS applications are not, in the formal sense, data warehouses. Or data garages or data lakes or any of the other myriad metaphors intended to infuse this subject with interest and intrigue.

But these databases (as we can attest to first-hand) are getting larger. So now we are seeing failover clustering — a common technology for replicating data at the block level to ensure availability — being extended to the cloud.

This trend began quietly in February 2014 with Amazon’s AWS Storage Gateway being adapted to support Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) and VMWare ESX iSCSI Initiator.

This enables applications hosted in VMware’s vSphere virtualization environment to recognize the AWS cloud as its failover cluster — which, in turn, enables smaller businesses with fewer internal data center resources to embrace more powerful on-premise applications, including in the CMS category.

Shared Nothing

Last week, SIOS Technology began competing with this approach by making its DataKeeper service connect to Microsoft’s Azure using the same WSFC protocol.

This way, SharePoint, SQL Server, Dynamics and other high-volume Windows software (the kind you find running these days in vSphere) can be easily configured to recognize Azure-based storage in a more failure-proof, “shared-nothing” architecture.

It’s the “shared-nothing” part that should get your attention.

“If I asked somebody to draw on a whiteboard what a cluster should look like, they would draw two or more servers and then some type of shared storage, typically that would be a SAN,” said Tony Tomarchio, SIOS’ director of field engineering, in an interview with CMSWire.

Of course, he’s referring to a storage-area network.

Naturally, administering a SAN oneself carries costs.

“But technically, a SAN is a single point of failure,” Tomarchio continued.

“If the shared storage, which all the cluster nodes are connecting into, has an issue, it could take down your entire cluster.”

In a shared-nothing architecture such as a SIOS SANless cluster, all the storage nodes are isolated and independent from one another.

It’s a failover cluster that, at least architecturally speaking, more legitimately earns its title because it’s more failure-tolerant.

SIOS had been producing block-level data replication software that pools together local storage devices into SANless, but shared, arrays. This way, higher-speed servers using local SSD devices (all-flash memory) could be leveraged as failover clusters — a lot less expensive than, say, an all-flash SAN.

“We present our replicated disk as a cluster disk, which looks and feels like it’s shared storage to the cluster,” explained Tomarchio, “when in reality, it’s not.

Which application you decide to protect within the cluster, is completely up to you.”

How This Relates to CMS

CMS systems such as Drupal cast their databases in an abstract fashion, so that they’re not restricted to single database formats. This abstraction means that drivers are used to connect Drupal to common database management systems such as SQL Server.

So it is no coincidence that the data most often replicated on SIOS SANless clusters, as Tomarchio told us, belongs to SQL Server. Highly available (HA) file-shares or HA Hyper-V virtual machines and SAP Central Services are other known use cases for DataKeeper, he noted.

“Because DataKeeper is a replication technology, we integrate with the cluster,” he said. “So this is an excellent solution for any clusterable service or application — not just SQL Server.”

View this article at CMS Wire

Press Release: SIOS Webinar Will Discuss High Availability Options for Microsoft SQL Server in Virtual and Cloud Environments

SAN MATEO, CA – March 12, 2015 SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com), maker of SAN and #SANLess clustering software products, today announced a live webinar featuring Microsoft MVP, MCM and MCSM Denny Cherry that will discuss some of the high availability options available for Microsoft SQL Server in virtual server and cloud environments.

Titled, “High Availability, Disaster Recovery, Low Cost Storage in Virtual and Cloud Environments,” this webinar will be held on Thursday, March 19 at 10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT.  To register, please visit:  http://us.sios.com/2015-03-webinar

This live, 30 minute webinar is for enterprises using SQL Server that are concerned about high availability (HA), disaster recovery (DR) and low cost storage options to protect SQL data from downtime in VMware, Hyper-V, Azure, AWS, and other environments where traditional shared storage clusters are not an option. Denny will review some of the problems (both technological and financial) with these options, and how you can overcome these various problems. The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A session.

About the Speaker
Denny Cherry is the owner and principal consultant for Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting and has over a decade of experience working with platforms such as Microsoft SQL Server, Hyper-V, vSphere and Enterprise Storage solutions. Denny’s areas of technical expertise include system architecture, performance tuning, security, replication and troubleshooting. Denny currently holds several of the Microsoft Certifications related to SQL Server for versions 2000 through 2012 including the Microsoft Certified Master as well as being a Microsoft MVP for several years.  Denny has written several books and dozens of technical articles on SQL Server management and how SQL Server integrates with various other technologies.

About SIOS Technology Corp.

SIOS Technology Corp. makes SAN and #SANLess software solutions that make clusters easy to use and easy to own.An essential part of any cluster solution, SIOS SAN and #SANLess software provides the flexibility to build Clusters Your Way to protect your choice of Windows or Linux environment in any configuration (or combination) of physical, virtual and cloud (public, private, and hybrid) without sacrificing performance or availability. The unique SIOS #SANLess clustering solution allows you to configure clusters with local storage, eliminating both the cost and the single-point-of-failure risk of traditional shared (SAN) storage.

Founded in 1999, SIOS Technology Corp. (www.us.sios.com) is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and has offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

# # #

SIOS, SIOS Technology, SIOS DataKeeper, SIOS Protection Suite, Clusters Your Way, and associated logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of SIOS Technology Corp. and/or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Contact

Beth Winkowski
Winkowski Public Relations, LLC for SIOS
Phone: 978-649-7189
Email: bethwinkowski@US.SIOS.com