VMTurbo improves control of hybrid cloud, storage in virtualization stack

Lauren Whitehouse, Director of Product Marketing at VMTurbo

VMTurbo, which makes a software-defined control platform for the  virtualized datacenter, has announced the availability of Operations Manager 4.0. The key enhancements to the solution address the complexity and interdependencies of the virtualization stack by providing new modules to control  hybrid clouds and storage.

“Managing virtualization is a lot of headaches,” said Lauren Whitehouse, Director of Product Marketing at VMTurbo. “Other companies provide management solutions which provide metrics and alerts, but it’s a very reactive process.”

VMTurbo remains relatively unique in the market by addressing this management issue through automating the decision-making process. Its Economic Scheduling Engine dynamically adjusts configuration, resource allocation and workload placement to meet service levels and business goals.

“Our ability to automate lets us be proactive,” Whitehouse said.  ”Mission-critical apps always get the resources that they need. Our Economic Scheduling Engine helps the rest get what they need when they need it.”

That ability has helped the 2010 startup accumulate over 400 paying customers, and become the topic of acquisition rumors by the big virtualization vendors who crave VMTurbo’s management efficiencies.

“We definitely bump into VMware a lot, and  now that they have conquered the hypervisor and the cloud, they want to conquer management,” Whitehouse said. “So  they sometimes give their tool away and that’s something we have to contend with. But they can’t do what we do as far as automating.”

VMTurbo Operations Manager has a  modular architecture which addresses each layer of the IT stack. Version 4.0 gives particular emphasis to optimizing hybrid cloud and storage environments.

Hybrid cloud extension is accomplished by an entirely new  hybrid cloud controller which provides  optimal workload placement across private and public clouds. It provides specific guidance regarding the “what, when and where” of running workloads in private, public, or combined cloud infrastructures.

“We are now doing early access trials for customers with it, and expect availability before VMworld,” Whitehouse said.

The storage extension improves the storage resource controller’s control by extending control actions to the back end of datastores , providing more granular instrumentation to connect storage decisions with workload resource allocation, optimizing  utilization and performance, and  reducing complexity and cost. This includes: evaluation of snapshot space capacity and usage;  storage efficiency usage through dedupe,  compression, and thin provisioning);  storage controller load; and different storage type I/O capabilities (SSD and variable spindle speeds).

The storage extension will initially support NetApp arrays using Data ONTAP APIs for 7.33 & above, and 8.x, with support  for other storage vendors soon to follow.

“We started with NetApp initially  because our customers dragged us there first,” Whitehouse said. “The  roadmap for the others is being accelerated, because the  heavy lifting has already  been done with the NetApp extension.”

In addition, Operations Manager 4.0 now discovers storage clusters and limits virtual machine moves accordingly. If a virtual machine uses storage that is within a storage cluster, all moves of that storage will remain within that cluster. It also now recognizes dedicated- and shared-failover High Availability configurations and won’t recommend a workload move to a host unless another host fails in the HA cluster.

The solution also adds improved visibility via the dashboard and topological views of the IT stack resources. And it offers improved support for shared user accounts to address the needs of VMTurbo’s service provider customers. Version 4.0  mask views and/or metrics within views that are shared with subscribers. Users will also be able export dashboard displays to PDF files to generate reports based on the data presented in the user interface.

Operations Manager 4.0 is generally available now. Pricing starts at $699 per physical CPU socket.  The add-on Application Extension starts at $199 per CPU socket and the Storage Extension starts at $599 per CPU socket, and are generally available. The Hybrid Cloud Extension is available to current VMTurbo customers in its Early Access program.

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