vKernel, which makes management software for virtualized server systems, has announced a developer program, as well as adding an application programming interface to its Capacity Analytics Engine family of software, which allows developers, vendors, and users to write programs that take advantage of the data that is provided by the software.
The vOPS API was announced at the recent Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and is available now. Examples of data available via the API and how it could be used include resource usage for automated billing, capacity bottlenecks to application performance monitoring, or providing capacity trending and utilization information to technology dashboards.
"At the operating level, we are always mindful of identifying problems before they affect performance, and we are looking to vKernel's monitoring and alerting APIs to assist us with that," said Frank Shepherd, senior infrastructure engineer for Peak 10, a Charlotte, N.C.-based managed services and cloud provider. The company has been using vKernel for about three months as a resource to help it manage capacity, reclaim wasted resources, and troubleshoot performance, he says.
While there are several vendors that offer virtualization management software, as well as VMware itself, other competing vendors are not offering an API that exposes all the data, said Bryan Semple, chief marketing officer for the Andover, Mass., vKernel. And while VMware's chargeback application does offer an API, it is more complicated and it is not clear what VMware's long-term strategy is for the product, he said. The company does not yet have any partners it can announce that are taking advantage of the new API but expects to soon, he said.
The API is based on representational state transfer technology, and is fairly simple to integrate, Semple said, noting that vKernel expects that some enterprise organizations are likely to write their own applications--adding that some of the company's customers are already starting to do that.
Deep integration with the existing management stack is the key to fully exploiting the potential of capacity management, which can become extremely important and extremely complex in virtual and cloud infrastructures, said Alessandro Perilli, a research director for Gartner. With its API, vKernel is offering a way to put such integration in place, he said, which helps determine how configuring new virtual machines would affect virtual machines already in place.
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