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Keeping An Eye On Virtualization

Figuring out the performance of a system can be relatively straightforward. Figuring out precisely why a system performs as it does (where, to be specific, the inevitable bottlenecks lie) can be quite difficult. Figuring out why a virtualized system performs as it does can be darned near impossible. Akorri's BalancePoint 3.0, released in August, is a tool for figuring out performance in a virtualized environment so admins can plan capacity, allocate resources, or just solve problems for frustrated users.

BalancePoint 3.0 has introduced richer virtual machine and storage analysis, broader interoperability and user interface improvements to the BalancePoint product line. The product allows IT organizations to optimize virtual and physical server and storage infrastructure in order to to reduce costs and assure service levels as companies move through the stages of virtualization adoption and into private cloud computing.

Akorri ships the BalancePoint 3.0 as a cloud product -- an agent-less platform. Accordng to Rich Corley, CTO of Akorri, one of the advantages to this approach is the rapid set-up time the cloud architecture allows. He says that they can typically configure the product within an hour or two of arriving at the customer site. Because it's agentless, it makes maintenance and service much easier.

Corley says that they first get the topology of the network at the beginning of the engagement and then present a unified view of the environment to the customer for configuration discussions. Often, the view helps customers solve problems since they might never have seen a graphical representation of the network. Corley says that the picture that's presented frequently allows customers to realize where relationships exist that they didn't understand based on other representations of the environment.

Corley says that creating the dedicated data collection pieces was the hardest part of building the system. "We had to build a storage collection architecture into the product. We go to the physical server and do the same thing, which is a little easier, but still involved. Building the whole agent-less data collection system and building the database model across the various vendors was the complicated part," he says.

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