Jumping into the busy virtualization management application space, Reflex Systems is announcing vCapacity, a capacity planning application for its Virtualization Management Center product. The
module adds monitoring, performance, capacity and configuration management to VMC, which has typically been thought of as more of a security product.
The module also uses data from other VMC modules, such as vWatch and vTrust, and adds various other kinds of what-if features, dashboards, performance resource views, inventory, alarms and trend analysis in a Web-based interface. The company is aiming the product at companies in the area of having 300 to 500 hosts, with 5,000 to 10,000 virtual machines.
Justin Linenkohl, virtualization engineer for Autotrader.com, in Atlanta, says he’s looking forward to having another vendor enter the virtualization capacity planning marketplace. "I haven’t been particularly impressed with anybody’s capacity planning capabilities," he says. "No one takes it to the level that customers really need. It’s fairly basic, but it’s better than doing it with spreadsheets." His organization, which has about 175 production servers and has been doing virtualization since the mid-2000s, uses both Reflex and Quest Software’s vFoglight because they each offer different features, he says. In terms of vCapacity, he says he likes the different ways in which the product shows different aspects of capacity and some of the gauges it is using.
While there are a variety of products from other vendors, most of them have a steep learning curve and required consulting. Reflex offers high-level dashboards that organizations can use out of the box, says Mike Wronsky, VP of product management for the Atlanta company. President and CEO Preston Futrell calls the announcement competitive, and says that while it’s not intended to leapfrog the competition, it does offer both security and compliance in one platform rather than through a variety of point solutions.
The other advantage the product offers is that it works using real-time information that it gets from its other modules, stored in a configuration management database, while most other virtualization management tools on the market use data that they get from VMware’s vCenter, Futrell says. Consequently, the integrated capacity planning and enhanced performance analytics in vCapacity enable integrated functionality that isn’t currently possible with VMware vCenter, the company says.
In particular, it enables IT administrators to perform capacity analysis on an ongoing basis rather than relying on an initial capacity analysis, the company says. The products also scale better than other virtualization management tools, including those from VMware, Wronsky adds.
The software is available now for $595 per CPU socket, as opposed to the per-virtual machine pricing system that some vendors, including VMware, use. Proponents of per-socket pricing say it ends up being less expensive. In addition, it doesn’t penalize users for increasing the density in their virtualized servers, Futrell says. The pricing-per-VM approach is also not as simple because development and quality assurance workloads are elastic, with VMs being deployed and destroyed all the time, while the number of sockets moves more slowly, Linenkohl says.
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