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The Performance Principle

Russell Rothstein

Do you flirt? It's key to understanding virtualization performance.

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The topic of virtualization performance may not be the best subject for a pickup line ("So, what's a VM client like you doing in a host like this?") But it turns out that flirting is key to understanding a key concept in managing performance of applications in a virtualized environment. 

No doubt, you've honed you social skills recently at a flittering party - flirting virtually with one another through the twitter platform. For those of you not previously familiar with flittering, it means sending a flirtatious tweet to someone that interests you in the room. And while having the option of flirting

Marilyn_Monroe_and_Cary_Grant_in_Monkey_Business_trailer_3.JPGonline is generally a good thing as it provides a new way for people to find their match, it presents a management challenge - keeping up with the fast pace of the tweets and achieving the visibility to link the virtual (witty tweets) with the physical (cute guy or gal - hopefully).

I find these issues remarkably similar to the management challenges companies face when deploying virtualization. While virtualization presents huge benefits in efficiency gains, it also creates three application management challenges:

  • Lost Visibility: Applications become more difficult to manage because virtualization masks the underlying infrastructure layers. It becomes difficult to isolate the problematic tier when a problem occurs, or even understand that a problem is starting to occur before users are impacted. Likewise, it is difficult to determine the impact of VM changes on performance.
  • Dynamic Environment: If becomes difficult to keep up with speed of changes in virtual infrastructure. As the folks at EMC call it - "VMotion Sickness". Then when application performance begins to degrade, people tend to first blame the VM administrator, even if the problem lies elsewhere.
  • Overprovisioning: Due to lack of visibility, enterprises often overprovision infrastructure in order to assure performance. Overprovisioning physical hosts (e.g. extra CPU) reduces the cost savings of virtualization.

Virtualization-aware performance management addresses these challenges. It enables you to regain the visibility lost from virtualization, keep up with changing VMs, and rightsize to maximize cost efficiencies.  And while that last sentence would fit into a 140-character tweet, I'm not sure it would get you any dates at the next flittering party.

Related links: Vertica pricing

Russell Rothstein blogs about cloud computing, performance management, business service management and related topics, examining how new technologies and business models impact the dynamic IT service management market.

Russell Rothstein

Russell Rothstein has spent his 20+ year career in the enterprise technology industry at the crossroads between technology and business. He has spoken at industry events including Interop, CloudConnect, CMG, Red Herring, and TeleManagement World. Russell is currently Founder and CEO of IT Central Station, a B2B social networking site that provides user reviews and ratings of enterprise software, hardware and services. Previously, Russell was Vice President of Product Marketing at OpTier, a vendor of application performance management (APM) solutions. Before joining OpTier, Russell was AVP Product Marketing at OPNET Technologies (Nasdaq: OPNT) where he helped lead the company’s focus into APM. He was co-founder and CEO of Zettapoint, a venture-backed enterprise software startup that was acquired by EMC, and ran marketing for Open Sesame, a Web 1.0 startup that was acquired by Bowne/RR Donnelley (NYSE:BNE). Russell began his career at Oracle, deploying Oracle Applications for Fortune 1000 companies. Russell received a BA in Computer Science from Harvard University, an MS in Technology and Policy from MIT and an MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Follow Russell on twitter at @RussRothsteinIT .

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