IT environments are changing dramatically and becoming too complex and dynamic for traditional, manual and fragmented management approaches. Whether companies are extending the benefits of virtualization to the next level of business critical applications, virtualizing the desktop layer, adopting multiple virtualization platforms or extending their cloud exposure - they have no tolerance for user experience issues and cost overruns.
The most common reasons why companies seek performance assurance solutions include:
- Slow response to performance problems and downtime leading to user frustration and low productivity.
- Rising IT support cost and complexity associated with traditional performance management.
- Rising infrastructure cost including the addition of new hardware used to try and solve performance problems.
- Failing or underperforming IT initiatives that don’t deliver expected results.
Other common drivers for performance management and visibility include the need to prove defined service levels to internal and external customers, the requirement to show return on investment for new virtualization projects, as well as expansion of existing deployments or the refresh of outdated technologies.
Having worked with hundreds of enterprises to deploy performance management and monitoring solutions, eG Innovations is observing the following IT trends as well as the way these changes elevate the need for deep performance visibility, automated cross-silo performance correlation and diagnosis, pre-emptive problem alerting and predictive analytics so that companies can deliver on the ROI promise of transformational IT.
1. Mission-Critical Applications Now Virtualized
As more mission-critical business applications such as SAP are virtualized to reap the benefits of resource abstraction, more complexity and dynamic dependencies are introduced to the service delivered to end users. With this rise in complexity, there are more opportunities for things to go wrong which makes it even more important that IT administrators take a user experience perspective and pre-emptive performance stance in order to maintain and improve the availability, reliability and performance of mission-critical application environments.
2. Virtual Desktops Go Mainstream
VDI and virtual desktop adoption continues to accelerate and broaden from pilot to full scale deployments. This increases the likelihood that support teams are bombarded with users calling with “my desktop is slow” issues. Almost half of all VDI projects still fail due to end user experience issues or cost overruns. As projects go full scale, assessing virtual desktop performance in production deployments will become a key concern as companies seek to maintain high end-user satisfaction and high return on their IT investments.
Look for performance management platforms that provide deep visibility into the entire VDI service infrastructure, from the desktop and user session to the application and virtualization layer, and across all infrastructure domains that impact user experience.
3. Virtualization Platforms Proliferate
Companies are increasingly taking advantage of multiple virtualization platforms to match the right platform to the specific requirement. VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper V, Citrix XenServer, and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization increase efficiency, enhance flexibility, and reduce hardware cost – but they also add cross-domain dependencies and complexity that needs to be pro-actively managed. This complexity requires a new set of technologies that go beyond traditional silo and vendor centric tools and provide deeper visibility into the virtualization layer, into VMs – from the user session and virtual application to the underlying hardware.
4. Cloud Adoption Accelerates
Cloud computing in different forms – public, private or hybrid – continues its fast-paced adoption rate as enterprises look to leverage it for improving the agility, scalability, redundancy and costs savings of their business operations. While cloud computing offers enterprises several benefits, it also throws up a number of new challenges when it comes to management of the performance of business services delivered from the cloud.
For cloud computing to be successful, it is paramount that users of cloud-based services get the same experience as they would if these services were hosted in their corporate network. Poor user experience can threaten the success and ROI of cloud initiatives. Hence, it is essential that enterprises adopting cloud computing plan how they can manage the performance of cloud-based business services.
When performance issues occur with cloud or on-premise services, it's often difficult to pinpoint the root cause with traditional tools. A new, holistic approach is needed to ensure uninterrupted visibility across every tier and every layer of the entire cloud ecosystem and to address the needs of different stakeholders – from cloud consumers to service providers of private, public and hybrid clouds.
In summary, traditional performance management tools are not keeping pace with the rapid rate of change in virtualized IT environments – they are too silo driven, lack integration and do not quickly and precisely pinpoint the exact cause of performance challenges. IT managers need intelligent performance management solutions that deliver complete transparency and can troubleshoot the exact source of a problem in minutes rather than hours – ideally before the problem manifests itself to the user.
This is where intelligent, virtualization-aware performance management delivers unique value because it:
- Boosts user satisfaction and productivity by significantly reducing downtime and improving application performance.
- Reduces IT support cost and complexity.
- Reduces or slows infrastructure cost through better hardware utilization and right-sizing.
- Delivers new IT initiatives on time, on budget, on target – and reduces the risk, cost and complexity associated with new technologies.
Srinivas Ramanathan is CEO and Founder of eG Innovations.