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Ben Yemini

Assure Performance and Licensing Compliance in One Shot

The dynamic nature of virtualized data centers has made assuring application performance without having to significantly over spend on infrastructure an impossible task. VMTurbo helps address this challenge but also offers a few other benefits. One of them is keeping our customers from having to worry about license compliance.

Despite significant adoption of virtualization many software application vendors still operate under device-centric or processor-centric licensing policies. These policies require the organization to license an application to every server based on the potential that the application could run on it during peak times. The potential risk of being out of compliance could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased licensing costs.

As the Licensing Compliance Manager at one of our newer customers recently remarked:

“The size and complexity of our VM environment, has made it challenging to track licensing for database software and other software products which base their compliance on Processor/Core counts. With VMTurbo we are able to monitor the vMotion transitions and assure we remain compliant based on the licensing we have.”

In a virtualized data center, licensing compliance is a constraint that needs to be addressed along with others (e.g. resources, hardware compatibility) to assure performance while utilizing the underlying infrastructure as efficiently as possible. Solving this complex challenge requires offloading the management from IT administrators to software.

Let’s look at how VMTurbo can help. But first remember that VMTurbo’s patented approach automates resource placement, sizing, and capacity decisions across hosts, clusters, and datastores to prevent queuing, latency, ballooning, and to increase application resiliency. The same approach also assures the underlying infrastructure is being utilized as efficiently as possible and VM density is maximized. License Compliance through our Policy Engine is just a “side benefit”.

With our purpose built Policy Engine capability IT admins can use regular expressions to create dynamic groups for both hosts and VMs and then define a workload placement policy which assures these groups stay together as well as limit the number of workloads which run on an individual host based on the licensing constraint. All of this is done in a dynamic virtualized data center where multiple decisions need to be made to prevent resource content and assure performance.

Through the Policy tab a user can create a dynamic new group and assign members, e.g. specific VM templates, specific host configurations or physical resource locations. As members are added or removed the group dynamically changes.

Licensce Group

In the above example all SQL VMs are added to the group.

You can then define a workload placement policy that assures license compliance is maintained.

Workload Placment Policy

The above workload placement policy assures that the SQL VM group members stay on the appropriate hosts and that the number of workloads that run on an individual host never exceeds a set number, in this case 1.

VMTurbo will then take this workload placement policy into account as it optimizes supply and demand in the underlying infrastructure assuring workload performance while utilizing the underlying environment as efficiently as possible.

Now if for some reason a user goes into vCenter and moves a VM out of compliance, VMTurbo will automatically serve up a recommended action to move it back into compliance.

Workload Placment Action

In the above example, VMTurbo notices a SQL VM has been moved off of the host it is licensed for and recommends an action to move it back. All the user has to do is click apply. This type of vMotion action can also be automated so there is no need to even click the button.

With VMTurbo application performance is assured, licensing compliance is maintained and the underlying infrastructure is used as efficiently as possible.

Triangle: Efficiency

This article is about efficiency. Read more like it at the Performance, Efficiency, Agility series.