In its 2011 Report, VMware Journey Adoption Insights, VMware states that 53% of its customers have virtualized mission-critical applications. VMware customers—as well as other hypervisor users—are in different phases of their IT transformation journey, as described in VMware’s three-stage virtualization adoption model (see figure):
- IT Production: Virtualization initiatives are in their infancy. This early stage is characterized by IT sponsorship of infrastructure efficiency initiatives (i.e., lower power/cooling costs, better utilize data center floor space, and refresh/upgrade aging infrastructure), with a focus on virtualizing IT-owned workloads.
- Business Production: In this phase, IT organizations focus more on virtualizing business-critical, multi-tier applications in production. While further efficiency and operational improvements are focus areas, Quality of Service (QoS) is a top goal, especially to win over business application owners/sponsors.
- IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS): With its ability to deliver the highest business value and agility at the lowest possible cost, this is the phase that most organizations aspire to reach. This stage is characterized by organizations’ ability to leverage their virtualization success with application delivery to build out a highly automated cloud-computing environment based on a utility model.
Given trending data, many of you are likely in or approaching the Business Production phase. That means your main focus over the next 12 months is to virtualize your business-critical workloads—which can be a speed bump or (worse) a stall point on your journey. Moving tier-2 and tier-3 applications into the virtual realm were likely much easier since these predominantly IT-owned workloads didn’t necessitate engaging the application owner in virtualization strategies and decision-making. Now that application delivery is tied to business-linked service level agreements (SLAs), performance and QoS are important metrics to assure.
That’s where VMTurbo comes in. VMTurbo delivers application visibility and performance assurance. VMTurbo Operations Manager automatically adjusts resource allocation for virtualized workloads to ensure performance on the basis of priorities. This allows users to assure service across the virtual and application delivery infrastructure, increase operational efficiency through automation, and improve resource utilization by maximizing physical infrastructure to satisfy current and future workload requirements.
In the newly released Operations Manager 3.1, VMTurbo ups the ante by supporting application delivery controllers (ADCs), starting with Citrix NetScaler. ADCs (also known as load balancers) are gateways to the applications they front-end, improving performance, reliability and security. The ADC’s vantage point in the network aids in understanding many of the variables that can impact the performance and reliability of the applications they manage—especially those workloads that are multi-tiered and distributed.
Now that VMTurbo Operations Manager supports ADCs as targets, it can discover ADC’s virtual applications (also known as vServers) and manage them. VMTurbo’s integration with ADCs allows you to automate the control and real-time resource allocation decisions for multi-tiered applications front-ended by these appliances. VMTurbo Operations Manager can intelligently prioritize resources and automatically scale-up or -down across a load-balanced application farm as demand fluctuates.
As virtualized environments scale, consolidation ratios increase, and tier-1 applications are virtualized (i.e., organizations reach that Business Production phase) IT needs greater visibility and analytics that drive automation of IT processes. The virtualization of business-critical workloads introduces another level of complexity and ADCs by themselves may no longer be enough to maintain the expected performance improvements. VMTurbo Operations Manager will be key to providing application performance assurance in these environments—delivering a boost to get past any application virtualization speed bumps on your virtualization journey.