The answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything is…VirtualWisdom 6.0

By Ravi Prakash, Director Product Marketing


If you’re a fan of comedy science fiction, you’ll recall the classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  In this tale, Deep Thought, a purpose-built computer, is tasked with providing an answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything… The answer provided by Deep Thought is the number 42. 

So how does that relate to the biggest release of VirtualWisdom yet?  I’m glad you asked, and the hint lies in the question.  But first let me explain why we are so excited about VirtualWisdom 6.0.

VirtualWisdom has been the leading Infrastructure Performance Management and Analytics platform since its release in 2014, but with 6.0, VirtualWisdom should now be your platform of choice for Hybrid Infrastructure Management.

We designed VirtualWisdom 6.0 to enable customers to shut the door on the galactic war room by providing you with the proactive capabilities, recommendations and visibility you need to resolve the most challenging problems collaboratively, in a single pane of glass.

We’ll be talking in detail about many of the new features of 6.0 in subsequent blogs but let me summarize:

  • Single pane of glass for monitoring all your server infrastructure across Cloud, Virtual and Physical environments.
  • New Proactive Dashboards provide ongoing recommendations on how best to balance workloads across servers, SANs and storage.
  • New Predictive Capacity management triangulates short- and long-term usage trends to forecast capacity exhaustion, identify opportunities for reclamation, and improve performance.
  • Trend Matcher, our correlation engine, became App and topology aware making its AI even smarter and reducing the mean-time-to-resolution of the most challenging incidents.
  • Automated Investigations now proactively triages, diagnoses and provides the recommendations and artifacts to resolve key critical alarms. Think of it as the Deep Thought for IT.
  • And many other new discovery and monitoring capabilities for Dynatrace, AppDynamics, AWS, Microsoft Azure, iSCSI, Dell EMC VMAX/PowerMAX, IBM SVC and many others.

Northern Lights

So, what does that have to do with the answer to life, the universe and everything?  It’s all in the number 42—and its relationship to your virtual machines.

Many platforms out there talk about their ability to automate VM placement on the last hour, last day or even 3 days.  The challenge is that this doesn’t give you sufficient information to optimize placement. It just ping-pongs the VM from host to host causing continual vMotion sickness from constant churn, making it almost impossible to assure application service levels.

VirtualWisdom is different. By default it uses 6 weeks (42 days – and user configurable) to determine optimal placement.  VM Coordinator, the probability-based analytic engine in the VirtualWisdom platform, looks back in time to study workloads before recommending the optimal placement of VMs in an ESX, Hyper-V or PowerVM cluster.

The cool thing is that VM Coordinator can do it proactively, and it can surface recommendations to individual dashboards (for the NOC or infrastructure executive), and it does it automatically in response to utilization alarms on an individual host!

You may ask: Why 6 weeks?  Why not a day or a week or a few weeks? Answer: How do you know if your application workloads on Monday, the start of the workweek, will be the same as on Friday?  How do you know if the workload activity at the end of the month, or in a pre-Christmas week, will be the same as workload activity during the first week of the new year?  A 6-week (42 days) window gives you visibility across the monthly activity boundary, with metrics collected from the host down to the LUN or file share.

But what makes VirtualWisdom truly unique is the ability of the application-aware infrastructure monitoring platform to correlate those metrics with information gathered from other domains in your infrastructure, using purpose-built analytics like VM Coordinator.

Many monitoring products on the market claim to optimize workloads by automatically moving VMs for optimal placement.  However, doing this with limited visibility into infrastructure and without enough metrics merely results in moving a problem around.  In a human analogy, these products do so much moving around of VMs that all you get is a case of VMotion sickness!

VMotion Sickness

VMotion sickness arises when VMs are moved around based on limited visibility into infrastructure

In contrast, VM Coordinator in VirtualWisdom avoids such unnecessary rebalancing.  It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and semi-supervised machine learning (ML) based on a Virtual Instruments patented evolution of Monte Carlo simulations to look at historical usage of every VM and determines how best to organize the environment.

The VM Coordinator analytic provides recommendations for optimal placement for VMs across a cluster so as to reduce contention for CPU or memory resources.  It detects where CPU and memory use are imbalanced, and reconfigures the VM placement to optimize the cluster performance.  The recommendation is based on predicted usage patterns derived from 6 weeks of historical data.

VM Coordinator in Action

VM Coordinator analytic in action

VM Coordinator is just one of many purpose-built analytics for Proactive Performance Resolution using the VirtualWisdom platform.  To learn more about use-cases for applied analytics click here.

Stay tuned for the next segment of this blog series where you’ll learn about other new functionality being introduced in VirtualWisdom 6.0, including a next generation cross-domain correlating analytic, monitoring and capacity management of DellEMC VMAX and IBM SVC, integration with Dynatrace, and the next generation of our integration with AppDynamics.  To paraphrase rocker Randy Bachman – You ain’t seen nothing yet!

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