VKernel, provider of enterprise-class performance, configuration and capacity management products for virtualized data centers and cloud environments, announced Tuesday new automation features to its vOPS Server product line that boost both efficiency and improve performance of virtualized infrastructures. VKernel’s vOPS Server products now feature one-click auto-deployment of capacity reservations, automated risk assessment of VM configuration modifications, and automatic rollback capabilities for unauthorized environment changes.
The complexity of existing virtual environments must require some measure of controlled automation for effective management. Without automation – and since virtual environments generate a number of management tasks that require data centers – it would be necessary to hire additional administrators as more VMs are created to manually enact required updates and changes.
With the release of vOPS Server 5.0, VKernel extends the automation capabilities found in previous versions and includes the ability to automatically deploy VMs based on capacity reservations already identified. Previous versions of vOPS Server enabled the reservation of capacity for future VM deployments. vOPS Server 5.0 now allows for these virtual machine reservations to automatically trigger virtual machines deployments, closing the capacity management process loop. These capabilities can also be connected to self-service cloud portals through API to enable automated cloud VM deployment processes.
According to a Gartner report, ‘Virtualization is Bringing Together Performance and Configuration Management’, written by Cameron Haight and Ronni J. Colville, “In virtual infrastructures, configuration and performance are inextricably linked, and will require an entirely new set of interdisciplinary processes and tools to ensure that virtual infrastructures achieve the desired levels of efficiency and cost savings that are found in traditional IT infrastructures."
Automation is essential to improve virtual environment efficiency, yet it can also have a significant downside to an environment’s operations if not implemented and monitored correctly. Virtual environments generate hundreds to thousands of change events every day from automated processes such as VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler or Storage vMotion. What used to be a laborious and very visible change such as opening a server chassis and adding memory, or migrating data from one SAN to another, is now a nearly invisible, instantaneous task that can happen hundreds of times a day automatically. Whether it is caused by automated resource schedulers or manual operator intervention, the physical data center is literally filled with a multitude of invisible hands, silently reconfiguring the environment without leaving a physical trace.
vOPS Server 5.0 features a new Change Analyzer module that is designed to collect, analyze and archive change data and then automatically assess the risk inherent in changes to the environment. The new Change Analyzer provides the auditing, tracking and risk assessment of the invisible hands in the data center while changes are made. Alarming is also available to alert users when high risk changes occur. vOPS Server 5.0 contains the capabilities to enable safe automation of the virtual data center.
Detecting abnormal changes is critical, but rolling back the change is almost as important. If, for example, changes are made in error by an administrator or automated process, or if a change such as an automated VM migration causes a performance issue, it can be difficult to identify the offending change to enable a rollback. vOPS Server 5.0 Change Analyzer tracks changes occurring within the virtual environment and allows for querying of where, when and who made the change. For many modifications, VM administrators can roll back the offending change with the click of a button.
“The VKernel products have become a staple in how we monitor and plan our global Cloud infrastructure by providing powerful tools, native integration and must-have functionality,” says Brock Mowry, Hosting Director of Global Support at Venturian Hosting, a provider of technology and consultative services headquartered in Miami, Florida.
According to Venturian Hosting’s CEO, Allen Firouz, “We are looking forward to the new configuration management capabilities that will be available in this latest release of VKernel’s vOPS Server. These new features will help save several hours each month spent on automating configuration tracking that we previously had to undertake manually.”
vOPS Server 5.0 also tracks changes in the virtual environment, allows for comparisons of VMs against other VMs, templates, or the same VM at other points in time and shows the impacts of changes on performance and capacity. It also features manual overrides for automated rightsizing with recommendations for VM vCPUs and memory can now be overridden manually for specific VMs, and then implemented with rightsizing automation. First-time vOPS Server users will be able to immediately solve issues through a dashboard that offers quick entry to the many functions inside vOPS.
vOPS Server Standard 5.0 is available now for a 30-day trial from www.vkernel.com. Pricing starts at $549 per socket.