Feeds

Virtual Instruments gets hooks into SANs

From hardware to VMware

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Virtual Instruments (VI) reckons it has the broadest and deepest way to monitor and manage end-to-end SAN traffic, from the application in a virtual machine right down to Fibre Channel cable into an array.

It's announced VirtualWisdom 2.0 and says the product is all about optimising virtual infrastructures and enabling the Storage Area Network's (SAN) resources to be balanced with those of virtualised applications. That way there's no need for the SAN to be over-provisioned with both disk and bandwidth, VI says, and users save both operating costs (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX).

Len Rosenthal, VI's marketing VP, said: "We re-architected the whole thing, particularly around ease-of-use. Virtual Wisdom collects over 100 metrics and there is a new GUI designed to give users a customised dashboard. They can do what-if modelling on their infrastructure."

VI is the result of testing company Finisar spinning off its Fibre Channel testing operation a couple of years ago. It has grown 100 per cent annually since then, with lots of blue-chip, big corporate customers, and attracted John Thompson, the ex-Symantec CEO to come out of retirement and be first a board director and then its CEO. Why should Thompson be interested in a nuts and bolts Fibre Channel SAN component testing business?

He isn't of course; he's interested in what it's becoming, which is a bottom-to-top virtualised infrastructure testing and monitoring company. Products like SANScreen and StorageConsole have a partial view into SAN operations in that they don't have direct access into the wires; they don't have I/O transaction-level visibility. VI does because Finisar developed taps which connected into the wire and copied the traffic to a data recorder for playback and analysis.

VirtualWisdom turned this into its Traffic Access Point (TAP) product which produces an out-of-band copy of Fibre Channel traffic. Data from the TAPS goes to a SANInsight product running in ProbeFCX hardware. This can show real-time traffic latency via the Fibre Channel frame headers.

Fibre Channel SAN customers are facing huge growth rates in traffic as applications running in virtual machines (VMs) in multi-socket, multi-core servers talk through virtualised SAN infrastructures to target storage arrays which are thinly-provisioned and virtualised themselves at many levels.

An app's disk I/O has become almost frighteningly complex in terms of the software abstraction layers it passes through on its way to the wire and then further abstraction layers en route through the fabric, into the array, and through yet more layers of abstraction before it actually hits the disk blocks.

Thompson says that this complexity and the uncertainty it engenders is stopping customers putting mission-critical apps into virtualised servers because the risk of them performing slowly and being unable to fix it is so high. Provide a fix for that, means F1000 corporations could get vastly more use out of their servers and make bucketloads of CAPEX and OPEX Savings.

What VI is doing is adding upper level capabilities to Virtual Wisdom and adding ProbeV SNMP data from Fibre Channel switches to the ProbeFCX data, and then adding in ProbeVM data from VMware's vCenter for data relating to virtual machines and their apps. Data from the three sources is presented through a dashboard which is very detailed in what it can display.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.