VMTurbo takes its talents to the storage level

VMTurbo expands its Operations Manager software for virtual infrastructure into the storage level -- providing your storage is NetApp filers.

VMTurbo is expanding its workload resource management capabilities for virtualized environments to the storage level -- as long as your storage is from NetApp. The company today unveiled Operations Manager 4.0, which can adjust storage resources among virtual machines and applications with high and low resource demands.

Operations Manager can be used to provision a new storage controller and move disk arrays to it for better utilization of the storage controller's CPU. The product resides on the virtual machine (VM) and supports CloudStack, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware and VMware Cloud Director.

The storage extension currently works only for NetApp filers, but the company plans to expand to other platforms. For now, VMTurbo has a storage resource controller add-on that plugs into NetApp arrays running Data OnTap.

VMTurbo Operations Manager balanced CPU and memory resources among applications and VMs in previous versions. It uses a scheduling engine to dynamically adjust resource allocations based on application needs, helping to alleviate contention among applications for CPU, memory and storage. Customers can segregate the I/O workloads, but the problem becomes more difficult when hundreds and thousands of VMs are added and hit the same back-end resources.

Operations Manager shows detailed visibility via a dashboard and a topological view of the IT stack resources, and automatically adjusts resources and workload among VMs with high-performance needs and those with lower-performance needs.

"As virtualization environments grow, it becomes more difficult to manage resources," said Colm Keegan, an analyst at Storage Switzerland LLC. "Once the workloads go into the hundreds and thousands, there's a lot of contention among the workloads. One issue is [that] storage I/O applications encounter a lot of latency because of random I/Os. It becomes a storage blender because the patterns are so unpredictable."

VMTurbo now has modules for storage, converged fabric and hybrid cloud. The software works at the array, volume and storage-controller level, and provides specific guidance regarding the "what, when and where" of running workloads in a private or public cloud infrastructure. "If you have different metrics and you don't know what's affecting different parts of the system, you're totally flying blind," said Laura Whitehouse, VMTurbo's director of product marketing. "We're bridging that gap. We're providing the visibility and translating the relationship between VMs and the associated storage."

Operations Manager has a Start Storage function to start a suspended data store for high utilization of storage resources. It can provision a new data store, suspend a VM and move it to other data stores, and terminate storage for a data store that has been suspended. It can also move data stores to different storage devices for high storage utilization and resize data store capacity.

Operations Manager is aware of high-availability configurations, and moves workloads to a host in a cluster only if that host fails.

VMTurbo began shipping products in August 2010, and claims 8,000 cloud service providers and enterprise customers worldwide.

Operations Manager 4.0 is generally available today, and pricing starts at $699 per physical CPU socket. The add-on Application Extension starts at $199 per CPU socket, while the Storage Extension starts at $599 per CPU socket; both are generally available. The Hybrid Cloud Extension is available to current VMTurbo customers in the Early Access program.

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