Interview with John Gentry, Vice President of Marketing & Alliances at Virtual Instruments
Can you briefly describe VirtualWisdom’s product updates/offerings for VirtualWisdom4.3?
JG:VirtualWisdom4.3 broadens its analytic capabilities and adds deeper support for customers who have Hyper-V and PowerVM virtualization layers. We introduced a new analytic for vSphere environments that allows for proactive virtual machine (VM) placement ahead of resource contention, optimizing performance and avoiding potential bottlenecks caused by reactive VM movements. This feature will be coming to Hyper-V and PowerVM soon.
We’re also launching network-attached storage (NAS) probes into beta to gain additional insights from non-Fibre Channel protocols. True end-to-end visibility into application infrastructure defines Virtual Instruments as a company. By adding support for more hypervisors and storage protocols, and deepening our analytics capability with our VM coordinator, we give enterprise IT the ability to be proactive with infrastructure performance management (IPM). There’s no room for downtime and greater latency in enterprise IT. VirtualWisdom gives users the chance to understand application workflows granularly enough to identify what causes regular or anomalous performance issues, allowing IT teams to stay on top of application performance.
What’s unique about Virtual Instruments’ approach to infrastructure performance management?
JG: We’ve led the IPM category for seven years, and we’ve been able to learn from experience. Working with some of the biggest enterprises in the world has given us an understanding of end-to-end infrastructure performance that no one else can touch. We’ve built that experience into our analytics platform, allowing any customer to take advantage of that experience. Adding multi-hypervisor support extends VirtualWisdom’s capability for truly vendor-agnostic IPM. We’ve seen infrastructures growing more complex every day to support the modern business. This doesn’t have to mean that managing performance gets more difficult. In fact, if anything, the reliance on IT throughout the enterprise means problem-solving needs to be simplified. VirtualWisdom’s approach isn’t about reacting to problems – it’s defined by understanding baselines for optimized performance and proactively managing infrastructure to embolden teams to make problem-solving a priority. Ensuring smooth performance can’t just be a reactionary concept. When you understand what leads to your problems, you can make improvements to prevent any obstacles in the future.
How can infrastructure performance management assist in streamlining corporate IT?
JG: Establishing a common language and visibility beyond device layers and element managers allows all IT teams to see real-time, unbiased performance results at the most granular level. The depth and breadth of data we collect and correlate allows us to eliminate finger-pointing, and find and present needles in haystacks to IT teams. This allows them to optimize and guarantee performance and resolve issues with answers, not just more data. Enterprise IT has gone through a widespread shift in recent years. IT teams need to ideate and innovate constantly to support rapidly changing initiatives and demands. By providing a platform that identifies the root cause of problems and points to elegant solutions, IT workers can act on issues quickly to spend more time proactively supporting the enterprise.
What aspects of your platform drive the greatest value for end users?
JG: The greatest value from our platform comes from our view of the infrastructure. Being vendor-agnostic means that regardless of where our customers’ infrastructures are now, or where they will be in the future, our platform and analytics will continue to be available for them. Too often, we’ve heard stories of companies making substantial capital and operational expenditures to expand or improve infrastructure performance, only to face the same persistent problems. VirtualWisdom end users identify and resolve issues quickly. Understanding an infrastructure more holistically makes it easier to solve problems and manage workload placement so those issues fade. VirtualWisdom provides unbiased answers and agility to accommodate changes in business and IT strategy, freeing IT workers up to spend more time on their companies’ goals.
Are there any surprising use cases for your technology?
JG: An interesting, highly valuable use case that we’re seeing is customers using VirtualWisdom to benchmark current performance and monitor new technology evaluations and bake-offs. Using the insights gained, customers can optimize the infrastructure once a technology choice has been made. As more and more companies are re-architecting their data centers for the future, enterprises need to trust but verify the claims of technology vendors and ensure that they’re buying the right technology in the right quantities to support their workloads, now and in the future. Vendor-agnostic performance management ensures an unbiased view of the ecosystem. When IT teams understand applications and other workloads more granularly, they can identify areas they need to improve and make better purchasing decisions.
What do you think about the current state of the broader data center industry? What trends are you mostly highly anticipating?
JG: We’re seeing more and more of our largest customers adopting newer technologies like IP-based storage protocols, as well as converged and hyperconverged platforms. These present value in terms of cost savings and agility, but also generate more risks. In order to mitigate these risks, customers require deep insight into performance and proactively address issues when deviations from established performance benchmarks occur.
Even with infrastructures continuing to grow in line with Moore’s Law, the mandate from the C-level to keep costs down isn’t going to fade. The broader data center industry will be instructed to keep innovating and keep improving IT infrastructure without substantially larger budgets for capital or operational costs. When performance and availability are managed proactively, there’s less time spent fixing problems and more time spent focusing on projects that improve businesses.
What’s next for Virtual Instruments?
JG: Virtual Instruments is continuing to discover and deliver innovative new insights for all areas of modern IT, including IT ops, DevOps and application teams. This includes new data sources to analyze, new platforms and environments to monitor, and new methodologies to adapt. We will continue to drive toward a world where your applications and infrastructure perform better together, and we’re providing the answers, not data, needed to get there.
As new trends and technologies are more heavily relied on within enterprise IT, there will be more data available to measure performance. This will mean analytics that lead to answers will become even more significant. As VirtualWisdom has evolved, we’ve built the knowledge and wisdom of our users into the platform with each new iteration. We’re always learning from the people using our platform to improve their infrastructures, and we’ll continue to do so as VirtualWisdom expands its reach.