Interview with Jerry Melnick, President and CEO of SIOS Technology
Why are some applications more challenging to manage and optimize in virtual environments than others?
JM:As enterprise IT environments look to move more of their business operations to virtual environments, many struggle to meet the stringent requirements of business-critical applications such as SQL Server, Oracle, and SAP in these environments. Because they are essential to the company’s productivity, IT managers are required to ensure these applications and the environments they operate in are optimized for high performance, reliability, and efficiency.
However, meeting these requirements in a virtual server environment is much more difficult than in a physical server environment where applications run on dedicated resources in tightly controlled and managed infrastructures Virtual environments are highly scalable with shared and dynamic resources that operate in complex relationships with one another. The operation of one can affect the resources used by one or more of the others. Understanding how these subtle relationships affect performance and the ways to correct performance issues can be extraordinarily difficult.
IT is also challenged with planning and scaling fast-growing, dynamic virtual infrastructures while supporting new applications and maintaining reliability and availability. Today, IT often uses estimates and trial-and-error methods to identify problems, improve configurations, and evaluate the impact of changes.
Don’t IT managers already have tools to help manage applications in virtual environments?
JM: While IT managers have a variety of tools to monitor applications, network, they typically focus on a “silo” within an infrastructure, such as network, storage, or server. These tools miss the complex interrelationships in the infrastructure requiring highly skill IT personnel long hours to uncover the issues impacting critical application operations. Legacy approaches fall short of the needs of IT managers running business critical applications in complex, dynamic virtualized environments. In contrast, SIOS software considers the operation of the entire infrastructure to accurately identify complex issues enabling IT managers to quickly address the root cause of performance problems, identify under used resources, and optimize configurations to help them get the most value from their virtualized environment. We focused first on VMware environments to ensure our platform would benefit the most users. Using advanced machine learning, we were able to eliminate false positives and alert storms and provide customers with the information they need in an easy to use, graphical interface.
Tell us about your solution, SIOS iQ.
JM: SIOS iQ is the only product to automatically diagnose and recommend solutions to application performance issues and model the outcomes of recommended changes in virtualized environments.
Designed to be a powerful platform for IT operations information and issue resolution, SIOS iQ applies an advanced data analytics/Big Data approach to a broad range of data sets, including application and infrastructure data from third party tools and frameworks, to recognize abnormal patterns of behavior and identify root causes of performance issues. It provides information organized according to four key dimensions: performance, efficiency, reliability, and capacity utilization. The latest innovations from SIOS deliver industry leading simplicity and accuracy in identifying and resolving root causes of performance issues, predicting capacity needs and offering improvements to save you money.
SIOS recently released a new version of SIOS iQ version 3.5. What new functionality is included?
JM:SIOS iQ version 3.5 has new features that deliver unparalleled accuracy and precision in capacity utilization and performance root cause analysis for VMware environments. It also includes dashboard enhancements for improved usability and a graphical topological impact view enabling faster identification and resolution of issues.
Version 3.5 includes the following new features:
- Capacity Forecasting Analysis – SIOS iQ understands capacity utilization pattern to forecast how many days remain before data store(s) run out of free space. This feature optimizes infrastructure without risking costly emergencies. It can be used with the SIOS iQ Snapshot Waste analysis feature to optimize storage and maintain a predictable budget.
- Enhanced Root Cause Analysis – This feature adds symptom analytics and graphically describes the topology of the impacted objects visually showing the user the infrastructure issue. In one click, it provides a deep understanding of issues by employing advanced topological behavior analysis to provide root cause of performance issues without the need to manually parse detailed data logs or compile and compare charts.
What is the difference between SIOS iQ and legacy monitoring tools?
JM: Traditional tools measure a specific metric along a single dimension, such as CPU utilization, against a pre-configured threshold. When the metric exceeds the threshold, an alert is triggered. Alerts generated this way often have little meaning since they don’t the complex interrelationships between objects in virtual environments that drive application performance and behavior. IT managers are often inundated with hundreds of alerts leaving IT staff the complex task of interpreting the alerts and accumulating data points to make educated guesses about the root cause and potential solutions.
Planning for change and predicting the impact of changes in large-scale virtual infrastructures with traditional tools are very difficult. Keeping these environments running at optimal efficiency using traditional tools requires constant vigilance, manual analysis, and continual reconfiguration and tuning.
SIOS iQ eliminates the guesswork by recognizing abnormal patterns of behavior in the infrastructure to accurately identify the root causes of issues. It automatically recommends the best solutions, filtering out the noise and alert storms typical in traditional approaches. It delivers actionable information that the IT administrator can use to solve problems.
Can you tell us about customers who are benefitting from SIOS iQ?
JM:Global security software company, Trend Micro, and Datrix, one of the UK’s leading providers of critical network services and enterprise cloud solutions, are among those who have selected SIOS iQ to gain faster, more accurate insights into their VMware environments. These companies are also members of the SIOS iQ VIP program providing valuable guidance toward future development of the SIOS iQ product.
Trend Micro has to meet stringent Service Level agreements for application performance and efficiency both for its employees and its customers. To find the root causes of performance issues, they had used the traditional ‘war room’ approach of assembling a multi-disciplinary team of IT staff and analyzing multiple analytics tools. SIOS iQ lets Trend Micro find and resolve root causes of performance issues in minutes, saving hours of IT labor and enabling them to maintain compliance with their SLAs.
How is SIOS iQ sold and what does it cost?
JM:SIOS iQ is a host-license based product that is sold as either a renewable subscription for a list price of $100/month/host (paid annually) or as a perpetual license for $1600/host plus $400/year for update and maintenance service. During the valid subscription period SIOS iQ subscribers are entitled to support 24 hours/day, 5 days/week and to receive new features and updates that will be delivered through the built-in automatic product update feature.