Interview with Jerry Melnick, President and CEO of SIOS Technology Corp.
What is the SIOS Technology survey and what is the objective of the survey?
SIOS Technology Corp. conducted a survey of IT staff to understand current trends and challenges related to optimizing operating environments for applications in VMware infrastructures. The survey focused on challenges related to finding and resolving performance issues in business critical application environments.
Who responded to the survey?
The survey elicited responses from 518 IT professionals. Most respondents were from small to medium enterprises with fewer than 1000 employees (51 percent) and were headquartered in the United States (88 percent). The goal of the survey was to understand the challenges related to optimizing business-critical application environments. Most employees were SQL Server database administrators (59 percent) and 13 percent were IT administrators.
While 61 percent of respondents represented VMware environments with fewer than 50 hosts, more than a quarter (26 percent) had more than 100 hosts and half of those (14 percent) had environments with more than 200 hosts. The majority of respondents (81 percent) are running business critical applications such as SQL Server, Oracle, or SAP in their VMware environment.
What were some of the key findings uncovered in the survey results?
The following are key findings based on the survey results:
- The majority of respondents (81%) are running business critical applications such as SQL Server, Oracle, or SAP in their VMware environment.
- 78% of respondents are using multiple tools (application monitoring, reporting, infrastructure analytics) to identify the cause of application performance issues in VMware.
- 44% typically need more than three hours to resolve an application performance issue.
- 5% of respondents characterize their application performance issue resolutions as an “educated guess”.
When respondents have an application performance issue in VMware, how many tools (monitoring applications, reports, analytics tools) do they typically consult to identify the cause?
Respondents typically consult multiple tools to find the cause of performance issues in VMware including application monitoring, reports, and analytics. Only 22 percent are using a single tool whereas 68 percent need 2-4 tools and ten percent need five or more tools.
How often does an application performance issue affect end users?
Application performance issues are a common occurrence in these VMware environments. More than half of all respondents have performance issues that affect end users at least monthly. Of those, 18 percent have application performance issues more than four times per month, including eight percent who estimate that they experience more than seven issues per month.
How many labor hours are typically required to resolve an application performance issue in VMware?
Companies are spending a significant number of man hours resolving application performance issues. More than half of respondents require one to two hours to resolve application performance issues. Forty-four percent typically need more than three hours to resolve an application performance issue, including sixteen percent who need more than six hours to resolve issues.
When a strategy is arrived at to resolve an application performance issue in VMware, how often does it correct the problem the first time?
When IT staff work to address application performance issues, the resolution seldom corrects the problem the first time. For 17 percent of respondents, resolution strategies typically require changes after it is implemented. Five percent of respondents characterize their application issue resolutions as an “educated guess.”
Combined, how frequent are VMware performance issues and how much labor is required to resolve these issues?
Taken together, 30 percent of respondents have a performance issue 1-3 times per month requiring 3-5 man hours per issue or 3 to 15 man hours per month are spent resolving performance issues. Four respondents reported having 4-6 issues per month requiring 10 or more hours per issue to resolve and all four estimated that after resolving an application performance issue in VMware their resolution was correct only 50 percent of the time.
How would you sum up the SIOS Technology survey results?
Companies are running business-critical applications in VMware environments. However, ensuring those applications environments are optimized and delivering on their service levels for performance and efficiency is problematic, time-consuming, and inaccurate. IT staff are using multiple different tools to check the status of their important applications and to identify the causes of performance issues when they arise. Performance issues are routine occurrences that IT staff are dealing with every month. Characterizing and resolving these performance issues often requires a team of IT professionals and dozens of man hours. Despite this level of effort, solutions to performance issues often require some level of adjustment, rework, or even complete rework after they are implemented.
What new class of solutions are available to help improve the management of application performance issues in VMware?
Solutions that take advantage of Machine Learning technology “learn” about the infrastructure, the interrelationships of its various components and their patterns of behavior as it changes over time. Rather than simply reporting a point-in-time status or averaging data, it provides knowledge of the infrastructure that considers daily and even hourly variances to accurately predict and simulate behavior and recommend solutions to issues that arise. For example, SIOS iQ uses a big data/machine learning approach to the problem of IT operations analysis, optimization, and performance resolution. It acquires a broad set of data in real-time for all objects across the infrastructure – CPU, storage, network, applications – and then applies patented machine learning analytics technology to automatically identify abnormal behavior to precisely identify an issue, its root cause and a recommended solution.