Who’s Minding Your Storage Zoo? Try CloudPhysics New Storage Analytics

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What I love about being a product manager in a startup is you get to listen to customers every day and leverage your learnings to directly influence product and company direction. Our new Storage Analytics, now available as a free trial, is a great example of how this works.

My experience at CloudPhysics over the past few years has amplified a recurring theme I saw while working with customers in my previous 10 years at VMware: virtualization has forever changed the enterprise storage scenario. Gone are the days when storage meant local spinning disks; shared storage and flash are now the new normal in datacenters. Similarly, the number of enterprise storage vendors have grown from a handful to several dozen – and the number of different storage arrays you can buy today is mind boggling.

Storage has truly become a zoo and the admins managing these storage arrays are the new zookeepers :-). It’s messy – and beyond messy, it ends up being downright wasteful. As counterintuitive as it sounds, with great server consolidation comes great waste, especially storage waste.

This is why I’m really excited about our new Storage Analytics offering, which focuses on two key – and otherwise tedious – management problems that haunt every virtualized datacenter:

  • Storage capacity
  • Storage performance

Storage capacity

There are many fast-and-easy paths to storage waste in a virtualized datacenter. But the path to storage reclamation is typically slow and complicated. Take VM sprawl for example: it takes just seconds to spin up a new VM, but figuring out if and when it needs to be deleted takes hours, if not weeks. You can more easily reclaim CPU and memory resources by powering off the VMs, but powered off VMs still take up disk space. Over time, you may forget about them. That’s just one example of space waste – there are many more.

CloudPhysics is specifically addressing storage-induced capacity problems by providing unique, powerful insights into where and how your storage space is being consumed along with specific recommendations on how to reclaim the space. We’ve been working hard to develop the algorithms that solve this problem, while making all that complexity transparent to users. The screenshot below, which shows how we address the problem of unused VMs, is just a sample of what you’ll find in our storage analytics.

Unused VMs

Storage performance

There’s a strong relationship between storage waste and storage performance. Why? Many virtualization users simply overprovision the number of spindles, read/write cache, flash storage etc. to avoid the pain of troubleshooting storage performance issues. After all who wants to spend hours and hours of time combing through performance charts to understand correlations and do root cause analysis? Nobody does – but we have figured out how to leverage big data analytics to do it for you. For example, our fantastic new datastore contention analytics (see below) tell you when and where you are experiencing contention, and automatically identifies which VMs in your datastore are performance culprits (and which are victims). You can now solve performance issues literally in few clicks – which is a lot quicker and more efficient than overprovisioning your storage.

Datastore Contention v2

 

Obviously there’s a lot more to discover in our new Storage Analytics, so be sure to check for more blogs from me in the coming weeks. More importantly, check it out for yourself. Just click here to sign up for your 30-day free trial.

Additional information:

Our Storage Analytics run on VMware 4.1 and higher.
Information about Premium and Free Editions is here.