Tag Archives: Performance

VirtualWisdom brings visibility to the cloud

Expanding beyond storage, Virtual Instruments has integrated the analytics and performance management technology from its Xangati acquisition into its VirtualWisdom platform.

VirtualWisdom 5.4 includes tools that give administrators deeper visibility between the application and infrastructure for performance management. The product now includes a new NetFlow Probe tool that discovers and maps LAN traffic flow among the applications, hosts, virtual machines, NAS controllers and software-defined-storage (SDS) nodes.

VirtualWisdom now supports additional protocols such Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) within its SAN Switch Probe and SMB within its NAS Performance Probe, which previously only monitored the NFS protocol. Virtual Instruments also added monitoring of VMware vSAN, Dell EMC ScaleIO and Nutanix hyper-converged appliances  for application-centric performance management.

“For us, these are different sources to evaluate the health of the infrastructure,” said Len Rosenthal, chief marketing officer at Virtual Instruments. “We are collecting more sources of data to analyze the infrastructure so you can understand the infrastructure that the application is running on. Previously, we were 100% storage-based.”

The new capabilities come from virtualization infrastructure performance monitoring vendor Xangati, which Virtual Instruments acquired in November 2016.

Steve Brasen, research director of systems and storage management at Enterprise Management Associates, said the cloud has reduced visibility between applications and the infrastructure for administrators. That makes Virtual Instruments’ application performance management a valuable tool, he said.

“If you have a performance problem, all you see is that it has something to do with the cloud,” Brasen said. “VirtualWisdom can see through the virtualization, cloud and grid layers. It provides visibility from the application through the virtualization layer to the infrastructure.

“The product can map down to the storage, network and server levels,” he said. “And it can move applications to a location where it works better. It can dynamically place workloads. Virtual Instruments has the broadest visibility into the infrastructure.”

Virtual Instruments initially did performance monitoring of SANs with its SAN Performance Probe appliances for Fibre Channel (FC) storage but expanded to include network attached storage (NAS) with a NAS probe after merging with Load Dynamix.

VirtualWisdom has an analytics layer with tools that target performance optimization. A storage port balancer analytics tool performs workload and capacity optimization at the array level while the collaboration investigation runbooks helps debug problems that are hindering performance.

“In the past in was a manual process for customers to debug problems, such as which array do I use and what sequence of events do I implement to solve problems,” Rosenthal said. “What we have done is taken all our knowledge and we built a runbook or workflow that sets the sequence to solve a problem. Now it’s all automated.”

VirtualWisdom’s storage port analyzer helps fine-tune performance at the array level.

“This means you can look at the storage port utilization on the arrays,” Rosenthal said. “And look at the traffic patterns across those ports. We had this for the virtual servers for a number of years, but we did not have it on the arrays.”

For Sale – Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz – RED

Selling: –

Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz CL11 XMP Performance Desktop Memory Kit – Red

(16GB (2x8GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Pro Series Red, PC3-19200 (2400), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 11-13-13-31, XMP, 1.65V)
£100.00

Used but in perfect working order.

J

Price and currency: £100.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: ppg or bt
Location: worcestershire
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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With AI-based cloud management tools, context is king

Administrators who struggle to get deeper insight into cloud infrastructure and application performance have a new ally: artificial intelligence.

Some emerging and legacy IT vendors have infused AI technology into their cloud management tools. While their feature sets — such as the ability to analyze host performance, optimize costs and set up alerts — sound similar to those found in more traditional third-party management tools, these AI-based platforms reach a new level of sophistication, providing greater granularity and broader context, according to IT pros.

Travis Perkins PLC, a retail provider for the home improvement and construction markets based in the U.K., uses Dynatrace’s AI-based performance monitoring platform for its on-premises and Amazon Web Services (AWS) environments. Rather than focus on higher-level metrics related to host servers or instances, the tool reports more granularly on aspects like Java runtime code and errors, said Abdul Rahman Al-Tayib, e-commerce DevOps team leader at the company. This enables his team to perform faster and more precise root-cause analysis when something goes wrong, and better assess the overall impact any issues might have on the business.

“When it comes down to investigating or looking into specific elements of performance where we have had challenges, rather than having to do the investigation manually, [Dynatrace combines] it all into one report,” Al-Tayib said. “So, it tells you, ‘This service here failed to fire, and, therefore, it caused this series of events, which was then related back to [a disruption at your] customer.’ You can immediately see where the challenge is.”

To initiate this root-cause analysis, users install a Dynatrace agent on their host machine to identify the various dependencies between resources and help correlate certain events with any issues that arise, explained Alois Reitbauer, chief technology strategist at the company, based in Waltham, Mass.

“If you have a host that is running out of CPU, and the service running on that host has a response-time problem, [the tool can tell] these are related to each other,” Reitbauer said.

More sophisticated anomaly detection, or identifying when an IT service is performing in an abnormal way, is another feature that makes AI-based management tools stand out. To do this, the Dynatrace tool performs auto-baselining — an automatic process that assesses baseline, or standard, system performance by applying different algorithms for metrics such as response time, failure rate and throughput.

After the tool extrapolates what normal performance looks like, it alerts IT teams to any deviations from that behavior. To avoid being bombarded with alerts, users can further specify performance thresholds, and the tool also applies algorithms to assess criticality.

“If I have two hosts that have infrastructure problems … I obviously care more about the problem that might be with a checkout function for a cart in an e-commerce application than the other one that maybe does some background batch processing,” Reitbauer said. “[That] user context, from an infrastructure case, is of main importance.”

This ability for AI-powered cloud management tools to weed out noncritical alerts has been a boon to other users, as well. According to a network and infrastructure capacity planner at a cloud storage provider that uses AWS for its back-end infrastructure, that capability was one of the main reasons his company adopted an AI-based cloud management tool called YotaScale.

[An AI-enabled cloud management tool] tells you, ‘This service here failed to fire, and, therefore, it caused this series of events, which was then related back to [a disruption at your] customer.’ You can immediately see where the challenge is.
Abdul Rahman Al-Tayibe-commerce DevOps team leader, Travis Perkins PLC

The capacity planner, who asked to remain anonymous, conducted evaluations on several third-party cloud management tools, but found that YotaScale allowed him to “suppress a lot of the noise” that can come with those tools’ alerts and recommendations.

For example, a company might spin up some AWS instances for a new research and development project, and those instances tend to have low utilization as the project ramps up, he said. Third-party cloud management tools might recommend to right-size those instances or reserve them via an AWS Reserved Instance, but in this case, those suggestions are irrelevant.

“That’s not how we would really do things in a bootstrapping scenario, where we are trying to bring up a new test or project, and so I’m going to ignore those,” he said.

The benefit of the AI layer in tools such as YotaScale is to analyze IT infrastructure through the lens of various business departments or units, according to the Menlo Park, Calif., company’s CEO, Asim Razzaq. In the example above, that’s through the lens of a research and development team.

“We map that enterprise, organizational way of looking at things to the infrastructure,” Razzaq said. “And then, within that context, deliver optimization [recommendations] and anomaly detection.”

The YotaScale tool achieves this business context via user input. Users adjust certain parameters and dismiss recommendations that don’t fit, teaching the tool to detect what’s most relevant over time.

AI replacing humans? Not so fast

One overarching benefit of these AI-based cloud management tools is they reduce the need for humans to perform a lot of this analysis on their own. But even the most sophisticated tools won’t provide the same level of insight — at least not yet — as an IT professional with 20 years of industry experience, said Chris Wilder, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

“These algorithms will be smarter and smarter based on the anomalies they find, but they still don’t have the experience a person would,” Wilder said. “Data, in my opinion, is not a replacement for human expertise. It’s just something to augment it.”

These AI capabilities are still in their early phases, agreed Jay Lyman, analyst at 451 Research. But they will eventually become a must-have for infrastructure management tool vendors.

“We’ll get to a point before too long where every provider is going to have to have some sort of machine learning and AI in their automation,” Lyman said. “I think it will become pretty much a check-box item.”

For Sale – Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz – RED

Selling: –

Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz CL11 XMP Performance Desktop Memory Kit – Red

(32GB (4x8GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Pro Series Red, PC3-19200 (2400), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 11-13-13-31, XMP, 1.65V)
£200.00

Used but in perfect working order.

J

Price and currency: £200.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: ppg or bt
Location: worcestershire
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz – RED

Selling: –

Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz CL11 XMP Performance Desktop Memory Kit – Red

(32GB (4x8GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Pro Series Red, PC3-19200 (2400), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 11-13-13-31, XMP, 1.65V)
£200.00

Used but in perfect working order.

J

Price and currency: £200.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: ppg or bt
Location: worcestershire
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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Hyper-converged infrastructures get a new benchmark

Hyper-converged infrastructures can be extremely difficult to manage, because everything is interconnected. Measuring performance in this type of infrastructure is just as challenging. And in the past, the available benchmarks only focused on one part of the system. Now, administrators have the ability to look at the infrastructure as a whole.

In November, the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) announced the availability of TPCx-HCI, an application system-level benchmark for measuring the performance of hyper-converged infrastructures. With this benchmark kit, administrators can get a complete view of their virtualized hardware and converged storage, networking and compute platforms running a database application.

We spoke with Reza Taheri, chairman of the TPCx-HCI committee and principal engineer at VMware, who explained the new benchmark for hyper-converged infrastructures and how the council created it.

What was the process for developing the TPCx-HCI benchmark?

Reza Taheri: Originally, we developed a functional specifications document to leave people’s hands open to do any implementation [of the benchmark]. But over time, we realized that it actually made it very hard for people to implement. Not anybody could just go out and start learning the benchmark based on Transaction Processing Performance Council standards. So, we put out a benchmark kit that anybody can download, and it implements the benchmark, measurement, collection of data and all of that in the application kit itself.

The TPCx-V benchmark [for virtualization] was released a couple of years ago. The idea was to look at the performance of a virtualized server — so the hardware, hypervisor, storage and networking using the database workload. We wanted to compare different virtualization stacks using a very heavy business-critical database workload.

We looked at the TPCx-V benchmark kit and specifications and realized that we could very quickly repurpose that for hyper-converged infrastructures.
Reza Taherichairman of the TPCx-HCI committee and principal engineer at VMware

Earlier this year, we had a couple new members join the TPC, and they were HCI vendors — DataCore and Nutanix. They, along with other vendors, [started] asking about a benchmark for HCI systems. We looked at the TPCx-V benchmark kit and specifications and realized that we could very quickly repurpose that for hyper-converged infrastructures. We realized that the HCI market is hot and that there was a demand for a good benchmark.

Will this benchmark account for quality of service, in addition to price and performance?

Taheri: In a couple of ways, yes. One is that you need to have very strict response time performance. 

The other one is something that’s new in this benchmark: Combine performance with some notion of availability. Say you’re running on a four-node cluster. For the test, you limit the VMs on three of the nodes, but all four nodes supply data. At some point during the test, you kill the fourth node and run for a while, and then you turn it back on. You’re required to report the impact on performance during this run and also to report how long it took you to recover resilience and redundancy after the host came back on.

What types of applications do you use for benchmark testing?

Taheri: It’s an online transaction processing application — a database application — that runs on top of Postgres [an open source relational database management system] in a Linux VM. We use that to generate a realistic, very heavy workload that then runs on top of the hypervisor and virtualized storage, virtualized networking, the hardware and so on. The beauty of an application like that is that it really leaves nowhere to hide. Sometimes, for example, if it’s a very simple test of just IOPS, you can make up for low storage by using a lot of CPU or a lot of memory.

But you can’t do that with a high-level system benchmark like this, because if you make up for storage by using too much CPU in the HCI software itself or do caching and use memory, then the application suffers and your performance drops. So, to have good performance, you have to have good storage, memory, CPU and networking all at the same time.

Are all the tested systems running the same hypervisor? Can you accurately compare benchmark performance results for HCI systems that are running different hypervisors?

Taheri: Any hypervisor can be used for this benchmark. Different hyper-converged infrastructures might be running different software stacks besides different hypervisors. It might not be possible to state how much of a performance difference is solely due to the hypervisor. The TPCx-V benchmark is very similar to TPCx-HCI, but runs on one node and can use any type of storage. TPCx-V is a better tool for studying the performance of hypervisors.

Is there any way to compare this benchmark to something running in the cloud?

Taheri: Not directly, but the benchmark has many attributes of cloud-based applications, such as elasticity of load, virtualization and so on. Also, a sponsor might choose to run the benchmark on a cloud platform, which is allowed by the Transaction Processing Performance Council specifications.

As HCI is still evolving, are there plans to review and make changes to the benchmark at any point?

Taheri: We would need to. It was a quantum leap from the Iometer type of benchmarks — micro-benchmarks — to a system application benchmark like this. Going forward, these specs will evolve. Benchmarks … evolve in minor ways, and every few years we have to do a major change, which makes it incomparable to previous versions of the same benchmark.

For Sale – Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz – RED

Selling: –

Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz CL11 XMP Performance Desktop Memory Kit – Red

(16GB (2x8GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Pro Series Red, PC3-19200 (2400), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 11-13-13-31, XMP, 1.65V)



used but in perfect working order.

pic will be uploaded later.

J

Price and currency: £100
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: ppg or bt
Location: worcestershire
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz – RED

Selling: –

Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz CL11 XMP Performance Desktop Memory Kit – Red

(16GB (2x8GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Pro Series Red, PC3-19200 (2400), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 11-13-13-31, XMP, 1.65V)



used but in perfect working order.

pic will be uploaded later.

J

Price and currency: £100
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: ppg or bt
Location: worcestershire
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
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Wanted – Low power GPU for HTPC

Hi

I need to upgrade the graphics card in my HTPC. 3D performance not an issue as it’s just for video playback. Must be:

Full sized (not low profile)
Windows 10 compatible
DX11+ compliant
Have both DVI and VGA outputs
Quiet – Ideally passively cooled or single fan
No need for external power connector

Am thinking a GT 730 or R7 240 would fit the bill….

Thanks

Location: Torfaen, Wales

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SteelCentral NPM upgrades to bolster SD-WAN portfolio

Riverbed Technology Inc. has introduced enhancements to its network performance monitor and integration between its SD-WAN product and cloud-based security provider Zscaler Inc.

This week’s announcements are related because the SteelCentral NPM is used on cloud-based business applications served by the SteelConnect SD-WAN. The latter routes traffic from a company’s branch to online software, the corporate data center or the internet.

A SteelCentral NPM module called Insights integrates with SteelConnect and provides information on usage and availability of the SD-WAN. “As time goes on, we’re going to have more and more functionality from the SteelCentral side into SteelConnect and other appliances in the Riverbed portfolio,” said Milind Bhise, the senior director of product marketing at Riverbed.

SteelCentral improvements

The SteelCentral platform is best suited for large networks requiring application performance analysis across WAN connections. New features in the latest version of the SteelCentral NPM software include integration between its Aternity module and ServiceNow’s online customer service management product.

Aternity monitors the performance of applications running on the web, virtual desktops and mobile devices. The integration makes it possible for ServiceNow to generate trouble tickets automatically when performance thresholds are not met.

Other enhancements include the ability to add SteelCentral monitoring of containers without changing them. A container is an OS-level virtualization method for deploying and running applications. The feature works alongside container orchestrators, including Kubernetes and Docker Swarm.

The latest SteelCentral iteration adds log messages from network devices to application performance data to assist developers and support troubleshooting. Starting with the log data, engineers can trace application activity to locate the source of the problem. The feature eliminates the need for a separate log analytics tool, Riverbed said.

Finally, Riverbed introduced a 40 Gbps network interface card for Riverbed appliances running SteelCentral and other products. The NIC doubles the traffic flow capacity.

SteelCentral NPM console
New and improved SteelCentral NPM console

SteelConnect with Zscaler

The SteelConnect-Zscaler integration makes it possible to use the former to direct internet traffic to the cloud-based security service. Zscaler products include a secure web gateway, firewall and data loss prevention tools.

SteelConnect customers would buy Zscaler separately, but access its portal through the SD-WAN product’s console.

SD-WAN vendors are adding services to their core products to make them an all-in-one networking product for branch offices. Along with security, vendors are tacking on WAN optimization and edge routing.