Overcoming Virtualization's Management Challenges

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print

The technology is getting commoditized, but there's still ample opportunity for those willing to innovate around virtualization and server consolidation.


For many customers that deployed a traditional virtualization solution like server consolidation or virtual desktop infrastructure, the initial cost, energy and physical space savings are obvious.  However, virtualization has its own set of management challenges including a lack of visibility into the inner workings of virtualized environments and the difficulty of gauging ROI and tracking problems.  Virtualization software vendor VKernel and its VARs are helping to overcome these challenges using their Virtual Appliance Suite.

The VKernel Virtual Appliance Suite software is a set of plug-and-play virtual appliances that address specific systems management problems within VMware virtual server environments, says Bill Brown, director of channel sales, VKernel. 

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VKernel virtual appliances provide visibility into the capacity and resource consumption of each virtual machine a customer is running, and each VKernel virtual appliance is targeted to finding and analyzing specific customer pain points, Brown explains, including cost visibility, capacity and implementing chargeback. 

"We are helping people see what's going on inside their virtual deployments. People are spending millions of dollars on virtualization, and they are flying blind," Brown says, without no way to view and analyze performance, efficiency and cost.

Using VKernel's virtual appliances, partners can deliver a clear view to customers into VMware's virtual center, as well as analyze and print out comprehensive views of their virtual deployment, including memory usage, storage capacity, CPU performance and network connection status and performance, Brown says.

Brown says that the virtual appliances are easily installed, and can be up and running within an hour.  The appliances allow for up to thirty days of history on a customer's virtual environment deployment, and not only gives partners the ability to show customers analytics of cost savings and ROI, but can also allow them to predict future problems, inefficiencies and bottlenecks.

"By analyzing capacity and performance, a partner could say to a customer, 'In seventeen days, you are going to discover a capacity bottleneck because you are growing your data and increasing capacity in this specific area,' " Brown says.

Brown says VKernel is just one aspect of a large virtualization ecosystem of products and services that contribute to that deployment, including storage, servers, hardware and software from vendors like VMware.  He adds that VKernel plans to unveil eight to twelve more virtual appliances over the next twelve to fourteen months, and that partners can expect lucrative opportunities to address customer pain points as each virtual appliance was ready.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.