Virtualization's New Set of Problems

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

Virtualization is top of mind for many IT organizations, but performance of virtualized applications has sometimes fallen short. Ensuring quality of service for those applications is key to making virtualization work without hurting productivity.

The virtualization layer means it’s harder to isolate problems than if the application was hosted in a traditional manner, Gilad said. The old problems don’t go away, but virtualization brings with it a new set of problems, as well. If something doesn’t function right in a traditional IT environment, the problem will be there until the IT technician gets around to fixing it, but in a virtual world, the virtual machine that is being problematic may disappear long before the technician has time to look at the problem, he said.

The solution is application performance management technology, which is Precise Software’s specialty. Precise provides automated application performance management with agents that enable the software to see what’s going on and suggest potential fixes as problems pop up.

Application performance management tools provide a way to monitor applications and provide reports even after the virtual machine is no longer in use, Gilad said. The tools can rewind time, so to speak, so IT professionals can view decommissioned virtual machines and see what was going on when users experienced problems.

With information collected by application performance management tools, IT professionals can view every transaction the application processed and isolate a problem. Being able to isolate problems on decommissioned virtual machines will enable IT to provide a higher level of performance, Gilad said.

Some of the cost savings from virtualization are gained through applications sharing resources, but that can have a negative performance impact on the apps, he said. Application performance management software can give visibility into the different applications depending on shared databases and services, and then show how they conflict with each other.

For channel partners, this presents an opportunity not just to make margin on the sale of application performance management software, but also to provide customers with professional services. Gilad noted that providing performance management as a service as an MSP is a great opportunity for partners.

Warren agreed there is a huge opportunity for partners to help their customers because they understand the complexities of application performance and the different environments that software runs in. That’s a value-add they can offer their customers. Many partners specialize in tweaking software to make sure it’ll run properly in the specific environment the customer needs to run it in.