The new releases include Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise and Standard Editions 7.0 and Foglight for Storage Management 3.0. These releases address a number of data-center transformation challenges -- from optimizing performance and efficiency in a virtual environment to solving end-to-end storage and virtualization challenges in complex and cloud-based systems.
Dell Software, recognizing VMware's market leading penetration in virtualization, is carving out a heterogeneity support play for server, storage and VDI -- but is making VMware support a priority for now. And Dell is supporting VMware VDI even as its own thin client portfolio, nee Wyse, competes with it.
For Dell Software, the bigger long-term management and efficiency opportunity is for making a mixture of virtualization technologies tamed. They, like most, expect Microsoft Hyper-V to gain in share and therefore make for a mixed data center sprawl. And the same is expected for VDI, especially as BYOD, mobile first, and tablets make the end points even more hetero.
You might say the messier it gets (and the lack of cross-technology support from the competing market leaders themselves), the better it is for a third party like Dell to waltz in and fix the mess, and scoop up a nice piece of margin too. Dell plans to target Hyper-V eventually, but is focused on VMware for now.
"Software-defined is great, but it isn't a black box. You still need to connect the physical to the virtual," said John Maxwell, executive director, product management, Dell Software. [Disclosure: Dell Software and VMware are sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) professionals are faced with not only reducing the total cost of the data center, but also to drive agility, quickly deploy new applications, and deliver the highest level of performance, said Maxwell.
Foglight for Virtualization
Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition 7.0 provides end-to-end performance monitoring and operations management for heterogeneous virtual environments to help reduce operational costs, speed deployments, and simplify the complexity of the data center virtual and physical infrastructure. This also includes deep integration with storage, Microsoft Active Directory, and Microsoft Exchange modules to provide performance analysis and advice across data-center infrastructure.
New optimization functionality allows I&O administrators to significantly increase consolidation ratios with improved visibility and analytics geared toward right-sizing CPU, memory, and storage, and effectively manages virtual-machine (VM) sprawl by reclaiming resources through new optimization insight into such waste as powered off VMs, zombie VMs, abandoned images, and unused templates and snapshots.
Now that most enterprises are majority workload virtualized, the next wave of cost savings comes from finding and removing those zombies, managing all the various flavors of virtualization in common fashion, further optimizing the CPU/memory/disk performance, and freeing up data storage with more insight and intelligence. You could think of this all as repaving the path to software-defined data centers, recognizing that there's still a lot of waste to clear along that road well before the end destination.
Additional enhancements due this month include:
- VMware vCloud Director support for monitoring and optimizing private cloud implementation
- VMware View support for end-to-end visibility into performance of the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), including users and sessions
- vSphere 5.5 support including all generally available VMware platforms
Foglight for Storage Management gathers extensive performance metrics and presents this data within a rich graphical interface incorporating architectural diagrams, graphs, alerts, and drill-down screens for fast and easy identification of virtual and physical storage problems. New feature functionality provides:
- Pool-level analysis to track remaining capacity and over-commitment for thin provisioning
- Performance analyzer to provide one-click performance
troubleshooting visibility from VM to array to sub-array level in a
- Additional device support for Dell Compellent, Dell EqualLogic, and EMC VMAX
New capacity management and planning functionality helps to drive data-center sustainability and reduce power consumption to decrease operating costs and capital expenditures, while improving workload performance. It does this by analyzing existing VM workload requirements against the entire environment and identifying the minimum number of host servers required over time to safely support workloads. Additional new enhancements include:
- Enhanced user interface for a more intuitive approach to capacity management and planning
- New capacity planning features to prepare for host server refresh,
upgrade, or expansion projects by finding the optimum configurations and
minimum number of new or existing host servers to maximize VM
performance while minimizing server cost, space, and power needs
- New power minimization feature to reduce costs by determining the
minimum number of host servers needed over time to safely run workloads,
and estimating potential cost savings by powering down unneeded servers
- New optimization to automatically adjust virtual machine disk sizes up or down, based on actual use
All can be downloaded from the Dell Software website and are expected to be generally available on August 31.
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