If you are associated with IT infrastructure or the IT infrastructure management businesses you know what a Subject Matter Expert (SME) is. SMEs (also known as domain experts) have a deep knowledge in an area or area(s) or application, these are the people everyone runs to when they have tough questions. When it comes to IT infrastructure management we have SMEs for data bases, Web App servers etc. These experts are called when frontline support is unable to find the root cause of an IT issue and are they looking for quick guidance to move ahead to resolving the issue and reduce business impact. These experts have a knack of getting to the root cause with simply the available events, the data and their expansive knowledge of the subject.
Over the past few years a new role has emerged—Virtualization Subject Matter
Expert (referred to as vSME from now on). With the growth of Virtualization and its adoption, there is also an increase in related challenges. Virtualization brings challenges in terms of dynamically changing environment:
Virtual Machines (VMs) moving across hosts
Hosts moving across clusters
Hundreds of VMs running different kinds of workloads
Insufficient resource allocation to VM/Host etc.
With above challenges, the vSME role is becoming one of the most challenging roles in IT set up because critical business workloads are hosted in these Virtualized environments. The vSME needs to be on his feet to identify root cause of an issue because of the broad reach of virtualization in the datacenter. The symptom may be poorly performing workload but the underlying root cause can be due to many reasons across the Virtualized infrastructure. The vSME has to quickly look beyond the symptoms.
vSMEs are also faced with ensuring that the IT environment is running optimally with the right sized hosts /VMs. Any underutilized Host or VM is an expense to the business and he needs to make sure the environment is always optimally used and that there is no under- or over-utilization.
The typical job description of a vSME is summarized below:
It will be difficult for the vSME to get control of his environment without a tool—a vSME tool. Of course he has the option of using native commands provided by Virtualization Vendors but it will be cumbersome if the environment is medium to large scale. He needs a tool which will make his work faster and more effective.
I have listed a few of the requirements of the vSME tool:
Easy to install/configure and maintain
Quickly get an over view of the environment with thousands of VMs. The goal is to find hot spots
Get deep insight into the performance of the Virtual environment. This leads to a broader performance metric set
Get information on Undersized/Over Sized Hosts and VMS
Have the data to analyze the Performance of environment over time (say 12 weeks plus)
Provide out-of-the-box reports with insight on how the environment is performing over time
Provide a forecast for resource usage for up to 12 weeks or more.
As vSME have you experienced, a tool that meets the above requirements? Do we have tool that a vSME can quickly try to ensure that it meets his needs?