|By Jeremy Geelan||
|January 23, 2009 06:00 AM EST||
"There is a shift in focus and it is from technologies that enable virtualization to technologies that manage virtualization," says Bala Murugan, Chief Architect at eG Innovations, in this Exclusive Q&A with SYS-CON's Virtualization Journal. Overall, Murugan maintains, virtualization is "a promising and justifiable investment, particularly in the current economic downturn."
Virtualization Journal: Do you agree with the view that Virtualization is one of the most promising technology investments in the current economic downturn?
Bala Murugan: Virtualization, when done right, has been proven to provide significant reductions in direct cost. It also helps your indirect cost by improving your IT’s performance, reliability and capacity management. So yes, I would say that it is a promising and justifiable investment, particularly in the current economic downturn.
Virtualization Journal: How about your concept of “Virtualization 2.0” – doesn’t it implicitly suggest that Virtualization 1.0 has been deficient?
Murugan: On the contrary, it is more in reference to the evolution of the Virtualization industry. Virtualization 1.0 was a revelation; it introduced virtualization to the world, proved its power and showed everyone how much they can benefit from it. Virtualization 2.0 – which is already here - is about accepting Virtualization as reality and moving on to how to do it right. How to get the most out of it. Essentially, there is a shift in focus and it is from technologies that enable virtualization to technologies that manage virtualization.
To be successful in Virtualization 2.0, organizations have to focus around technology that helps them manage their virtualization deployments better. Being a monitoring technology provider, we understand the complexities of monitoring in Virtualization 2.0 and are well positioned to help these companies realize the full potential of their virtualized infrastructures.
Virtualization Journal: Are you concerned at all that the “2.0” label might detract from the overall value proposition, given that it seems to be going down with the USS Economy. ;-)
Murugan: We view Virtualization 2.0 as an evolution (next phase) – not as a radical revamp of current virtualization deployments. In Virtualization 2.0, the focus is on how to make virtualization deployments more cost-effective and how to gain maximum benefits. So this will actually make virtualization a mandatory technology for most organizations that are dealing with tight budgets in the economic slow-down.
Virtualization Journal: How about interoperability, how important is that for the industry do you think? What barriers persist?
Murugan: We live in an age of diverse infrastructures. Even before virtualization, the success of n-tier architectures and open systems made it impossible for one to have a homogenous environment. Data centers today comprise diverse technologies that have to co-exist and to in deliver IT services. Virtualization has taken this another step on the evolutionary road, now we are talking about adding a couple of more tiers to the n-tier apps by separating the hardware from the OS. At this juncture, we believe that interoperability is not a “nice to have”. It is a “must have.”
In terms of barriers, the ones that still exist are mostly technological, that people are working to overcome. In principle, I believe everyone agrees interoperability is a must have. Not only do they have to deal with a mix of virtual and non-virtual infrastructures, but also different types of virtualization from different vendors. They key we found is to be able to provide a unified consistent view across this diverse landscape, which makes management that much easier for the end-user.
Virtualization Journal: Do you think VMware needs fear Microsoft’s belated entry into the virtualization marketplace?
Murugan: History has shown that Microsoft can be a significant threat in any endeavor it puts its mind to. They will have good technology and resort to their favorite ploy; their licensing model, and make Virtualization more of a commodity than it already is.
VMware itself has recognized that the hypervisor is no longer going to be the differentiator and that technologies that enable the effective use of virtualization (e.g., manageability), new application deployment models (like virtual desktops), etc. will be a key to retaining their leadership position.
Competition in this space can only be good – innovation will be faster and certainly there is room for multiple vendors in this fast growing market.
Virtualization Journal: How about eG Innovations, what’s the background story to the company’s formation and growth to date?
A: eG Innovations was founded by Srinivas Ramanathan, who also is our president and CEO. Prior to eG, he was a research scientist at HP and the chief architect of Firehunter, an ISP performance monitoring solution. His years at HP gave him a ringside seat to real pain points that customers have with monitoring their environments and monitoring tools themselves. In 2000, he left HP to build the proverbial “better mousetrap,” and assembled a strong team, including myself, to take this concept from the ground up. That was the genesis of eG Innovations.
Our focus was on monitoring n-tier architectures by looking at them as business services as opposed to a collection of servers, networks and applications. Our key benefit to the customer was our ability to proactively identify to the right problem, the true root cause, of poor performance in their IT infrastructures. As a result, customers spent less time firefighting and finger pointing, and more time improving their overall service levels. It took a couple of years to roll-out the finished product, and we got VC funding from Singapore. Then we opened up the US market in 2002 and found a receptive audience for the technology. We quickly became the premier Citrix monitoring solution, which had all the classic n-tier architecture issues. We won many awards and saw the company grow across the globe.
We saw the opportunity in the virtualization space quite early and started working with early virtualization adopters to better understand their needs and to strengthen our technology. Our mastery in thin-client computing and shared access technologies (Citrix, Microsoft Terminal Services, etc.) helped because a Virtualization ecosystem (one box – multiple OSs) is similar to a Citrix ecosystem (one OS – multiple users). More awards later, we are now recognized as one of the industry leaders in the Virtualization monitoring space, with support for different virtualization platforms including VMware, Citrix Xen, Solaris Containers/LDOMs and more.
Virtualization Journal: What are the main pain points that bring customers to you in search of a monitoring solution?
Murugan: The biggest single pain point is probably problem isolation. When there is a problem in your n-tier IT infrastructure, it is usually pretty hard to distinguish between the true root cause and the effects. With systems being interdependent, a single problem generally causes a ripple effect that flows through the entire environment, leading you to chase effects as opposed to pinpointing the root cause. In simple terms, this means you are wasting valuable IT resources in fire-fighting mode fixing effects, which leads to finger pointing inside the organization. Meanwhile, your customers are still facing the problem. Virtualization only increases the complexity of your n-tier IT delivery, which makes problem isolation even more difficult.
Another key pain point that we see customers face is lack of visibility into their IT infrastructures. Even though it sounds simple enough, more often than not customers today don’t have total visibility into what is going on within their virtualized infrastructures. When you are managing a virtualized environment you definitely need answers to questions like; “How many guests are they running?” “How many guests are just consuming resources without being used?” “Where are the bottlenecks in the environment?” “Where do you stand on capacity?” “How do applications running inside VMs compare to ones running on physical servers?” “Is VMotion happening? If yes, why?” and so on. When it comes to virtual environments, what you don’t know can hurt you badly.
Another common problem is the classic disconnect between business services and the IT infrastructure. For example, business users say they can’t process orders or things are too slow. The IT side says servers are running fine on CPU. Both of them are right in their own perspective, but they are not on the same page, not even on the same book. This comes from the traditional IT view of looking at boxes and servers as opposed to the actual quality of services being delivered.
Virtualization Journal: What are two of your favorite customer success stories?
Murugan: There are many, but a classic one was when we got called in by a customer who was deploying a new project with Citrix technologies in a heterogeneous infrastructure with physical and virtual servers. Their new service was not taking off. Users were complaining about severe slowdowns and they had already spent weeks on this problem with no results. Before they came to us, they had changed the server hardware, the application software, the client terminals and software, all to no effect. Within a couple of days of getting involved, we were able to pin-point the source of the problem – network packet retransmissions between servers -- due to some issues with the way network teaming had been set up. We had been working with the application and server teams, and these teams had no visibility into the network. All they had to go by was what the network team was telling them. Hence, they assumed when a problem happened that it was a server or application issue, and spent weeks chasing this. Without any kind of instrumentation on the network, our eG Enterprise solution was able to determine that the root cause of the problem was in the network, not in the VMs, Citrix or other applications. This was a classic case of having to work with limited visibility into some domains, working with different silos of the infrastructure, and yet being able to effectively troubleshoot problems. In the end, it took us just a minutes to review the collected metrics to identify the root cause. Even after hundreds of customer installations, this remains a great example of a customer success.
Another very good example was a large financial institution where our technologies have delivered immense value. Before we got involved, they were very silo-based in their day to day firefighting and operations. We helped them streamline their operations, providing the helpdesk with end-to-end visibility into key business services. s a result, when a problem occurs, the helpdesk knows exactly which expert to call to resolve a problem. This produced significant improvement in service uptime, and more effective use of their operations staff.
Virtualization Journal: What does the future hold do you think for VDI?
Murugan: VDI and its various technology cousins are definitely here to say. The idea of a centralized desktop with the power of a localized desktop is extremely attractive. Some of the largest implementations have been VDI related. Currently we are seeing Fortune 100 companies leading the way on this and I believe it will be common place soon even in mid-size companies. As a technology, it has not yet fully matured, but once it does we see it as becoming a much bigger market than server-based virtualization initiatives. It may become the de-facto desktop platform in near future.
Virtualization Journal: Do you agree that we are entering a new age of infrastructure – one in which it is back on the agenda of C-level execs (and not only the CTO)?
Murugan: I believe infrastructure has always been on the agenda of C-level execs, but with the success of virtualization there are definitely more conversations at the C-level about how to do this right.
Virtualization Journal: You were responsible for the design and development of one of the earliest J2EE portals in the late 90s; what role does Java play today in the enterprise technology landscape?
Murugan: The platform independence provided by Java was one of the key drivers that enabled a slew of web-facing service-oriented applications in the last decade. Java and its sister technologies remain one of the backbone technologies of the web-based applications.
|rcjay2 01/23/09 01:38:00 PM EST|
This is a great article and gives you insight to one of the leaders in Enterprise Monitoring Solutions. I am a user who has the pleasure of working with Bala and the folks at EG for some time now. I can honestly say that the product is amazing. It works in all environments across all OS’s and the monitoring/ reporting capabilities are extensive and endless. Out of the box it monitors everything you can throw at it and if you need to implement a custom monitoring solution for something not covered it is easy to include custom scripts EG can run and report on. Currently, I have the EG suite monitoring 2 complete virtual environments with XenServer 5 and ESX Infrastructure 3. Within each virtual environment I have multiple hosts with a range of operating systems. Everything from Solaris, Fedora Core, and all versions of Windows (2003/2008) are running and fully monitored. Not to mention all the network devices (Cisco, Dell, and Linksys) and printers can all be monitored via SNMP.
Furthermore one of the key points is with the newest version EG is now able to monitor the Solaris Sunray environment. All things surrounding the DTU connectivity is readily available. I have found that it is easy to install, configure and in the case of a disaster it is easy to get a backup up and going. One final note, support from the people at EG is second to none. I have spoke with them on numerous occasions and have never run into anything but a genuine offering of help and wiliness to understand and pinpoint the issue until a resolution is discovered.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Oct. 1, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,802
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Oct. 1, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,472
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
Oct. 1, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,654
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Oct. 1, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,124
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Oct. 1, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,970
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Oct. 1, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,447
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Oct. 1, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,716
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Oct. 1, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 658
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Oct. 1, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 551
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Oct. 1, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 760
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Oct. 1, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,139
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Oct. 1, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 523
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Oct. 1, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 526
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Oct. 1, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 729
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Oct. 1, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,049
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Sep. 30, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 784
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,543
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Sep. 30, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,266
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Sep. 30, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,137
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Sep. 30, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,066