Infrastructure Performance Analytics
Revolutionizing mission-critical IT
What is IPA?
Infrastructure Performance Analytics (IPA) is a paradigm shift in mission-critical IT. Virtualization, cloud and Software Defined technologies, along with relentless data growth, make it critically important to have an end-to-end view of your infrastructure – both pre and post deployment. IPA gives cross-domain IT teams the ability to expertly analyze and manage system-wide performance, utilization and health, in real-time.
The New Normal
'Complex' is an understatement.
Now more than ever, IT infrastructure is crucial to business operations and competitive advantage. End users expect access to their applications and data anytime, anywhere, driving never-ending requirements for robust infrastructure performance to support exponentially increasing and unpredictable workloads. This trend compounds the challenge of keeping pace with hyper-growth requirements for everything from storage to network to servers. Add to this the accelerating adoption of new technologies, from all flash storage systems to converged and software defined solutions—all layered on top or alongside legacy systems—and still, IT is expected to deliver a highly performant infrastructure 24/7/365.
When you consider how this creates a perpetually changing and highly complex, multi-vendor, multi-layer data center architecture, gaining a clear and unbiased understanding of the end-to-end infrastructure performance is nearly impossible.
Driving Forces of Complexity
It's not getting easier.
There are a number of driving forces contributing to complexity in IT today:
- A growing number of end users, changing workloads and increasing data volumes,
- An increasing quantity and criticality of customer-facing applications and systems,
- Rapid adoption and expansion of virtualization, cloud and software defined computing.
- Data centers have doubled or tripled in size
Doing More with Less
IT organizations are now looking for ways to optimize and consolidate data center infrastructure, reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Many are turning to virtualization, cloud and software defined technology to help them get more value out of their existing assets while improving agility. But these approaches add an additional layer of complexity, making it difficult to see through the layers of abstraction into the underlying infrastructure, and impossible to actually guarantee performance.
Device-Specific Tools and Legacy Solutions Are Insufficient
Only one piece of the puzzle.
Device specific tools and legacy approaches to Enterprise Systems Management (ESM), Network Performance Management (NPM), and Storage Resource Management (SRM) tools give IT a limited and biased view into the server, network and storage layers of the infrastructure. Such tools are limited in scope and only provide a view into mere pieces of the entire puzzle.
Device-specific tools do a good job of reporting on health and utilization of specific components being monitored. While the individual metrics provided are important and can offer useful insight, it’s extremely challenging to take metrics from each device and correlate them for an accurate view of overall infrastructure utilization, health, and performance of the end-to-end system across all of the layers of infrastructure. To truly be useful, this device-specific machine and wire data needs to be correlated into an analytics platform that provides authoritative understanding of how the whole infrastructure is performing, in real-time.
Focused on storage, with no visibility into performance at system-wide level required for IPM
Focused on end user experience, not the supporting infrastructure required for IPM
Focused on the IP network, lacking the cross domain correlation required for IPM
Focused on device specific data, leveraging agents or polling that is insufficient for IPM
Multi-layer, cross-domain, multi-vendor visibility into system-wide IT infrastructure performance, and storage workload simulation, iteration and validation
An End-to-End View
of Infrastructure Performance
An effective IPA solution provides visibility into the performance, utilization and health of the system-wide infrastructure. It provides insights into metrics such as latency and infrastructure response times (the time it takes for an application to place an I/O request and get a response back). A true IPA solution collects data from throughout the entire system including: machine data from the virtual machines, servers, fabric switches, and storage arrays; wire data in real-time at line rate; and analytics data, calculated by the platform, visualized on the fly and used to predict future performance. Only in this way can IT can understand and even predict the interdependencies of the various infrastructure components in the context of performance. This way, performance bottlenecks and opportunities for performance improvement can be quickly and easily identified and actioned against to optimally serve the business.
It Starts with People.
How does IT get an end-to-end view of their infrastructure? It starts with breaking down the silos within the IT department and starting a broader discussion around performance analytics. Companies are beginning to establish teams focused on cross-domain performance. These teams bring together experts in servers and virtualization, networking, applications, databases and storage to focus on delivering Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or Private Cloud, complete with performance based service level agreements.
Made Better with Technology.
A dedicated, cross-domain IPA platform must be built from the ground up to deliver continuous, real-time monitoring of actual performance, or ‘infrastructure response time’, throughout the end-to-end system. Being able to establish, measure, and meet performance based SLA’s is now business-critical. A ‘true’ IPA platform must:
- Deliver unbiased visibility across a heterogeneous, multi-vendor environment by collecting data from multiple devices and manufacturers based on industry standard interfaces and protocols.
- Provide both comprehensive visibility and definitive insight to ensure the performance and availability of mission critical workloads as they are migrated to cloud architectures and software-defined environments.
- Scale to support enterprise workloads across tens of thousands of servers, and switch ports, petabytes of storage, and numerous layers of virtualization without risk of hitting a limit.
- Enable the infrastructure teams to predict performance via accurate simulations and ultimately deliver performance-based SLA’s that meet the business demands and drive business growth.