Raja explained: "Think of cards as apps for your data center or apps for your operations management. Each card focuses on one particular task or problem that you want to solve in your environment. It could be an issue with your datastore space or datastore performance, or an issue with your HA cluster service, or tool settings. Or it could be any operational issue that you run into -- which is why we have a company slogan of, 'If you have an operational problem in your data center, there's a card for that.'"
The company offers three types of cards:
- Company-created cards. CloudPhysics has a team of employees with a deep and rich domain knowledge and expertise into VMware products, and it has used that expertise to create a series of cards to highlight and showcase specific problems that could be found in a VMware environment.
- User-created cards. Customers of the product can also create their own cards with a simple drag-and-drop user interface called Card Builder. Users can select any metadata in the data center to produce their own analytical application for a problem they define and customize for their own environment. Since CloudPhysics understands the relationship between the metadata, it can automatically form the associations and provide intelligent reporting.
- Community-created cards. CloudPhysics invited community members and VMware experts around the world to participate in a challenge to build and share their own cards. By taking this approach, the company provides its customers with the benefit of collective intelligence gathered from across the community. Community members had already shared more than 150 cards by the time VMworld kicked off, and they are still actively submitting them today.
Some of the more popular cards include Knowledge Base Advisor, vCheck Suite, Security Hardening, and Thin Provisioning Advisor. Raja said there's also a card called Snapshots Gone Wild, which addresses the problem of unwanted virtual machine snapshots inadvertently taking up valuable storage space. Customers can access specific analysis and reports through something called the Card Store.
The Card Store, which takes on an app store approach, is truly one of the most interesting aspects of the CloudPhysics SaaS offering. Customers can download and access Cards through the Card Store with a simple mouse click using a Web-based interface, then easily turn around and apply that information to their own environment, thereby leveraging a community of best practices and intelligence they may not have had access to otherwise.
Users who create their own cards are encouraged to share and publish their solutions with other VMware users through the Card Store. By doing so, the card library will continue to organically grow and everyone using the system will have access to new information and new methodologies to better maintain their virtualization environments.
The CloudPhysics platform is available in three editions. At the high end, the company offers an Enterprise edition that costs $189 per month per physical server on a month-to-month payment plan. They also offer a Standard edition, which lacks some of the advanced features having to do with high-availability simulation, thin-provisioning adviser, latency-sensitive VM location, and SSD cache performance. Standard comes in at a price of $49 per month per physical server on a month-to-month payment plan. The company also offers an even further scaled-back version for free as a Community edition but limits user access to five cards.
This article, "CloudPhysics monitoring tool offers big data analytics to VMware environments," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.