Cloud-management wares multiply

Vendors this week at Interop Las Vegas will debut products to help monitor application performance and IT service delivery in cloud computing environments

When IT services are delivered via the cloud, compute and storage resources may be off-network or shared across multiple components, but enterprise IT managers still need to control resource allocation and monitor application performance and availability.

That’s why a handful of vendors this week at Interop Las Vegas plan to debut new and upgraded products designed to help monitor application performance and IT service delivery in cloud computing environments. Companies such as eTelemetry, NetIQ, ScienceLogic, and Univa UD realize enterprise IT managers are considering cloud services this year. And industry watchers expect interest in cloud and associated technologies to continue to grow.

Slideshow: Cool new products unveiled at Interop

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"Cloud computing represents a significant shift in the way IT operates today and shows no signs of being a passing fad. The efficiency, scalability, and cost savings it brings make cloud computing something that businesses must consider, especially with 2009 set to be another slow year for the economy," according to a recent Forrester Research report.

Vendors such as eTelemetry have added capabilities to accommodate the trend toward cloud computing. Recently eTelemetry equipped its Metron appliance (see a screen shot of Metron 2.1 here) to be able to monitor and document which cloud services were in use by which departments, groups, and end-users. The Cloud Service Accounting (CSA) feature in Metron adds to the appliance’s capabilities, which include passively monitoring network traffic to associate patterns in the traffic with individuals.

According to eTelemetry, Metron’s CSA reports summarize total Internet bandwidth uses by cloud service and non-cloud service sites, and the bandwidth tiering capabilities can be used to provide cloud services sites with bandwidth priority. The appliance can also provide departmental chargeback reporting to associate dollars with bandwidth, and it allows IT managers to generate reports on bandwidth usage and cost via the device.

"Metron can prioritize the traffic so the cloud compute traffic gets a higher priority than the other traffic for both internal and external clouds," says Ermis Sfakiyanudis, president and CEO of eTelemetry. "Cloud computing is something we are hearing more and more from customers. They have invested a lot of time and money in outsourcing and they want to be sure to use it effectively. Internally, they need to be certain they have adequate resources for cloud."

Available now, Metron 2.1 starts at about $15,000.

For its part, NetIQ announced its AppManager for VMware 7.6 with support for VMware vSphere 4, which the vendor says can now support "more than three times the number of virtual machines." Such capabilities will help enterprise IT managers looking to create internal and external clouds in their datacenters, the vendor says, by enabling them to improve the ratio of guests to hosts in their environment.

"The trends we are seeing within our customer base indicate that many VMware adopters are ready to push the limits of their infrastructure to achieve the cost benefits that virtualization technology provides," said Criss Scruggs, senior product marketing manager at NetIQ, in a press release.

AppManager for VMware 7.6 provides capabilities that correlate system events with end-user experience metrics to allow administrators to prioritize events based on those services that most impact the business. The software also reports on services, applications, and VMware infrastructure components and provides IT process automation capabilities to support VMware-related tasks such as load balancing between resource pools and controlling access to the VMware console.

The software is available now with pricing starting at $1,795 per ESX server.

Another management software vendor, ScienceLogic, also increased the scalability of its network management appliance portfolio to accommodate cloud environments with the release of EM7 G3. The appliance is designed to handle environments with up to 10,000 networked devices distributed globally, the vendor says, and is capable of monitoring for fault, performance and availability of mobile assets as well as those that reside in public or private clouds. The company added run-book automation features, a chargeback mechanism and virtualization support as well.

"We developed a completely new code base specifically for the cloud and the scale and nimbleness at which things change in such environments," says David Link, CEO of ScienceLogic. "One instance of EM7 can handle 3 trillion pieces of data that change per day."

EM7 G3 is installed in a datacenter and if needed, collector appliances can be distributed throughout a distributed network to handle more data. The product is expected to be generally available in June, and pricing starts at $85,000.

Meanwhile, grid computing veteran Univa UD will release at Interop its Reliance 3.0 software, which the vendor says provides a central intelligence layer for cloud-based infrastructures. The software performs application service governance along with infrastructure management and provisioning, which Univa says helps datacenter managers decouple the application from the infrastructure on which it runs to enable an automated heterogeneous environment.

"Reliance monitors the application and the infrastructure with sensors, collecting data from application performance management tools, and it then can provision cloud resources when needed," says Jason Liu, president and CEO of Univa. "The software serves as the brain in a large cloud computing environment."

Reliance 3.0 is available now and pricing starts at $100,000.

This story, "Cloud-management wares multiply" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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