Maintain SLAs. Improve QoE. Optimize Resources.
The Next Phase of Virtualization
IT organizations initially approach virtualization with the intended goal of achieving significant capital and operational cost-savings within their data centers. However, industry-leading organizations are taking a more mature look at virtualization and are leveraging virtualization within their infrastructures for much more. The virtualization market is evolving from one centered on server consolidation to one characterized by the attainment of a service-oriented IT model that can accommodate business drivers.
The upcoming phase of virtualization is therefore more strategically important, inherently more complex to implement and can provide far greater value than originally conceived. In the next phase of virtualization, the focus will shift from an emphasis on retrenchment (i.e., consolidation) to an emphasis on process/service efficiency (e.g., improving quality, availability, and responsiveness) and then business agility (i.e., delivering new services). Furthermore, even though server virtualization will be standard in the near-term in most organizations, the entire data center is not expected to be fully virtualized in the foreseen future. Managing heterogenic environments that consist of dedicated, physical servers as well as virtual servers will introduce a new set of challenges for the IT organization.
Radware`s VirtualDirector is an application delivery optimization solution for the virtualized data center providing real time dynamic allocation of data center resources based on business events, ensuring positive user experience and improving response time. The solution aligns virtual data center operations with business policies while optimizing the use of virtual resources to further generate CAPEX and OPEX savings.
VirtualDirector can be deployed external to the virtual environment to remain independent of virtualized constraints or as a virtual appliance for use in fully-virtualized environments.
VirtualDirector provides reliable visibility to the entire application even if it is deployed in a hybrid environment with both physical and virtual servers.
Maintain SLAs & Improve Quality of Experience
Service level agreements (SLAs) and Quality of Experience (QoE) are important metrics for businesses whether dealing with internal or external stakeholders. Maintaining SLAs and improving the QoE of end users are primary responsibilities entrusted to the care of the IT organization, which oversees IT service delivery. In a virtualized environment, this responsibility becomes much more complex. As hundreds or even thousands of different virtual machines (VMs) may share the same physical resource pool and therefore compete for the same resources this only increases the level of difficulty involved in monitoring, controlling, and enhancing application performance.
Companies that implement VirtualDirector can offload this data center optimization task to maintain SLAs and improve the quality of experience for end users. VirtualDirector’s advanced policy engine automatically takes actions without human intervention to optimize application performance and preserve SLA compliance. VirtualDirector can also work in an advisory mode.
In this mode VirtualDirector serves as a trusted advisor that recommends what “best-course” actions should be taken to optimize each application’s performance in an effort to meet associated SLA requirements.
Full integration with VMware® VirtualCenter provides VirtualDirector with the ability to immediately influence the virtual environment using standardized methodologies. By leveraging its tight integration with Radware`s leading application delivery solution, AppDirector, VirtualDirector can influence network traffic from outside the virtual environment. This alleviates measurement and management constraints native to virtual machines, which typically limit their focus to CPA and memory utilization rates. VirtualDirector is thus free to monitor and take action on a wide variety of determinants essential to SLA and QoE effectiveness.
Application business priority is dynamic and changes constantly in real-time. Assigning a fixed business priority to an application (or group of applications) or assigning priority based on a schedule is insufficient due to changing patterns in end user behavior and the related implication on business requirements. Furthermore, in a virtualized environment applications are not deployed in silos and therefore it is a more important but harder task to prioritize applications sharing the same physical resource pool.
At any time, VirtualDirector guarantees that the resources available to each application are aligned with actual business needs. VirtualDirector is capable of learning the dynamic priority of applications based on tracking the business event data of each end user transaction. By analyzing transactions VirtualDirector can trigger actions that can optimize, in real-time, virtual resource allocation according to the dynamic priority of the application(s). Built-in integration with Radware’s AppDirector additionally provides real-time network bandwidth allocation according to this “business-aware” information.
Virtual Machine Count Optimization
The process of physical-to-virtual (P2V) migration requires accurate capacity planning. During this process it is essential that IT organizations appropriately estimate the number of VM instances needed per each virtualized application. Due to the complexity of virtualized environments, estimating the right amount of VMs is not an easy task and usually involves some educated guess work. As a result, the amount of VMs deployed in the virtual environment may exceed the real amount of VMs required in order to comply with SLAs and satisfy QoE demands.
Unlike physical machines, VMs are quick and easy to deploy. The process of moving or copying a VM can be done in minutes, and often without the appropriate IT oversight. This ease of deployment may lead to VM sprawl – the proliferation of virtual machines without adequate IT control.
Improper capacity planning or unchecked VM deployment both translate into unwanted costs. Virtual sprawl can consume the entire software license budget, increase administrator time, and eventually require the purchase of more physical servers and disks than needed. This can negate a major benefit of virtualization and one of the foundations of its return on investment.
VirtualDirector ensures companies that the amount of VMs running in their virtualized data center is the exact amount required to meet demand. Furthermore, by reducing the number of running VMs less physical servers are required to support the remaining VMs. Reducing the number of physical servers results in additional savings on power consumption, cooling costs, and data center space requirements to preserve the Green IT benefits virtualization offers..
Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) Risk Reduction
Companies tend to postpone the migration of mission-critical applications to a virtual environment based on the direct correlation between significant infrastructure change and business risk. VirtualDirector helps ensure that the SLA defined before migrating to the virtual environment will also be met after migration. By monitoring mission-critical applications from an objective view that is external to the virtual environment and independent of any virtualized constraints, companies can assess a broader range of factors and assure that end users do not suffer degraded QoE. By also taking actions automatically, in real-time in order to optimize the QoE of mission- critical applications and by sending alerts on any QoE degradation, VirtualDirector helps companies reduce the risk involved in migrating to a virtualized environment. The added ability to deploy VirtualDirector in an advisory mode can also facilitate business case development for presentation to senior IT and business stakeholders and can assist in proofing the impact of migration scenarios in test environments.
Enable Global Cloud-Based Services
VirtualDirector’s tight integration with Radware’s application delivery solution provides a comprehensive set of features that enables companies to optimize all of their virtualized datacenters globally. VirtualDirector is able to optimize the amount of VMs across all datacenters worldwide – whether external to or inside the cloud.
VirtualDirector optimizes the resource- usage of a company’s own data center(s) while ensuring optimal QoE. In cases where local resources cannot provide the desired QoE for specific applications, VirtualDirector can redirect the traffic of specific applications to a cloud-based service provider or to a secondary data center. By redirecting traffic to a remote location, local resources are freed to serve the rest of the applications while remote resources are utilized, on demand, in order to add capacity and support desired QoE.
For additional ways to help your business or enterprise achieve maximum network performance, explore the wide range of Radware application delivery products.