Unified Citrix Management in the Limelight


This week, Citrix made several interesting announcements about the future of their product suite. Among the key announcements was the forthcoming Excalibur release which will include a common management console for their XenApp and XenDesktop technologies. While Excalibur will provide users flexibility to decide how to deliver different applications and desktops to users, it will also include a common console for performance management as well. A unified solution for performance management, diagnosis and reporting across XenApp and XenDesktop deployments is something eG Innovations has been providing for years with our eG Enterprise product suite. We will be watching the Excalibur rollout with interest, to see how the integration of the Citrix products works and what changes are necessary in the management and reporting aspects to deal with the integrated solution.

Of the different articles written about the new Citrix announcements, this one from Computerworld caught the eye. Of particular interest is the quote from IDG:

Getting the management right is incredibly important for Citrix, according to Nathan Hill, research director at Gartner. “The complexity of managing Citrix environments has historically been a big challenge for organizations.,” said Hill.

We at eG Innovations totally agree! Check out our Citrix performance management solutions:

XenApp Monitoring: http://www.eginnovations.com/web/egcitrix.htm
XenDesktop Monitoring: http://www.eginnovations.com/web/xendesktopmonitor.htm
XenServer Monitoring: http://www.eginnovations.com/web/citrix-xenserver-overview.htm

Challenges in Virtualizing SAP


Here is an interesting blog post on the challenges and opportunities in virtualizing SAP. A recent Aberdeen Group survey indicates that only 31% of SAP deployments have been virtualized so far. When SAP users were questioned about the reasons for not moving to a virtualized infrastructure for supporting SAP, four key areas of concern were mentioned:

  • Uncertainty as to the ROI (40%)
  • Fear of harming performance (40%)
  • Security (27%)
  • Lack of resources to conduct the transition (27%)

Being one of the few VMware Ready and SAP Ready certified products in the market, eG Enterprise is uniquely qualified to address the performance management needs of virtualized SAP infrastructures. For more information, visit http://www.eginnovations.com

 

Interesting Virtualization Statistics


Below are some interesting statistics regarding the adoption and growth of virtualization technologies. These stats are from a recent VMware presentation.

  • What percent of workloads are virtualized currently?

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The results indicate a continued increase in adoption of virtualization technologies in the enterprise.

  • Which applications are being virtualized the most?

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The results indicate that Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint and SQL have been heavily virtualized. In terms of percentage growth, there are more instances of SAP being virtualized as compared to other applications!

  • What about VM density? Are there more VMs being deployed per physical host today than before?

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The results indicate an increase in VM density for server/application workloads but the increase is not significant.

Performance Management – From the Cloud, Of the Cloud, For the Cloud


For long, cloud performance management has been an overloaded term. Initially, it referred to the ability to collect metrics from public cloud providers like Amazon EC2. At eG Innovations, we believe that there is a whole lot more to cloud performance management. We believe cloud performance management can encompass three different perspectives:

  • The Deployment Perspective:  Can you get the performance management reports and alerts via a cloud based service? Performance management delivered “FROM” the cloud provides the same advantages that the cloud offers. With a pay-per-use service model, you can turn on/off the service as you require.
      
    Performance Management From The Cloud

      You can get the service going rightaway, without any upfront hardware or software investment. If you are experiencing performance problems with your critical services and you need an instant solution, performance management FROM the cloud is an ideal solution for you!Our eG Enterprise-on-Tap service provides exactly this. Servers, applications, devices hosted in on-premise networks or in the cloud can be monitored using this service.

  • The Cloud Consumer View:  If you are deploying applications on the cloud, you need to know how the applications are performing. If there is a slowdown, you need to know where is the problem – in the cloud? A single business service could even have some applications in the private network and some others in the public cloud. So you need to have a way to be able to quickly correlate between the performance of your applications, the network, the public cloud provider and be able to pin-point the root-cause of the problem. This is performance management “OF” the cloud. Ideally, you would like to have a common management console from where you can see the performance of your on-premises applications and your cloud hosted applications.

  
Performance Management Of the Cloud

  • The Cloud Service Provider View:  If you are a  (public or private) cloud service provider, the cloud is a service you are delivering to your customers. Therefore, your first concern is – Can people access my service? Is the self service portal up? Can users see their VMs? Can users connect to their VMs?  If not, you need to be able to determine why the problem is happening – is it the web front-end? is it due to the virtualization platform? is it due to the SAN? etc. The action you take depends on what you diagnose as being the root-cause of the problem. Besides problem diagnosis, you are also interested in understanding how you can get more out of your current cloud investments. You want to be able to see how to balance load across your servers to serve a maximum number of users and how you can optimize the capacity of the infrastructure without sacrificing on performance. You need performance management “FOR” the cloud. Of course, as a service provider, you are also looking for opportunities to deliver value-added services to your customers. Offering performance management as a service to your customers, so they can monitor, diagnose and get reports on the applications they have hosted in the cloud is one such service. Not only is this a value-add for your customers, it can even reduce the number of support calls your helpdesk gets. If you can educate your customers to look for specific patterns that indicate whether it is a problem with your cloud service or not, you can get them to call your helpdesk only if a problem pertains to your cloud service. In all other cases, they must diagnose what is happening with their applications!
Performance Management For the Cloud
Each of these perspectives has their unique needs. eG Enterprise is a unique solution that can provide you performance management FROM the cloud, OF the cloud and FOR the cloud!

eG Enterprise Performance Management Solution is SAP Certified!


Think of the most demanding and most mission-critical of applications and SAP figures at the top of the list. Last week, we successfully completed all the requirements to achieve a stamp of approval from SAP for our eG Enterprise performance management solution.

Yes, eG Enterprise now has an SAP Certified Integration for eG Enterprise 5.3 with BC-XAL 6.10. More information regarding eG Enterprise’s certification for SAP Netweaver is available here.

For customers, the key benefits of certification are many. For one, this ensures simpler implementation of monitoring for SAP applications, since eG Enterprise has been pre-tested by SAP for integration with their applications and can be up and running, out-of-the-box, quickly. As indicated in SAP’s certification guidelines, usage of solutions that are certified for integration with SAP solutions allow for upgrades with minimal interruptions. SAP certified solutions like eG Enterprise are also technically aligned with SAP solutions.

For more information on eG’s SAP monitoring solution, please see http://www.eginnovations.com/web/egsapmonitor.htm. Besides in-depth monitoring of the SAP applications – SAP R/3, the SAP Java stack, etc. – eG Enterprise also monitors, reports on and provides diagnosis of every layer of every tier of the SAP ecosystem including the network tier, the web frontend applications, backend databases, storage, and even the virtualization platform.

Making IT Service Management Simple and Proactive


One of the big challenges that enterprises face with monitoring tools relates to “false alerts”. Administrators often get too many alerts when nothing is wrong. So very often, they end up turning the thresholds up in such a way that they don’t get many alerts. If this is done for all the metrics collected, this may end up defeating the purpose of having a monitoring system!

Setting thresholds for metrics being collected by the monitoring system is often a challenge. Many a times this is done manually and requires a lot of domain knowledge and expertise. Often, the threshold settings also have to be done differently from one server to another (a bigger server can take more load than a smaller one).

Many new age monitoring systems have used analytical techniques that use historical performance data to intelligently set thresholds for metrics. As we have discussed in a new whitepaper, even such approaches have challenges. The new whitepaper “Make IT Service Monitoring Simple and Proactive with Intelligent Thresholding and Alerting” touches upon these and many other topics that have to be considered when determining how thresholds are computed for metrics and how alerting is done by the monitoring system.

Related links:

All whitepapers from eG Innovations: http://www.eginnovations.com/whitepaper/whitepaper-request.htm