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ScienceLogic Brings Triage Approach To Virtualization Management

Algorithmic intelligence sifts through hundreds of daily alerts to pinpoint the issues that really matter in the virtualized enterprise data center.

VMware Pricing Controversy: Exclusive User Research
VMware Pricing Controversy: Exclusive User Research
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As virtual environments become bigger and more complex, they get more difficult to manage. Science Logic has put algorithmic intelligence into a system that understands the operational patterns of a large virtualized cluster and can spot the aberrations that matter, rather than flooding the management console with messages.

"We take the 400 messages that hit a management console a day and reduce them down to the 20 a week that matter," said Jeremy Sherwood, a product manager. In addition to VMware enterprise environments, ScienceLogic's EM7 system can see and manage virtual machine operations in infrastructure as a service offered by GoGrid, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace.

EM7 draws information out of the traditional systems management vendors, such as HP, IBM, CA Technologies, and BMC, as well as VMware's vCenter and its own monitoring system. It centralizes the information it collects in a single database system, establishing patterns of software events, then presents a view--on a single pane of glass--of what's going on with both physical and virtual assets.

Sherwood said such a system helped him when he was an IT manager at Opus Interactive, a hosted service supplier, in Portland, Ore. The firm frequently worked with ad agencies, and it wasn't unusual for an ad agency's marketing campaign to run on Opus' infrastructure as a service. The programming behind marketing campaigns is often created quickly as marketing decisions are made at the last minute, and an email campaign that spun up in the middle of the night once had a memory leak that filled the server memory at the same point each night.

With EM7, an operations manager, without knowing for sure what the problem was, could anticipate its consequences and prevent a server crash by starting a fresh copy of the campaign and shifting operations to it, while killing off the virtual server whose memory was choking from the memory leak.

"Through our discovery process, we know the state of running systems, including multi-tenant systems. Our core vision is to take all that information from a service provider's view," not that of a single cloud customer, said Erik Rudin, director of product management, in an interview at last week's VMworld in Las Vegas.

ScienceLogic packages its database repository, discovery and mapping, monitoring, and reporting system in an appliance starting at $32,500, or as a distributed software systems starting at $57,500. It's also available by annual subscription.

The company is one of many third parties bringing fresh management tools to the VMware environment. ScienceLogic, with three founders coming from the Internet service provider space, supplies tools for both the enterprise and service providers' data centers. Its EM7 runs the managed services hosting and cloud infrastructure of New York supplier LogicWorks, whose customers include financial services, advertising, and media. It manages enterprise data centers at Hughes Satellite, Booz Allen Hamilton, Gannett, and Esri.

The Reston, Va., firm has 93 employees, 150 customers, and $15 million in April 2010 venture capital funding through lead investor, New Enterprise Associates. It has been chosen for four years running as the management system for the network and compute infrastructure of Interop.

The firm has been steadily upgrading its EM7 appliance and on Aug. 30, announced that it had been certified for operation with VMware's vSphere environment. It is now listed in the VMware Partner Product catalogue.

It was founded in 2003 by CEO Dave Link, CTO Chris Cordray, and executive VP of product management Richard Chart. Among the three, they have experience at Verizon Global Networks and Interliant service providers. Interliant declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2002, with its assets sold to NaviSites in 2003.

In the new, all-digital issue of Network Computing: Microsoft and Citrix are closing the gap with VMware. Before you roll out the latest edition of vSphere, reconsider your virtualization platform. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

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