Virtual Machine “Engine” Issues?


How are today’s IT environments and automobiles similar? Both are dense, tightly packed hardware layered with software complexity and automation to enhance the user experience. Both, without the right tools or extreme good luck, make troubleshooting issues crazily time consuming or nearly impossible. Have you tried working on a car engine lately? Good luck.

Why did this happen? It’s simple. Evolution. Despite the difficulties for shade-tree mechanics, today’s cars — like virtualized and cloud infrastructures — are easier to use, more reliable and better than in decades past.

In today’s IT world, virtualization is the norm and not the exception, and with growing virtualization, comes the growth of shared storage and SAN. More recently, convergence and “software-defined”  (SDN, SDS, SDDC) has layered levels of complexity onto ever-evolving hardware to increase resource optimization and application automation for flexible, agile business uses. These are great when everything works correctly. Painful if you need to troubleshoot.   

The good news is that there are tools to help. VMware virtualized solutions built on Lenovo servers, storage and Fibre Channel networking switches from Brocade (FC5022 for Flex System, 300, 6505 and 6510) offer tools that minimize application faults, cut through troubleshooting layers and quickly correlate performance issues to root causes.

VMware’s vRealize Optimization Management Suite provides needed visibility into what is happening within the virtualized environment including the underlying compute, storage and network infrastructure; simplifying operation management, optimizing resources and highlighting potential issues while isolating real issues to keep businesses running smoothly. 

One of those issues is slow or sporadic virtual-machine performance buried deep under the virtualization layers. Typically a very tough issue to debug due to layers of abstraction and correlation of multiple support logs. Using Brocade SAN Analytics Pack for vRealize Operations Manager minimizes application issues, helping administrators cut through the layers of troubleshooting to quickly correlate performance bottlenecks to possible root causes. The key is deeper network visibility with proper correlation to specific virtual machines. Brocade SAN Analytic Pack helps VRealize Operation Manager solve this issue by: 

  • Showing how VMs connect to storage resources across the SAN infrastructure.
  • Reducing time for problem isolation and resolution due to storage network issues.
  • Optimizing application performance by proactively reducing network bottleneck issues.
  • Increasing availability with faster recovery times and reduced overall cost to business.

Bottom line, complex virtualized and cloud environments do not need to be difficult to manage, maintain, optimize and troubleshoot. The Lenovo, Brocade and VMware partnership creates highly integrated solutions that allow the administrator to assess the health, risk and efficiency of the SAN infrastructure, which keeps the virtualization, cloud and ultimately the business “engine”, running smoothly.

In upcoming blogs, we will cover additional tools that further integrate the management of the Lenovo SAN switches within VMware environments, such as Brocade Network Advisor Management Plug-in for VMware vCenter and also simplify the collection, coordination and presentation of typically diverse support log information with Brocade SAN Content Pack for VMware vRealize Log Insight.