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Performance management’s next frontier

Megan Santosus is a features writer for

VMware Inc.’s recent acquisition of B-hive Networks is indicative of just how much of a wrench virtualization has thrown into the performance management arena. (To recap: B-hive’s Conductor software monitors application performance across virtual environments.) “First and foremost, the acquisition shows the importance of being able to manage performance in a virtualized environment,” said Trevor Matz, the president and CEO of Aternity Inc., a provider of end-user performance management software. “The system metrics normally associated with performance tools are pretty meaningless in virtual environments.”

Traditional performance metrics — CPU, memory usage — that are used to monitor the performance of the hardware that provides service to end users don’t have much relevance in virtual environments, Matz said. “Those metrics are associated with a host machine or virtual box itself and don’t indicate what the end user is experiencing,” he added.

Matz said that Citrix Systems Inc., Microsoft and Parallels are all at work on creating tools that collect meaningful metrics in a virtualized environment. “Having comprehensive tools is not enough,” Matz said, adding that there are already more than enough metrics to parse through. “The next big frontier is the ability to transform huge amounts of data into actionable business intelligence that correlates across platforms.”

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