This second Tech Field Day 14 Preview post is focused on Turbonomic. I must confess I know very little about their solution and I am very anxious to hear more from these guys when I will meet them in Boston: I did some research in the past few days about Turbonomic and I definitely feel I need to learn more about thir product. Very much looking forward to be enlightened!

Coming from a vROPs background, I kind of assumed – most likely wrongly – that Turbonomic was a direct competitor of VMware’s solution, but from what I have seen so far, although there are for sure some similarities and overlapping areas, here we are talking about two completely different beasts, so I will leave the comparisons there.

First of all, my understanding is that Turbonomic is not a monitoring tool for virtualized environments: while competitors mostly focus on alerts to warn you when something in your infrastructure goes south, Turbonomic has a different approach that revolves around the health of your applications so that they can always perform in their “desired state”, and therefore “serve their purpose”. To achieve this goal Turbonomic uses the economic paradigm of the “supply chain” where any actor (a VM, a Storage Array, a Webserver or a Virtual Datacenter) “buys” resources or “sells” them to other elements in the chain. I admit that I am still not completely sold to this analogy, but – once again – I am looking forward to hear more when I will meet them in person.

Using this approach, your infrastructure is analyzed in real-time so that the correct actions can be performed at any moment of your application life cycle: the objective is to guarantee that applications perform as expected and co-exist gracefully with other workloads. Turbonomic will act during the Plan, Build and Run phases factoring in the changes in available capacity resulting from the planned deployment of new workloads, suggesting the appropriate placement, scaling up or down your VMs specs, instantiating new nodes etc. All of this can be done manually (following Turbonomic’s recommendations) or in a totally automated way.

The interesting bit here is that when we refer to “the infrastructure” we are not limited to the classic and ubiquitous VMware environment: Turbonomic supports all the major hypervisors and public cloud services, all manageable from a single console and grouped into a single “Cloud Resource Pool” (I totally made up this definition). Considering all of the above, actions triggered by Turbonomic can be applied to any of the “cloud resource providers” you have available… Imagine that Turbonomic realizes that you need to scale up your webfarm to handle extra traffic, it might actually suggest you to migrate your webserver VMs from vSphere to Azure not only because in the public cloud you’d find the resources you cannot anymore afford in your maxed-out private DC, but also because the performance in the cloud would be better and the cost would be lower!

After all “Cross Cloud” is the new buzzword and Turbonomic seems to already be well positioned there. So, now that I think I have more or less understood what Turbonomic does, what I am expecting to learn at TFD14 is how Turbonomic does it, so I am hoping to be part of some deep-dive session. I want to see those gears spinning!

Stay tuned for more Turbonomic feedback when I am back from Boston, and let’s move to the last of the TFD14 Preview Series posts (coming soon) on Datrium.

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