This article is a follow up to my TFD14 Turbonomic preview; at that time I knew very little about Turbonomic and that post was a collection of thoughts and impressions I gathered looking at the product from a distance. I am happy to say that after the TFD presentation, my understanding of the solution is clearer and the initial good impressions are confirmed.
Turbonomic is – in their own words – an “Autonomic Platform”; the play on words here is the merge between Automation and Economy, that is because Turbonomic uses the “Supply Chain” metaphor, where every element in the infrastructure “buys” resources from the underlying components and “sells” upstream, leveraging at the same time automation to ensure that the apps are always performing in their “Desired State”.
The objective is to “assure the applications performance” regardless of where the app is running (in the Private, Public or Hybrid Cloud). Coming from an operations background I know well how difficult it is to keep an infrastructure running within ideal parameters: any single intervention – no matter how apparently insignificant – leads to an imbalance in the infrastructure and this, in turn, leads to a deviation from those optimal parameters. What happens is that app performances are less predictable and corrective actions must be taken to return to the “Desired State”. This is what is called the “Break-Fix” loop, which requires continuous human intervention.
But what if we could have a solution capable of detecting in real-time the infrastructure changes required to remain in a steady, desired state, recommending the correct actions and eventually applying them automatically and without any human action in real-time? Turbonomic wants to be exactly that solution and it does not limit itself to assure the well-being of the applications, but also tries to find the right balance between performance, efficiency and compliance, parameters notoriously at odds with each other. Now, the cool thing is that Turbonomic’s engine is designed to obtain metrics from a wide (and growing) range of infrastructure components, while also interacting with any 3rd party management tool like Service Management Systems, CMDBs, Orchestration Engines, Monitoring Tools etc. This is achievable thanks to the adoption of a complete set of public APIs that allows for the extension of the capabilities of the product beyond what comes out-of-the-box. This gives the customer maximum flexibility and integration with their internal processes.
One of the biggest achievements showcased by Turbonomic at TFD14 is the new HTML5 UI, which has completely been redesigned: not only the performance is way faster than that of the old Flash Web UI, but the UI has been simplified so recommended actions are available at a glance, dependency of components (the supply chain) is immediately understandable, past (and forecasted) metrics easily obtainable.
The same new UI makes it also very simple to connect Turbonomic to different infrastructure components, and it does so without any agents: the main Hypervisors, Storage Arrays, Application Servers, Databases etc are already supported by Turbonomic and the list grows with any new release. If one of your endpoints is not currently supported, Turbonomic can work with you to create the connector or you can do it yourself using the well-documented APIs.
What-if scenarios are also supported, meaning that Turbonomic can forecast the impact of new workloads added (or removed) from the infrastructure and suggest the matching required actions (such as purchase new hardware or the release of unneeded resources).
Finally, with the current release Turbonomic allows to apply the same logic available for your private clouds to public ones, all within the same browser window. It will allow you to resize or your Amazon instances or move them across availability zones just as if it would recommend you to add RAM to your vSphere VM or move it to another cluster. More public cloud related features are coming up with the next release, so stay tuned. Containers are now also supported and I am sure we’ll see more of this in the future, including integration with Kubernetes.
Be sure to check Turbonomic’s demo on the TFD website to see yourself the capabilities of the current release and Eric and Mor go deep-dive.
Overall I was positively impressed by what Turbonomic showcased at TFD14; this is a company I will keep in my watch list and so should you if you care about controlling and managing the performance of your apps while maintaining your grasp on efficiency and compliance.
Disclaimer: I have been invited to Tech Field Day 14 by Gestalt IT who paid for travel, hotel, meals and transportation. I did not receive any compensation to attend TFD and I am under no obligation whatsover to write any content related to TFD. The contents of these blog posts represent my personal opinions about the products and solutions presented during TFD14.