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Capacity control for PowerVM platform

CiRBA has announced Version 7.1 of the CiRBA Control Console, enabling IT organisations to optimise capacity decisions, VM placements and resource allocations for AIX-based IBM PowerVM environments. This latest version will allow customers to leverage the same technology they use to optimise VMware and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation environments to manage virtualised AIX infrastructure.


Date: 7 Jun 2012

CiRBA Version 7.1 reduces the complexity of capacity management for virtualised AIX environments with analytics software that natively understands the advanced capabilities of the PowerVM platform such as Logical Partitions (LPARs), Virtual I/O Servers (VIOS), shared processor pools, Capacity on Demand and HA failover nodes. By combining these capabilities with historical utilisation data and detailed operational policies, CiRBA’s Control Console provides unprecedented visibility into infrastructure health for VMs, hosts and host groups, and generates the detailed actions required to optimise workload placements, resource allocations and other critical capacity decisions. Leveraging CiRBA, organisations no longer have to sacrifice efficiency in order to meet the service level requirements of the mission-critical applications that run on IBM AIX and PowerVM.

“AIX and PowerVM provide tremendous flexibility, performance and reliability for mission-critical applications, but until now IT organisations have had to manage them with relatively basic tools and manual processes. Planning workload placements with Post-itÒ notes and using home grown spreadsheet models to size infrastructure simply isn’t sustainable, particularly as these environments become more and more sophisticated,” said Andrew Hillier, CiRBA CTO and co-founder. “It becomes an analytics challenge, and the key is to strike the optimal balance of efficiency and risk given the infrastructure capabilities, the requirements of the workloads being hosted, and the policies governing the relationship between the two.”

CiRBA’s analytics use comprehensive policies that determine where workloads and applications should be placed within the infrastructure and how much resource should be allocated to VMs (LPARs), VIOS, and resource pools. Out-of-the-box, CiRBA provides specific policies governing SLA requirements, High Availability, host resource utilisation thresholds, VM allocation thresholds, security and compliance, licensing, and placement constraints, so organisations can confidently place mission critical applications into PowerVM environments and optimise their density without incurring risk. Smarter placements, accurate allocations and increased density not only enable organisations to defer purchases by making the best use of existing infrastructure, but can also result in significant savings in terms of software licensing costs.

CiRBA 7.1 enables organisations to:

· Visualise the health of PowerVM Infrastructure through a Single Console: CiRBA’s Control Console reveals whether or not VMs, hosts or host groups have “Too little infrastructure”, “Too Much Infrastructure” or are “Just Right”, providing an at-a-glance view of what is at risk, what is inefficient and where action needs to be taken.
· Measure the overall efficiency of PowerVM environments with the CiRBA Efficiency Index (CEI) – CEI reflects how many servers are truly required vs. how many exist based on all the constraints in an environment including utilisation, policy, and growth, enabling organisations to understand, measure and proactively manage the amount of waste or excess capacity in an environment.
· Control Capacity Reservations and Increase Forecasting Accuracy with Bookings – CiRBA provides a Bookings Management System to track the flow of workloads and hosts due to come into or leave an environment. CiRBA determines where new workloads can and should go into the environment, models the impact of new hosts or host changes and determines the appropriate placements and allocation changes. The bookings information also feeds into forecasted views of capacity requirements to accurately determine when a shortfall will occur.
· Get Prescriptive Actions to Avoid Capacity Shortfalls – CiRBA’s Action System provides specific actions to resolve and prevent shortfalls for host groups, resource pools, hosts, VMs and VIOS, such as rebalancing and allocation changes. In Version 7.1, CiRBA can also make recommendations for resizing hosts in order to accept new workloads, leveraging IBM’s Capacity Upgrade on Demand capability. Recommendations can be pushed to third party ticketing, orchestration or management systems to automate key processes and changes.
· Gain Visibility into Available Capacity and Waste– CiRBA’s Action System also specifies where resources can safely be reclaimed from VMs, where new workloads can be placed, and how much spare capacity exists in an environment. Allocation recommendations ensure that VMs are sized correctly, and policies dictate minimum/maximum allocation values for CPU and memory, the use of capped vs. uncapped vs. dedicated CPUs, and take into account advanced configurations such as 2-node PowerHA™ pairs.


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Tags: Server Virtualization, VMware

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