When you have a crisis in your VMware environment do you like manually finding a needle in a hay stack of needles to identify the root cause? Do you love spending endless hours with your fingers walking through knowledge base articles, google searches, and scratching your head while your users suffer? Do you have so much time on your hands that you want the sky to be falling so you can spend your after hours and weekends solving problems?
Hopefully the answer to all of the above is no. Most problems you encounter in your VMware environments will already be known issues, many times with a simple solution. Hopefully testing of the patches and upgrades, and combinations of hardware and software was also tested before going into production. But it’s really hard to catch everything and to constantly audit your environment against problems and configuration drift. When an ounce of prevention can prevent an avalanche of cure being needed, Runecast might be the solution you’re looking for. I caught up with the CEO and Co-Founder of Runecast, Stanimir Markov, in Melbourne recently to get the lowdown on what it is and how it can help customers prevent trouble in their VMware environments.
I’ve known Stanimir for a long time as he got his VCDX (VMware Certified Design Expert) shortly after I did. For those that don’t know VCDX is the top VMware certification that is held by a couple of hundred people in the world, people who have proven their VMware and solution architecture expertise. Which makes the knowledge that is built into Runecast all the more interesting.
So what does Runecast do? Well they have built a product called Runecast Analyzer, which they describe as follows:
Proactive VMware management solution that uses our expertise and VMware Knowledge Base articles to analyze virtual infrastructure and expose potential issues and best practice violations, before they cause major outages.
I think the last part of that sentence is the most important, i.e. doing something before it causes a major outage. Runecast uses machine learning and big data analytics and natural language processing to figure out what the VMware KB’s are saying, what the logs in your environment are saying, and what the configuration has been set to and then analyzing if the combination might lead to any issues. Anyone that has spent any time going through VMware KB’s knows this isn’t an easy task. By melding the VCDX knowledge, VMware KB, Logs, and config, and putting some very smart data scientists to work, Runecast Analyzer can continuously monitor and alert you to any irregularities that might potentially cause you a headache.
I really like the fact that Runecast Analyzer can be used in dark sites just as easily as in connected sites. It doesn’t rely on any live outside connection to do the data analysis and updates can be done offline. This is important in secure environments, such as Government organizations. Here is what the architecture looks like.
The Runecast Analyzer appliance can be deployed and operational within minutes and provides continuous compliance and monitoring across multiple vCenters. It’s a very simple and elegant solution to a very tough time consuming problem.
If you are looking for a continuous monitoring, alerting and analysis platform to prevent problems in your VMware environment before they occur then Runecast is worth a look. It can help you reduce downtime, improve security, and reduce cost of VMware environments of any size. In the future it could well be expanded to include other parts of the VMware ecosystem including networking / switching. There are certainly a lot of opportunities for a product such as this to build on the current momentum and go into new areas.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – 2017 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.