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1 VKernel Case Study: Venturian Hosting “The VKernel suite more than paid for itself with real cost savings in just a f...

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VKernel Case Study: Venturian Hosting “The VKernel suite more than paid for itself with real cost savings in just a few months, and has dramatically improved our ability to monitor and manage the infrastructure more effectively.”

  Industry IT Hosting Services Challenge Getting deeper insight into virtualized resource utilization to improve management effectiveness and increase resource usage efficiency. Solution VKernel vOPS Capacity Manager and Optimizer Results • Eliminated manual processes for monitoring and managing all virtualized resources • Identified major performance issues in the storage infrastructure Dramatically improved IT staff productivity and VM management effectiveness • Avoided the purchase of at least three host systems by increasing VM density on hosts while continuing to honor all service level agreements • Reclaimed substantial storage space, making it available to VMs, by deleting unused files

– Allen Firouz, CEO, Venturian Hosting

Venturian Hosting Venturian Hosting (www.venturianhosting.com) was founded in 2008 with the goal of helping companies build a robust IT infrastructure without the usual administrative and financial burdens, and has since become one of the most trusted names in IT hosting today. The company is headquartered in Miami, Florida and operates redundant, load-balanced datacenters collocated strategically at separate network access points. With full replication between these two Tier-IV facilities, Venturian is a full Tier-V provider able to offer a 100% uptime service level agreement for its customers. The company’s Solutions Architects work with Global 200 companies across the world to deliver leading-edge technologies that streamline business operations, and safeguard critical data and systems. The Need: Better Tools for Managing a Growing Cloud Environment As a leading provider in the cloud computing revolution, Venturian continues to grow exponentially—by over 1700 percent in one year alone. The company operates four VMware server clusters, each configured with Cisco UCS hosts and EMC storage area networks (SANs). The IT staff utilizes the native management tools provided by all three vendors help keep the infrastructure operating reliably, but, found that these tools were insufficient for VM configuration and capacity planning needs, forcing the staff to use spreadsheets and other manual procedures. These time-consuming and error-prone methods were simply unacceptable in such a fast-growing environment. In addition, the IT staff lacked deep visibility into resource utilization, and suspected the incorrect configuration was wasting precious resources. Improving IT Staff Productivity and VM Management Effectiveness After investigating available VM management suites offering VM performance monitoring, capacity planning and resource optimization, the IT staff and Firouz concurred that vOPS Capacity Manager and Optimizer from VKernel would both meet its needs and provide a satisfactory ROI. The value of the vOPS suite was soon put to the test helping to solve a perplexing problem: Venturian’s cloud infrastructure failed in a catastrophic way one day, and with a 100% uptime SLA with its customers, the response involved an “all hands on deck” troubleshooting effort to find and fix the problem as quickly as possible. The effort was both methodical and comprehensive, with support personnel from Venturian’s infrastructure vendors intimately involved. Despite an exhaustive 24x7 effort, the cause(s) of the problem remained elusive. A routine vOPS capacity planning report revealed a clear correlation between the problem (hosts disconnecting from VMware vCenter) and some unusual behavior deep in the SAN. Further investigation showed that the load was not being properly distributed in the SAN, and a simple reconfiguration solved the problem being experienced in the

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virtualized servers. “Without the deep insight of the VKernel tool, this problem might have taken several more days to find,” Firouz recalls. The IT staff now uses vOPS on a routine basis to monitor utilization, optimize VM resource allocations, reclaim storage space, plan capacity, produce useful management reports, and more. By eliminating previously manual processes, the vOPS suite has dramatically improved staff productivity. But as Firouz notes: “While the cost savings from improving productivity and enhancing management effectiveness are very real, operational expenditures are hard to quantify in a meaningful way.” Quantifying the Return on Investment For the ROI analysis, Venturian instead examined the estimated savings in capital expenditures. And for just one of the company’s four clusters, the savings were nothing short of remarkable. In just six months, the IT staff was able to use vOPS to increase the number of VMs “Without the deep insight of running on each host from an average of 13 to 20 with absolutely no degradation the VKernel tool, this problem in performance. This increase in VM density enabled Venturian to avoid purchasing at least three additional hosts for a total savings of $43,500, might have taken several more excluding related capital costs for rack space, and operational costs for power, days to find” cooling and maintenance. Yet even with such a compelling business case, Venturian wanted to further quantify the savings achieved by reclaiming storage space. The IT staff used vOPS to find and automatically remove abandoned VM Images, Unused Snapshots and Templates, and Powered-off and Zombie VMs, freeing up nearly 8 Terabytes of capacity. The total savings from not needing to expand SAN capacity was $5600, which alone provided a full payback for the cost of the vOPS software, and a bit more. In a mere six months, vOPS had paid for itself nearly 12 times by providing a total savings of over $49,000, which Firouz acknowledges is a conservative estimate: “There is no doubt that Venturian has gotten its money’s worth from the investment in VKernel’s vOPS. We simply couldn’t be more pleased with the results.” ROI Breakdown 1,500 GB storage reclaimed from Abandoned VM Images - $1,095 580 GB storage reclaimed from Powered-Off VM Images - $423 3,656 GB storage reclaimed from Unused Snapshots - $2,669 120 GB storage reclaimed from Unused Templates - $88 1,800 GB storage reclaimed from Zombie VMs - $1,314 Savings from reclaimed storage: $5,589 (1.36X ROI) 3 ESX Host Purchases Avoided - $43,500 Total Savings from Reclaimed Storage and Host Purchases Avoided: $49,089 (11.91X ROI)

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VKernel, a Division of Quest Software th 285 Summer Street, 5 Floor Boston, MA 02210 USA +1 (617) 261-6900 tel [email protected] ©2012 Quest Software ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. VKernel shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.