Welcome!

Search Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Shelly Palmer, Lacey Thoms

Related Topics: Virtualization

Virtualization: Article

Virtualization: A Promising and Justifiable Investment

Exclusive Q&A with Bala Murugan, Chief Architect, eG Innovations

"There is a shift in focus and it is from technologies that enable virtualization to technologies that manage virtualization," says Bala Murugan, Chief Architect at eG Innovations, in this Exclusive Q&A with SYS-CON's Virtualization Journal. Overall, Murugan maintains, virtualization is "a promising and justifiable investment, particularly in the current economic downturn."

Virtualization Journal: Do you agree with the view that Virtualization is one of the most promising technology investments in the current economic downturn?

Bala Murugan: Virtualization, when done right, has been proven to provide significant reductions in direct cost. It also helps your indirect cost by improving your IT’s performance, reliability and capacity management. So yes, I would say that it is a promising and justifiable investment, particularly in the current economic downturn.


Virtualization Journal:
How about your concept of “Virtualization 2.0” – doesn’t it implicitly suggest that Virtualization 1.0 has been deficient?

Murugan: On the contrary, it is more in reference to the evolution of the Virtualization industry. Virtualization 1.0 was a revelation; it introduced virtualization to the world, proved its power and showed everyone how much they can benefit from it. Virtualization 2.0 – which is already here - is about accepting Virtualization as reality and moving on to how to do it right. How to get the most out of it. Essentially, there is a shift in focus and it is from technologies that enable virtualization to technologies that manage virtualization.

To be successful in Virtualization 2.0, organizations have to focus around technology that helps them manage their virtualization deployments better. Being a monitoring technology provider, we understand the complexities of monitoring in Virtualization 2.0 and are well positioned to help these companies realize the full potential of their virtualized infrastructures.


Virtualization Journal:
Are you concerned at all that the “2.0” label might detract from the overall value proposition, given that it seems to be going down with the USS Economy. ;-)

Murugan: We view Virtualization 2.0 as an evolution (next phase) – not as a radical revamp of current virtualization deployments. In Virtualization 2.0, the focus is on how to make virtualization deployments more cost-effective and how to gain maximum benefits. So this will actually make virtualization a mandatory technology for most organizations that are dealing with tight budgets in the economic slow-down.


Virtualization Journal:
How about interoperability, how important is that for the industry do you think? What barriers persist?

Murugan: We live in an age of diverse infrastructures. Even before virtualization, the success of n-tier architectures and open systems made it impossible for one to have a homogenous environment. Data centers today comprise diverse technologies that have to co-exist and to in deliver IT services. Virtualization has taken this another step on the evolutionary road, now we are talking about adding a couple of more tiers to the n-tier apps by separating the hardware from the OS. At this juncture, we believe that interoperability is not a “nice to have”. It is a “must have.”

In terms of barriers, the ones that still exist are mostly technological, that people are working to overcome. In principle, I believe everyone agrees interoperability is a must have. Not only do they have to deal with a mix of virtual and non-virtual infrastructures, but also different types of virtualization from different vendors. They key we found is to be able to provide a unified consistent view across this diverse landscape, which makes management that much easier for the end-user.


Virtualization Journal:
Do you think VMware needs fear Microsoft’s belated entry into the virtualization marketplace?

Murugan: History has shown that Microsoft can be a significant threat in any endeavor it puts its mind to. They will have good technology and resort to their favorite ploy; their licensing model, and make Virtualization more of a commodity than it already is.

VMware itself has recognized that the hypervisor is no longer going to be the differentiator and that technologies that enable the effective use of virtualization (e.g., manageability), new application deployment models (like virtual desktops), etc. will be a key to retaining their leadership position.

Competition in this space can only be good – innovation will be faster and certainly there is room for multiple vendors in this fast growing market.


Virtualization Journal:
How about eG Innovations, what’s the background story to the company’s formation and growth to date?

A: eG Innovations was founded by Srinivas Ramanathan, who also is our president and CEO. Prior to eG, he was a research scientist at HP and the chief architect of Firehunter, an ISP performance monitoring solution. His years at HP gave him a ringside seat to real pain points that customers have with monitoring their environments and monitoring tools themselves. In 2000, he left HP to build the proverbial “better mousetrap,” and assembled a strong team, including myself, to take this concept from the ground up. That was the genesis of eG Innovations.

Our focus was on monitoring n-tier architectures by looking at them as business services as opposed to a collection of servers, networks and applications. Our key benefit to the customer was our ability to proactively identify to the right problem, the true root cause, of poor performance in their IT infrastructures. As a result, customers spent less time firefighting and finger pointing, and more time improving their overall service levels. It took a couple of years to roll-out the finished product, and we got VC funding from Singapore. Then we opened up the US market in 2002 and found a receptive audience for the technology. We quickly became the premier Citrix monitoring solution, which had all the classic n-tier architecture issues. We won many awards and saw the company grow across the globe.

We saw the opportunity in the virtualization space quite early and started working with early virtualization adopters to better understand their needs and to strengthen our technology. Our mastery in thin-client computing and shared access technologies (Citrix, Microsoft Terminal Services, etc.) helped because a Virtualization ecosystem (one box – multiple OSs) is similar to a Citrix ecosystem (one OS – multiple users). More awards later, we are now recognized as one of the industry leaders in the Virtualization monitoring space, with support for different virtualization platforms including VMware, Citrix Xen, Solaris Containers/LDOMs and more.


Virtualization Journal:
What are the main pain points that bring customers to you in search of a monitoring solution?

Murugan: The biggest single pain point is probably problem isolation. When there is a problem in your n-tier IT infrastructure, it is usually pretty hard to distinguish between the true root cause and the effects. With systems being interdependent, a single problem generally causes a ripple effect that flows through the entire environment, leading you to chase effects as opposed to pinpointing the root cause. In simple terms, this means you are wasting valuable IT resources in fire-fighting mode fixing effects, which leads to finger pointing inside the organization. Meanwhile, your customers are still facing the problem. Virtualization only increases the complexity of your n-tier IT delivery, which makes problem isolation even more difficult.

Another key pain point that we see customers face is lack of visibility into their IT infrastructures. Even though it sounds simple enough, more often than not customers today don’t have total visibility into what is going on within their virtualized infrastructures. When you are managing a virtualized environment you definitely need answers to questions like; “How many guests are they running?” “How many guests are just consuming resources without being used?” “Where are the bottlenecks in the environment?” “Where do you stand on capacity?” “How do applications running inside VMs compare to ones running on physical servers?” “Is VMotion happening? If yes, why?” and so on. When it comes to virtual environments, what you don’t know can hurt you badly.

Another common problem is the classic disconnect between business services and the IT infrastructure. For example, business users say they can’t process orders or things are too slow. The IT side says servers are running fine on CPU. Both of them are right in their own perspective, but they are not on the same page, not even on the same book. This comes from the traditional IT view of looking at boxes and servers as opposed to the actual quality of services being delivered.


Virtualization Journal:
What are two of your favorite customer success stories?

Murugan: There are many, but a classic one was when we got called in by a customer who was deploying a new project with Citrix technologies in a heterogeneous infrastructure with physical and virtual servers. Their new service was not taking off. Users were complaining about severe slowdowns and they had already spent weeks on this problem with no results. Before they came to us, they had changed the server hardware, the application software, the client terminals and software, all to no effect. Within a couple of days of getting involved, we were able to pin-point the source of the problem – network packet retransmissions between servers -- due to some issues with the way network teaming had been set up. We had been working with the application and server teams, and these teams had no visibility into the network. All they had to go by was what the network team was telling them. Hence, they assumed when a problem happened that it was a server or application issue, and spent weeks chasing this. Without any kind of instrumentation on the network, our eG Enterprise solution was able to determine that the root cause of the problem was in the network, not in the VMs, Citrix or other applications. This was a classic case of having to work with limited visibility into some domains, working with different silos of the infrastructure, and yet being able to effectively troubleshoot problems. In the end, it took us just a minutes to review the collected metrics to identify the root cause. Even after hundreds of customer installations, this remains a great example of a customer success.

Another very good example was a large financial institution where our technologies have delivered immense value. Before we got involved, they were very silo-based in their day to day firefighting and operations. We helped them streamline their operations, providing the helpdesk with end-to-end visibility into key business services. s a result, when a problem occurs, the helpdesk knows exactly which expert to call to resolve a problem. This produced significant improvement in service uptime, and more effective use of their operations staff.


Virtualization Journal:
What does the future hold do you think for VDI?

Murugan: VDI and its various technology cousins are definitely here to say. The idea of a centralized desktop with the power of a localized desktop is extremely attractive. Some of the largest implementations have been VDI related. Currently we are seeing Fortune 100 companies leading the way on this and I believe it will be common place soon even in mid-size companies. As a technology, it has not yet fully matured, but once it does we see it as becoming a much bigger market than server-based virtualization initiatives. It may become the de-facto desktop platform in near future.


Virtualization Journal: Do you agree that we are entering a new age of infrastructure – one in which it is back on the agenda of C-level execs (and not only the CTO)?

Murugan: I believe infrastructure has always been on the agenda of C-level execs, but with the success of virtualization there are definitely more conversations at the C-level about how to do this right.


Virtualization Journal: You were responsible for the design and development of one of the earliest J2EE portals in the late 90s; what role does Java play today in the enterprise technology landscape?

Murugan: The platform independence provided by Java was one of the key drivers that enabled a slew of web-facing service-oriented applications in the last decade. Java and its sister technologies remain one of the backbone technologies of the web-based applications.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US and large in-house IT organizations.
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
As a disruptive technology, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), which is an emerging standard of web communications, is redefining how brands and consumers communicate in real time. The on-going narrative around WebRTC has largely been around incorporating video, audio and chat functions to apps. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Alex Gouaillard, Founder and CTO of Temasys Communications, will look at a fourth element – data channels – and talk about its potential to move WebRTC beyond browsers and into the Internet of Things.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research's network of 200+ independent analysts provides new content daily that bridges the gap between break...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.