On the Approach Path to RDA 1.0

The past few weeks at Replicate Technologies have been a combination of intense concentration and confident, regular progress.  It's a real tribute to the team and the  development process that everything has been showing up on time, and with the highest quality.  We can now state categorically that we have a product. 

We're quite pleased with the outcome.  The first-customer-ship (FCS) version of the Replicate Datacenter Analyzer (RDA 1.0) arrived on schedule last week.  The new website is up, and includes the first of a set of short webcasts to provide introductions and tutorials.  We've instituted an "early access" program, limited to a modest set of users, in order to test out our back office and support processes. Based on our experience so far, we should be in full commercial availability as scheduled in a few weeks. 

If you'd like to see what we've been up to for the past 12 months, stop by the site and, in particular, check out the short webcast introduction to RDA.  There are still openings available in the Early Access program, so contact us to find out how your virtualized datacenter can benefit from improved reliability, availability and decreased management effort.

Replicate Technologies

Unlike other products that simply track individual configuration item changes over time, Replicate Datacenter Analyzer (RDA) builds up a comprehensive model of your virtualized datacenter. Combining empirical data from Replicate probes with configuration information derived from your existing system management tools, RDA constructs a unified view of your datacenter across all your administrative domains. Leveraging industry best practices, RDA identifies and corrects configuration problems, eliminating errors before they can cause downtime.



VMware's Growth Phases

Interesting article by George Gilbert and Juergen Urbanski at TechStrategy Partners. What drew my attention is the thoughtful discussion of growth phases for VMware (and, by association, Microsoft) as the waves of virtualization are driven by the revised charter and different value propositions.

Is VMware’s Hyper-Growth Phase Over? « Transitioning From The Enterprise To Web 2.0

Everyone knows the story about the server consolidation opportunity. The biggest misconception though is that the high growth story is done because Microsoft has commoditized server virtualization technology. What is really going on is that there are multiple waves of functionality continuing to penetrate the installed base of servers. Roughly in descending order of immediacy, these waves include server consolidation, business continuity, desktop virtualization, data center automation, and cloud virtualization. These new waves greatly expand the addressable market for server virtualization because VMware is democratizing functionality that often exists in other markets at much higher cost and complexity. ...


Virtualization Management "Sprawl" or (rather) Management Contention?

Back from an all-too-brief vacation, and catching up with some of my favorites, I came across this piece in about the VMware Ready management initiative.   Even before the spate of announcements at VMworld, it was clear that one can use various "management systems" for ESX that come from VMware itself in a manner that will have them in conflict (or at least in contention) with one another. 

We (at Replicate) think this is an issue of some importance.  We continue to follow VMware's response and that of the commercial ecosystem around VMware to see how it might be resolved... or at least addressed for the rank-and-file user of VMware's VI3 (and VI4 soon to follow).

After the VM sprawl are we ready for the virtualization management sprawl? |

The amount and the entity of the announcements released by VMware during its VMworld 2008 require some time to be digested and properly evaluated. In some case the details are not fully realized until the first practical implementation arrives.

It seems the case for the Ready Management Initiative.

Under this name VMware is now grouping all the efforts to open vCenter (formerly VirtualCenter) interfaces to 3rd parties for standardized, interoperable management of the virtual infrastructure.

As the slide above clarifies, this interoperability is bidirectional: this means that 3rd party management consoles can integrate into vCenter as one would hope and expect, but also that vCenter can integrate into 3rd party management consoles.  ...


Agile Development ... Up Close

Oren Teich, our VP in charge of Product, has put together a reflection on the tools and process we've used at Replicate Technologies to put our first product together.  If I needed a basis on which to become a true believer in agile development, this year's efforts at Replicate would do the trick.  I've been consistently and regularly amazed at the strides made and the quality of the output.  Oren, his team and the process he's put in place have been unbelievable.  His recounting of how a small company spends very modest amounts to get really quality systems is worth considering.

Ontic Oren » Living the ultimate online agile workflow

Over at my job, we’re just two weeks away from our first release! I thought this would be a great time to look back a little at our tools and process.
Overall, this set of tools has been fantastic.  We’ve spent right
around $5,000 for all the software.  That’s a significant chunk for a
small company like us, especially when there are such great free tools
all around, and I’d spend it again in a heartbeat.  The quality of
these products is just outstanding.


Cisco and the vSwitch - the Sergio Leone Treatment

Good post by Alan Murphy.  Worth a full read, particularly his take on "the good", "the possibly great, possibly not", and "the terrible."  His call for an enterprise-class virtual switch certainly resonates with me.

Cisco, VMworld, & the vSwitch: Half Good, Half "Run Away From Converged Switches!" | The Virtual Data Center

So my recommendation to Cisco would be: Stick with what you do really well, L2-L4 IP networking, and let the people that do storage networking well do storage networking. By all means extend that L2-L4 knowledge and expertise into the virtual platform arena by working with VMware on building a usable and robust vSwitch, but stop there. We need a virtual data center platform that includes an enterprise-class virtual switch. But on storage…there’s already going to be a push towards storage VM appliances in the next few years; let them fail on their own without you mudding up the waters by trying to manage the storage network underneath that.  ...