Virtual capacity planning drives IT management acquisition

BMC acquires software business of Neptuny to augment business service management with capacity capabilities, following CA Technologies acquisition of Hyperformix.

On the heels of the Hyperformix acquisition by CA Technologies, BMC Software Tuesday announced it had acquired the software business of Neptuny, a European provider of capacity management and IT performance optimization technology.

CA Technologies acquires virtual capacity management with Hyperformix buy

The deal, according to a BMC press release, will enable the IT management software maker to extend its existing capacity management products and augment BMC’s “dynamic Business Service Management (BSM)” and cloud management products. This type of technology, also recently acquired with Hyperformix by CA Technologies, will be critical to any IT management software maker looking to lead its customers from traditional environments to virtual data centers and potentially private, public or hybrid cloud deployments.

Are your capacity planning practices obsolete for virtualization?

Capacity management posed a challenge even in traditional environments, but typically required planners to prepare for business growth perhaps per quarter using rudimentary tools or spreadsheets. The dynamic nature of virtual machines (VM) essentially breaks previous capacity management practices and requires the process to move from a static state to real-time monitoring and planning. Because the promise of virtualization and ultimately cloud computing is that environments can be quickly ramped up or scaled back, capacity planning needs to operate in real time as well.

“Capacity planning needs to be in place when you first start virtualizing servers, and most people are doing that and now coming up against real troubles. But because virtualization is fundamentally different than planning for a physical environment, IT managers must transition to doing capacity management in real time,” said Andi Mann, vice president of product marketing for the Virtualization and Automation Customer Solutions Unit (CSU) at CA Technologies, in an earlier interview. “Assuring performance in real time is critical. It is the difference between monitoring and reacting and monitoring and assuring the environment will deliver on business expectations. It’s not enough to plan in a virtual environment, because you can’t plan when live migrations happen by themselves. You have to manage capacity in real time.”

According to BMC’s Kia Behnia, chief technology officer, the acquisition of Neptuny’s software business will enable BMC to augment its portfolio to help IT managers eliminate the costs associated with over-provisioning capacity as well as reduce capital expenditures on hardware.

“Many organizations today struggle with an ostensibly stark choice between overcapacity and performance – either over investing leading to costly, underutilized servers, or blindly virtualizing and failing to meet performance goals,” Behnia said in a statement. “The pinpoint accuracy of Neptuny’s capacity management tool allows organizations to precisely match their capacity with their specific application needs, and eliminate unnecessary investments in hardware.”

Industry watchers have been predicting the capacity planning challenges that virtualization would introduce for several years. Now IT management software vendors are making their move to incorporate the IT resource planning capabilities into their portfolios. For CA Technologies, the acquisition of Hyperformix will enable customers to expand their virtualization deployments beyond virtual stall and optimize their environments. Virtual stall is the term used when companies can’t expand the number of VMs deployed due to lack of management, control or resources to optimize the environment.

According to a recent Gartner press release, more than 80% of enterprises have virtualization in place, but only 25% of all server workloads will be in a VM by year-end 2010. Gartner says IT managers need to plan for “two to three times the growth of virtualization.” Gartner research vice president Philip Dawson does point out in the statement that without appropriate management in place, the savings promised with virtualization are not a guarantee.

“Virtualization will continue as the highest-impact issue challenging infrastructure and operations through 2015, changing how you manage, how and what you buy, how you deploy, how you plan and how you charge,” Dawson said, adding that the “next ‘big thing’ will be automating the composition and management of virtualized resources.”

For CA Technologies, the Hyperformix acquisition will help the software maker enable customers to get over the hump of stalled virtual deployments and optimize resources to meet business needs.

“The acquisition also directly solves some of the biggest problems our more mature customers are facing today in their virtualization deployments – things like the VM sprawl that is exhausting available capacity and dramatically reducing virtualization ROI; and the VM stall caused by low capacity awareness and risk-averse business owners that slows or stops rollouts and stalls the major benefits of virtualization,” Mann wrote in the CA Technologies on Virtualization and Automation blog. “By providing visibility and control over capacity utilization and requirements – now and into the future – our customers will be able to see what VMs are in use, what they can shut down, and what capacity they need to overcome VM sprawl.”

How will you plan for capacity in your virtual or cloud environment? Will your existing approach stand up to the challenges that virtualization represents? Please leave a comment here or let me know your thoughts directly via e-mail at Denise.Dubie@ca.com.

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Denise Dubie

About Denise Dubie

Denise Dubie (@DDubie) is Principal of Strategic Content in CA Technologies Thought Leadership Group. She is charged with creating content relevant to today’s most pressing technology and business trends for industry leaders and IT professionals. Prior to joining the company in 2010, Dubie spent 12 years of her career at Network World, an IDG company, covering the IT management industry and all of its players (including CA Technologies and its competitors) as well as high-tech careers, technology trends and vendors such as Cisco, HP, IBM and Microsoft. As Senior Editor at Network World, Dubie also authored the publication's twice-weekly Network and Systems Management Alert newsletter and contributed to the Web site's Microsoft Subnet blog. Before IDG, she served as Assistant Managing Editor at Application Development Trends, managing writers and the monthly publication's production process. Dubie started her professional journalism career as a Staff Writer/Reporter at The Transcript, a small daily paper in Western Massachusetts.
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