Onaro extends visibility into virtual environments

By Kevin Komiega

—As virtual server infrastructures take hold, the need to see the links between virtual machines and storage grows. In response to the shift from physical to virtual data centers, Onaro today announced some new additions to its SANscreen software family designed to provide visibility for both physical and virtual servers across networked storage environments.

Onaro released a new tool called NAS Insight, an Array Performance Module for its Application Insight product and enhancements to its Service Insight and VM Insight software. All of the products and upgrades are geared toward improving the end-to-end view from the application to the back-end storage and optimizing cross-domain capacity planning, availability, and troubleshooting.

Onaro's premise is that all storage and server teams need to work off of a common service view of an organization's supporting infrastructure. "From what we've seen, up to 80% of VMware ESX implementations are deployed with network storage, and the majority of these new virtual machines are coming on servers that used to use non-networked storage," says Bryan Semple, vice president of marketing at Onaro. "VMware is increasing the SAN attach rate, and virtual servers are presenting unique infrastructure challenges for server teams."

Semple adds that the array is half of the equation in any VMware deployment and, more often than not, the virtual machine team is blind to the storage environments. That is why Onaro is extending its automation capabilities for both physical and virtual environments.

Virtual machines place the storage I/O requirements of several physical servers to a single server, making load-balancing from application to disk critical to meet consolidation targets without impacting application performance. Onaro has added a new Array Performance Module for its Application Insight product aimed at the problem. The module discovers, collects, and maintains array performance information and adds that data to the fabric traffic information collected by Application Insight. The combination gives Application Insight users visibility into the host-to-disk application load. Semple says intelligently monitoring storage and server performance during consolidations can help organizations reduce capital costs by optimizing physical to virtual server compression ratios.

According to Semple, NAS Insight 1.0 is designed to support enterprise NAS deployments by offering visibility across all networked attached systems through a single management interface for organizations deploying virtual machines on NAS.

Furthermore, Onaro's Service Insight 4.5 software has been enhanced to provide service path visibility from the virtual host through the networked storage environment, including switches, virtual storage devices, arrays, volumes, and disks. Semple says by deploying Service Insight 4.5, organizations can take advantage of SANscreen's ability to reduce capital costs, decrease operating costs, and improve service quality in a highly virtualized environment. As part of this release, Service Insight now supports virtualization technologies from IBM, Hitachi Data Systems, and Incipient.

Service Insight 4.5, Application Insight for Arrays 1.0 and NAS Insight 1.0 will be generally available December 31. Service Insight is priced from $85 per port. Pricing for the Array Performance Module for Application Insight and NAS Insight starts at $75,000.

For more information on Onaro's software, see Onaro SANscreen: Insight for managing storage as a service.

This article was originally published on December 18, 2007