Happy Vendor Independence Day: Using workload analysis to control your own destiny

By: Len Rosenthal, CMO of Virtual Instruments

While the official start of summer is always June 20 or 21, July 4 is usually when most of the U.S. finally starts to feel like the season is kicking off. We wait year-round for the day when we can celebrate summer with fireworks, barbeque and all things patriotic. However, this Fourth of July, we want you to celebrate vendor independence day.

Homogeneous versus heterogeneous purchasing

There’s a common misconception in the world of data center technology that if you choose a single-vendor purchase strategy for your IT infrastructure, you avoid management and complexity issues, and ultimately avoid performance issues. However, that’s just not the norm for today’s data center, whether you are in the midst of a transformation or you employ a modern approach with new technologies. Plus, IT teams know when it comes to reliable performance, it’s equally about the management tools rather than just the hardware, regardless of the vendor rhetoric they hear.

The majority of data centers are heterogeneous. No one wants to face vendor lock-in, and with mounting pressure from CFOs and business leaders to cut costs, there’s an evergreen discussion about how to mix and match the best options to custom fit your needs. Today’s enterprises have a wealth of technology choices from upstarts and industry giants. They are increasingly making decisions based on one main tenet: choose the technology that best allows you to maintain highly available, high performance infrastructure to support your most business-critical workloads.

Test those storage claims – and stay independent

IT teams are the unsung heroes of today’s fast-moving businesses and their bottom-line growth. It’s their expertise that wins the day. These teams constantly assess how both new and existing workloads will perform based on industry best practices and vendor claims. However, the broad claims vendors make can’t possibly apply to each company’s specific application workloads. And industry benchmarks can easily be manipulated. Committing time to understand, test and analyze workload I/O profiles that will run your key applications is critically important, which is why our customers and partners are excited about the beta of our new community, WorkloadCentral.

Regardless of which vendor you purchase storage from, determining the most cost-effective storage infrastructure for your workloads is a not an easy decision.  Purchasing decisions should be based on cost/performance and the ability to have all moving parts of your infrastructure work reliably side-by-side. If you neglect to leverage infrastructure performance analytics, you’ll experience the same issues whether you have a single-vendor data center or you purchase each asset separately.

The only way to avoid performance setbacks, latency issues and unnecessary over-provisioning is to test real-world workloads against real products. By analyzing the efficiency of those test workloads with Load DynamiX Enterprise, IT professionals can have full visibility into how certain data sets will act in any particular situation. Once you have made your deployment decisions, you then need a vendor-independent performance monitoring solution to ensure the performance and availability of your production environment. Solutions like VirtualWisdom will alert your team before anything has the chance to go wrong.

Long story short, you’re free to purchase storage hardware from whatever vendor you’d like without the concern of looming performance issues. Celebrate your vendor independence, and take this July to leverage infrastructure performance analytics rather than the inevitable fingerpointing. Happy Vendor Independence Day!

Learn about other critical considerations for the evolving data center.