Fortisphere - if you can't see it, you can't manage it

Fortisphere's impressive story has gotten more impressive since we last spoke. While VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and the like have tools that do some of the things Fortesphere's Virtual Service Management does, Fortisphere has a strong set of capabilities and should be considered

It's been a while since I spoke with the folks from Fortisphere and decided to reach out to a contact over there immediately prior to VMworld to learn what was new. As I expected, they were really busy preparing for the event. So, we planned on meeting at their booth and to have a longer conversation after the event.I visited their booth during the event and confirmed the time for a later conversation.

After the event, I had the opportunity to speak with to Siki Giunta, Fortisphere's new President and CEO. I learned that the company had continued to enhance its product, Virtual Service Management, As before, their primary message is that if IT can't see all of the organization's virtual servers, they can't manage them.

Here's what Fortisphere has to say about Virtual Essentials

Management solutions are intended to make life easier, not harder, on the administrator, the IT executives, and the application owners. So why are management tools often so hard to use?

We pride ourselves on the fact that Fortisphere’s enterprise-class Virtual Essentials Service Manager solution is:

  • Easy to Deploy: usually up and running in under an hour
  • Easy to Use: clean thin-client interfaces and role-based portals
  • Easy to Expand: a commitment to heterogeneity of operating system, hypervisor, and all the other components of your virtual infrastructure

It incorporates the elements of:

  • Service orientation, to manage the virtual environment as a service to the business
  • State awareness, to accurately assess the service impact of change in the environment
  • Real-time data, to proactively identify issues before they impact service levels
  • Historical data, using the past to help forecast the future

Snapshot analysis

Quite often organizations who have decided that virtual machine-based approaches should be part of their overall IT infrastructure simply select an ancillary workload and move all of its components into virtual servers. They run in that environment for a time, learn the performance characteristics and find that the approach either works for them or it doesn't.

If they decide that it is a workable solution, the land rush is on! Many virtual systems are created. Copies of working virtual systems are made and then the parent and children systems go there separate ways - each being updated or changed as needed.  If there is any management of the overall environment at all, it often takes the form of a spreadsheet or a document that lists the virtual systems, who created them, when they created them and lists the version and patch levels of each component of those systems. It is surprising how many go forward without having a management system, even one this rudimentary. This means that many are "flying blind" and don't really know (or seem to care) that there's a mountain out there in front of them and their flight could be cut short.

Fortisphere has offered tools to discover these virtual systems, learn all of the details about these systems and bring them under better control. What's new is that they're talking about "service management" rather than speaking about managing virtual systems and have enhanced their software so that it gathers a great deal of information and presents it in an easy-to-use way. Their software now has the ability to deal with virtual systems based upon nearly all of the hypervisors found in the wild including, VMware ESX Server, Microsoft's Hyper-V, Citrix's XenServer and Xen as well as Red Hat's KVM.

They've got an impressive list of customers and some wonderful stories about IT administrators being surprised by the number of "long lost VMs" that were lurking in their environment.  These VMs, of course, were problems waiting to happen.

Fortisphere's impressive story has gotten more impressive since we last spoke. While VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and the like have tools that do some of the things Fortesphere's Virtual Service Management does, Fortisphere has a strong set of capabilities and should be considered