Novell PlateSpin Recon 3.6

Novell recently launched a new version of PlateSpin Recon, version 3.6.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Novell recently launched a new version of PlateSpin Recon, version 3.6.  I've been watching both Novell and PlateSpin, the company Novell acquired a while ago (see Novell acquires PlateSpin: Will everything fall to the floor? and Additional thoughts on Novell acquisition of PlateSpin) for a long time.  It is pretty clear, by the way, that everything didn't fall to the floor when Novell acquired PlateSpin.

While the technology appears to be very powerful and something that would be very useful to organizations on a journey to a more virtualized environment, Novell has been able to make neither Novell nor PlateSpin words that quickly come to mind when decision makers are asked about companies offering virtualization technology.

What Novell has to say about PlateSpin Recon 3.6

As customers embrace virtualization in the data center, they need comprehensive information about their physical and virtual server workloads, collected over time, to give a true picture of how resources are being used. PlateSpin Recon 3.6 allows data center managers to gain new insight into their virtual infrastructure, not only to better plan the initial virtualization initiative, but also to maximize the return on their virtualization investment and avoid or postpone costly hardware purchases over time.

Designed to take the guesswork out of complex server consolidation and capacity planning initiatives, PlateSpin Recon 3.6 offers best-fit scenario modeling that increases server consolidation ratios while simultaneously minimizing resource contention. Post-consolidation, PlateSpin Recon continues to track and analyze key resource utilization metrics as workloads change over time, so customers can re-assess and re-optimize their virtual infrastructures, increase workload performance, and reclaim and redeploy underutilized resources.

PlateSpin Recon remotely discovers hardware and software inventory across the data center, on the industry’s broadest range of operating systems, virtualization platforms and hardware. By examining resource utilization – CPU, disk, memory and network – for each workload over time, it ensures the optimal fit between real workload requirements and available or planned resources. PlateSpin Recon matches utilization peaks and valleys across workloads to fit more workloads onto each virtual host, optimizing resource utilization. It also identifies gaps between virtual resource allocation and actual usage: minimizing these gaps maximizes the virtual resource capacity of existing IT infrastructure, extending useful service life and postponing new hardware purchases.

PlateSpin Recon provides powerful virtual infrastructure management features to help organizations monitor and manage the growth of virtual machines, avoid virtual infrastructure sprawl and automate IT chargeback for physical and virtual resources.

New features in Version 3.6 include:

  • Resource reclamation reports that offer customers graphical proof points to show resource consumption and reclaimable resources.
  • The ability to include virtual clusters in virtual infrastructure reports.
  • Support for SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 11.
  • Solaris Containers support, allowing customers to plan migrations of Solaris workloads to Solaris Containers
  • A new licensing model offering less expensive ongoing analysis of both physical and virtual data center infrastructures.

PlateSpin Recon, along with the other products in the PlateSpin workload management family – PlateSpin Migrate, PlateSpin Orchestrate, PlateSpin Protect and PlateSpin Forge – enables customers to profile, migrate, protect and manage server workloads between physical and virtual infrastructures in heterogeneous IT environments. PlateSpin Workload Management from Novell is the only solution on the market today to support 32-and 64-bit Windows and Linux servers, as well as all leading hypervisors including VMware ESX and ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, Virtual Iron, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with integrated Xen.

Snapshot analysis

Novell's PlateSpin offerings are very powerful tools that could be of great help to organizations who are on their way to a more virtualized environment. The products broadly support all of the major and most of the less common hypervisors. That being said, I never have had a Kusnetzky Group client ask about either Novell's virtualization technology in general or PlateSpin's products in specific. I have brought these products into the conversation on more than one ocassion when I thought the capabilities of the products closely matched the requirements of these clients.

Unasked for shoot-from-the-hip advice

Novell, you've heard this from me time and again.  I'll say it again.  Your biggest obsticle to being seen as a common member of the enterprise datacenter club is your own approach to marketing.

Blandly technical messages extolling the virtues of your products, the fact that they do more than many competitive offerings and interoperate with a very large percentage of what's likely to be seen in the datacenter was the mainstay of marketing in the 1980s and 1990s. Increasingly, however, non-traditional means of reaching out to your target audience must have a strong role in your marketing plan.

Although I'm sure that you're deploying multi-media, multi-channel approaches, if the number of people asking me about them is a reasonable measure, they're clearly not reaching the target audience..

Rather than thinking about blogs, forums, microblogs, papers, videos, newsletters, podcasts as separate tools, each presenting seperate messages, it would be good if you'd start seeing them as different containers the same message.  It would then be possible to orchestrate your messages and make them more powerful.

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