Well another VMworld has come and gone. As a regular to the Tech Field Day delegate standard, I was fortunate to be included in Tuesday afternoon’s #TFDx presentations. Among those organizations who showed off their wares was a truly interesting analytics platform entitled RuneCast. I feel that they’ve come up with an analyzer that does have some key differentiators, and looking forward to having an opportunity to play with it.
The problem historically with VMware is that it delivers huge amounts of data toward the vCenter database. Of course, vCenter doesn’t give us anything like the volume of information back from this data. Healthchecks are done manually, but not proactively… essentially, all we have been able to do in an effort to remediate potential problems has been reactive.
There are a number of tools out there meant to extract useful data from this database, and ways in which these datapoints can be leveraged in an effort to gain insight to the environment, predict chokepoints like processor storage and memory panics. Troubleshooting compliance, predictive healthchecks, etc. have always been difficulties.
Enter Runecast analyzer. The easy method of installation is only the beginning. To place this into your environment is as simple as downloading the OVF from their website, building up that VM, and connecting it to vCenter with the proper credentials. You may choose to connect it to NSX as well. After the product builds its data from the sources from which it’s authorized, it’ll leverage the built-in database, as well as sources from social media, VMware published hardening guides and knowledge base articles.
One of the things that I found most compelling about the data sources for reference used by the RuneCast program is that these don’t update and replace, they actually update granularly, and with incremental steps.
RuneCast even has a plugin that works with the vRealizeOrchestrator (VRO), and even supports both the Flash and the HTML5 client. Because even though we’re moving toward a time when the HTML5 client is ubiquitous, the functionality of that client within VMware, is still just not there.
I’m aware that I mentioned the data sovereignty and compliance rules already. These are, in the days of not only Cloud infrastructures, but also VMware in many ways being that key platform for the cloud, there has historically been some difficulty in hardening or even ensuring compliance for these rules particularly as they change. This is in the plans for RuneCast, and anticipated for a soon to come release, but not yet fully implemented.
I really felt that the product overview illustrated another compelling tool into the arsenal of proactive and predictive troubleshooting, and I truly cannot wait to play with it further.