Got a presentation from a company I hadn’t heard of before: VKernel. Their specialty is virtual machine capacity planning and management.

They demo’d their software, which ships as a VM. They offer free versions that are good enough to tell you if their paid tools will be able to help you.

VKernel has a customer sysadmin in the room, talking about how his company – which remains nameless, but has over 1,000 VMs on 40 C-class blades – uses the product. The user says that some of the big wins have been in reducing over-provisioning and quickly finding performance problems.

The user says that it is very lightweight and agentless. It installs in 15 minutes or less and quickly provides actionable data, even to junior admins.

Today the product supports VWware and their Capacity Optimizer also supports Hyper-V.

The StorageMojo take
Storage planning is a lost art: many admins grew up in a 1-app/1-server world where capacity management meant adding another drive to a server. Virtual machines are much more complicated.

There’s the I/O blender effect, which renders 40 years of I/O empiricism useless. The interactions between VMs on a single physical server. Contention for memory, bandwidth and IOPS.

It’s a new world. VKernel looks promising.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. This presentation is part of the Gestalt IT blogger tour that VKernal, among others, helped pay for. If you’ve tried VKernel please comment on them below. Update: And I think I’ve finally learned how to spell kernel. Thanks Joe, Stephen. End update.