Virtualization visibility clear as can be with Xangati

An IT director shares how Xangati virtual appliances helped solve management challenges

As I mentioned in one of my first newsletter articles, a lack of visibility into the virtual server infrastructure is causing reticence among enterprise IT professionals seeking to expand their use of server virtualization. Network World reader Davin Garcia, IT director of Innovative Technical Solutions, a full-service design-build infrastructure, environmental and energy company in Walnut Creek, Calif., felt compelled to respond with the suggestion that peers with virtualization visibility problems check out Xangati, a network management start-up.

Xangati offers a suite of virtual appliances comprising Xangati for ESX and Xangati Management Dashboard. Xangati for ESX integrates with VMware's hypervisor to summarize traffic traversing a vSwitch, providing real-time visibility. Xangati Management Dashboard, available in standard and enterprise editions, can track up to 5,000 identities -- a hypervisor, virtual server, virtual desktop or VoIP phone, for example -- providing enterprise-wide visibility, alerting, reporting and recording for hundreds of applications, the company says.

Garcia said he discovered Xangati last year thanks to a recommendation from his network engineer.

"My company runs multiple blades centers across two data centers with numerous hosts and had the [visibility] problem you wrote about," Garcia said in an e-mail. "Xangati has a solution that not only let me see virtual-to-physical communications but virtual-to-virtual communications as well. This technology has eliminated the critical 'blind spots' we were experiencing on our network."

In addition, the visibility Xangati has provided into communications within the VMware ESX host has helped his team diagnose issues with "slowness" on several occasions, Garcia said. And, with Xangati's recording feature, the IT team was able to monitor Microsoft Data Transformation Services packages run nightly from host to host, then play them back in the morning to analyze. "We were experiencing unknown failures and Xangati's recording feature helped us to pinpoint the problem -- without having to stay all night, I might add."

Prior to implementing Xangati, Garcia said, getting at that type of information would have required at least two or three applications. But Xangati delivers it all, plus allows him to take the information to the next level of analysis. "Once I've discovered what's going on, when we have a problem, I can then correlate it as to why it occurred," he wrote.

Should you be interested in checking out Xangati yourself, the company offers Xangati for ESX, which costs $299, in a free 14-day trial. The Xangati Management Dashboard Standard edition is available for $4,999; and the Enterprise edition for $9,999.

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