CiRBA Inc. says it is shipping a new release of its data center intelligence software, designed to provide IT organizations with "fully-loaded utilization," a new metric for measuring the infrastructure efficiency. CiRBA Version 6.1's fully-loaded utilization feature provides a precise and simultaneous measurement of server infrastructure requirements that factors in utilization patterns, technical constraints and business and operational policies. Leveraging this measure, organizations can identify exactly how much infrastructure is required to safely service workloads, allowing excess capacity to be accurately measured and reclaimed for other purposes, according to the vendor.
CiRBA's fully-loaded utilization metric models infrastructure requirements and considers all governing policies an organization may have in place such as service level requirements, risk tolerance, security and regulatory requirements, planned growth, and high availability and disaster recovery policies and plans.
According to Andrew Hillier, co-founder and CTO of CiRBA, data centers can face challenges in understanding how efficiently and how well utilized their IT and virtualized environments are running. This is because they tend to rely solely on traditional measurements such as CPU utilization, I/O rates and other measurements. But these can be misleading, he says.
"The problem is that's almost meaningless in telling you how efficiently you are running the environment because it really depends on what is happening in the environment," Hillier explains. "As an example, if it is an environment that is supporting trading activity, everything might get really busy at 9:30 in the morning and then be quiet the rest of the day. So your average utilization might be quite low. But the real way to look at is: Do you need all the servers that you have? And the answer might be yes, you do, because at that time of day, you need everything, all the horsepower you have." According to Hillier, that is one example where there is low CPU usage on average but the organization is actually making good use of its infrastructure.
The metric is visible through a new Efficiency and Risk dashboard in Version 6.1. The dashboard provides trend-based views of the capacity required to service both the workload utilization and policy requirements. By modeling these two measurements distinctly and applying them against infrastructure supply, organizations gain a graphical view of how much spare capacity exists over time. The dashboard also provides comparative measures against the actual busiest day in history and a perfect storm scenario in which all workloads hit their peak at the same time enabling infrastructure managers to confidently make decisions as to how to reallocate excess capacity and to predict when new capacity will be needed. The Efficiency and Risk dashboard also leverages CiRBA's Server Capacity Defrag analysis, which provides specific recommendations on where to place workloads in order to safely optimize efficiency. For more information, go here.