Ryan MahonTeam Lead, Systems Engineering at a healthcare company
Parham ShabanianiCloud Architect at a tech services company
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"I only deal with the infrastructure side, so I really couldn't speak to more than load balancing as the most valuable feature for me. It provides specific actions that prevent resource starvation. It always keeps things in perfect balance."
"I have the ability to automate things similar to the Orchestrator stuff. I do have the ability to have it do some balancing, and if it sees some different performance metrics that I've set not being met, it'll actually move some of my virtual machines from, let's say, one host to another. It is sort of an automation tool that helps me. Basically, I specify the metric, and if I get a certain host or something being over-utilized, it'll automatically move the virtual machines around for me. It basically has to snap into my vCenter and then it can make adjustments and move my virtual machines around. It also has some very nice reporting tools built around virtual machines. It tells you how much storage, memory, or CPU is being used monthly, and then it gives you a very nice way to be able to send out billing structure to your end users who use servers within your environment."
"It also brings up a list of machines and if something is under-provisioned and needs more compute power it will tell you, 'This server needs more compute power, and we suggest you raise it up to this level.' It will even automatically do it for you. In Azure, you don't have to actually go into the cloud provider to resize. You can just say, 'Apply these resizes,' and Turbonomic uses some back-end APIs to make the changes for you."
"The automated memory balancing, where it looks at whether it's being used in the most efficient way and adds or takes away memory, is the best part. If it didn't do that, it would be something that I would have to do. We have too many machines for one person to do that. The automation helps me in that it is done in a really efficient way and a balanced way because of the policies. It really helps."
"It has automated a lot of things. We have saved 30 to 35 percent in human resource time and cost, which is pretty substantial. We don't have a big workforce here, so we have to use all the automation we can get."
"The proactive monitoring of all our open enrollment applications has improved our organization. We have used it to size applications that we are moving to the cloud. Therefore, when we move them out there, we have them appropriately sized. We use it for reporting to current application owners, showing them where they are wasting money. There are easy things to find for an application, e.g., they decommissioned the server, but they never took care of the storage. Without a tool like this, that storage would just sit there forever, with us getting billed for it."
"Turbonomic has helped optimize cloud operations and reduced our cloud costs significantly. Overall, we are at about 40 percent savings, and we spend about three million a year just in Azure. It reduces the size of the VMs, putting them into the right template for usage. People don't realize that you don't have to future-proof a virtual machine in Azure. You just need to build it for today. As the business or service grows, you can scale up or out. About 90 percent of all the costs that we've reduced has been from sizing machines appropriately."
"We have a system where our developers automate machine builds, and that is constantly running out of resources. Turbonomic helps us with that, so I don't have to keep buying hardware. The developers always say, "They don't have enough. They don't have enough. They don't have enough," when they just configured it improperly. Therefore, Turbonomic helps us identify configuration issues on their side so it doesn't cost me money on the other end to buy resources that I don't really need."
"The product has good integration."
"The solution's support for scripts... has reduced the man-hours it takes to deploy and support applications because we don't have to rewrite all the scripts."
"The fact that these are non-technical people — they're experts in their fields but they're definitely not technical — and they can just log in to the portal and select the resource that they believe they need, and manage it themselves, speaks to the ease of use. It shows them their live costs, etc., as they're spending. The fact that they can do that without any problems, or having to engage the IT teams, is a true testament to it. There's no need for any user training at all."
"The scripting, where you can use libraries, is a valuable feature. We don't really make the blueprints, as we have a third-party company that makes them for us. But it enables calling APIs in the blueprints. When we create a machine, we use IPAM from Infoblox and we can get an IP address. It's one platform to script and we can then use all the APIs to complete the scripts. It gives us a central management tool from which we can do a lot of things automatically."
"Previous inquiries took us almost a full day to prepare the VM to the liking of our users. Now the deployment time is below 15 minutes and users can do it on their own! That leaves us to only update the blueprints if new requirements come in or new Windows Versions are published. As we have now predefined setups the testing team can rely on common ground for their product tests. Development teams can experiment with alpha versions in a secured environment (separate VLANs) without harming production machines."
"We use Calm's one-click self-service feature and it's really transforming the team's efficiency. The teams are used to being reactive, which is typical of what you find in IT organizations and service providers. Customers run into problems and teams react. What we're trying to do is reduce that slope and be more proactive in approach. The one-click ability is enabling us to take some of those activities and put them into operation, versus people manually responding."
"The blueprints and templates are very nice and easy to use. They are very valuable because we can configure the entirety of an environment as a template and reuse it multiple times."
"It would be good for Turbonomic, on their side, to integrate with other companies like AppDynamics or SolarWinds or other monitoring softwares. I feel that the actual monitoring of applications, mixed in with their abilities, would help. That would be the case wherever Turbonomic lacks the ability to monitor an application or in cases where applications are so customized that it's not going to be able to handle them. There is monitoring that you can do with scripting that you may not be able to do with Turbonomic."
"It sometimes does get false positives. Sometimes, it'll move something when it really wasn't a performance metric. I've seen it do that, but it's pretty much an automated tool for performance. We've only got about 500 virtual machines, so lots of times, I'm able to manage it physically, but it's definitely a nice tool for a larger enterprise that might be managing 2,000 or 3,000 virtual machines."
"There is room for improvement [with] upgrades. We have deployed the newer version, version 8 of Turbonomic. The problem is that there is no way to upgrade between major Turbonomic versions. You can upgrade minor versions without a problem, but when you go from version 6 to version 7, or version 7 to version 8, you basically have to deploy it new and let it start gathering data again. That is a problem because all of the data, all of the savings calculations that had been done on the old version, are gone. There's no way to keep track of your lifetime savings across versions."
"The planning and costing areas could be a little bit more detailed. When you have more than 2,000 machines, the reports don't work properly. They need to fix it so that the reports work when you use that many virtual machines."
"There are a few things that we did notice. It does kind of seem to run away from itself a little bit. It does seem to have a mind of its own sometimes. It goes out there and just kind of goes crazy. There needs to be something that kind of throttles things back a little bit. I have personally seen where we've been working on things, then pulled servers out of the VMware cluster and found that Turbonomic was still trying to ship resources to and from that node. So, there has to be some kind of throttling or ability for it to not be so buggy in that area. Because we've pulled nodes out of a cluster into maintenance mode, then brought it back up, and it tried to put workloads on that outside of a cluster. There may be something that is available for this, but it seems very kludgy to me."
"The issue for us with the automation is we are considering starting to do the hot adds, but there are some problems with Windows Server 2019 and hot adds. It is a little buggy. So, if we turn that on with a cluster that has a lot of Windows 2019 Servers, then we would see a blue screen along with a lot of applications as well. Depending on what you are adding, cores or memory, it doesn't necessarily even take advantage of that at that moment. A reboot may be required, and we can't do that until later. So, that decreases the benefit of the real-time. For us, there is a lot of risk with real-time."
"I would love to see Turbonomic analyze backup data. We have had people in the past put servers into daily full backups with seven-year retention and where the disk size is two terabytes. So, every single day, there is a two terabyte snapshot put into a Blob somewhere. I would love to see Turbonomic say, "Here are all your backups along with the age of them," to help us manage the savings by not having us spend so much on the storage in Azure. That would be huge."
"They could add a few more reports. They could also be a bit more granular. While they have reports, sometimes it is hard to figure out what you are looking for just by looking at the date."
"When new features are added, the service becomes full of bugs."
"There is room for improvement in making the solution easier still. If you don't know Calm, it's not so easy to use... It is a really good solution for doing simple tasks, but it's not a good solution for complex tasks."
"Even though it's a lot easier, it could be a bit slicker for the end-users. The ability to create their own blueprints could be without their having to understand the details of what they're trying to do. If they could just tick this, this, this, and this — whatever they need — and it would go spinning those up, that would be better. Now, we still guide them quite a bit."
"I cannot say Calm is providing centralized control of all our applications because we have some legacy systems. We have IBM iSeries, which is another technology. But with Calm we can centralize all our x86 machines."
"The list of blueprints and applications could be more configurable so you see all the fields you need and not just some predefined fields which are not customizable now."
"While there are multiple clouds supported, we want less friction around the ease of delivery. We want the ability to integrate other clouds, unify the accounts."
"One thing that comes directly to mind is how they manage version control. I would love to see Calm create a built-in source control feature, one that we could tie into a repository and it would self-manage changes in versions. All the version control is built within Calm right now. I would love to see that integrated with an external repository and make it easy to tie it into GitHub or Git repositories."
"If you're a super-small business, it may be a little bit pricey for you... But in large, enterprise companies where money is, maybe, less of an issue, Turbonomic is not that expensive. I can't imagine why any big company would not buy it, for what it does."
"It was an annual buy-in. You basically purchase it based on your host type stuff. The buy-in was about 20K, and the annual maintenance is about $3,000 a year."
"I'm not involved in any of the billing, but my understanding is that is fairly expensive."
"We see ROI in extended support agreements (ESA) for old software. Migration activities seem to be where Turbonomic has really benefited us the most. It's one click and done. We have new machines ready to go with Turbonomic, which are properly sized instead of somebody sitting there with a spreadsheet and guessing. So, my return on investment would certainly be on currency, from a software and hardware perspective."
"When we have expanded our licensing, it has always been easy to make an ROI-based decision. So, it's reasonably priced. We would like to have it cheaper, but we get more benefit from it than we pay for it. At the end of the day, that's all you can hope for."
"I know there have been some issues with the billing, when the numbers were first proposed, as to how much we would save. There was a huge miscommunication on our part. Turbonomic was led to believe that we could optimize our AWS footprint, because we didn't know we couldn't. So, we were promised savings of $750,000. Then, when we came to implement Turbonomic, the developers in AWS said, "Absolutely not. You're not putting that in our environment. We can't scale down anything because they coded it." Our AWS environment is a legacy environment. It has all these old applications, where all the developers who have made it are no longer with the company. Those applications generate a ton of money for us. So, if one breaks, we are really in trouble and they didn't want to have to deal with an environment that was changing and couldn't be supported. That number went from $750,000 to about $450,000. However, that wasn't Turbonomic's fault."
"It is an endpoint type license, which is fine. It is not overly expensive."
"The pricing and licensing are fair. We purchase based on benchmark pricing, which we have been able to get. There are no surprise charges nor hidden fees."
Turbonomic, an IBM Company, provides Application Resource Management (ARM) software used by customers to assure application performance and governance by dynamically resourcing applications across hybrid and multicloud environments. Turbonomic Network Performance Management (NPM) provides modern monitoring and analytics solutions to help assure continuous network performance at scale across multivendor networks for enterprises, carriers and managed services providers.
For further information, please visit www.turbonomic.com
Cisco Intersight is Cisco’s systems management platform that delivers intuitive computing through cloud-powered intelligence. This platform offers a more intelligent level of management that enables IT organizations to analyze, simplify, and automate their environments in ways that were not possible with prior generations of tools. This capability empowers organizations to achieve significant savings in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and to deliver applications faster, so they can support new business initiates. The advantages of the model-based management of the Cisco UCS platform plus Cisco Intersight are extended to Cisco UCS servers and Cisco HyperFlex and Cisco HyperFlex Edge systems. Cisco HyperFlex Edge is optimized for remote sites, branch offices, and edge environments.
Nutanix Calm allows you to seamlessly select, provision, and manage your business applications across your infrastructure for both the private and public clouds. Nutanix Calm provides App lifecycle, monitoring and remediation to manage your heterogeneous infrastructure, for example, VMs or bare-metal servers. Nutanix Calm supports multiple platforms so that you can use the single self-service and automation interface to manage all your infrastructure. Nutanix Calm provides an interactive and user friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) to manage your infrastructure.
Cisco Intersight is ranked 14th in Cloud Management with 1 review while Nutanix Calm is ranked 4th in Cloud Management with 6 reviews. Cisco Intersight is rated 7.0, while Nutanix Calm is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco Intersight writes "Scalable, simple setup and good integrations". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Nutanix Calm writes "Enables us to maximize the available capacity of the environment that workloads are using". Cisco Intersight is most compared with Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco UCS Director, VMware vRealize Automation (vRA), HPE OneView and vCloud Director, whereas Nutanix Calm is most compared with VMware vRealize Automation (vRA), VMware vRealize Operations (vROps), OpenNebula, vCloud Director and IBM Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management.
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