Comtrade Announces Microsoft SCOM Management Pack for Nutanix

By Jane Clabby, Clabby Analytics

Comtrade Software, a provider of IT infrastructure and application management and monitoring solutions, recently announced the Microsoft Systems Center Operation Manager (SCOM) Management Pack for Nutanix. The solution enables IT administrators to monitor the Nutanix appliance, providing visibility into infrastructure performance and end-user experience. It will monitor virtual machines (VMs) and look at the health of nodes, clusters, and storage, as well as track data protection and replication status.

According to IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Hyperconverged Systems 2014 Vendor Assessment, Nutanix had a 52% share of hyperconverged revenue during the first half of 2014. Hyperconverged systems— those that integrate compute, storage, networking and virtualization into a software-defined architecture that can be run on commodity hardware— are growing in popularity based on their flexibility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, integrated management and single vendor support.

Background

Comtrade Software is an IT solutions and software engineering services business specializing in monitoring, data protection and software integration. Comtrade Software is a software arm of Comtrade Group, which was established in 1990. The privately held company has 1500 employees in 11 countries across Europe and North America. Technology centers are located in three major cities – Ljubljana (Slovenia), Belgrade (Serbia) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Comtrade has greater than 1000 customers in a range of industries, and partners include Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Intel, HP, Citrix, Fujitsu, EMC, Oracle, F5 and many others. Comtrade Software boasts 46% year-over-year revenue growth and 60% year-over-year customer growth.

Comtrade provides native Microsoft System Center Operations Manager plug-ins, “management packs”, giving IT administrators insight into infrastructure performance and end-user experience, ensuring uninterrupted business operations on-premise or in the cloud. The company prioritized the Microsoft SCOM management platform based on its rapid market growth, “single pane of glass” architecture, scalability and analytics capabilities. Comtrade’s management packs extend SCOM’s capabilities for faster problem resolution, higher availability, reduced downtime and better administrative productivity and efficiency through automation of processes and common activities.

Comtrade provides SCOM management packs for F5 Networks, an Application Delivery Networking (ADN) company that optimizes delivery of network- based applications and the security, performance, availability of infrastructure components such as servers, data storage, and other network resources. Comtrade’s Citrix management packs were acquired by Citrix in January 2016.

This latest announcement enables Comtrade to leverage Nutanix’ success in the hyperconverged market. The Comtrade management pack for Nutanix provides key insight—with monitoring and automatic alerting for infrastructure components which impact application performance (storage, networking, I/O rates) but are outside the control of the Nutanix appliance—through a consolidated dashboard view.

SCOM MP for Nutanix– A Closer Look

The SCOM MP for Nutanix provides 360 degree monitoring of Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure, looking at the health of infrastructure components and providing proactive alerts to IT in the event of abnormalities. Dashboard views identify areas of highest resource consumption. Application insight automatically discovers the role of the virtual machine (VM) by identifying the business critical applications that it is running. The applications dashboard illustrates the connection between the infrastructure and application layer, and enables infrastructure teams to identify possible issues and how they will impact application performance, enabling fixes to be performed before they affect users.

In the initial release, application awareness support includes Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop with Microsoft Exchange, Skype for Business, SQL Server planned in subsequent releases.

Here are some highlights:

  1. By looking at the “Storage Overview” dashboard, the solution can identify when the free storage pool is low, alerting administrators to add more storage before application performance is impacted.
  2. Top VMs are ranked by CPU usage, memory usage, storage etc. in the “Overview VMs” dashboard so that VMs within the cluster that are being highly utilized can be flagged proactively before users are affected.
  3. Top clusters are ranked by CPU usage, memory usage, free space etc. so VMs can be migrated from overloaded clusters to those using fewer resources in order to maintain consistent application performance.
  4. By identifying which business critical applications are running on a cluster in the Application Dashboard, administrators can understand the roles of each VM and the resources consumed and make adjustments based on business requirements.
  5. In the “Overview Data Protection” Dashboard,” “Protection Domains Table” or “Data Protection Topology,” any issues with replication can be detected assuring high availability of business critical applications.
  6. The solution alerts when the Controller Virtual Machine (CVM) is down and provides detailed information about the problem and possible steps for resolution.

Summary Observations

As the IT landscape has become increasingly more complex with growth in virtualization, cloud infrastructure and Big Data, IT managers have struggled to maintain performance, scalability and control. Hyperconverged systems which package storage, memory and CPU power in a single easily-managed appliance enable IT administrators to respond quickly to unpredictable growth while still optimizing performance and availability. Nutanix emerged as an early leader in this market, challenging competitors such as EMC, NetApp and HP, and expanding the list of workloads to include business applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server. The Comtrade SCOM MP for Nutanix enables Comtrade to leverage this growth by providing a solution with native SCOM integration that not only monitors components of Nutanix appliance, but also underlying the infrastructure elements that impact application performance. This gives administrators a comprehensive single pane of glass view that provides a much more complete picture of potential problems areas, and enables proactive management—reducing downtime and improving application availability.

 

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