Application Discovery and Mapping with Uila

Thom Greene explains one of his favorite monitoring tools, Uila, which has continued to impress him since he became familiar with it at Tech Field Day 13. Designed to allow technicians to determine root cause for performance and availability issues, Uila’s goal is to amplify visibility in a virtualized environment. Here, Thom highlights Uila’s application dependency mapping capabilities as well as its application baselining tools.

Backups are Important, Recovery is Essential

Thom Greene has long been impressed with Veeam for virtualization backup. Now the company has offerings for bare metal machines. Veeam Agent for Linux and Veeam Agent for Windows bring a lot of the features of their virtualization backup and recovery to this market gap. The feature Thom thought really stood out was their support for road warrior laptops, called “endpoint protection for mobile users”. If your laptop is not connected to your network drive during your scheduled backup, this feature will quietly sync changes as soon as it becomes available. As you would expect from Veeam, the Agents are extremely capable, and easy to setup.

The Road to Root Cause

Work in IT for any length of time, and the dreaded “why is anything slow” question inevitably rears its head. It’s a loaded question, almost impossible to directly answer in that moment, and invariably happens at a bad time. Thom Greene thinks Uila might have a solution to quickly get some answers. Their Virtual Smart Tap provides unified metrics that give you a look into packet flows within virtual machines. They do this by having the Tap sit on each ESXi host and perform deep packet inspection. Thom was definintely impressed by how Uila visualizes this information in their dashboard. It makes it an ideal tool to quickly identify system slow down issues.

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: Dell EMC

Tech Field Day is coming up in Austin this week, and Thom Greene wrote about what he’s looking forward to from Dell EMC. He’s excited to learn more about their VxRail hyperconverged solution. Hyperconverged Infrastructure is a crowded space, but Dell EMC thinks VxRail differentiates by being built from the ground up with VMware’s SDDC packages in mind. Of course with the size of a company like Dell EMC, you’ll have to tune into the live stream to see what exactly they’ll be presenting. We can’t wait!

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: SolarWinds

Thom Greene takes a look at SolarWinds before they present at Tech Field Day next week. They’re one of those companies that have such a comprehensive software catalogue, you can have used their products for years and still be surprised by what they offer. Thom is looking forward to seeing what this diverse company will present in Austin!

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: Robin Systems

Thom Greene takes a look at Robin Systems ahead of Tech Field Day next week. They take an application-specific approach to the data center, which Thom finds interesting, considering how much virtual machines generally dominate. They do this by abstracting the application away from the OS in containers, using a smart storage and compute fabric as a management layer. It’s a really interesting approach. Thom appreciated looking into the company to get a better handle on containers in general. He’ll only get more info at their Tech Field Day presentation.

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: Veeam

Thom Greene continues his excellent previews of Tech Field Day companies he’ll see in Austin. From Veeam, he’s looking forward to learning more about their backup solution for Office 365. This alleviates a lot of the time and worry administrators have to do to make sure documents and emails don’t get deleted over time, especially important for litigation holds. Thom’s used Veeam in the past, and found that it “just works”. At Tech Field Day, he’ll get a look under the hood to some of their engineering that makes it so reliable.

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: StorMagic

In the run up to Tech Field Day, starting February 1st, Thom Greene has been doing some great preview posts. In his latest, he gives a look at StorMagic. In the crowded software defined storage field, Thom sees StorMagic differentiating in meaningful ways. For one, they can run across multiple platforms, refreshing in the increasing hyperconverged world where there’s a lot of product lock-in. He also likes their support for high latency connections. He’s looking forward to finding out what’s new with the company at Tech Field Day!

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: Uila

As enterprise tools become increasingly virtualized, it gets harder to properly visualize performance systematically. Visibility radically decreases, leaving the prospective engineer in a veritable blackhole. That’s why Thom Greene is excited to dig into Uila’s presentation at Tech Field Day, coming up in February. Their solution drills down the virtual network, identifying traffic on the application level. This allows users to have a visualized map of performance between applications in real time. As workloads become increasingly virtualized, a solution like Uila’s is vital to let you know what is going on.

Tech Field Day 13 Preview: Zerostack

Tech Field Day is coming up in February, and Thom Greene is excited to hear from ZeroStack. He likes how they take advantage of some of OpenStack’s abilities, while still maintaining a lot of the cost effective advantages of on-premises setups. They host user interface and daily operations in the cloud, with everything else managed in Zblock, their hyperconverged platform. We’ll see what they present at Tech Field Day.

Tech Field Day 13!

Thom Greene shares his experience of requesting to be a delegate to Tech Field. He’ll be coming to our event in Austin, and he’s excited to learn more about Zerostack, Robin, and Uila. He’s also happy to have received some holiday peanut brittle. The Tech Field Day delegate perks are truly unique!

Looking Forward to 2017

In a year that has been derided as particularly jarring, Thom Greene managed to make a pretty good go of it in 2016. He got a promotion at work, completed several certifications, did several presentations, and was invited to Tech Field Day in February. Some might take a nice 2016 and rest on their laurels the following year. But in this post, Thom outlines his vision for a 2017 that will be just as eventful.

Thom Greene

A VMware engineer with a passion for design, cloud architecture, and helping others