In today’s highly-virtualised, hyper-converged technology world, new data centre tools and technologies can become quite abstract and conceptual.
“The data centre realm is certainly becoming more complex,” says Anton Jacobsz, MD of Networks Unlimited. “Data volumes are increasing exponentially, as companies look to derive greater insights from all the information they’re storing.”

“Knowing how to plan the expansion and modernisation of your data centre is a tough challenge.”

But he says that a recent ground-breaking paper from one of Networks Unlimited’s vendors, Tintri, breathes fresh air into the conversations, and helps technology pros make decisions based on a firm understanding of how advanced data centres can operate.

Called ‘A Deep Dive into Tintri VM Scale-out’, the paper highlights four tangible instances where a suite of sophisticated VM management tools can be orchestrated to achieve great results.

Scenario 1 – Solving the initial VM placement challenge

“For data centre administrators, particularly in large enterprises or those that are rapidly digitising, it seems like adding new VMs is a very regular occurrence,” notes Jacobsz. “Traditionally, each time the team adds a new machine, they have to ‘guess’ the storage capacity and performance needs – and choose a storage solution that they hope will work best.”

Tintri’s VM Scale-out tools allow the team to simply drop a new VM onto any VMstore in a storage pool that is managed by VM Scale-out. Every 10 minutes, Tintri analyses VM-level footprint and performance statistics, to work out the optimal location for the new VM.

With literally just a couple of clicks, administrators can accept the suggestion and move the VM to a permanent location that’s best suited to its needs – automatically carrying all the data protection policies, snapshots and historical performance data along with it.

Scenario 2 – Deploying new virtual desktop infrastructure

“A large-scale, new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment is a notoriously difficult project to scope and to ensure there is sufficient resource provisioning,” explains Jacobsz.

The Tintri Analytics histogram feature helps administrators to analyse previous storage and compute resource needs, to extrapolate the likely needs for an entire VDI deployment. Tintri Analytics Experiments can then further refine the results of this initial analysis. This tool conducts multiple ‘what if’ scenarios – in a purely hypothetical simulation – to reliably determine if the original estimates will be sufficient.

When it comes to the actual deployment, Tintri’s VM-level cloning tools help to simplify and accelerate the implementation. Tintri cloning and fast file copy technology rapidly deploys data from individual desktops to the virtualised storage array.

Full hypervisor integration means that many routine tasks – like copying VM templates, virtual disks, or even the cloning of entire VMs – are now automated. The results are VM deployments that takes just seconds to complete.

Scenario 3 – Creating a new full-stack developer environment

“Building out new development environments is absolutely essential for today’s rapidly-transforming enterprise,” says Jacobsz. “Businesses of all shapes and sizes are growing teams of developers to create and manage a range of applications – from consumer interfaces, to internal applications that enhance the way the organisation operates.

“Tintri Analytics again comes into play in scenarios like this – where a group of VMs may include production database servers, database clients and web servers, alongside a multitude of other supporting VMs.”

Traditionally, this kind of deployment has proved to be extremely challenging, as each of these VMs has different capacity requirements, operating systems, and performance requirements.

But Tintri’s Analytics tools help IT professionals to correctly architect new development environments, reliably provisioning all the necessary resources to guarantee success. Automatic performance isolation technology ensures that VMs with different workload profiles operate in harmony (without individual VMs grabbing performance resources at the expense of other VMs).

Scenario 4 – Scaling out with Tintri storage

“A modern data centre is an ever-evolving, always-changing entity,” comments Jacobsz, “with new needs arising, new technologies coming to the fore, and changes having to be made continually to optimise the environment.”

In response to this, the Tintri Global Center ‘never sleeps’ – it continually analyses performance and makes recommendations for how to optimise the environment and ensure that VMs are getting the capacity and performance they require.

Whenever the team adds new VMstores (extra capacity), this Global Center recognises the new capacity and starts immediately making recommendations for how to shuffle VMs around, to make the best use of the newly added capacity.

“While the data centre and its associated technologies are growing ever-more sophisticated and complex, there are certain VM management tools that can help to simplify all the new tasks that are required in the modern era,” adds Jacobsz.

With Tintri’s range of VM management tools, datacentre administrators know that their datacentre performance can continue humming at optimal levels, even when it’s time to tackle some of the most challenging, large-scale projects.