Tech of VMworld 2017: Monitoring

The VMworld 2017 logo before the day 1 keynote.

VMworld 2017 was a reinvigorated ecosystem, as I wrote about previously, and there was plenty of interesting tech about datacenter infrastructure was what you wanted to know about.

One of the main categories I spent time to look at was monitoring and telemetry systems. These are software tools used for managing infrastructure in the VMware ecosystem, which is rapidly extending into cloud options.

The most impressive find was the newly rebranded Densify. Previously called Cirba, the company has performed one of the most successful and comprehensive re-positioning efforts I’ve seen in a long time. It chose to focus on its densification

CTO and co-Founder Andrew Hillier showed me how the tool can do a cost comparison between multiple hosting options, including the just-announced VMware-on-AWS offering, so help customers figure out how to optimise their spend on infrastructure.

Anyone who has dealt with an AWS bill, or attempted to plan out a non-trivial environment in any cloud system and compare it to on-site options, knows how daunting it can be. Densify does this pretty much automatically (on-site pricing is a little trickier, on which more in a moment) and it presents the information is a dead-simple-to-understand dollar cost per month. I understood what it was showing me immediately, and could see the value just as quickly.

There are other costing tools that do similar things, but not in the way Densify does it. Densify uses the real, running workload you have in VMware and can tell you what it would cost in a given cloud. It also helps you optimize your current AWS or other cloud configuration, and helps you fix mis-allocations, even if you’ve inadvertently purchased Reserved Instances that you really shouldn’t have. Densify makes it really simple to see what’s mis-allocated, and what to do to fix it. It’s just simple and practical and useful.

Densify was the Best of VMworld Gold winner for Workload Management and Migration, and justifiably so.

I don’t mean to oversell this, so always check things for yourself, but it’s just so rare for me to see a company absolutely nail their positioning and messaging around a product that has clear value.