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Virtual Instruments is now Virtana and aims at cloud, containers

Searches for “Virtual Instruments” returned too many synthesizers, so storage monitoring pioneer went through a blue sky ordeal. It has new plans for cloud and container capability, too

Storage and application performance monitoring tool provider Virtual Instruments has changed its name to Virtana. The move comes after it added cloud-focused monitoring in its acquisition of Metricly as well as being a pragmatic solution in customer search terms.

Alongside the rebrand, the company has renamed its cloud monitoring products, formerly those from the Metricly acquisition, as CloudWisdom, which brings them into line with the existing VirtualWisdom datacentre storage monitoring products.

Roadmap items made clear during these announcements include extension of capabilities beyond  Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure and later Google Cloud Platform.

Products senior vice-president Tim Van Ash said the rebrand reflects a change in emphasis in what the company does – it has moved from being a SAN monitoring and infrastructure tool provider to one that supplies an application-centric analytics product.

There is also the very practical consideration of search engine optimisation (SEO).

He said: “If you Google ‘Virtual Instruments’, you are more likely to get something to do with musical instruments or medical instruments.”

Virtana derives from V(irtual) i(nstruments) r(eal) t(ime) ana(lytics), said Van Ash.

Asked how the firm had come up with the name, he said: “It’s not a process I want to go through again, being asked 400 questions such as ‘What fruit do you envisage yourself as’ in 1,000 different ways.

“But we are very happy with the result.”

Meanwhile, the company has undertaken a rebrand of the capability acquired with Metricly, which brought cloud functionality – applying machine learning/deep learning to use of cloud resources – into the VI fold.

That now goes under the name CloudWisdom and it comes with a reworking of its UI to harmonise the look and usability between the former Metricly products and its VirtualWisdom offerings.

Metricly/CloudWisdom carries out cloud performance monitoring, anomaly detection, cost and resource analysis, as well as making recommendations and right-sizing.

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Metricly was formerly known as Netuitive, which made a name for itself using machine learning and AI to help analyse IT operations. The platform helps customers – of which it has about 100 – to plan and optimise cloud workloads.

So far, full functionality has been available only in AWS with monitoring in Azure. Capacity and cost analysis capability will be added to Azure in the “short term”, said Van Ash, and Google Cloud Platform will be supported “later”.

Also planned is monitoring and analytics of container deployments. That will come from taking an aggregated view of container usage, not the individual container level, said Van Ash.

“Containers are short-lived,” he added. “If you monitor them and then they are not there, how do you do long-term monitoring?

“We’ll be rolling resource consumption up to the container application level, so, for example, to be able to say how a given number of containers affect resources.”

Virtual Instruments started out monitoring big-iron SAN infrastructures with physical taps into Fibre Channel fabrics that could interrogate latency, read, write and other key storage metrics.

That functionality still exists, but it has added network-attached storage and object storage monitoring, as well as some ability to measure performance in the AWS and Azure clouds at the level of virtual machines but not underlying hardware.

Elsewhere, it gathers metrics such as bandwidth, port utilisation and health from networks and common compute-level measures such as CPU, memory, host bus adapter (HBA) and network interface card (NIC) utilisation from servers. It says it measures about 300 metrics in total.

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