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VFD2 - Xangati

Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 | No Comments

Third and last on the first day of Virtualisation Field Day #2 was Xangati

There was great food presented before the start of the session, ice-cream and a variety of bacon in different flavours. The idea was not to mix them (hey they do weird things with food in America) but to provide choice. The bacon was very well received by the delegates. For some reason bacon is very popular.

Jagan Jagannathan, the founder and CTO grabbed the whiteboard pen and started to explain things. It worth repeating (and it gets repeated a lot), this is exactly the type of engagement and insight that delegates at TFDs respect and value. You can tell the difference. The room is quiet, the questions and interruptions are minimal, people listen intensity. I have seen this again and again at these days. It staggers me how some vendors do it and succeed and other ignore the advise and struggle. In a similar way, Xangati provided a list to each person of who was present, their names, titles and twitter handles. When you are writing up notes and posting on twitter, this easy access to info is so very helpful. You would think that the PR people at Xangati had not only read the advise given them (http://techfieldday.com/sponsors/presenting-engineers/) but they actually attempted to put it into practice!

I was engaged with what was being presented and ended up not taking many notes. 

Some of the interesting things discussed was how in the performance monitoring world you have triage vs postmortem. For triage you need real time, at this minute information, anything older than that and its not as useful. Older data such as five minutes later, thats used for postmortem analysis.

One of the key things that Xangati does is take all of the incoming data and process/analyse it in memory, rather than writing it to a database for analysis. This allows them to give very timely and detailed information in their UI and alarming. The interface has a slider and you can wind back the clock a little and see what was just happening prior to now. You can also record the detailed real time information you are looking at for later analysis. This recording links in with their alerting. That is when an alert is created it records the associated real time info for that short time period so you can see what was happening. Of course the data, is also written to database in a  summarised form for later analysis. This uses a reporting interface that is not as nice or as interactive as the real time interface. I would like to see the two much more similar, its feels a little strange to have them so different. However given that they work of different data models and server different purposes you can see the reasons why. 

They have self calculating thresholds but you can create your own. 

Xangati have been doing a lot in the VDI monitoring space but they were keen to point out that they are not a VDI monitoring company, they do straight virtualistion too. I think they don't like being tarred to much with the pure VDI brush.

The do have some great VDI features though. If you are looking into desktop performance you can launch into a WMI viewer as well as a PCoIP or Citrix HDX viewer to see a lot more detail about whats going on inside the desktop and the display protocols. They even have a neat feature where and end user can self service a recording of their performance for a help desk to analyse. The user can go to a form and request a recording for their environment, it records the previous 1 minute before the submission. Thats nice.

Here is a look a the demo environment I interacted with.

Where there are reports that have sub elements (such as a protocol list) you can drill down to those. At first I thought the reports were not interactive, but I was wrong about that and shown the error of my ways.
It was a good session. I certainly got the impression that for real time performance trouble shooting Xangati is a real player worth investigating. I did not get enough of a chance to look at the product or discuss with them its suitability as an comprehensive monitoring solution. I think there are a few things that an overall monitoring solution requires that I did not see in the product, for example inventory data. Maybe a more in-depth look at the features and functions would help nut this out more. Hard to do in our limited time. They do have the free version which is popular and evils are available, so its easy to check these out for yourself.

Well its been a long day, lots to see and think about. Looking forward some brief sleep before another day of it all tomorrow.


P.S. Note that I am at this event at the invite of GestaltIT and that flights and expenses are provided. There is also the occasional swag gift from the vendors. However I write what I want, and only if I feel like it. I write nice things and critical things when I feel it is warranted. 

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