Continuous Optimization for VMware

Infrastructure Management Reference Architecture

Architecture for ITSM-controlled continuous optimization of VMware infrastructure
Architecture for ITSM-controlled continuous optimization of VMware infrastructure

1. Data Extraction

Densify employs an agentless approach by deploying a connector app on a single windows vm running within the target environment to perform periodic audits of workload metrics through vCenter. Additional supplementary metrics (ex. memory, disk IOPs, etc) can be extracted from any centralized monitoring solutions.

Densify’s plugin architecture supports many different monitoring tools out of the box, and can easily expand to support other external sources.

2. Resource Optimization Analysis

Densify will analyze the collected workload metrics and configuration metadata against your configured business and technical constraints and policies to generate a set of recommendations to optimize the analyzed services. These include recommendations to increase or decrease cpu, memory, disk, or even move VMs to different hosts to maximize density. These recommendations are produced without violating any existing DRS rules.

3. Parameter Repository Synchronization

Densify is pre-integrated with various parameter repositories to help facilitate and simplify DevOps integration. Parameter repositories, as defined by best practices, should be leveraged as a mechanism to store transient variables used in technologies that support declarative input, such as infrastructure as code, configuration management, and others.

This is typically a key-value store, but can be defined as a relational database as well. Parameters are created and updated when new insights are generated by Densify.

4. ITSM Collaboration

Densify will interact with application stakeholders like Engineering and line of business operators through ITSM solutions such as ServiceNow, Jira Service Desk, and other similar tools.

Your change management construct is opened to manage the acquisition of the proper execution approvals. Work order management is processed through the same ITSM solution, or AWS Systems Manager OpsCenter. Densify’s solution integrates through the native APIs available within your preferred ITSM platform.

Alarms and notifications are delivered to application stakeholders through collaboration services like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Users can activate this service by registering their applications.

5. Maintenance

Maintenance windows are scheduled by Operations as part of the work order. These windows can be programmed to automatically execute the necessary steps, or can be used to manage the manual execution of the work.

6. Infrastructure Deployment

There are two options for this phase.

Automate via Terraform
Within the maintenance window, Terraform can be automatically or manually executed to make the necessary updates to the environment. Terraform will pull the latest config changes from the configured parameter repo.
Automate directly
Densify can submit the approved changes directly to vCenter via the Densify Connector app. This is typically used for clients that are not using infrastructure as code to manage their estate.

7. Reporting

Standard, interactive, web-based dashboards are made available directly through Densify. These dashboards provide various views of optimization details and billing analysis. All your derived, analyzed, and raw data is synchronized from Densify to an offline reporting database in near real time. From this reporting database, two services are offered:

  1. An optional reporting as a service (RaaS) offering for custom reporting and dashboard requirements
  2. Third party business intelligence (BI) tools such as Tableau and Jaspersoft can be integrated to help support your in-house reporting and data science teams

8. Notifications

Notifications can be delivered by Densify through a multitude of popular services and channels, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, email, and text message on the occurrence of events including:

  • New insight availability
  • Approval progress
  • Maintenance window activity