By Sumeet Singh, CEO, AppFormix
Anyone who runs clouds for a living knows that the tools we've used for a generation to optimize infrastructure performance are insufficient when applied to the architectures of modern clouds. In this new world of agile infrastructure and DevOps, applications make demands on infrastructure, and the infrastructure makes promises to deliver the needed resources. What we’ve built at AppFormix is the software that makes this interaction work in demanding production environments.
From a business standpoint, the challenge is how to create a set of tools that application developers and infrastructure operators can share in an automated and collaborative environment that detects and resolves infrastructure performance problems before end users realize something is wrong.
Working with Intel, we’ve taken a big step in that direction, integrating AppFormix software with Intel Resource Director Technology (Intel RDT) in the Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family.
Understanding the Problem
Applications are being rewritten and new ones developed, not for legacy environments where relatively static workloads are the norm, but for dynamic, scalable cloud environments. Motivating this shift is an implicit expectation that cloud and container infrastructure environments will deliver enhanced agility and improved ROI. This shift demands infrastructure transparency and real-time monitoring and analytics. Without these key pieces, neither applications nor their underlying plumbing can deliver the low-latency user experience end users have come to expect.
Simultaneously, the shift to DevOps means that enterprises are moving away from IT silos and forming collaborative teams to speed time to market of enterprise software applications. This cultural transition has emphasized that application performance is a shared responsibility across both infrastructure operations and software development, and it demands a new set of tools that promote collaboration, offer real-time data analysis, and enable self-service infrastructure management.
Enterprises are embracing this new environment of DevOps. They’re realizing that the competitive advantage gained from software innovation demand infrastructure efficiency, agility, and ROI. Enterprises are looking for ways to operate large multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environments in the most cost-effective way, while delivering optimum performance. Modern cloud management tools must deliver enterprises a "sweet spot" where monitoring, platform management, orchestration, security and compliance intersect.
At this intersection, a new category of management capabilities for the DevOps era is emerging, called service optimization. That’s what AppFormix software delivers, and this integration work with Intel take the category farther than previously possible.
The Realities of Cloud Infrastructure Management
In shared cloud infrastructure, resource contention is inevitable. Whether an environment is built on a cloud platform such as OpenStack or a container runtime such as Docker, the physical infrastructure is divided across multiple applications and often across multiple tenants.
AppFormix provides better isolation between workloads, better visibility into performance, and a collaboration space that keeps everyone on the same team. The result is a cloud environment that is predictable, reliable and responsive to the needs of applications.
What DevOps Hath Wrought
The launch of Intel RDT and the integration of the technology into AppFormix software answers a direct and all-too-real challenge for cloud management problems in the DevOps era. Intel’s RDT is game-changing technology, and AppFormix software makes it easily consumable, giving operators and developers unprecedented visibility into and control over how applications run at the processor level.
In short, we’re solving thorny, real-world problems—like noisy neighbors—in real time. Working together, we're making possible a world where performance issues are proactively resolved so quickly that end users might never even realize when a problem happens.
If you’re interested in more depth about the solution we’ve developed together, check out the AppFormix + Intel Solution Demonstration.