Tintri Analytics Makes the Invisible Visible

DCIG recently took a close look at Tintri Analytics and concluded that Tintri’s focus on using analytics to optimize application performance is fundamentally better than the break-fix focus of many other vendors.

Tintri Analytics, the subject of this article, is a cloud-based SaaS application that automates ongoing workload optimization for even the largest Tintri VMstore infrastructures. It also gives visibility into performance across the virtualized infrastructure, enabling rapid root cause analysis and problem resolution. As a result, Tintri goes beyond eliminating storage headaches to enabling business agility.

Tintri’s focus on using analytics to optimize application performance is fundamentally better than the break-fix focus of many other vendors.

Ken Clipperton, DCIG Lead Analyst for Storage

Tintri Analytics Optimizes Infrastructure at Scale

In environments with multiple Tintri VMstore appliances in a scale-out configuration, Tintri applies AI and machine learning to do what no human could. Tintri’s workload intelli­gence evaluates the thousands of active workloads in the cluster and offers workload placement recommendations to optimize the performance of every single workload. The system administrator merely clicks the “execute” button to implement the recommendations, and then Tintri manages all the moves non-disruptively in the background.

Tintri Analytics Make the Invisible Visible

Crystal ball image with Tintri logo and VMstore appliance inside the crystal ball.
Source: Tintri Geek Out!

Although Tintri Analytics is focused on optimizing application performance, it also provides powerful tools for resolving problems when they do occur. Tintri’s deep integration with multiple hypervisors enables impres­sive visibility across the virtual infrastructure all the way down to the individual VM.

Application performance problems in traditional virtualized environments are notoriously difficult to troubleshoot and resolve. VMstore’s integrated real-time analytics automatically keep applications performing at a consistently high level. But when performance issues occur, Tintri Analytics enables IT staff to resolve the trickiest storage issues in seconds or minutes, restoring applications to full performance and saving administrators many hours of troubleshooting.

Cloud-based Tintri Analytics Provides Insight Across Time

Based on up to three years of historical performance data, Tintri Analytics uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure that every application performs at consistently high levels of responsiveness–automatically.

It is difficult to overstate how powerful Tintri Analytics is for understanding and optimizing an organization’s virtual infrastructure. Tintri Analytics enables:

  • insight into historical storage and workload performance
  • trend-based capacity and performance planning
  • rapid trou­bleshooting
  • what-if analyses
  • effective cost allocation

The Tintri Analytics cloud database keeps three years of historical data in 10-minute inter­vals. The database includes data from thousands of VMstore appliances, but each customer has access only to their own data. Nevertheless, customers benefit from the larger pool through more accurate workload modeling, especially when modeling a new type of workload that the customer has not previously deployed.

Powerful Search and Filtering Capabilities

Tintri Analytics provides powerful search and filtering capabilities. These enable nearly any question about the storage and workload performance to be answered in seconds, even in large environments of tens or hundreds of thousands of VMs.

This tool feels like it was thoughtfully designed by and for virtualization professionals. Views include intelligent default values, yet those values are easily changed to get the information you seek. The filter criteria are sticky, so as you drill down into the data, the filter stays in place until you clear it.

vSphere Tag Support

Like VMstore’s integrated analytics, the cloud-based Tintri Analytics supports vSphere tags, and system administrators can use these tags to search and filter the time series data. Depending on the tags the business uses, vSphere tags can be used to view and report on the performance of business-critical applications, infrastructure utilization per corpo­rate division, or the cost of running a particular application.

Beyond Capacity Planning to Performance Forecasting

System administrators use Tintri Analytics to forecast when storage capacity and performance will be exhausted. Capacity can be displayed per VMstore appli­ance, group of appliances, or across an entire VMstore estate.

Tintri Analytics automatically generates forecasts based on application trends in historical data. System administrators can easily tune forecasts by adjusting the date range used as the basis for the forecasts. Predictive analytics tools generally help with capacity forecast­ing, but very few can be used to show when storage performance limits will be reached.

Beyond Tintri’s ability to forecast both storage capacity and performance, IT admin­istrators can quickly model the impact of adding and removing specific VMstore appliances. This simple yet sophisticated modeling capability enables Tintri customers to align infra­structure planning with the organization’s overall planning and budgeting processes.

Rapid Troubleshooting and Problem Resolution

Tintri Analytics enables rapid troubleshooting and problem resolution. Application perfor­mance problems in traditional virtualized environments are notoriously difficult to trouble­shoot and resolve, especially intermittent issues. Tintri Analytics uses up to three years of data to troubleshoot long-term and intermittent problems. It also makes it simple to see spikes in utilization and the exact status of each VM or group of VMs at any given point in time.

Instant What-if Analyses

Tintri Analytics includes powerful what-if analysis capabilities that enable IT to provide accurate information to business leaders when evaluating new business opportunities and initiatives.

Actions that can be modeled include:

  • adding any VMstore
  • removing existing VMstore appliances
  • adding more instances of existing workloads
  • adding new applications

In every case, the resulting views update instantaneously.

For example, IT staff can use Tintri Analytics to quickly model the impact on storage and compute requirements of adding several large SQL Server databases. Tintri bases the models for common enterprise applications on actual usage data from other VMstore users. IT staff can fine-tune forecasts by adjusting these default values to reflect unique circumstances.

These tools are valuable for lifecycle planning, evaluating the impact of a possible corporate acquisition on the data infrastructure, understanding the infrastructure costs associated with adding a new application, the impact of hiring ten new software developers, and more.

These what-if analysis capabilities add agility to a business by enabling IT staff to provide business unit and corporate leaders with answers to their questions quickly and confidently.

Cost Allocation

Many corporate IT organizations seek to function as internal cloud service providers to the rest of the enterprise. Those organizations can use Tintri Analytics to show back or charge back central IT services to the business units.

Table of Tintri Analytics business benefits

Continued Enhancements to Tintri Analytics

Tintri continues to invest in Tintri Analytics in ways that create even more value for its customers.

Tintri is working on the following:

  • Anomaly detection that uses machine learning to predict issues, enabling a proactive response
  • Ransomware detection and actions for increased cyber resilience
  • Additional insight into the resources (storage and compute) being used by containers to provide more granular insights into container infrastructure

Tintri is a Predictive Analytics Visionary

Tintri’s focus on using analytics to optimize application performance is fundamentally better than the break-fix focus of many other vendors.

Tintri’s cloud-based predictive analytics enable ongoing workload optimization for even the largest virtual machine infrastructures with a single click. As a result, Tintri goes beyond eliminating storage headaches to enabling business agility.

This is why DCIG considers Tintri a predictive analytics visionary.

Resources

DCIG Technology Report on Tintri Analytics is available for free download at https://bit.ly/DCIG-Tintri-Analytics-Report.

Tintri recorded an in-depth Geek Out! Technology Demonstration on “Analytics Makes the Invisible Visible.” It is available for replay at https://tintri.com/geek-out/.

This article about Tintri’s cloud-based Tintri Analytics is the second in a series. The first article, “Tintri Predictive Analytics Yield Astonishing Simplicity,” focuses on the analytics Tintri integrated into the VMstore’s TxOS operating system that automatically optimize application performance in real-time.

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DISCLAIMER: MUCH OF THE CONTENT INCLUDED IN THIS BLOG ARTICLE WAS DEVELOPED AS PART OF A PAID CUSTOM CONTENT ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN DCIG AND TINTRI.

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