Virtual Insanity - Finding Answers in a Virtual World

Virtualize First

Virtualization is alive and well.  A mature platform with a mature ecosystem. A given for most design scenarios in building out a modern datacenter.  It is no longer uncommon for people to have a significant investment in hosting, developing, and managing a virtual environment.

As designs utilize VMs as a core building block for their workloads there naturally becomes more of them. When there is more of anything there naturally becomes more 'stuff' to manage and in this case manage what resides inside of them.  Regardless of where it lives, more 'stuff' means it is harder to find the right things and find them quickly.

Recognizing the volume of information that is now being contained within VMs, DataGravity believes that it is imperative to offer data-awareness both on the VMs themselves and also to the data they contain.  Virtual Machines truly are treated as first class citizens on the DataGravity platform and therefore we are able to leverage the same search, governance and protection capabilities which connect together content, people & time on a per-VM basis.

So what if I have VMs with a bunch of stuff in them - maybe they are virtualized file servers, virtual desktops, or member servers in my domain running some application stack.  How can we find things about those VMs and what is inside them? Let's take a look.


DataGravity provides the ability to quickly look at, search for, and understand on a per-VM level how things are running and take a deeper dive should we need to.  Below is the Manage VMs interface that allows us to see each virtual machine, it's status, consumption and protection level.

Being able to drill in on individual virtual machines provides further details about that VM.  This information exposes insights like the VM's most active users, it's performance detail, as well as the entire activity history of the VM itself - both inside and out.

It is important to highlight that DataGravity is not only aware of the vitals and activities on the VM container itself including all of the files and resources that make up that container (vmx, vmdk, etc.), but also is aware of the activity and data contained inside the VM.


Because DataGravity is fully aware of the data and the activities taking place within the VM, it has the ability to extend it's powerful search capabilities inside virtual machines.  In fact let's find out how easy it is to find some files within the same virtual machine that we were looking at above.

Using the search facets, we can easily drill into find the files we are looking for in a variety of ways: by the date it was created, by who created or read the data, by it's file type or by the meta-tags contained within the data.

Once the result list comes back we can perform a preview of the file and verify that it is the document we are looking for.  


Building Blocks

Just as VMs are the primary building block for workloads in the modern datacenter; an intuitive, easy to navigate search experience that enables one to find answers on data contained within files, shares, directories, virtual machines and the data stored within virtual machines is the primary building block for the next evolution of storage.  Data-aware storage.  The next set of posts will highlight some practical searches and applications that are now possible with these capabilities.