Turbonomic Rocks the Virtual Management World!
Rodney Barnhardt | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated September 20, 2017

Turbonomic Rocks the Virtual Management World!

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Cloud Edition,Enterprise Edition

Modules Used

  • Operations Manager

Overall Satisfaction with Turbonomic (formerly VMTurbo)

Virtual environments can be challenging to manage. There are only so many resources on a host, and ensuring that each virtual machine has enough to properly function without choking the physical host can be a difficult balance. While some vendors such as VMware provide their own solution, these can be costly and will only work with their products. What does a company do when they have a heterogeneous environment that may also include Hyper-V and XenServer? A heterogeneous virtual environment is one if the reason Turbonomic was installed in my environment earlier this year. This is a powerful product that we have just scratch the surface on its vast features. It monitors the entire virtual environment from the application to the storage pool and provides statistics and recommendations. The objection of Turbonomic is to reach an ideal balance of host resources and virtual machine performance. Once recommendations are made, the system can be configured to answer these adjustments in a variety of ways such as fully or partially automated, manual, or simply recommend.
  • In fully automated mode, the virtual machine may automatically have additional memory or processors added, be migrated between host or storage, or even suspended if they system is deemed as idle. If there is hesitation around allowing a product to fully control the virtual environment, then a mix of partial automation and recommendation may be the desired configuration. As an example, the configuration may allow for an automated relocation of virtual machines onto different host, but only recommend that it be migrated from one datastore to another one. This give an administrator who is intimately familiar with the environment some control over the placement of resources.
  • Using the Supply Chain tool, an individual virtual machine can be analyzed to see more details on the issue with that particular system. When that machine is selected, utilization panel can be adjust to only show the impact on memory, CPU, storage, etc. There are also details given on where in each resource falls within their utilization index, and at what level Turbonomic has determined the optimal usage should be based on the recommended changes to the environment.
  • Virtual environments have made planning for resources rather difficult over the years. Many times newly added machines may take up more resources than previously estimated, causing the need to either halt projects or unexpectedly purchase additional hardware for the host environment. VMTurbo has a planning feature to better aid in determining how many new virtual machines can be added to the environment. This is done via a “template catalog” which is used for testing the environment. While there are some pre-canned system options such as small, medium, and large, there is also the ability to build a custom template that may be a standard for your environment. Once the template is built, the planning tool will tell you how many more virtual machines can be added to the existing environment, the projection option can be enabled and the furthest date out selected. When the report is complete, the future resource requirements will be displayed. This allows for better budgetary planning within the coming year to ensure the systems will perform to the expectations of the business.
  • During the period I have been using the product I have not seen any areas that are lacking in functionality. However, this is a licensed based product. That means that additional features require the procurement of an additional license. An additional feature I am looking to add next year is the Storage Control Module. This will provide better insight, reporting, and planning. While the base product will look at the LUN IOPS, there is the need to go deeper into the storage pools and disk arrays. This will allow better capacity planning and allow sufficient time to acquire and implement any necessary storage expansion.
  • Turbonomic has provided the infrastructure team better insight in to what can be done to improve the performance of our virtual machines. In the past, this could be more difficult to determine. It has also provided solutions where limitation had been set in the past and forgotten about. These settings caused other limitations despite adding more resources. Had we not had Turbonomic these limitation would have either taken more time to location or could have resulted in a support call with VMware.
  • We now have a central location to manage each of the virtual environments. While something like vCenter Operations Manager works great with vSphere, if there are other products in the environment, you would then need multiple monitoring solutions. This increase licensing costs as well as complexity.
  • VMware Operations Manager
Unlike VMware Operations Manager, Turbonomic has the ability to monitor and manage other virtual environments. This provides the support team a central management point for each environment. It also provides planning capability for each one of these based on the average virtual machine. By creating a template for each environment, future planning can be group based and more accurate than the manual estimate previously used.
Turbonomic has their "Green Circle Community" that can be very helpful. It allows interaction between users of the product from all over the world. This includes not only Q&A on feature or functions, but also the ability to share custom reports. There are also points awarded that can be exchanged for various prizes or gifts. It is definitely set up to encourage the user community to participate.

Using Turbonomic (formerly VMTurbo)

4 - This number composes the entire server team. We are using this product for the management of our heterogeneous virtual environment. It not only helps us ensure an optimal performing environment, but will also aid us in planning on the necessary resources going forward. Moving forward, the procurement of hardware assets will be more accurate.
4 - The primary skill would be an experience in the management of vSphere. If there are other hypervisors in the environment, a working knowledge of those systems should also be known. Since this product also reaches into storage, a working knowledge of the storage product and configuration is also helpful. This enables a better understanding of the information coming out of Turbonomic. There is also the need to do some customer configuration on the environment such as storage IOPS in order to ensure the information being reported is accurate.
  • Central management of all hypervisor environments
  • Future planning of needed resources
  • Ensuring optimal performance of the virtual environment
  • Ability to monitor the overall utilization of the storage environment
  • We are still relatively new to the product and have not moved into any creative uses for it.
  • There is an application performance module that may be purchased to ensure the performance level of mission critical applications.
  • There is the possibility we may deploy virtual desktops in the future. Turbonomic could then be used to ensure the performance of the virtual desktop environment.
  • This product may also be used for monitoring and control of our UCS environment.
This product has been a great addition to our tools. Moving forward, I can only see us purchasing additional licenses in order to expand the features we are able to use. In my opinion, the more end-to-end monitoring we have from the users to the backend infrastructure, the better we can ensure the environment is stable and will perform to the level that the business expects.

Evaluating Turbonomic (formerly VMTurbo) and Competitors

Yes - Previously, we utilized VMware Operations Manager to monitor our VMware environment. There were two problems with this product. The first was the licensing cost. Besides purchasing the product, there was an additional charge for each virtual machine we had in the environment for it to monitor. The second problem was that it was not the only hypervisor we utilized. Therefore, we wanted a product that was less complicated and expensive, but that also provided a central management point for all of our hypervisors. Therefore, we selected Turbonomic.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
Rather than being licensed based on each virtual machine, Turbonomic is licensed based on the number of processors in the environment. The allows the annual cost for maintenance to remain relatively flat. The product offers a wide variety of features that not only allow for better monitoring and performance adjustments, but the ability to plan for future use and consumption are another plus. However, the depth the product goes can mean it will take some time to get it fully configured to the environment. While defaults are built in, these may not be accurate depending on the size of the environment. For example, the default IOPS provided may be less than what the current system can handle. This is especially true if you have a large SAN or NAS array.
After using this product for about twelve months, I can say we would purchase the product again. The installation process was very simple and the level of support provided by VMTurbo has been great. New updates and releases come every quarter and provide not only "bug" fixes, but new features and capabilities. The upgrade process is performed through the web interface and takes approximately ten minutes to complete.

Turbonomic (formerly VMTurbo) Implementation

The implementation was very simple. Just upload an OVA file and power on the VM. Once it comes up enter some networking information and you can then access the web interface. From there, just begin configuring the system for your environment by adding you license and the various virtual environments and storage through the inventory tab.
Change management was minimal - The the product was non-user impacting, we did not involve any real change management other than letting people know we were doing it. Just as a FYI.

Turbonomic (formerly VMTurbo) Support

I have always found Turbonomic's support to be very responsive to any issue I have had. If the problem has required engineering or code changes, they have been great about sending me regular emails letting me know they are still working on it and that they have not forgotten me. Once there is a code change to address my issue, they have contacted me to apply it to ensure my problem is resolved.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - I ran into a bug with the storage module when I upgraded my version. Support worked to address it and worked to roll back my version until they had a new version available where the problem was corrected.
I was due an upgrade after having ran into issues with a previous upgrade. They basically had about 5 people on a support call for the next upgrade to ensure my next one went smooth. Turbonomic's support has always been great.

Using Turbonomic (formerly VMTurbo)

I have found the product to be very easy to work with and manage. Upgrades are performed through the web interface. This includes downloading the new file and applying the upgrade to the appliance. Overall, the interface and the various tabs are self explanatory. This was purchased as a replacement for vCenter Operations manager and it proven to have not only more functionality, but is easier to use and manage. The other advantage is that it works with multiple hypervisors as well as storage vendors making it a definite plus over other solutions when you have a heterogeneous environment.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • The reporting letting me know about changes to virtual machine need either more or less CPU\Memory. This prevents a lot of over or under provisioning of these costly resources. The system can be configured to automatically make these changes, but we are a very conservative company when it comes to risks, so we do not allow the automated function.
  • The monthly reports that can be configured to email to the group on a designated date and time. The allows the team to quickly review several of these to see if we need to make changes.
  • While not necessarily cumbersome, configuring all of the policies can take some time. The product is so versatile that if you have many different virtual environments, policies have to be created under each one. For example, if you have multiple instances of vCenter, Hyper-V, or XenCenter or any combination, you need to create policies for each one. You could set one over all, but I am not aware of any environment that uses the same policies on every single virtual machine in their environment.