TFD11 Introduction CloudPhysics

This is a preparation blog post before I travel to Boston for Tech Field Day 11. You can find more information about Tech Field Day, the other presenters, and the other delegates here on the TFD website.


Disclosure: TFD are paying my airfare and accommodation to attend TFD11. I’m sure there will be gifts and catering from the presenters and TFD while we’re there. Everything I write about what I learn at TFD will be my opinion and will not be reviewed by TFD or the presenters. There is also no obligation or expectation that I will write about any or all of the presenters.

We know CloudPhysics quite well from their involvement with the VMware community and past Tech Field Day events. They built an information warehouse of vSphere configuration and performance data. They then report from that information warehouse using a card based analytics and reporting model. Customers deploy a collector appliance to their vSphere cluster. The appliance collects data from their vCenter server(s). Customers can then receive reports on their own vSphere deployment in a web portal. More recently CloudPhysics have added dashboard views to the card based views.

On a personal level, I’ve spent a bit of time with Irfan Ahmad, one of the founders of CloudPhysics. While Irfan was at VMware he built the vSCSIStats tool that we use to get a detailed characterization of a VM’s storage behavior. I like listening to and talking with Irfan and always learn something from him. I do hope Irfan makes the trip from head office in Silicon Valley to be with us in Boston.

CloudPhysics have raised $27.4M in venture funding over four rounds, with the latest in June 2014. They were founded in 2011 and the early investors included Diane Green, one for VMware’s founders. That’s not a huge amount of money and the last round was quite a while ago. I suspect that CloudPhysics are living off income at this stage. Being a SaaS company means they have lower overheads than hardware vendors. Also that a lot of their costs come after they have revenue, so they need less capital.

I want to see how CloudPhysics is leveraging the huge amount of data that they have about vSphere deployments. For the last five years, hundreds of vSphere clusters have been reporting to the information warehouse. What insights can be delivered to customers? There is already some proactive problem avoidance and capacity planning. As well as cloud migration recommendations. How about if the intelligence could be fed back into vSphere to recommend that you not make a potentially destructive change? Or if CloudPhysics could automatically make corrective changes to avoid problems.

© 2016, Alastair. All rights reserved.

About Alastair

I am a professional geek, working in IT Infrastructure. Mostly I help to communicate and educate around the use of current technology and the direction of future technologies.
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