Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Deck the Halls with Walls of Metrics

For some, the holiday season is a time to show gratitude. Others spend time with those they hold dear. Or maybe, it is a time to reflect upon the previous year, and look at the year ahead. Or, just clean out the house and donate all that stuff you didn’t need all year. These are all great reasons for the season. Here at Skytap, we'd like to take this opportunity to look at some of the colored lights that "deck our halls" in the form of Skytap customer metrics.

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-cloud
Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-cloud

Customers who visit us often stop in the halls to gaze at these Skytap monitors that track the global usage of our services, across all cloud platform providers. Initially these dashboards were monitoring our Seattle data center to ensure that our capacity was aligned as closely as possible to customer usage patterns. The end of the year was a great time to review and reflect upon what our needs would be for the coming year.

With the growth of Skytap came more global data centers, new innovations behind the scenes to more elastically expand to meet capacity, and running our environment management atop third party cloud infrastructures like AWS and Softlayer. Now there are many more critical variables we need to watch daily, and the need to automate how we gather this data and make notifications is greater than ever. 

Aside from the need for production monitoring, it is also interesting to look at the patterns in usage data as a study on how Skytap customers leverage our cloud environments for software development and testing on a daily, monthly, or annual basis.

Take a peek for instance at some 30-day usage metrics for a typical large enterprise development customer (name redacted of course). You can see a lot of interesting trends from this first set of graphs. Notice how every work week's concurrency and usage of SVMs (Skytap Virtual Machines; our unit of measure for VMs+CPUs used) is like a left hand jutting up from the bottom as people spin up environments and run their daily tests, with 4 fingers for peaks Monday thru Thursday, and a smaller thumb for Friday, then a weekend lull.

Sample enterprise test/development customer
Sample enterprise test/development customer

Pretty cool stuff. Every week has this similar pattern for many customers who get into a rhythm of daily build/test exercises. Then we look toward the end of this month. It's interrupted by holidays, and SVM usage level seems to drop off by more than 50% the last 2 weeks of the year because of it. This is another consistent trend from year to year for many customers.

Note how this change doesn't affect the overall storage quota for the customer as drastically as you'd expect at the lower right. Yes, it looks like a cliff, but that drop is only from 270TB to around 240TB. This indicates that even if usage is not active, storage requirements remain relatively stable, if the company is still holding onto that reserve of specific environments.

You might get a takeaway from this view that the company could better manage their quota of environments for its lab users, but that's not entirely practical in many shops. Yes, they should clean out a few dusty instances, or ensure they are setting policies to automatically suspend or delete some systems. But a purge is seldom in order, if things are going right. When work resumes in 2015, those teams will want to be ready to roll and spin up with their last good lab configurations in an instant. In general you see storage quotas growing incrementally over time, if a company is managing active development, integration, training and support projects.

Outside of the technical support and product/feature information requests we receive, customers often ask us for advice about best practices for quota allocation and management. "How can I budget for the right amount of capacity to cover my changing needs throughout the next year, and how can I maximize the efficiency of that capacity?"

So as 2015 progresses, expect more from Skytap on this topic, because we believe it is a great indicator of how companies not only perceive costs, but receive value from our products.

How does Skytap help enterprises manage usage quotas and chargebacks at a group or departmental level? Learn more here!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Skytap Blog

Author: Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, customers release better software faster. In this blog, we publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Join us at Cloud Expo June 6-8 to find out how to securely connect your cloud app to any cloud or on-premises data source – without complex firewall changes. More users are demanding access to on-premises data from their cloud applications. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” but an important differentiator that drives competitive advantages. It’s the new “must have” in the hybrid era. Users want capabilities that give them a unified view of the data to get closer to customers and grow business. The...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...