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
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
VeriStor Systems has announced that CRN has named VeriStor to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments. In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...