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Storage management software

GOLD: Akorri BalancePoint 1.7.1

Akorri's BalancePoint can generate full ViewPoint Topology maps for VMware to identify performance problems.

Storage isn't the only IT component that determines how an app performs against its service-level agreement; the network and other devices in the app's data path also play a big role. Throw in layers of virtualization and it becomes a nightmare to accurately determine why an app isn't performing up to expectations or how best to fine-tune the application's performance. To help storage admins better measure an app's performance, Akorri Inc. introduced its BalancePoint suite in January 2007 and in May released Version 1.7.1, which added support for apps running on VMware as well as Oracle database mapping.

BalancePoint collects information from physical and virtual servers, storage and the network, and then creates reports that suggest ways to optimize an application's performance. The program's reports help eliminate finger-pointing between groups that manage different segments of the data center. In addition, BalancePoint provides information and recommendations for volume provisioning and LUN migrations.

BalancePoint ships ready to run in an appliance that plugs into the Ethernet network. The appliance

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uses industry-standard remote protocols like SMI-S, WMI and SSH to agentlessly collect application-level statistics. BalancePoint works with arrays from major vendors such as EMC, HDS, IBM and NetApp, and with server platforms, including VMware VM guest OS, ESX Server hosts, IBM AIX, Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris, HP-UX and Red Hat Linux.

Akorri has set an ambitious goal to track an app's performance throughout the entire storage, server and network infrastructure. Our judges rated the suite high on its innovation, but, as one notes, "The real question is whether this product will [fully] deliver on its rather bold promises."

If BalancePoint continues to refine its analytics and can collect information from more devices, it will be well on its way to becoming an indispensable application performance monitoring tool.

This was first published in February 2008

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