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Crowdsourcing Community Knowledge with CloudPhysics

August 22nd, 2016

Image result for cloudphysicsCloudPhysics is a SaaS based solution for sucking up all your on-premises vSphere metadata into its own data lake and performing any number of analytics crunching on it.

The Cloud Physics offering is built upon a system of displaying cards where you can correlate configuration and/or performance information to show you for example datastore utilisation or iSCSI LUNs.

One of the interesting aspects of CloudPhysics is how they can actively monitor the bloggosphere to crowd-source knowledge to help its customers. There are a whole bunch of built in cards which customers can use to report on their environments but something I didn’t realise was that CloudPhysics can also monitor blogs for issues plaguing vSphere environments. If the investigation involves gathering data from your vSphere deployment, CloudPhysics likely has that data already.

At its recent Tech Field Day 11 presentation, CloudPhysics showed how information from fellow delegate Andreas Lesslhumer’s blog which was about tracking down whether a vSphere Changed Block Tracking (CBT) bug which breaks backups affected you. CloudPhysics was able to code the information Andreas wrote about into a new card which customers could then use to report on their own infrastructure, so much easier than writing the code to gather the information yourself.

This could be even more important if you are not even aware of the bug. CloudPhysics or even any user can scan the VMware Knowledge Base as well as many other blogs and write a card to tell you for example that with the exact version of vSphere you are running on some or all of your hosts whether an issue affects you. Of course this wouldn’t apply to you if you were continually scanning all the official and community sites for all bugs reported and able to report on them! Thought you weren’t, well CloudPhysics may have your back.

I would have loved to have had this a few years ago when I had spent ages correlating vSphere versions with HP/Broadcom/Emulex Nic card drivers and firmware to track down the too many issues that plagued the HP Virtual Connect blade chassis networking at the time. I wrote a PowerCLI script which invoked Putty and SSH to connect to each ESXi host to gather the firmware version so I could check the support matrix, it was time consuming and cumbersome. CloudPhysics would have made this so much easier. I could have used the Developer Edition to create my own cards so much quicker and then this could have been made available to others by publishing it to the Card Store.

I like the idea of a platform that crowd sources bug catching and other information from bloggers and aggregates it for customers, it would give the finders a real sense of contribution. I presume CloudPhysics does the correct attribution to acknowledge where the original information came from.

You can see the Developer Edition part of the CloudPhysics presentation from Tech Field Day here.

I like CloudPhysics, it is able to clearly display answers to questions you may have about your virtualisation environment as well as highlight issues you may be having before you even know where to look. Being able to do clever performance troubleshooting, right-sizing your inventory, capacity planning and other health checks can be just what you need.

Have a look at all the videos from the event as this only scratches the surface of what CloudPhysics is up to

CloudPhysics Introduction with John Blumenthal

CloudPhysics Editions and Use Cases

CloudPhysics Developer Edition and Card Builder

CloudPhysics Analytics Discussion

CloudPhysics Global Data Set

Gestalt IT payed for travel, accommodation and things to eat and drink to attend Tech Field Day but didn’t pay a penny for me to write anything good or bad about anything.

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