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Turbonomic: Bringing Autonomics to Virtualization

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VMTurbo is now Turbonomic, with a focus on autonomic systems that can manage themselves and make adjustments as needed.

In a dramatic new move to highlight some very interesting new software capabilities, VMTurbo officially announced in August that its name would become Turbonomic. The new name represents the three main pillars of the company's product: Speed, economy and autonomy. It also points to a major shift that's happening in technology toward autonomic systems and management.

Turbonomic and Autonomics

Not sure what autonomic computing is? Well, think of the autonomic nervous system, the human regulatory system that helps keep us alive. Medical professionals define it as the part of the peripheral nervous system, and it manages vitals such as heart rate, respiratory rate and pupillary dilation. In an autonomic system, everything is maintained and regulated automatically – you don't remind yourself to breathe, or decide that you're going to get a rush of adrenaline in response to a conflict or challenge; your body senses what's required and makes the necessary adjustments to maintain the system.Just like the autonomic nervous system does its work without any user input, Turbonomic regulates data center management. (To learn more about autonomics and Turbonomic, see Autonomic Systems and Elevating Humans from Being Middleware: Q&A with Ben Nye, CEO of Turbonomic.)

Automation for a New Age

For a number of years, professionals have been talking about things like resource allocation for virtual machines, workload sharing and other types of management tasks necessary in a complex hardware and software environment. Over that time, the assumption has been that better leadership and decision-making by human administrators would be the key to progress in this field.

But what if things like CPU and memory sharing could be automatic? What if a system could allocate resources by itself?

This is what Turbonomic is designed to do. By abstracting workloads and building decision automation systems, Turbonomic essentially creates a virtual marketplace where applications, virtual machines, and hardware and software elements metaphorically buy and sell resources.

Instead of waiting for the resources that they need, virtual machines make independent decisions to fulfill their demands, which assures performance and self-regulates the system to make everything run much more smoothly. (For more on automation, see Why Automation Is the New Reality in Big Data Initiatives.)


There is a lot of detail built into Turbonomic's functionality, but at the bottom of it is the big secret – that engineers can build proactive and anticipatory systems that can make their own decisions in real time. Turbonomic isn't reactive, it's proactive, and it's able to automate so many of the labor-intensive processes that administrators have taken for granted throughout the era of virtualization.

Correlation to Network Security Innovations

In a way, what's going on with Turbonomic is a little bit like the innovations that technology leaders have made in the network security sector.

Throughout the security community, as cyberattacks ramp up and different types of hacking appear on the horizon, there's been a major trend toward systems that go beyond the perimeter – network security monitoring systems that are built as multi-segmented systems that go beyond a firewall or antivirus program. There are many ways to build these programs, but they all revolve around the same central principle – that businesses can't afford to simply wait for an attack, but must preempt a lot of the digital threats that companies fear because of security vulnerabilities.

In the same way, Turbonomic goes beyond linear administration and programmable task management by bringing new automation to processes that, on their own, are relatively new. Administrators who are familiar with scanning software tools for things like CPU bottlenecks or trying to push resources to starving virtual machines know that these things take work. Turbonomic removes the human middleware from the equation, increasing efficiency, speed and resource management.

Making VM handling, resource allocation and workloads autonomic is a big shift, in part because it moves the central control beyond basic human management.

Investing in Cloud and On-Premises Systems

The development of Turbonomic also takes place in the context of the rapid sea change toward cloud-based systems.

Companies are investing in on-premises cloud and hybrid virtualization systems, but placing a lot of emphasis on the cloud (or at cloud connection points). With Turbonomic, the issue of cost becomes entirely transparent through the interface, and with the ability to manage both on-premises and cloud-based systems, Turbonomic helps businesses look at platforms like AWS and Azure to benefit from real-time decision-making, thus helping resolve cost and performance issues.

Essentially, Turbonomic offers administrators choices. They can sign off on decisions on re-configuration, moving or suspending workloads, decommissioning hardware and making other critical demand and supply choices, or they can basically allow Turbonomic to go on “autopilot,” addressing these issues on its own. In that way, Turbonomic is really a kind of autonomic system for the cloud, and it arrives at exactly the right time.

Check out the range of resources and guidance at the Turbonomic website to learn more about how this product is helping VM admins and others to break out of the box, and realize a whole new way of system administration.

This content was brought to you by our partner, Turbonomic.


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Justin Stoltzfus
Justin Stoltzfus

Justin Stoltzfus is an independent blogger and business consultant assisting a range of businesses in developing media solutions for new campaigns and ongoing operations. He is a graduate of James Madison University.Stoltzfus spent several years as a staffer at the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Penn., before the merger of the city’s two daily newspapers in 2007. He also reported for the twin weekly newspapers in the area, the Ephrata Review and the Lititz Record.More recently, he has cultivated connections with various companies as an independent consultant, writer and trainer, collecting bylines in print and Web publications, and establishing a reputation…