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March 30, 2015 Issue

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VMware Analysis and Issue Prevention Solutions

 


Dennis Zimmer

Board & CEO

 

opvizor Inc.

www.opvizor.com

 

Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – March 30, 2015

 

CEOCFO: Mr. Zimmer, what is the idea behind Opvizor®?

Mr. Zimmer: We started Opvizor based on an idea that came to me when consulting large enterprises running VMware environments. A very common request that customers had and still have are health checks and reviews of their existing environment. The idea behind Opvizor is doing a health check and optimization of the VMware environment automatically, while taking into account the experience of global experts in the domain. We do so by offering a service where we leverage the knowledge and automate in a way where the IT environment can easily be checked against a proven rule base. The customer gets the results of the analysis of their infrastructure back directly and almost instantly. The results show suboptimal performance, security and stability configuration issues with proven solutions to optimize the configurations. And literally, every VMware environment needs optimization.

 

CEOCFO: Does VMware not provide something that checks it as well?

Mr. Zimmer: Every VMware environment is pretty complex. We need to take into account not only VMware itself, but also the server hardware, network components, storage components and applications that are running inside of a virtual machine. VMware is offering the platform and the virtual infrastructure. You can run everything, but the product cannot optimize and tune itself completely autonomously. Therefore, there is always outside expertise involved with optimization and so far we are the only one providing this expertise on a global basis the way we do it.

 

CEOCFO: Are most VMware customers aware of the need to optimize or do they wait for a problem?

Mr. Zimmer: Typically, customers work with consulting companies and systems integrators to get their infrastructure up and running, but during their daily operations, customers definitely notice an ever-increasing complexity of their virtual infrastructure. Virtualization aggregates and consolidates many things, but it also makes IT more complex. Therefore, customers definitely need to optimize their infrastructure on a continuous basis. At some point, probably after a couple of weeks of operating VMware vSphere, customers run into situations, where they recognize the need for optimization, they understand why they need optimization and they actively search for help by products like us, especially when they really run into problems like a downtime of virtual systems and their applications.

 

CEOCFO: With so many new systems and technologies, how do you assess future changes affecting VMware?

Mr. Zimmer: We offer a Software as a Service platform. That means we run our intelligence and also the rule base centrally. Basically, a rule is a scenario that can happen in the VMware environment. This means when there is a change, for example, a new scenario or a new application; we cover the change centrally with a direct and immediate benefit to our customers. We also offer an on-premise solution for customers who cannot upload to the cloud with a bit of a delay when it comes to the updates, but our cloud offering is always up to date. When it comes to new applications or new technologies; let’s say, new applications running in the virtual machines or new storage systems, we adapt to the market and customer needs and implement it in our platform easily.

 

CEOCFO: Where was the challenge in putting the technology together?

Mr. Zimmer: The main challenge was getting enough experts in the community to share knowledge with us. It helped that I was in the virtualization space since 1999 and I wrote ten books about VMware and virtualization. Building the basic foundation of the scenarios to start with was easier; but also engaging the community, VMware experts’, System Integrators, and the customers themselves to share their own experiences which we embedded into our system. Beyond engaging people, the challenge then was to make the technology as simple as possible to use with a very low installation burden. The product today is installed, ready and delivering first results within half an hour. It took some time to develop a solution, which the customer can easily integrate into their environment without causing harm to it.

 

CEOCFO: When a company is considering Opvizor does your background matter?

Mr. Zimmer: The first customers we had on our platform mainly trusted me as a person, my expertise and the reputation I had in the market. However, in the meantime what works best is when a customer runs our product in their environment and sees the ease of installation, configuration and immediate results. Prior to experiencing Opvizor, very often customers perceive our solution as being the same as monitoring and analytics tools they’re used to using. However, what we do differently is that our expertise is embedded in the product. Typically products are built as a framework and customers need to configure this framework to get all of the benefits out of it. We went a different approach with opvizor and integrated the collective knowledge in the product. This way, contrary to typical products on the market, the customer sees results within a couple of minutes and receives instant optimization solutions as well. Many customers were not aware of the problems they find in their environment. Therefore, it is not uncommon for us to see a customer pretty surprised about the findings.

 

CEOCFO: What is Snapwatcher?

Mr. Zimmer: Snapwatcher customers have the possibility to analyze and find all kinds of snapshots, the good ones as well as the bad ones, starting for free. We will have remediation available in the commercial product that was released March 24th. We created the product based on market insight we gained via Opvizor as a health check tool and identified snapshots as one of the biggest pain points and main challenges our customers have to deal with. Since Opvizor Health Analyzer is more of a recommendation engine to customers for fixing issues, we created Snapwatcher to do the remediation and help the customer to get rid of all the snapshot issues that they have. To explain briefly, one of the main benefits of a virtual environment is that you can create snapshots and freeze a point in time that later you can revert back to in the future, often used by backup products. Today’s possibilities in technology open a lot of benefits and a lot of new ways to work with systems, especially virtual machines. However, there is an increased chance for you to lose track of these snapshots, waste very costly storage and run into severe issues as a consequence. For example, when the data store is running out of space you can lose several hundred virtual machines within seconds. We have found that this is a major issue that needed to be addressed.

 

CEOCFO: How do you reach potential customers? Do they come to you directly? Do you work through partners?

Mr. Zimmer: For Snapwatcher, the community is using the product and is approaching us directly. Opvizor Health Analyzer offers a hybrid model. Customers using the public cloud would approach us directly. Customers that cannot use a pubic cloud infrastructure and tend more towards on-premise solutions; are typically served by our resellers.

 

CEOCFO: How is business these days?

Mr. Zimmer: Actually, it is continuously growing! We started in our former home market in the German region in 2012. In 2014 we already relocated the headquarters to Houston to serve the demand in the US market. It is really running very well, especially as we can offer both alternatives of the cloud, a public as well as private cloud solution. Customers really appreciate that we have all the results instantly available to them. Our challenge is to simply make customers aware that we exist, being a young company. However, once customers are made aware, try and use our products, they get quickly excited and enthusiastic about the simplicity and the benefits.

 

CEOCFO: Why choose Opvizor?

Mr. Zimmer: If you are running a VMware environment there is basically no way around a product that gives you direct results and answers to the question of how to optimize and how to run your environment as stable as possible. Opvizor gives you an easy start within minutes of installation. We have a free version approach where you can start using the product with limited functionality and then become a customer if you like what we deliver. We also have very active support that quickly reacts to customer inquires and feature requests which gives us additional differentiation in the market.


 

"Once customers are made aware, try and use our products, they get quickly excited and enthusiastic about the simplicity and the benefits."-  Dennis Zimmer


 

opvizor Inc.

www.opvizor.com

 

Atif Siddiqui

312-363-7506

asiddiqui@opvizor.com



opvizor Inc.
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