First Look: PernixData Architect (Beta)

PernixData had a number of announcements at Virtualization Field Day back in June including details around their v3 release of FVP as well as the announcement of their Freedom Edition. The other announcement was around Architect which is PernixData’s play at deep storage Analytics and Intelligence. With the advantage of being plugged right into the ESXi kernel the FVP Architect Host Extensions allows the software to represent (at a deeper level) statistics around VM performance, IO Profile and working set.

I’ve installed the beta into my FVP Freedom Parent lab to get a feel for what Architect can do and what level of detail it could provide. As mentioned I choose to upgrade my existing 3.0 Manager to the 3.1 binaries you get access to as part of the beta and I have it running side by side with my Freedom Edition.

You can see above that there is a slightly different installer with the FVP Architect Logo and the upgrade process was no different to upgrading between minor or major releases of FVP. After the upgrade you need to go to the PernixData Management Console and activate the Architect license which is set for a 60 day trial.

One thing to mention before moving on is that the Architect platform started to populate data even with the FVP 3.0 Host Extensions installed…meaning that I didn’t have to upgrade to the 3.1 beta bits…not sure what I’m missing out on short term buy not going up to 3.1 but it appears to be doing it’s job ok.

Working through the various Dashboards of Architect you start to get a feel as to what PernixData are trying to achieve with this software…there are the usual performance metrics we are used to seeing (Throughput, Latency, IOPS and Acceleration Rates) but right from the start you see additional bits of information that up until now, have been hard to capture and represent…IO Block Size breakdown distribution and percentage, working sets of VMs and Hosts and then (after an 4-8 hour wait) recommendations are given against VMs as to weather they are best suited for read or write back acceleration.


A few things that I was surprised with from looking through the data was that my NestedESXi Labs where extremely write intensive and the average block size we a tiny 4-8K. Overall I am pretty impressed with Architect and for someone that loves analytics and metrics I find myself being engrossed by all the data that’s being presented and intrigued by what I am finding out about this particular platform.

The beta program for their Architect software is open and you can register below for the 3.1 Beta of PernixData Manager and the FVP Host Extensions.

https://get.pernixdata.com/ArchitectBeta

Below is an overview video taken from the PernixData site:

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