Network Based Monitoring Solution By ExtraHop Appears To Be Using Virtual Switch Extension

I just saw a press release by ExtraHop where they say that they have made a:

… Cloud Play with Industry-First Microsoft Hyper-V APM Solution and New Analysis-as-a-Service … The First Agentless APM Solution for Microsoft Hyper-V

It seems that this application performance monitoring solution uses a virtual switch extension to get at data as it passes through the virtual networking of virtual machines.

… a Hyper-V virtual appliance taking advantage of the new Hyper-V Virtual Switch capability … cross-tier operational visibility in a Hyper-V environment, correlating metrics across the application, network, web, database, and storage tiers

By working at the virtual switch layer they see all guest OSs and application traffic, and can monitor based on client/user/service interaction rather than on logs/events/monitors.  There’s no agent, just an extension that sends data … to a virtual appliance monitoring station (I think). It’s different and interesting.

There is a demo here and a datasheet here.

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3 Replies to “Network Based Monitoring Solution By ExtraHop Appears To Be Using Virtual Switch Extension”

  1. Thanks for posting about the ExtraHop solution, Aidan. ExtraHop was glad to see the new virtual switch capabilities in Windows Server 2012 because it enables us to do exactly what you’ve described. It can be difficult to ascertain true transaction response times in virtual environments without this approach. Previously, in dedicated-hardware environments, you could monitor resource utilization and have a fairly good idea of what the performance of the application was. Now, with virtualization, the goal is to ratchet resource utilization as high as possible to save costs. So resource utilization becomes less valuable as a way to monitor true performance. Hence, the need for ExtraHop’s approach that measures response times and L7 metrics gathered on the wire, not system resources.

    Here’s a recent webinar that we did on P2V migrations, expanding on the above argument: http://youtu.be/EAUg7QfWxqI

    We do have a free download available (although it only runs in VMware currently) at http://www.extrahop.com/discovery

    Tyson Supasatit, Technical Marketing Manager at ExtraHop

    • A follow-up …

      So, I just talked to the dev team and had it explained that we’re just using the Hyper-V drivers for the virtual switch to get a copy of the traffic. We haven’t written a virtual switch extension because there was no need to do so. Hope that answers your original question! 🙂

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