November 2, 2020
This is an English-language translation of the original article by our partner, Prianto, that appeared in the Polish-language edition of CRN magazine.
Runecast is a company created by engineers with VMware vExpert titles and aware of all kinds of challenges faced by IT administrators. Their intention was to provide customers with continuity and high availability within virtualized infrastructures in data centers.
“VMware provides a stable platform that does its job well, but, like any software, it is not without flaws,” says Rafał Goszyk, Sales Manager at the Polish branch of Prianto, a major Runecast distributor. “Almost all the problems that users may encounter are described in VMware knowledge bases, but self-identification of the source of any incorrect operations, finding the appropriate documentation, and manual repair is time-consuming and often requires expert knowledge.”
Created by the Runecast founders, the Analyzer tool monitors the entire virtualization infrastructure in real time and collects data about its performance and gaps. At the same time, it updates its own database of information on how to resolve defects in individual software versions, configuration errors, or other shortcomings of administrators that are incompliant with best practices. Thanks to this, after an analysis of the infrastructure and the entire environment in which it operates (servers, mass storage, system, utility, and business software, e.g. SAP HANA), it advises administrators on appropriate steps to resolve any irregularities.
Runecast Analyzer may recommend patching a specific vulnerability in the VMware platform with the use of the update offered by this manufacturer and indicate that the server firmware does not work properly with the installed version of the virtualization software. It also includes an entire set of preventive tools, incl. simulating how the virtualization infrastructure will function in terms of compatibility after updating it to a new version, which can indicate that in a given virtual machine it will be necessary to install newer drivers or change configuration settings.
Recently, Runecast Analyzer also supports the AWS Cloud environment. An important feature of this tool is that it does not transfer any information outside the company for data analysis. The only action on the Internet is to update your own knowledge base (it can also be done offline). Runecast Analyzer is installed as a virtual machine that connects to VMware vCenter management software and the AWS API interface. For analysis, it uses the mechanisms of artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP).
Runecast Analyzer software is intended for traditional resale of licenses by resellers and integrators, but the company also provides a fully functional, paid 14-day partner license, which they can use to provide consulting services to clients, e.g. related to the expansion of the virtualization environment or updating its software. Since the analysis process itself takes a very short time (verification of 100 hosts in two minutes, without overloading the entire environment), the client receives specific recommendations after a while after launching Runecast Analyzer. This creates an opportunity for the reseller to sell the full license as a subscription (for one or three years). If a transaction takes place – after entering the activation code – the previously collected historical data will be kept and will be used for further work.
For testing (proof-of-concept or demonstration installation), a free version is offered that performs a complete analysis but shows limited results.