As I was wandering through the VMworld floor I saw a ton of booths from some smaller companies I wasn't familiar with. Now that I'm home I've decided to do some research on some of these companies and put my findings here in this blog. We'll start with Cirba. They say they're a part of Software Defined Infrastructure Control.
Cirba is basically a policy-based analytics engine that can make VMware products work better. It will analyze your VMware environment and enhance things like vCAC, vSphere, and DRS. While vCAC can automatically provision and place VMs on hosts which have the right capacity, it may not be placing the VMs so they're getting the most out of all their hardware. Even though the capacity allows for VMs to be placed there, another host may have more or better memory and if the VM is part of an application that uses a lot of memory, that host may be a better fit. A similar thing would happen in the case of DRS. Cirba would work with DRS to ensure workloads are being placed in an optimal way, not just in a round-robin way wherever there's open space.
So while vSphere took a big step to helping customers get the most out of their hardware, Cirba essentially takes it a step further with by using analytics to decide how to apply policy. The analytics will even tell you if you need to move VMs and applications and different times of the day because it will be used differently depending on the time of day it is, what season it is, which day it is, etc., etc. Essentially it becomes optimized workload distribution.
It seems like a pretty cool product, but also seems like a feature upgrade to DRS or some kind of Cloud Orchestration tool. Perhaps this would be a great purchase for VMware. Of course Cirba is not a one-pony shop. They also work with KVM, IBM, Hyper-V, and Red-Hat Enterprise Virtualization. They added KVM back in May because of the way OpenStack is gaining popularity.
For more information, check out this Tech Field Day overview video