Foglight for Virtualization vs Foglight for Storage Management - Monitoring Storage

Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise (FVE) collects a massive amount of information about your virtual environments, including metrics related to storage. So, how does that compare to the monitoring provided by Foglight for Storage Management (FSM), and why do I need both products? I’m going to answer that question in this BLOG. For this discussion, I’ll focus on VMware environments only.

FVE collects storage metrics from the vCenters in your virtual environment. The information it collects is related specifically to the datastores that you’ve created. Thus, it collects performance (throughput, IOPS, latency) and capacity (space used, space remaining, time until full, etc) information about each of these datastores. The following screen capture illustrates a typical view of storage metrics in FVE. In this case, we’re viewing performance and capacity information for all of the datastores used by a particular VM.

 FVE Datastore Metrics for a VM

FSM, however, is collecting storage metrics from the switches and arrays in your storage environment. It gives you visibility behind your logical datastores and into the physical hardware sitting behind them. This is important because nearly 80% of VM performance issues originate in the physical storage hardware. And according to VMware, the lack of visibility behind the datastore is one of the top three most common frustrations expressed by their customers. The following screen captures illustrate the depth of storage information that FSM provides.

With FSM, you can monitor the Fibre Channel switches that connect your hosts and VMs to their storage. In this view, you can monitor performance and health of individual switch ports, in both real-time and historical views.

 FSM Switch View

You can monitor the performance, capacity, and health of your storage arrays at the port, controller, pool, LUN, and disk level. The following image details some of the performance metrics captured for the controllers and ports inside a particular array.

 FSM Array Controller & Port View

And monitoring used and available storage capacity is a cinch, too. The following shows the amount of storage capacity used and remaining at the pool level for a particular array. And, an upcoming release will add the ability to forecast when your storage pools will run out remaining capacity, too.

 FSM Pool View

In summary, FVE is a powerful tool for monitoring your virtual environments, including providing insight into the storage connected to your hosts. However, FVE’s granularity into your storage environment stops at the datastore. To gain visibility behind those datastores and into the physical switches and arrays providing storage access to your virtual environment, you need to add Foglight for Storage Management. To learn more about FSM, please visit our product page located at