Using Vizioncore Solutions to Enhance vSphere - Monitoring

Author: George Pradel, Director of Strategic Alliances, Vizioncore

As the Director of Strategic Alliances for Vizioncore (and being a former VMware SE) I can’t help but have my first blog post around the subject of vSphere as it pertains to the Vizioncore product line. I’m sure there are folks that you know, perhaps personally, that have decided that there’s no reason to buy 3rd party products when VMware is offering a similar solution, at least in description. So for my first blog on Vizioncorum I’m going to clear up some confusing points and call out how vSphere’s underlying value can be realized even quicker using Vizioncore’s products.

The announcement of vSphere was a great move forward for VMware. But when you peel back the layers of vSphere it becomes evident that some of the same issues still exist for customers and most customers are going to need solutions for Monitoring, Backup, Replication, Conversions and Optimization that extend and embrace vSphere. vSphere has expanded the number of tools that VMware offers in these areas, our solutions will continue to extend and enhance the capabilities of VMware platforms, including vSphere. Over the next couple of months I’ll address each Vizioncore product and its fit into the VMware landscape including vSphere. For today I’m going to focus on Monitoring.


vFoglight will work with vSphere out of the box and will be supported once we get a chance to Q/A it with the GA product from VMware. This is probably the first product I’m asked about when it comes to how vCenter will eliminate the need for vFoglight. I had the distinct pleasure to go to the vSphere labs in Cannes, FR. I will add in a side note that having proctored a lab at the 2005 VMWorld, these guys were great. I had a chance to look at the performance metrics and there were really very few changes. I tested the vCenter 2.5 U4 new tab performance chart and they were reminiscent of Lance Berc’s great tool, vmkusage. Lance is a great guy and helped me out on many customer visits. The tool sits on java and provides some basic side by side metrics, handy for basic metrics.


So why the heck would you need vFoglight? For starters, how about being able to monitor your whole VMware environment, including multiple virtual centers and have the alerts make sense. Or how about being able to drill all the way down from the Virtual Center level to see the processes within a guest to easily find an issue? vFoglight also lets you discover which of your VMs are over provisioned. It’s a good feature to have when the business unit manager comes to you, stomps their feet and says “I NEED 4 GB OF RAM IN THAT VM!”. You know better, but you give it to them anyways because of the 8th layer in the osi model (also referred to as the political layer). vFoglight will alert you to that over allocation and give you raw facts helping you get approval to pull back the resources allocated to that VM. Oh, and did I mention that the intelligence in the alerts was written by Scott Herold, co-author of the Advanced Technical Design Guide for 2.5 and VI3? If you’ve read his books, the real world approach to monitoring your VMware environments should be evident.


I could go on about creating dashboards, custom reports, and monitoring virtual & physical systems, but I’m not. However, I am going to tell you that we have some exciting additions to vFoglight on the horizon. And if you need to monitor your environment today, download vFoglight and connect your Virtual Center(s) to it. We don’t load additional agents on the esx hosts, instead you install a collector on the Virtual Center server and the only other agents would be if you want to see guest processes. While you’re waiting for VMware’s advances, give vFoglight a try, I think you’ll find it a complementary solution to the power of vCenter.


Quick summary, I want to reemphasize that even though the name and messaging changed, the challenges of working with VMware remain relatively the same. And perhaps even stepped up a bit, but the underlying doing more with less and working smarter messaging is, to use a Talking Heads term, “same as it ever was”. In my mind, that’s not a bad thing. VMware continues to crank out new innovations on a solid base that supports operating systems that cover the gamut of real world needs, which is just one of the reasons I think they continue to be so successful.


Until next time…virtually speaking,


George Pradel