FOCUS on MONITORING & MEASUREMENT
Getting real with virtualization monitoring
As the use of virtualization grows, so too does the complexity of monitoring it – and third-party vendors are being quick to catch on to the challenge.
The benefits of virtualization are well known; what is less advertised, however, is the fact that virtualization can bring with it new hurdles for data center staff, especially when it comes to keeping tabs on how virtual operations are running.
In the virtualized data center model, applications can be running on virtual machines within various physical servers, and these virtual machines can move to a different physical server at a moment’s notice – this is something definitely worth keeping an eye on.
With a range of new products entering the market – the latest version of VMware vCenter Server, for example, which no longer provides SNMP access to a rich set of management information – managing virtualization has become even more important.
In a number of cases, third-party management systems have been struggling to determine the location and status of the virtual machines. There are two answers to this. Some managers will prefer to keep integration to a minimum, allowing a complex solution to be broken down into much smaller parts for maintenance and day-to-day operations so that each part, in effect, is dealt with separately, without too much concern for the impact this will have on other systems.
By doing this they avoid third-party tools unless necessary, but rely more on vendors’ built-in products.
The alternative is third-party tools. CA Technologies’ Virtual Assurance product, for example, can provide a central point of control and visibility for managing physical and virtual server environments from VMware vCenter, Oracle/Sun Solaris Zones, IBM LPARs and Citrix/Xen. And this is only one option.
CommandCenter Secure Gateway from Raritan is another. Designed for large enterprises with more than one data center, as well as medium- and small-size IT server rooms and lights-out network operation centers, functions include secure access and control of technology platforms at the application, operating system and BIOS level.
Physical servers, virtual machines and VMware infrastructure all have a single point of access, such as the ESX server and VirtualCenter environments. Options such as CommandCenter can offer the ability to monitor, diagnose and resolve infrastructure problems with a node view that allows users to identify and access any target system through a variety of interfaces, including in-band and out-of-band KVM, Serial, embedded or in-band software applications and power control.
LogicMonitor is another third-party monitor that highlights some other capabilities in the market. This software-as-a-service (SaaS)-
based hosted solution does not require in-house servers, hardware or maintenance. Managers instead access dashboards, performance graphs and alerts online. The key difference with a number of products on the market today aimed at monitoring virtualization is automation. As we all know, errors can occur when a change to the physical or virtual servers requires entry into a monitoring system, especially during emergency maintenance or outage action.
So it is no surprise that a number of vendors are looking at adding predefined data sources on infrastructure components to make the administrator’s job easier.
With LogicMonitor and Avocent (now a part of Emerson), for example, the administrator enters a hostname and the software figures out what to monitor while setting the appropriate alerts. These products can also keep tabs on new devices and device changes, removing the need for continuously monitoring and entering configurations.
It is never a clear-cut decision, and sometimes your vendors’ products will provide what you need. But there are also some third-party options out there that can meet your own individual requirements for keeping your virtualized environment running.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20