Server Virtualization Management Gains Steam

by Paul Rubens

Management suites for server virtualization platforms is an area that continues to heat up. Not only are there more choices, but more vendors are also offering more products.

Management suites for server virtualization platforms is a hot area to be in right now, and there's a bewildering number of companies like Veeam, SolarWinds and VMTurbo touting products that offer performance analysis, capacity management, planning, various types of optimization, chargeback and so on.

In general, that's a good thing: The more choice in terms of products on offer the better. But also, the more substantial the companies offering these products the better.

So the announcement last November that Quest Software, a server virtualization management software vendor, was acquiring VKernel, a Boston-based vendor in the same line of business, was met with mixed feelings: On one hand, the market was maturing and consolidating; on the other hand, what would happen to VKernel's vOperations Suite product?

Well, now we know. The answer is that it is not going to go away. In fact VKernel, now a subsidiary of Quest, has expanded vOperations Suite - or the more catchy vOPS, as the company would like it to be known -- to include some of the best bits of Quest's product line. vOPS now extends its monitoring capabilities to other hardware areas and layers of infrastructure including SANs, guest OSes inside VMs, and physical servers that have not been virtualized.

What the company has done has split the vOPS suite into two broad product lines: vOPS Server and vOPS Storage

The vOPS Server line comes in two editions -- three if you include the vOPS Server Explorer edition, which is a free VMware health tool that provides quick enterprise-wide visualization of server virtualization performance, capacity and efficiency issues.

The other two editions are the Standard version, the really the old vOperations Suite. It includes performance analysis, capacity management and planning, optimization and chargeback for vSphere, Hyper-V and KVM/RHEV hypervisor environments for $549 per socket.

The more comprehensive Enterprise edition includes the old vOperations Suite as well as Quest's vFoglight product, which provides deeper server virtualization performance monitoring, alerting, and auto-remediation for physical and virtual servers from guest OS to storage. This is aimed at VMware and Hyper-V hypervisor-based environments and is priced at $799 per socket.

The vOPS Storage line includes two products: Storage vOptimizer and Storage Monitor.

Storage vOptimizer is the old VKernel vOptimizer Pro, a product designed to boost virtual storage performance, prevent VMs from running out of space and reclaim storage using automated VM disk resizing. It's priced at $299 per socket.

The costlier ($499 per socket) Storage Monitor is in fact Quest's vFoglight Storage product, a package that aims to provide end-to-end visibility of storage infrastructure, alarms, and performance metrics using data drawn from storage arrays and VMware's vCenter management product.

It will be fascinating to see how well the combined Quest/VKernel suite does in this increasingly competitive management suite market place, but the initial impression is positive. Specifically, VKernel's products are still alive and kicking.The good news for server virtualization administrators is that all the new products can now be downloaded from VKernel for a 30-day free trial period.

Paul Rubens is a journalist based in Marlow on Thames, England. He has been programming, tinkering and generally sitting in front of computer screens since his first encounter with a DEC PDP-11 in 1979.

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This article was originally published on Sunday Mar 18th 2012
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