Pushing Virtual Limits

VMware management suites
April 29, 2008, 1:05 am
Filed under: VM

I have been evaluating the following products in my environment to see what one would make the best choice to deploy.

1. Vkernel

2. vCharter Pro from Vizioncore

3. Veeam’s suite of solutions

Here is my wish list for these products

1. Track snapshot usage and report ACTUAL disk usage (pipe dream but a guy can wish right?)

2. Lacking the ability to track snapshot usage or true size on disk an accurate reporting of vmdks attached to each vm and a ranking of those would be nice. (vKernel does this the best.)

3. A dashboard view that shows Ram and CPU trends. My environment may be different than most people as I find that after hard drive space RAM is my only limiting factor.

4. The ability to create a report, save the report, and have it run and emailed to me monthly.

5. The entire infrastructure is organized by folders and I need something that is aware of that and can organize the VMs accordingly. ESX Hosts are irrelevant to the infrastructure due to a true HA deployment so why am I still stuck trying to organize my VMs by them for reporting?

My problem is that none of the products work as expected. In some cases they don’t work at all! Now I am more than willing to say some of this may be my fault or configuration issues. I have support cases open with two of the vendors that are well over two weeks old and I still have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am going to give Veeam some more time on Monday to impress me but right now they are really looking like a last generation product compared to the other two companies.

Vizioncore provides a slicker product but right now it isn’t collecting any data. The biggest problem I have conceptually (as there is no data I have yet to use it in real life) is that they don’t understand the folder structure on the VM and I will need to manually add each of my 400+ vms into business unit containers. The pain is that this isn’t a one time event as I expect 20-25 new vms created or destroyed each week.

vKernel makes a good product but it is having trouble recursing the folder structures like they promise it will. If we can ever get that straightened out I will have a lot more faith in the product. The data doesn’t look as “sexy” as it does in vCharterpro but it appears just as valid and their report generating tool is just as good.

What kills me about this whole discussion is that I need the abilities I requested above to report to management on this environment so much that they gave me a budget to spend! If I can’t find a solution this quarter I will have to put this entire effort off until next year.

I will post an update when I get a better review of the Veeam suite. I am going into that demo and trial with a need to be impressed for them to stay in the running.

*Update – Veeam followed up with me after seeing this post and I want to promise everyone I will have an updated review of their specific suite of products this coming Tuesday night after giving them a chance to spin it in all the right ways.


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