Pushing Virtual Limits


Veeam Reporter/Monitor review
May 14, 2008, 2:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Two weeks ago I reached out to the folks at Veeam to discuss their offerings and see what their product line offered. They engaged very quickly and provided demo versions of both the reporter and monitor products so I could load them into my infrastructure and work with them for two weeks before discussing the products with their team.

Working with the product in close quarters with there competitors allows for a better comparison but for the purposes of this note I will focus only on this product as my evaluation of it is complete where the other two products are still pending a few more items.

Installation is simple and works easily out of the box. That is a huge plus. I can’t understate the value of a product that works to the published specification. Every feature displayed in the demo was carried through in the product.

i have a theme that I constantly reiterate when discussing my deployment – Hosts don’t matter. Running a shared environment that takes budgets from many different departments and supplies one unified infrastructure I work very hard to break the parochial attitude of who paid for what host.

The product put out by Veeam seems to be good but it does not address a non-host based infrastructure at all. Maybe, if I was utilizing resource pools I would have better luck but even then it is relying on fixed hardware allocations.

My understanding of virtualization and how I have always tried to sell it to management and other teams is that we are leveraging existing equipment and enabling our teams to do more. Even in a production environment I would be hard pressed to justify the need to create resource pools in a properly scaled deployment. The Virtual Center provides a wonderful HUMAN FRIENDLY format for display our virtual machines with the Virtual Machines and Templates view.

The team from Veeam made a valiant effort to show what they can do but I hope that after our 45 minute demo they understood my problems and why the product is a non-starter for my deployment.

Again, there are some very good things going on with this product and while it was not a viable choice for me it may work for someone else. I did however have a few grievances beyond the host centric view. These are all little things but they make me a bit nuts.

1. To get disk usage (size on disk not disk i/o) I would need to run the reporter software suite. Why is it necessary to run an entirely different product just to get that one value?

2. Like VMware Veeam reports Disk I/O usage as Disk usage. I think it should be better labeled or tossed out entirely. How many people actually hit those I/O limits on 4GB fiber?

3. All data is collected from the VC. I am sure this is a VMware issue but can we please work to reduce the load on the biggest single point of failure in my infrastructure?

4. Hosts don’t matter – Stop giving me reports on host utilization and show me what the infrastructure is doing.

Depending on how things go with the other two contenders I may end up pushing this review out until Q4 or even Q2 2009 depending on how things develop there. From what the folks at Veeam could say about the future road map it sounds like they are going interesting places but unfortunately for me I need to find a train now not sometime down the line.

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