David’s Cisco Networking Blog

Sep 30 2008   10:41PM GMT

Does your network management utility manage VMware?



Posted by: David Davis
Tags:
Network Management
Networking
Virtualization
VMware

More and more of the typical “physical computer” management & monitoring tools are being retooled to manage the new virtual infrastructure. I have talked with both Packettrap and Solarwinds and both have rumored that they will soon offer versions of their well known network management tools that will now recognize, not only network devices and physical servers, but the virtual guest operating systems that are on those physical servers.

For example, your network management & monitoring tool could query either each individual ESX server using traditional SNMP calls or it could query the VMware Virtual Center server using VMware’s API to obtain an inventory of what virtual guest is on what physical server, performance statistics for both host and guest systems, and status of guest systems (ie: which are powered on or off).

There are a few challenges that these vendors face:

  • do you go directly to each virtual host or to a centralized management server?
  • do you support only VMware ESX Server or do you try to support other virtualization platforms such as Microsoft’s Hyper-V?
  • how do you learn about guest VMs that have been “VMotion’ed” (for lack of a better term) from one host system to another? And what about the performance statistics when the storage for a guest is “SVMotion’ed” from one datastore to another?

So, “stay tuned”, as they say, for physical tools to now recognize the virtual world. And, if your vendor isn’t already doing this or doesn’t have plans to do it, I recommend that you pressure that vendor to make their product “virutalization ready” (or else you may have to go find another vendor).

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  • Kklapproth
    There is absolutely a market need – that is why Entuity has had a commercially available solution in “Eye of the Storm” for nearly a year. EYE currently supports VMware ESX server, gathers performance and operational information about servers and hosts, and has proprietary technology to track VMs as they are “VMotioned” around the network. In the interest of full disclosure, I am the VP of Marketing for Entuity and readers are encouraged to verify all my claims on www.entuity.com. Our enterprise, system integrator, and MSP customers operate some of the world’s most complex, dynamic, and demanding networks and they realize the tremendous possibilities that virtualization technology offers to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. However, it is not seen as a separate technology. It is an integral part of the foundational IT infrastructure and deserves a proven, enterprise-class solution from a company that puts network management first on its list. It’s access to their business’ strategic enterprise applications that gives them productivity, profitability, and a competitive edge. Regardless if it’s served physically or virtually, enterprise applications are useless if users can’t access them – Entuity helps these customers deliver “more bars” across their networks.
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