Virtualization administrators are quite aware of the risk of virtual machine sprawl. How your virtual environment will grow or shrink will vary based on many factors. For new implementations, there is a generally a large front-loading of virtual machines from conversions or migrations from older environments. The ongoing mode, however, may be a little more predictable. V-Scout from Embotics has a great feature buried in the reporting engine that can give you a view into the VMware guest virtual machine footprint in the population trending report.
The base report is fair enough, as it gets more accurate and reasonable with a good time sample to make predictions. I have just about one month’s worth of data in my V-Scout data base, so now some of the data makes sense. Here is the top of the base report:
There is a quick snapshot of the change in storage, number of virtual machines, operating system count, memory and CPU inventories. In this example, I added a host as well as virtual machines and storage, showing the comprehensive changes nicely for the timeframe.
The real treasure of this report, however, is the bottom option called “VM Details.” This is a nice log of virtual machines that were added and removed in the environment. While there may be a net gain of two virtual machines in the timeframe example above, this detail will show how we arrived at that count. This can help explain virtual machine additions and removals that may be part of a special task or project, and they can all be viewed in the bottom of the VM population trending report as shown below:
V-Scout’s intuitive interface continues to bring good information closer to the virtualization administrator. V-Scout is a free management application that can plug into VMware Infrastructure 3 environments and can be downloaded from the Embotics website.