23 Dec 2008
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I’ve had a quick play with Veeam Monitor for VMware Infrastructure 3 Free Edition. Veeam Monitor looks like a good product and should come in handy if you have lots of things in your VI to monitor. It is better than the performance monitors in VMware vCenter, but then again it doesn’t take much to beat vCenter’s performance counters in detail.

I’ve installed Veeam Monitor on a Windows Server 2003 box. The installation wizard will give you an option to choose an existing SQL Database Server or to install SQL Express locally. I opted to install it on an existing SQL server. If you’re going to run Veeam Monitor in a production environment, I think it will make more sense to go with this option as well. The installation then went on and automatically created a new database on my SQL server called “Monitor”, so no need to create a database before kicking off the installation.

At first glance, Veeam Monitor looks and feels like a professional application. The GUI is clean and not cluttered with an overload of information. The graphs are easy to read and understand.

Veeam Monitor allows you to add a standalone ESX Server or a VirtualCenter or “vCenter” to monitor. In my case, I pointed it to my vCenter Server and as expected, it pulled the entire VI configuration from the VC, complete with Datacenters, Clulsters, Hosts and Resource Pools.

Now, let’s look at the information it returns. For this article I’m only going to mention the information it returned for a single “Datacenter”, defined in my VC. However, Veeam Monitor will report at a Datacenter, cluster, host, resource pool and Virtual Machine level. When looking at a virtual machine level, Veeam monitor will allow you to access the VM’s console as well as the processes inside the VM’s Guest OS** (**However the processes feature is not included in the Free Edition).

So at the datacenter level, it will return the following sets of information: Summary, Overall, CPU, Memory, Networking, Disk, Swap, Tops, Alarms and Events.

Here’s what they'll all tell you:

The Summary tab provides:

Events Count  The number of events logged for the Datacenter
 Performance data period  The time period that performance data are reported on


The Overall tab provides graphs for:
CPU Usage, Memory Consumed, Network Usage, Disk Usage and Swap Usage.

The CPU, Memory, Networking, Disk and Swap tabs provide information using 3D graphs (providing you selected 3D in the Veeam Monitor Client Options) on datacenter wide utilization. Much the same as vCenter does. It just looks a lot better and easier to read. As expected, you also have the option to select the counters that you would like to see for each graph.
Sorry that I’ve jumped past the CPU, Memory, Networking, Disk and Swap tabs without providing much detail, but it really is very similar to vCenter, at a datacenter level anyway. The Tops tab is the one I really liked. It displays the 3 Virtual Machines that are the top resource users for the last 5 minutes. They are showed as follows:

• Top CPU Users in Percentage
• Top Network Users in KBps
• Top Memory Users in MB
• Top Swap Users in MB
• Top Disk Users in KBps

The Alarms tab displays the alarms defined in VC for the selected VI object. It also shows a history of triggered alarms and gives you the option to create new alarms as well. Another function is to resolve a triggered alarm by adding a comment to the alarm. There’s also a button to clear triggered alarms when “Resolved, later than 1 day, later than 1 week, later than 1 month or all”.

Although I didn’t give an in-depth review of Veeam Monitor (Because I just don’t have all the time in the world right now), I do think it’s a good product.

Just note that there are a few features that are not available in the Free Edition. The ones I came across are:

• No Alarm Modelling
• No reporting
• Only 24 hours of history displayed
• No access to the Guest OS Processes running inside the VM.

All in all, as with Veeam FastSCP, Veeam has got my thumbs up for Veeam Monitor!

Here are some screen shots:

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22 Dec 2008
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Here's an interesting article on the demand for virtualization in the data centre. I've copied a paragraph from the article here, as I would like to throw a comment out on it: 

"VMware remains the market leader but Microsoft's Hyper-V is closing the gap. In response to a question in which we asked customers to select ALL the virtualization products they plan to use/deploy in 2009, nearly 60% said they plan to deploy VMware's ESX Server (29%) or the free VMware Server (30%). However, 52% of the respondents indicated they will use Microsoft's Hyper-V or the older Microsoft Virtual Server; 37% of respondents indicated they will opt for Hyper-V compared with the remaining 15% who said they will use the older Virtual Server. This percentage is double the number of survey respondents who indicated they would use Microsoft hypervisor solutions when we polled users in a 2007 survey"

 

Well, I'm not too sure about those figures. I mean come on... 52% of the respondents will use Microsoft Hyper-V? Oh no, sorry it's 37%. We'll have to see how long they stick to that. Honestly, I've not used Hyper-V in a production environment myself, so I can't really comment, but from what I've heard................................. well let's just see what happens. BTW. Why do I never get forwarded one of those surveys??

Anyway, read the full article here:

http://www.echannelline.com/usa/story.cfm?item=24053

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22 Dec 2008
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HEYHEY!! I've just received my first Christmas gift!

This one is from Veeam! I've been waiting for this gift to arrive, as I've registered for the gift a few days/weeks ago.

I'm glad to announce that I've unwrapped it and that it contained Veeam Monitor, "FREE Real time Monitoring for your ESXi".

Apparently the rest of the world that has not registered for the product will hear about it in a few hours. Just hang in there!

Thanks Veeam!

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20 Dec 2008
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The news is out that VMware has decided to rename what would have been VMware Virtual Infrastructure 4 or VI4 to VMware "vSphere". This is the latest of a series of product name changes that VMware has been making in the past couple of weeks. A while ago, VMware renamed VMware Virtual Desktop Manager to VMware View.

I can't really figure out why they went for the name vSphere. The only reason I can think of is that maybe they felt the need to rename the product to try and make it sound as if it includes the a sphere of products for the entire data centre? Anyway, we just better get used to it. VI4 is out and vSphere is in.

VMware has also announced that vSphere's maximum host RAM will be 1TB and 250GB for the Guest's RAM. A nice addition, however I think it will be a while before we get our servers to have 1TB RAM.

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15 Dec 2008
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VMware and HP are to integrate HP's BTO (Business Technology Optimization) software with VMware vCenter Lab Manager.

This will support VMware’s contemplated VDC-OS (virtual datacenter operating system) by integrating HP Discovery and dependency Mapping, BTO’s application and infrastructure discovery technologies.

HP’s BTO helps you make sure that every dollar invested in IT, every resource allocated and every application in development or production meets your business goals.

It is an approach to IT management that reduces costs and produces business outcomes by helping your IT leaders:

  • Allocate IT spend and resources based on business priorities
  • Automate key processes across IT strategy, applications and operations
  • Measure IT effectiveness and efficiency from a business perspective

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VMware’s VDC-OS is aimed at enabling the use of all types of hardware, including servers, storage and networks in an internal enterprise cloud that acts like one super computer that could automatically move workloads to external clouds when additional capacity is needed.

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10 Dec 2008
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Today I've enabled PDA/Mobile Device functionality for this site. I've tested it on the Nokia E90 Communicator and the iPhone 3G. It seems to be working fine as far as I can see.

When you browse http://www.virtualvcp.com/ from your mobile device, you will see the PDA version, which should make your life a little easier in trying to browse for articles and technical tips from you mobile device.

 I will still be tuning this in the days to come to make it easier and faster to find articles.

Please contact me via the contact form or comment on this is you find any issues with the PDA site.

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