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Advantages of VM Monitoring Tools over Physical Systems

By CIOReview | Thursday, May 25, 2017

In the current epoch, more applications are being deployed on VMs than in physical machines. More and more Enterprises are adopting virtual environments, hence, it has become a norm of the day to have a fully geared up VM environment. Therefore, it is vital to have a VM monitoring tool as an important part of any virtual data center. A virtualization-aware monitoring solution capable of handling the dynamic nature of today's infrastructures is also quite essential for excellent virtual machine performance. However, in majority of the cases, decision makers are reluctant to invest in additional VM monitoring tools apart from their existing system, that are probably designed for physical servers. Today, many of the major solution providers offer their own monitoring tools along with their product offering. For instance, Microsoft and VMware products are coupled with innate hypervisor management and monitoring tools such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager by Microsoft and vCenter by VMware. Additionally, VMware offers a variety of other monitoring tools under its suite of vRealize offerings. Add to this, there are a plethora of third party tools offered by other companies like Embotics that develops VMTurbo, and vCommander.

Irrespective of the developer, each product mentioned has its own unique capabilities catering to a specific cause in the VM landscape. There are other relatively common capabilities which discrete administrators look for while choosing their VM monitoring tools. These capabilities that provide specific value for virtualization environments may not be included in the default offerings. In that case, adding fit-to-purpose VM monitoring software can be the best option.

The prime benefit of implementing virtualization-specific monitoring software is the ability to automate VM deployment. Even though many products support bare-metal provisioning for physical servers and can even deploy an operating system to a VM, majority of the products designed for physical servers lacks the innate ability to create a VM. This would require administrators to manually create industry-specific VM every time, whenever there is a requirement and need to set up hardware configurations prior to using a tool to deploy operating systems. In converse, a virtualization specific tool can be of great use to automate the entire VM development and operating system deployment process—largely saving time and investments. Microsoft’s Hyper-V Manager tools for Hyper-V allow basic VM creation, monitoring and management. Similarly tools such as vCenter or SCVMM can also be used to automate the whole process.

Further, hypervisor-level monitoring tools optimize dynamic workloads, which is not possible with tools designed for physical servers. VM monitoring software balances the workload by precisely monitoring how every virtualization host is utilized to automatically move workloads among hosts as per requirements. The physical server tools do not allow this dynamic movement of workloads between physical machines, since physical environments have no portability concepts like in VM. This also means that the biggest advantages among adopting dedicated VM monitoring tools is that it provide better scalability than native tools.

Bottom Line

The fact remains that virtualized environment can be operated without dedicated VM monitoring software, but, to put virtualization infrastructure into maximum use and gain desired outcomes such tools play a central role without fail. When enterprises step out to implement one, they should also be wise in choosing the best-fit solution for them. To quote an example, if enterprises want to measure virtual machine performance or if they want to efficiently detect operational failures, they should narrow down on tools depending on whether to monitor from inside or outside a VM. As for monitoring virtual machine performance, it is always advisable to monitor from outside as the data retrieved from within the VM may not be as accurate as it should be.