Why Companies Require VM Monitoring Tools?

By CIOReview | Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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With ever-growing scope of operations and demand for more IT resources, the outcome is the provision for additional hardware. However, the budget constraints and scope for security risks make it impossible to add new hardware infrastructure to meet the demand for resource allocation. The concept of virtual machine (VM) acts as a silver bullet to the problem and helps ward off unneeded threats and vulnerabilities as well as expenditure on hardware to store and manage data.

Owing to several conveniences of VMs like secure data storage and limited costs, the implementation of VM monitoring tools become a necessity for the organizations. To shed light on the advantages of VMs, companies need to measure the probabilities or risks in the absence of VM monitoring tools that mostly work to detect and thoroughly monitor issues within and outside the system:

Easy and Optimal Availability of Resources: VMs enable users to manage the resources in real time in accordance to the process needs. New instances of OS, network, or service can be created, added, or removed to attain resource optimization and process efficiency.

Amalgamation: With VMs on board, an array of different applications in varied operating environments can be controlled from the same set of hardware devices.

Economical Administration: The addition of new hardware for scaling up the operation is not required when a firm is able to effectively bring in VMs into its IT ecosystem. With VM, the automation of many processes reduces the dependence on human resources.

Siloed Resources: As the hardware resources are segmented in the logical manner, the real objective of virtualization is achieved. The process of virtualization does not end with mere separation of hardware resources, as the idea scales new high with separation of virtual machines. Again, logical isolation of resources ensures data security.

Scalability: The quick and upscale variance in the business needs necessitate more real time resource allocation. As the logical partitioning is unlike the physical partitioning, scaling up the resources is no longer an uphill task.

Platform Independence: Virtualization is devoid of platform dependence whereas VM tools are able to create to instances of different operating environments. Eventually, the process of virtualization lends compatibility with the protocols irrespective of hardware support.

The importance of monitoring tools will not come to light unless the intricacies involved in the process of virtualization are examined and understood.

How Virtualization is Achieved?

The physical hardware, which is also known as bare metal visor, serves as the foundation of the concept of virtualization. The virtualization layer, which comes into existence on account of VM, serves as a link between operating system and bare metal and it also manages the instance allocation via operating system within it. VMs application layer acts as a repository of applications within the operating system. Each layer has its resources and it has to be surveilled. The prime objective of surveillance is gaining complete picture of interactions between the different layers that bestow the user with merits of virtualization. Finally, inculcating a user perspective is a key to ensure optimal performance of the VM suite. A serious enterprise needs a comprehensive pack of VM monitoring tools that would cater to broad range of business needs.

Isn’t There a Remedy at the Physical Level?

Numerous solutions do physical allocation of the server space, but cannot create a VM. The limitations of those solutions constrain the administrator to create the VM and configure its hardware allocations. Dynamic workload optimization is one key feature that user can not avail by relying on tools crafted for physical servers as they lack VM portability. In nutshell, there is no solution at physical level that can nullify the need for logical solution.

Choosing the Best VM Monitoring Tools

Many hypervisors offer in-built VM management and monitoring tools, but they cast limitations over keeping track of interactions among physical, virtualization, and application layers. Though the monitoring options may vary from vendor to vendor, they are worthwhile in controlling the virtualization environment to the fullest extent. The third party monitoring tools provide better scalability, granular control, and user friendliness than native tools.

  • For example, in addition to the monitoring capabilities offered by VirtualBox, an x86 and AMD64/Intel64 open source and freely available virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use, Hyperbox, a free virtualized infrastructure manager across different hypervisors, provides a plethora of following monitoring services. Daemon/Service-based server, perfect on dedicated hosts for Virtual Machines
  • Fully configurable, using the storage backend of your choice (plain files, SQLite, MySQL etc.)
  • Authentication against a security backend (from a simple text file to a LDAP directory)
  • Granular authorization mechanism to only grant specific  privileges to the users (e.g. Start specific VMs, but do not edit them)
  • Auditing of all performed actions on the system, with history browsing and search
  • Modular architecture, where several hypervisors and versions can be supported
  • GUI clients supporting Roaming profiles or similar for settings, perfect for an enterprise environment
  • CLI clients for die-hard command-line admins and scripting

Finally, the dedicated VM management and monitoring tools allow the user to reach the apex of virtualization experience with scalability and better control as added advantages.