Quest Software has extended the reach of its virtual machine monitoring tool, vFoglight, to shine into Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor and the virtual machines it’s running as well as VMware’s. It also can now examine the performance of Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory.
VFoglight is a management tool used for performance monitoring, administration, troubleshooting, capacity planning and chargeback for a virtual environments. It can be calibrated to set alerts as capacity approaches a defined threshold. It has its own diagnostic capabilities and can offer advice on proposed solutions to a troublesome hypervisor or virtual machine.
Quest is one of the few third party suppliers to establish a suite of virtualization tools for VMware's virtualization environment. It includes vRanger Pro for virtual machine back up and vOptimizer Pro for performance maximization.
In the 6.5 release of vFoglight announced Monday, the tool was offered with support for the Hyper-V hypervisor as well as VMware’s ESX Server. The move marks a substantial expansion of the tool’s capabilities. It was born as vFoglight from Vizioncore, a company acquired by Quest in January 2008.
It includes plug-in cartridges that can see into the operation of Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft’s Active Directory, whether they’re running in virtual machines or on their own physical server. Since July, the two plug-ins have been available as separate Quest products. They’re now integrated into vFoglight’s management and reporting console. “Before, what you could see was very minimal. You couldn’t see down into the separate components” of Active Directory or Exchange. Now you can see down to the object level” to view how well Exchange and Active Directory are working with virtual machines, said Ben Scheerer, senior product marketing manager.
The 6.5 release of the management tool includes more automated processes. The tool has a workflow engine that can recommend a series of steps for certain specific troubleshooting situations. It isn’t trying to be a runbook or complete set of best practices for running virtual machines in the data center, Scheerer continued. Rather, it can be used to set up pre-defined procedures as a series of steps in response to a hypervisor failure or other event. The workflow engine includes a scheduler, which helps in establishing a workflow as an orderly sequence of steps taking place within a certain period.
"If you get a capacity-oriented alert, you are presented with a list of workflow steps you can run against it to solve the capacity shortage," said Steve Stover, senior director of product management. VFoglight already has automated procedures that take defined values and apply them to user departments in chargeback situations, based on the resources commissioned for a virtual machine and the time it was used.
“You’ll see a lot more automation in future releases,” said Scheerer.
Since July, a sampler product, vFoglight Quickview, has been available as a for free to demonstrate vFoglight’s ability to monitor the virtual environment.
VFoglight Storage is a separate product for monitoring and managing storage. Quest intends to eventually add it to the core vFoglight product as a plug-in cartridge as well, said Stover.