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Tracking Storage Usage in Virtual Environments Still a Challenge

Virtualization has become a top monitoring challenge for IT professionals. The good news is that products have surfaced to help. The bad news? Not all of them deliver an even set of capabilities, particularly when it comes to tracking storage use by virtual hosts.

The sheer volume of products hitting the streets speaks to customers' eagerness for visibility and control of this growing technology. From Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (now in beta) to smaller product announcements from all kinds of startups, vendors are rushing to fill gaps in what the major virtualization suppliers (and their conmpetitors) are offering.

Products fall into various categories, starting with basic tools from the leading virtualizers: VMware offers its own VirtualCenter solution for managing virtual hosts; Microsoft has VMM, and Citrix has its own toolset. In addition, multiple suppliers replace, integrate with, or provide an augmented interface for virtualized environments, mostly VMware.

Among the VMware augmenters are eG Innovations, Veeam Software, and Vizioncore, to name just a few. These vendors focus on adding features like the ability to manage multiple instances of VirtualCenter for very large environments, something VMware has reportedly fallen down on. Others streamline reporting or add in reports not available in VirtualCenter.

Other suppliers, while integrating with VirtualCenter or ESX Server APIs, manage virtual environments as part of a broader management scheme that encompasses other data center elements. This is where Akorri, Onaro (now now part of NetApp), and Tek-Tools make the scene.

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