Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

VKernel Enhances VM Management Automation In vOperations Suite

VKernel has enhanced its vOperations Suite server virtualization management product. Version 4.5 includes features such as advanced virtual machine management task automation, which is intended to provide additional automation capabilities for VM management. This is expected to be particularly helpful for cloud computing implementations. Tasks that the software can now perform by itself include deleting abandoned VMDK files, merging VM snapshots, solving VM performance issues, powering-off "zombie" VMs, resizing vCPU and VM memory resources based on recommendations, updating management dashboards in real time in external systems, and calculating CPU, memory and storage requirements. The software has a number of other minor enhancements, as well.

"So far, from what I’ve seen, I’ve really liked it," says Chris DiGanci, senior IT manager for PEER 1 Hosting, an Atlanta-based dedicated managed and co-located hosting provider with 18 data centers. "From an IT perspective, we run the infrastructure it takes to run our business and serve our customers." vKernel enables DiGanci to figure out where the company needs additional capacity and gives him a holistic view of the network, he says. In particular, DiGanci finds the dashboards particularly compelling. "We’re moving toward being a SharePoint shop internally," he says. "The ability to export dashboards and dashboard data is massively useful to us. We can send a custom URL to someone so they can see the information you want them to see without having to give them the keys to the castle."

The new task automation features are required because not only are the number of virtual machines growing, but the amount of overhead they each require is also growing. Further, due to the economic situation, user organizations are typically not able to hire the additional IT personnel to administer the systems, says Alex Rosemblat, product marketing manager for the Andover, Mass., company. The software is also delivering what he says is VMware CEO Paul Maritz’ vision of enhanced automation, but what is required is assurance that the automation can be trusted, he says.

For example, while a VM administrator can manually delete one virtual machine image in a minute, automating the process can remove many more images more quickly, the company says. Other new features in version 4.5 of the software include application type tags to denote which application is running inside a virtual machine; storage distributed resource schedulers and cluster support available with VMware vSphere 5; access to VMware Aware Storage application programming interface storage statistics with vSphere 5; capacity planning calculation adjustments for vSphere 5 high-availability methods; improved support and visibility into Raw Device Mapping storage objects; additional management reports, such as graphs for performance issue counts; and auto-set VM metric trend alarms that generate warnings when abnormalities are detected.

vKernel vOperations Suite 4.5 is available now. The software is priced per socket for $299 for one application, $499 for two, $599 for three, and $649 for all four applications in the suite. A free 30-day trial is also available from the company website.

See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports Data Centers: Virtual vs. Physical (free, registration required).