Vizioncore, a subsidiary of Quest software, has announced a free, downloadable application that allows users to monitor their VMware systems using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. The Quest Management Pack for VMware is made up of a combination of features from Vizioncore that provide performance and availability monitoring, capacity trending, and server data collection. Paid product support is available as an additional option that is priced at $99 per socket for one year and $238 per socket for three years.
While there are products from other vendors that are monitoring tools intended specifically for virtualization environments, they are expensive and complex. In addition, user organizations typically do not want to add an additional third-party product that is separate from its existing products. These include Veeam Management Suite from Veeam Software, and BridgeWays Management Packs from BridgeWays. However, these products are in the $400 to $500 range, whereas Vizioncore's product is free, and while VMware's vCenter Server Virtualization Management software offers functionality such as metrics and monitoring for free, it does not integrate with Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager. Organizations that already use that product don't need to have its operations personnel learn another one with use of the Vizioncore product.
Though Vizioncore describes the product as extending Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager to monitor VMware, the way the product actually works is by leveraging Quest technology that collects data from non-Windows systems, and putting it in a management pack to make it available to Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager. The collector is not a Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager agent, but instead collects data from the hosts themselves, and then takes the data and transforms it in a way that Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager understands. This makes the VMware ESX host look like any Windows Management Instrumentation provider, putting the data from the VMware host in to the Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager console.
"I would want a third party doing integration between the two giants of the industry, VMware and Microsoft. Vizioncore knows both very well, and can get the best from each," says Dick Csaplar, senior research analyst of virtualization and storage for Aberdeen Group, a Boston consultancy. "Plus this tool is free."
Vizioncore does not plan to extend the product to Hyper-V, Microsoft's Windows Server hypervisor, because Microsoft already offers a similar link to Systems Center in Hyper-V. And the company also does not plan to extent the product to support the Xen open-source hypervisor, because at yet there is not enough demand for the product. This may change should Xen get a larger market share. The company also offers vFoglight for companies where the primary focus is in managing VMware, rather than in Microsoft Systems Center.