SolarWinds Virtualization Manager 4.0 first look

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-06-16 Email Print this article Print

SolarWinds Virtualization Manager dashboard, shown after initial installation at eWEEK Labs.

SolarWinds Virtualization Manager, nee Hyper9, is in eWEEK Labs and the results thus far are positive. So far I've gotten a wealth of performance reports and planning recommendations for the Labs VMware vSphere testing environment.

As of today, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager (SVM) is VMware-only, no Microsoft Hyper-V or Xen support. SVM is priced for modest-sized organizations ($2995 to watch over up to 50 virtual machines) but there's a chance that IT managers at large organizations could benefit from using the tool. It's wicked easy to install (it comes as a no-muss, no-fuss virtual appliance) and can scale out using additional virtual appliances called federated collection servers at physically separated data centers. And the quality of the data I've collected in our test installation is revealing (much easier to consume than combing through the vCenter records) and neatly presented.

There are a number of interesting new features in SVM and I'll cover those in an upcoming eWEEK product review. For now, the one I'm having the most fun playing with is the capacity manager.

I have an ongoing interest in figuring out what would happen if one of the ESX hosts in our test environment failed. Would there be enough room on the other physical hosts to keep our VMs up and running? Would the storage or network I/O kill the surviving physical subsystems?

The answers for the Lab infrastructure are not good. We are using most of our systems at near maximum capacity according to one or another measure, usually RAM. The nice thing is that SVM makes it easier for me to see what resources to add, in terms of compute, storage or networking, to ease the bottleneck.

Now if I could just get the budget to put those recommendations into practice. :) |

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