VKernel Capacity Analyzer a Strong Tool in VMware Environments

VKernel's Capacity Analyzer 2.0 can use VMware VirtualCenter statistics to offer clarity in virtualization deployments. However, the virtualization tool is not a cross-platform product; it doesn't address Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology. But in VMware environments, the virtualization tool will help IT administrators get the most out of their ESX installations.

VKernel's Capacity Analyzer 2.0 can now use VMware VirtualCenter statistics to monitor disk I/O throughput performance and provides a comprehensive dashboard to clarify murky virtualization environments.

It's not a cross-platform tool; Capacity Analyzer didn't have anything to say about eWEEK Labs' Hyper-V capacity. With that said, the new version of the product, just out of beta and shipping since Oct. 14, could spell the difference between spinning your wheels and gaining significant traction when it comes to getting the most out of your organization's ESX installation.

The biggest difference between VKernel's Capacity Analyzer and VMware's Capacity Planner is that VKernel uses added technology to make predictions about when and where capacity problems will occur. When it works correctly, as it did during my tests at eWEEK Labs in San Francisco, it allows IT data center managers to stay ahead of application slowdowns caused by resource constraints.

Read more here about the need for cross-platform tools to combat virtualization sprawl.

Capacity Analyzer is best suited for small to midsize enterprises that have moderately sized data centers and relatively quiet VMware installations. Competitors include Tek-Tools Virtual Profiler, VMware's Capacity Planner and Lanamark's eponymous suite.

VKernel Capacity Analyzer runs as a Linux-based virtual appliance in VMware ESX Infrastructure. The $199 standard edition, or $299 enterprise edition, hooks into VMware VirtualCenter statistics to capture CPU, memory, disk and network counters, including average, summary information. Capacity Analyzer uses either MySQL, Microsoft's SQL Server or an Oracle database to collect and process performance data. The product uses VMware's 5-minute interval statistics collection, the most granular that is available.

I accessed the tool via the Web-based interface. There's only one level of administrative access, but on a performance monitoring tool I'm not as concerned about junior administrators having too much access. However, as a matter of good form, I would like to see VKernel add at least a read-only account.