Virtualization has been a rising trend in IT. A recent study of the server virtualization market revealed that in 2019, only half the servers in the world (55.6%) were purely physical, the remainder being virtual. Among virtual servers, VMware had the largest share at around 20.8%. The use of virtual servers has grown to the extent where this blog you’re currently reading is probably hosted on a virtual server.
These numbers are only expected to increase in the future, and VMware’s goal is complete server virtualization across IT. While this may not be fully achieved, we can expect a future where the majority of physical servers are used only to host their virtual counterparts.
Why is VMware the leading server virtualization vendor?
VMware’s virtualization suite offers an array of products for every stage of server virtualization, from vSphere and vCenter to VMware clusters and ESXi hosts. Moreover, vMotion and SvMotion allow VMware servers to be easily migrated across your virtual environment. VMware’s high availability mode for virtual servers minimizes server downtime to seconds, while its distributed resource scheduler feature completely eliminates downtime.
All of this is in addition to the basic advantage of virtualization: more efficient resource utilization. Unlike physical servers that only occasionally use their full resource capacities, virtual servers use host resources ad hoc. Instead of buying costly servers that will remain idle for the majority of their usage, you can deploy several virtual servers in a load-balanced host configuration.
Despite these advantages, virtual servers can often be counterproductive to an organization if they are managed without oversight. This is where VMware performance monitoring becomes relevant. In particular, visibility into the virtual environment is crucial to monitoring VMware performance.
Why is visibility an integral part of VMware performance monitoring?
Ironically, it’s the ease with which VMs can be created or spun up that becomes virtualization’s biggest disadvantage. You can spin up a VM, migrate it to other hosts or clusters, suspend it, or remove it. This often results in a large number of VMs running on a host and using up host resources in anonymity. Without proper visibility, these VMs will start to impact the performance of other useful VMs. This condition is known as VM sprawl.
Similarly, if there is a lack of visibility into your virtualized infrastructure, you may not be able to track relationships between hosts and VMs. This often leads to unplanned outages for virtual servers that host customer-facing services. Once an outage occurs, you have to scamper to find the root cause behind it, for which visibility is crucial as well.
Once you have visibility into a virtualized environment, you need to collect metrics from every component and analyze them. This lets you identify issues early and rectify them quickly. When outages happen, you can also use the collected performance metrics to track down the root cause.
OpManager: The comprehensive VMware performance monitoring tool
For effective VMware performance monitoring, you need to combine visibility with extensive performance metrics. When both of these are combined, you are kept aware of all the components in your network and their statuses. This is precisely what you get with a network monitoring tool like OpManager.
ManageEngine OpManager is a network and server monitoring tool that places a special emphasis on monitoring virtual servers and virtualization. OpManager scans, discovers, and maps your virtual devices to create a tidy inventory. You can set thresholds to get alerted about key performance metrics and create notification profiles to get alerted via email, text, or other means. OpManager also has advanced reports, graphs, and dashboard widgets to give you a comprehensive overview of your VMware infrastructure at any given point.
What does OpManager offer to monitor VMware performance?
Host resource monitoring
OpManager monitors a host server’s system resources, like the CPU utilization, memory usage, and disk space, and alerts you when the thresholds you set are violated. In addition, you can create reports and graphs to get a full overview of your VMware environment. System resources are indicative of VMware performance, and when any virtual servers are overutilizing resources, you’ll be made aware of it immediately and can fix it before more system resources are drained.
OpManager can also track traffic metrics, like the bytes received and transmitted, to alert you about abnormal bandwidth usage. This is usually indicative of bad actors targeting your virtual servers with DoS attacks.
Process and service monitoring
Monitoring the services and processes running on your VMs is essential for VMware performance monitoring. OpManager checks for processes and services and lets you know when they’re down. Moreover, you can create automated workflows to restart services when they’re down or terminate them when their resource utilization is high. Correlating high resource usage with processes and services can help you track down wasteful ones.
Hardware health monitoring
A host’s hardware health has a massive influence on the performance of your VMware servers. OpManager monitors hardware health metrics, like the temperature, fan speed, processor clock speed, and power supply. Hardware health reports can be generated for a selected device to give you a complete overview of the device’s hardware performance.
OpManager also features VMware- and virtualization-specific metrics, like the CPU ready, CPU wait, and CPU usage per core. Such specific monitors give you much better insights into VMware performance. By setting thresholds for these metrics, you can track and resolve issues with each virtual server before they snowball into larger incidents.
Visualizing your VMware environment with OpManager
VMware event monitoring
OpManager tracks events happening across your VMware environment, like VM migration, suspension, renaming, and removal. It can also monitor host addition, removal, connections, and more. VMware event monitoring gives you complete visibility into everything happening across your VMware environment. You can set alert severities for each kind of event and get notified by OpManager when any event occurs.
OpManager discovers all the VMs in your network and lists them in a VMware inventory. You can classify these VMs by the type of virtual device (like a VMware vCenter device) or by the virtualization vendor. You can see the status of each device in the inventory and take remedial action.
OpManager generates VMware maps that list the VMs and their hosts. You can click any server to get a visual mapping of its vCenter, hosts, and VMs. VMware maps help you visualize the relationships between VMware servers and the hosts they occupy. This can be helpful in tracking down the root cause of outages, correlating alert data, taking devices out for maintenance, and more.
OpManager’s virtual server reports include reports on all virtual servers, idle VMware VMs, and the top VMware VMs by resources over-allocated and under-allocated. The last can help you track down VMs that are overutilizing or underutilizing their resources, which is useful in preventing VM sprawl.
Complement VMware performance monitoring with OpManager’s advanced fault resolution features
OpManager has a range of fault identification and resolution features that help you fix VMware performance issues. For instance, you can prevent false alerts and the over-proliferation of alerts with adaptive thresholds, which dynamically vary your thresholds to suit changing network activities. Root cause analysis profiles let you compare device metrics side by side to assist with correlation, while Network Path Analysis helps you monitor WAN latency and response times. You can also use automated workflows to automate routine, repeatable troubleshooting activities.
With OpManager at your disposal, VMware performance monitoring is made effortless. Download OpManager now or try our free, 30-day trial.