VMware Monitoring Notes

Going on with review of upcoming AggreGate Network Manager release today we talk about VMware monitoring. For the purposes of discussion we decompose virtual systems monitoring (as an extremely complex hardware-software solution) into several levels: server level, virtual machine level, and operating system level. In the context of the classification, AggreGate Network Manager provides monitoring at all the levels with both "universal" and specific tools. Namely, at the server level, VMware system (say, VMware ESX) can be abstracted as a conventional (Linux) server and therefore can be monitored with "universal" monitoring tools (providing device availability, performance, applications and services monitoring --- we'll discuss these aspects and tools in our future posts). Similarly at operating system level, virtual system acts as a conventional operating system, and therefore can be monitored using the same approach. Specific tools are primarily needed for monitoring at the level of particular virtual machines, as this is the place where all the "magic" actually happens. AggreGate Network Manager's VMware virtual machine monitoring toolset allows to monitor particular virtual machines running on the specified VMware server, and includes:
  • VMware Information widget (displaying details about virtual machines registered at a particular VMware Server)
  • Alerts:
    • Virtual Machine State
    • Absolute and Relative Memory Utilization
    • CPU Load
    • Disk Read/Write Rates
  • Charts:
    • CPU Utilization
    • Disk Performance (in term of read/write operation count or data rate)
    • Memory Usage (both absolute and relative)
    • Network Performance (as packets transmitted/received, or transfer/receive rates)
Note, that the toolset can be customized if necessary, and even extended by creating new tools using the above ones as templates. AggreGate Network Manager monitors virtual machines running on VMware servers via SNMP, using values in vmTable, cpuTable, memTable, vmwHBATable, and vmwNetTable variables. These variables are automatically set to be periodically synchronized (to provide live refreshing of the values in the tools), and stored (to be available for statistical analysis). The synchronization settings can be adjusted, if needed, for specific tasks using Device Settings Synchronization Options. A detailed description of AggreGate Network Manager's VMware monitoring approaches and tools will be available as a part of upcoming release documentation.

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