Virtualization Technology News and Information
Dell Adds Two New Utilities to Virtualization Freeware Suite

Dell Software announced today the addition of two new utilities to its vOPS Server Explorer freeware appliance from Dell acquisition VKernel, a noted provider of enterprise-class capacity management and performance monitoring products for virtualized data centers and cloud environments. The new Storage Explorer utility assesses storage performance and capacity, while Change Explorer tracks the evolution of configuration changes in the virtual environment. The new utilities are part of the vOPS Server Explorer suite that now contains five free utilities in one downloadable virtual appliance.

Storage often is viewed as the foundation of virtual environments, and it is the subsystem that can be the root of most performance or capacity challenges. Assessing storage metrics is critical to ensuring the virtual environment continues to operate with expected performance and availability. Unfortunately, due to the magnitude and complexity of these metrics, proper analysis can require a significant amount of manual data mining and calculation. Storage Explorer is designed to alleviate many of these challenges by using the same analytics and advisory engine found in the core vOPS Server Standard product to provide virtual administrators with a rapid assessment of the state of their storage environment.

Assessed values include:

  • Storage performance across datastores, highlighting performance bottlenecks;
  • Storage capacity and over-commitment across datastores, highlighting low-capacity environments;
  • VMs causing the most storage traffic and potential bottlenecks; and,
  • VM disk capacity alerting to those virtual machines running out of space.

While storage is a critical part of the virtual environment, changes in the virtualization layer also can have severe impact on performance. When there are multiple VM administrators, one admin can make a single change that drastically changes the performance characteristics for the entire environment, which consumes troubleshooting time for all administrators.

To address these issues, Change Explorer lists all changes that occurred to datacenters, clusters, resource pools, hosts, datastores, and VMs within the previous seven days, and includes associated risk impact. Using Change Explorer, problematic changes to virtualization environments are easily identified for rollback.

Both Change Explorer and Storage Explorer are part of vOPS Server Explorer, a single downloadable virtual appliance that now offers five free utilities:

  • Environment Explorer – Provides at-a-glance information about performance, efficiency and capacity.
  • vScope Explorer – Offers immediate identification of VMs, hosts and datastores that are suffering performance, capacity and efficiency issues.
  • SearchMyVM Explorer – Delivers “Google-like” search capabilities of the virtual environment.
  • Storage Explorer - Assesses storage performance and capacity across datastores and VMs.
  • Change Explorer – Lists all changes that occur in a virtual environment, and provides associated risk impact.

“Storage Explorer provides a very good overview of your storage environment and quickly tells you if there are any storage problems at the datastore or VM level,” said David Davis, author and evangelist at “Change Explorer shows what configuration changes have occurred and who did the changes – a capability that definitely can save you time troubleshooting your environment. The free utilities in vOPS Server Explorer have helped me many times when troubleshooting virtual environments.”

“These two additional utilities available with our award-winning freeware suite will help virtualization administrators gain better visibility and understanding of the health of their storage environment, as well track configuration changes across the virtual environment,” said Mattias Sundling, product evangelist, Dell.

General Availability
vOPS Server Explorer is now available for download from vOPS Server Explorer installs in minutes as a virtual appliance, and supports the following hypervisors: VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:37 PM by David Marshall
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