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Reflex Shows What's Going On Inside Your VMs

Virtualization tool vendor adds capacity management to help IT right-size VM resources.
VMware Pricing Controversy: Exclusive User Research
VMware Pricing Controversy: Exclusive User Research
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Other detailed views can be summoned, moving from a general, multiple VMware vCenters view down into the operation of individual virtual machines, a reporting technique that enables troubleshooting on the virtual environment when a host shows signs of slowing down, Wronski said in an interview.

VCapacity collects data on operations and establishes trendlines with it, giving virtual machine managers a tool with which to project when they will run out of capacity and steps they can take to avoid doing so. The dashboard can be configured to display information that the customer is most interested in and can be tuned to send alerts upon reaching certain thresholds, Wronski said.

Complex event processing, where the system watches a stream of software events and concludes some mean is being deviated from, gives vCapacity analytical capabilities after it's collected enough historical data to establish trends. "Trends start to show up in days, not weeks," Futrell said.

The dashboard approach is meant to give business managers, the owners of virtualized applications, the ability to see key performance information, as well as give IT managers key operational information. Views can be customized on the dashboard for each group, Futrell said.

The largest environment in which Reflex has tested vCapacity and the Virtual Management Center suite is 2,000 VMware ESX Server hosts. The average size of a Reflex customer today is 300-400 hosts, he said.

VMware's vCenter Operations is limited to 500 hosts; Reflex can move beyond that figure, said Fuller. But Reflex's main competition in capacity management is not VMware but the homemade tools that most IT shops are using in trying to perform the task themselves, he said.

VCapacity relies on a configuration management database as a single source of data on virtual machines and VMware's vCenter Operations does not rely on one. Customers will have to decide for themselves whether that's an important differentiator.

For more on the vSphere 5 pricing controversy, see VMware Blinks On RAM-based Licensing Costs and VMware Pricing Controversy: Exclusive User Research.

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