Hyperic, an open source application monitoring system that can track virtualized workloads, was added to VMware as part of its SpringSource acquisition in July a year ago. Hyperic offered a free www.CloudStatus.com monitoring service at the time for watching workloads inside Amazon's EC2. Hyperic 4.4 is now more tightly linked to VMware's virtual machine management console, vCenter Server. Javier Soltero, CTO of management products at SpringSource, said the vCenter console "is the primary tool" of the virtual infrastructure administrator. As a result, the Hyperic user gains access to more real time information and greater depth of knowledge about the workloads that he is trying to monitor.
Hyperic is a troubleshooting system as well as passive monitoring system. Operations teams can turn to Hyperic to isolate the cause of performance issues affecting one virtual machine or a group of them. It can distinguish between problems in the application versus the operating system, and offers a view that extends up to the host server's operating system and hypervisor. A new user interface on the management console allows the administrator to compare performance data on the application, its virtual machine and the ESX hypervisor host.
Hyperic 4.4 taps vCenter data to perform automatic discovery of ESX hosts and their virtual machines and presents them in a mapping. The map allows an administrator to see which application is running on which host. Another way of discovering the map is to consult the configuration management database, but virtual environments change frequently and the database "is frequently out of date," said Soltero. Hyperic 4.4 discovers new virtual machines within minutes of their launch, he added.
VMotion is a popular feature of the VMware environment, but virtual machines being quickly moved around is a monitoring challenge. Hyperic discovers a virtual machine moved to a new host and changes the map accordingly.
To minimize false alerts, Hyperic 4.4 can detect when a virtual machine's operating system has been intentionally powered down versus shut down unintentionally, Soltero said.
In addition, the monitoring system generates a baseline of application operation by capturing performance metrics of both the physical and virtual infrastructure. Changes to the infrastructure can then be compared to the baseline.
By using Hyperic, the virtual infrastructure administrators "get as much visibility as they need into the application's performance," he claimed. Hyperic 4.4 became available Aug. 4; pricing is negotiated with VMware.