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Dell's Foglight for Virtualization update extends visibility and management control

Dana Gardner (Dana_Gardner) on ‎05-02-2013 09:49 AM

Dell Software this week delivered Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition to extend the depth and breadth of managing and optimizing server virtualization as well as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and their joint impact on such IT resources as storage.


Building on the formerly named Quest vFoglight Pro virtualization management solution, Dell re-branded vFoglight to Foglight for Virtualization to make it the core platform to the Foglight family. Foglight is not sitting still either. Improvements this year move beyond monitoring support for VMware View VDI, to later support for VMware vCloud Director, OpenStack, and Citrix Xen VDI. [Disclosure: Dell Software and WMware are sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]


The higher value from such ecosystem and heterogeneous management support is the ability for virtualization server and system administrators to comprehensively optimize various flavors of data-center server virtualization, as well as the major VDI types, with added capabilities to track and analyze performance from the application level all the way to the server and storage hardware level. This week's announcements have also shown a spotlight on the recently updated Foglight for Storage Management 2.5.


“With Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition, Dell is showing its commitment to offering a  solution that encompasses all aspects of virtual infrastructure performance monitoring and management, built on a platform that can scale as the infrastructure grows,” said Steve Rosenberg, general manager for Performance Monitoring, Dell. “This new release expands Foglight’s ability not only to monitor the additional infrastructure area of VDI, but also to correlate metrics from VDI with performance for applications, the virtual layer, the network, and underlying servers and storage.”


Dell Software also last week released a series of BYOD-targeted products and services, which are related to the better VDI management capabilities. That's because many enterprises and mid-market firms that are tasked with moving quickly to BYOD are using VDI to do it.


With the increasing adoption of VMware View in virtualized data centers (including for MSPs), VDI support is fast becoming a mainstay for today’s IT departments and managed service providers. VDI and server virtual machines (VMs) often utilize the same hardware components. Yet, both of these virtualized infrastructures serve different users and have separate requirements and resource demands, explained John Maxwell, vice president of product management for performance monitoring for virtualization, networking,storage and hardware at Dell Software.


Single-source solution 


As a result, VDI and server VMs require dedicated performance monitoring systems. However, these systems must also be connected, because so many underlying resources are often shared. Agent-based Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition offers virtualization administrators a more single-source solution that not only identifies and fixes performance issues within VMware View, but continues to run all features available in vOPS Server Enterprise with no effect on overall vCenter performance.


Foglight for Storage Management 2.5 has been released as an optional "cartridge" to Foglight for Virtualization. Foglight for Storage Management now offers physical storage performance reporting in addition to virtual reporting, providing customers with complete "VM to physical LUN" visibility. 


Additional enhancements in this release include LUN latency reporting, NPIV support, and the ability for customers to purchase the product either as a stand-alone cartridge, or as an optional cartridge to Foglight for Virtualization.


Additionally, Foglight is a unified performance monitoring platform that allows individual product solutions, delivered as sets of pluggable “cartridges,” to run stand-alone or to interoperate. Each individual product delivers best-of-breed functionality to the admin for that area, while simultaneously integrating with other cartridges to deliver true end-to-end monitoring from end-user experience to the underlying storage and server hardware layers, and everything in between, said Maxwell.


Foglight for Virtualization Enterprise Edition 6.8 is available now for a 45-day trial from Pricing starts at $799 per socket. Foglight for Storage Management 2.5 is also available now for a 45-day trial from  Pricing starts at $499 per socket.


Because Foglight is built on a common architecture to support the cartridges, it seems likely that it will move from an on-premises only offering to a SaaS-based version too, especially to support cloud- and MSP-based VDI offerings, and also to manage hybrid VDI implementations.


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About the Author


Dana Gardner is president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, an enterprise IT analysis, market research, and consulting firm. Gardner, a leading identifier of software and cloud productivity trends and new IT business growth opportunities, honed his skills and refined his insights as an industry analyst, pundit, and news editor covering the emerging software development and enterprise infrastructure arenas for the last 18 years. Gardner tracks and analyzes a critical set of enterprise software technologies and business development issues: Cloud computing, SOA, business process management, business intelligence, next-generation data centers, and application lifecycle optimization. His specific interests include Enterprise 2.0 and social media, cloud standards and security, as well as integrated marketing technologies and techniques. Gardner is a former senior analyst at Yankee Group and Aberdeen Group, and a former editor-at-large and founding online news editor at InfoWorld. He is a former news editor at IDG News Service, Digital News & Review, and Design News.

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