It is the start of a new year and the time to start taking a look at some of the 3rd party products that are available to help us manage our virtual infrastructures.  To start the New Year off I am going to be looking at what VMTurbo has to offer.

VMTurbo has a suite of four modules that make up the VMTurbo Virtualization Management Suite:

  • Monitor Suite
  • Reporter Suite
  • Planner / Reporter Suite
  • Optimizer Suite

One thing to note is each and all the different suites runs in a single virtual appliance. The install will take about five minutes and will automatically go out and discover all the entities in your environment. The different suites will be activated based on the license string used.  If you add another suite, the license code will unlock those abilities with no need to install any other appliances.

VMTurbo is an integrated suite of analytical tools that will automatically resolve problems and that will end up optimizing any overall performance issues.  One thing I find interesting is the way the VMTurbo team make use of supply-chain economics to dynamically and proactively maintain a load balance across your environment.  By utilizing the idea of supply and demand, the VMTurbo tools can move the demand and or increase the supply by vMotioning the virtual machines to another host.  The resource and performance management technologies are based on an economic model which involves two sets of abstraction.  Once all the data has been gathered it gets presented in the interface as this.

This Service Supply Chain is the way VMTurbo models the virtualized IT stack.  VMTurbo presents the supply chain as:

  1. Applications
  2. Virtual Machines
  3. Physical Machines
  4. Data Centers
  5. Storage

Using an economic formula, VMTurbo will use a virtual currency model to each of the members of the supply chain or hosts resources.  This way the resources services can be assigned a price which will reflect imbalances between supply and demand.  Let’s think of it like this…  If you have too many virtual machines on a host, to the point that the host has become highly utilized or may be oversubscribed, the virtual price of CPU cycles will become quite steep relative to the other hosts because there is such a high demand for that resource.  Since the price and/or cost of CPU cycles will now cost more on the host with all the demand then it would make economic sense to move the virtual machine to another hosts where the cost of the CPU cycles are lower.  This economic process will continue out of sight, out of mind and under the covers in the background with no need for user input or configuration.  This will continue in the background until the average cost of CPU cycles is even across all the hosts. Yes this is VMware DRS,  but  yet VMware DRS on steroids with all extra different performance metrics used in the algorithm.

That gives you an understanding of how VMTurbo works and what I like right off the bat is that VMTurbo uses more than just CPU and Memory when evaluating the environment for any performance bottle necks.  VMTurbo will take in account, as en example, IOPS, network, memory and CPU when looking to migrate any virtual machines to another host.

Another positive aspect of the VMTurbo Monitor is the window at a glance of your complete environment.  One big pain point that VMTurbo helps with is when chasing down performance problems in a VMware Infrastructure I would have to open esxtop on all of the hosts in a cluster to get performance insight.  Using VMTurbo I can see the %ready and more about all my hosts from a single window.  This consolidated view of the environment is something that really helps make managing the environment that much easier and gives you a drill down option to get further information.

As much as the consolidated view gives us insight to the environment, in my opinion, what I think is missing is the ability to pull up this information in VMware vCenter as a plug in.   The VMTurbo UI is pretty straight forward with drill-downs to correlate the information across the different layers of virtualization but still must open another separate window to see this information.

Other than missing the vCenter plug-in, VMTurbo really does a good job consolidating all the information that we need at a glance to better understand and find any bottlenecks and/or mis-configuration throughout the infrastructure.

Did I also mention that VMTurbo Monitor is a free utility which you can download at the VMTurbo website?  Now we have another great utility to add to your tool box that will greatly increase your troubleshooting ability to fix the problem and met your SLA’s.

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Steve Beaver (159 Posts)

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

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2 comments for “A Look at VMTurbo Monitoring

  1. December 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Its a really good tool. I am not sure I would value a vCenter plug-in because I prefer setting up access through the appliance itself. Keeping other teams out of vCenter and limiting that access is my over all goal. Though it may be nice from an admin perspective it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense why you would want that? Also the latest version can connect to VCD which is actually quite nice.

  2. sbeaver
    December 7, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    I guess for me personally, I like to try to work under a single roof as much as possible. Maybe just my personal preference but in the environments that I have worked with, we have greatly limited the people that are able to connect to vCenter in itself. Again all boils down to what works for you in your environment and how you like to do things.

    Thanks for the comment!!

    Steve

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