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VMware highlights vCenter Operations at VMUG

BRUNSWICK, Maine — If vCloud Director is VMware’s manager of managers, then vCenter Operations is its monitor of monitors.

VMware attempted to clarify its sometimes-confusing virtualization management strategy at yesterday’s New England VMware User Group meeting, highlighting the role of vCenter Operations. The tool, which monitors capacity and performance in virtual and physical infrastructures — but also has some overlap with other VMware products — debuted earlier this year.

Mike DiPetrillo, VMware’s chief global architect for cloud, explained that vCenter Operations is meant to augment your existing monitoring tools, not replace them.

“This is an aggregation of other monitoring systems that you have in place,” he said.

VCenter Operations uses plug-ins to pull in information from other monitors and display the status of clusters, hosts and virtual machines (VMs) in a simple, colorful dashboard. (VMware engineers actually call it the “Skittles view” because it displays rows of green, orange, yellow and red circles.)

DiPetrillo explained that, as you drill down in search of the root cause of a problem, you may very well end up back at one of your existing monitoring tools. But he said the value of vCenter Operations is that you won’t have to go into each of those tools individually to get a “high-level view of what’s happening in your data center.”

“What I need to understand is what normal is and what a deviation from normal is,” said Eddie Dinel, a vCloud group product manager. “That’s a different kind of analysis than you see from your traditional IT management.”

Early vCenter Operations reaction has been positive, although several third-party tools offer similar functionality.

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