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Splunk Virtualization Monitoring is a multi-platform virtualization monitoring tool. There is a Splunk App for VMware and a Splunk App for Server Virtualization both of which support Microsoft and Citrix environments. The Splunk App allows IT administrators to manage their virtual infrastructure with features such as performance monitoring, root cause analysis of downtime and capacity planning.
The Splunk App for VMware allows users to monitor a VMware-based virtual environment. It uses real-time dashboards to report on VMs using its Health Summary feature. Users can view data on which VMs are awaiting resource allocation, which hosts are under- or over-utilized and which data stores are running out of capacity.
The Capacity Reporting feature allows users to set alerts for capacity usage, conduct trend analysis and predict future capacity shortfalls. Security Monitoring uses log data from VMware's vCenter and ESXi management utilities to track suspicious activity, forecast potential attacks and audit user-initiated changes which may compromise system security.
Additional app features include Log Analysis, which receives data from system logs; Change Tracking, which facilitates impact analysis and chargeback; and Interactive Topology, which provides greater visibility into the virtual environment. The app also allows users to correlate data from both physical and virtual environments across data centers. This allows users to track key performance indicators, disk IOPS and other metrics to identify potential performance pitfalls.
The Splunk App for Server Virtualization allows users to monitor Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer-based virtual systems. Like the Splunk App for VMware, it provides out of the box dashboards and reporting utilities that display information on VM health, resource utilization and performance. The app charts historical trends for greater analytic capability and tracks storage usage for capacity planning.
Both apps require Splunk Enterprise, which is available as a 60-day free trial. The pricing structure for Splunk Enterprise is based on the amount of data indexed per day. Once licensed, there is no limit to the number of cores, users, nodes or other factors you can have. The perpetual license includes the full functionality of Splunk Enterprise and costs from $4,500 for 1 GB per day to $1,500 for 100 GB per day. An annual term license costs anywhere from $1,800 for 1 GB per day to $600 per GB for up to 100 GB per day. The Splunk App for VMware is a paid product, but has a 60-day free trial as well. The Splunk App for Server Virtualization appears to be a free download as no price is indicated on the Splunk website.
Splunk is primarily a monitoring tool and, therefore, does not contain features such as automation or self-service portals. However, Splunk Virtualization Monitoring does allow for in-depth analysis of the storage subsystem if NetApp Data ONTAP storage is being used. The Splunk software supports tracking of storage consumption for capacity planning purposes. It also includes change tracking and asset reporting and can be used for cost tracking or for chargebacks.
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