A recent update to monitoring software Hyperic centers on tighter integration with the vCenter Server management console. But the offering also lays the foundation for a larger role for Hyperic in monitoring cloud-hosted applications running on Spring, a Java-based development platform that VMware acquired alongside Hyperic last year.
With version 4.4, Hyperic maintains a continually updated inventory of VMware vSphere ESX and ESXi hosts, can detect when virtual machines (VMs) move between hosts with the live migration feature vMotion, and presents that information in a new unified user interface. In addition, Hyperic 4.4 now features virtualization-aware alerting, so it can detect when a VM has been intentionally powered down or suspended and will not send false alerts.
Users running prior versions of Hyperic report that they frequently use vCenter Server alongside Hyperic to get the best view of their virtual environment. Upgrading to 4.4 would presumably eliminate the need to have the two consoles open simultaneously.
"What we've found is that Hyperic seems to know a little bit more about what's going on inside the VM" and that vCenter is the source for virtualization-related information, said John Fox, a senior network engineer at New Mind, a Liverpool, Ireland-based provider of tourism software, which uses the free edition of Hyperic to monitor its hosted destination management software running on VMware.
Running two monitoring tools isn't ideal, and Fox said there are plans to eventually decommission Hyperic because vCenter provides the necessary relevant information. At the same time, since New Mind uses only the free version of Hyperic, there's no hurry to take Hyperic out. Conversely, there's no urgency to upgrade to the paid version of Hyperic, Hyperic HQ, either, Fox said.An eye on the cloud provider prize
At first glance, the Hyperic 4.4 release appears to be relatively prosaic and follows the same course as other products that VMware has acquired over the years.
"I don't think there's anything revolutionary here that other monitoring vendors like Vizioncore, Veeam and Akorri haven't been doing for years," said Bernd Harzog, a senior analyst at the Virtualization Practice. "Every monitoring tool has tight integration with vCenter, and they all know when a vMotion is happening because [that information is exposed by] a straightforward API [application programming interface]." Like other management products that VMware has acquired over the years --such as B-hive, which is now called vCenter AppSpeed -- this first release since the acquisition appears to be a "first-level integration," Harzog said.
Hyperic does, however, have a big presence in large-scale Web environments, specifically among hosting providers, Harzog said, and it's in that context that VMware-the-wannabe-cloud-player's interest in Hyperic probably lies.
"Where something good and different might emerge is by putting hooks in to SpringSource [a Java application platform] that could be exploited by Hyperic, so that Hyperic can become really good at managing SpringSource applications," Harzog said.
That would certainly play in to VMware's long-term goal of becoming a full-service platform and management software provider, Harzog said.
"VMware has said that 'virtualization is a catalyst that creates an opportunity for a new management stack, and we want to be the vendor of that management stack.'"