In this review of VirtualMetric, we take a look at the features that allow monitoring, inventory management, change control, and much more.
Contents of this article

VirtualMetric is an all-in-one solution that provides monitoring, reporting, inventory, and change tracking. It includes a large set of features, counters, and capabilities that enable IT admins to monitor their environments in real-time. What can it monitor?

The VirtualMetric all-in-one solution offers:

  • Server monitoring, including Windows and Linux, dedicated cloud workloads in AWS and Azure
  • Virtualization monitoring, including VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Application monitoring, including Microsoft IIS and Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)
  • Database monitoring—Microsoft SQL Server
  • Infrastructure and virtualization analytics suite
  • Change tracking
  • Inventory monitoring and reporting
  • IT security monitoring and management suite

What are some of the standout features of VirtualMetric?

  • Server and VM performance monitoring
  • Storage and latency monitoring
  • Idle VM detection
  • Advanced data correlation reports
  • Event and security log monitoring and viewing
  • Snapshot reports for virtual environments
  • HTML-based real-time dashboard with modern UX
  • A dynamic dashboard for customizing the look and feel
  • SNMP support to monitor your various network devices
  • Detailed insight with customizable charts and reporting
  • Heatmap visualization for alerting
  • REST API access
  • Rule-based notifications and alerting for customized alerts
  • Accelerated time to resolution with data correlation reports
  • Dashboard playlists allow business-critical servers to be put into big monitoring screens
  • SSO with Active Directory
  • SIEM features

One of the nice things about the solution, while not unique among competitors, is that it does not require agents to gather information from your production environment. Agentless monitoring is a much more desirable approach to compiling metrics and information from your environment. The agentless approach means that IT admins do not have to perform lifecycle management for the agents, including updating them and performing server reboots during the process.

VirtualMetric documentation says that VirtualMetric monitoring of your dedicated hosts in the environment takes only 150 MB of memory, 4 Kbps of bandwidth, and 15 MB of disk space per host. The extremely low footprint will help minimize any impact on the performance of your monitored hosts.

VirtualMetric features ^

For the purposes of the feature review, I used the fully featured trial version of the software. The install is a simple executable you download from VirtualMetric, and the license key is emailed to you. After installing VirtualMetric, log in using the credentials configured during the installation. The console will direct you to add a monitored server.

One bit of confusion to note. If you are new to the product, you may assume, like I did, that resources such as vCenter Server are considered a "server." VirtualMetric allowed me to enter vCenter Server as a server resource. However, it never displayed resource metrics. I then discovered that vCenter needs to be added as a manager resource. Once I did this, the initial issues I had with resources displaying correctly went away. It was not a significant issue, as it was an easy resolution. However, it would be great if there were built-in logic that prevented this behavior.

Adding servers to the VirtualMetric monitoring solution

Adding servers to the VirtualMetric monitoring solution

You will need to add vCenter Server as a new Manager resource in VirtualMetric.

Adding vCenter Server to the Managers in VirtualMetric

Adding vCenter Server to the Managers in VirtualMetric

Adding vCenter Server to the Managers in VirtualMetric

The VirtualMetric solution's default configuration provides most of what you need right out of the box. There were no sensors or other types of detailed settings to add. After adding vCenter, it simply started pulling the KPIs you would expect for hosts, virtual machines, etc. As you can see below, the dark mode in VirtualMetric looks sharp and is the mode to use IMHO.

Default configuration immediately started to poll and display information

Default configuration immediately started to poll and display information

Below, we are viewing the top processor usage for virtual hosts in the vSphere cluster to quickly see the top CPU consumers.

Top CPU usage in VirtualMetric

Top CPU usage in VirtualMetric

One point to note is that it appears VirtualMetric may not display information correctly for vSAN-enabled hosts in a vSphere cluster, as the storage disk reports reported all zeros for the datastore usage information for these hosts.

Storage usage from ESXi hosts in the environment

Storage usage from ESXi hosts in the environment

Filtering the view to Virtual Machines allows us to quickly see all the KPIs for virtual processor usage for virtual machines running in the vSphere cluster.

Virtual machine virtual processor information

Virtual machine virtual processor information

When you click on any of the virtual machine names, you get a very detailed overview of the virtual machine. It offers one of the best displays of helpful information in one place that I have seen for virtual machines compared to other solutions. You can see the overview, statistics, heatmap, and custom properties of the virtual machine.

Virtual machine overview information

Virtual machine overview information

One standout is the deep inventory management feature built into the solution. When you click on resources, there are several fields you can populate with asset information.

Entering asset information right from the VirtualMetric interface when clicking a server

Entering asset information right from the VirtualMetric interface when clicking a server

After allowing VirtualMetric to pull information from the vSphere cluster, the dashboard quickly fills in useful information you can consume at a glance.

VirtualMetric Overview dashboard displays key information from the environment

VirtualMetric Overview dashboard displays key information from the environment

The heatmap feature enables a visual representation of the cluster, the hosts, and the virtual machines running in the environment. It also displays any present issues.

Heatmap view from VirtualMetric

Heatmap view from VirtualMetric

Under the Notifications > Rules section, VirtualMetric has a large variety of built-in rules set to trigger alerts that you can define in the environment. It takes most of the heavy lifting out of manually creating default baseline alerts in your environment.

Default alerting rules

Default alerting rules

Understanding what has changed in your environment is often key to tracking down an issue that may have resulted from the change. VirtualMetric allows you to quickly see the changes made in the environment as it records these changes automatically for you.

VirtualMetric change tracking

VirtualMetric change tracking

Wrapping up ^

I saw a couple of quirks with a VMware vSphere lab environment, as mentioned, such as the vSAN storage statistics. However, all in all, VirtualMetric quickly provides critical metrics for your clusters, hosts, and virtual machines with little to no configuration aside from adding your vCenter Server to the solution. It will undoubtedly decrease the time to resolution values and quickly allow correlating issues to find their root cause as they appear.

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The review only scratched a fraction of the capabilities that exist in the solution. However, even though I was not familiar with the solution, it was intuitive and easy, and allowed quickly standing up monitoring in the environment.

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