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Monitor and Manage vSphere more Efficiently

VMware vCenter: Monitor and Manage vSphere Environments More Efficiently to Fully Realize Virtualization Benefits

If your IT team supports a VMware vSphere environment, but the management and monitoring processes are not running as smooth as you would like, chances are good that VMware vCenter will provide the answer you’re looking for.

We all know that server virtualization delivers many key benefits. Increased utilization of compute resources and the ability to immediately spin up production and development environments are two that quickly grab the attention of IT.

These benefits also quickly lead to key business benefits. The increased utilization means fewer servers to buy and much lower IT costs. Faster server deployments mean software enhancements and new services for customers will go to market much sooner—thus improving business process efficiencies and revenue-generation capabilities.



But monitoring and managing virtual servers does not come so easy. With automated services in the cloud now launching servers with the push of a button, it’s easy for server sprawl to set in—the hardware still needs to be managed. Without proper administration, businesses and their IT teams can’t fully realize the benefits of virtualization and may even face severe performance bottlenecks.


Helps IT Adjust Infrastructure to Handle User Activity Spikes

Enter VMware vCenter, which can be deployed as a pre-packaged and easy-to-maintain virtual appliance. The data center management server application monitors virtualized vSphere environments and provides centralized visibility and management over server provisioning and resource performance evaluation.

IT can use vCenter to automate and deliver virtual infrastructures across on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments. It’s particularly helpful for handling spikes in server activity triggered by marketing events or seasonal customer demand.

A classic use case is BookMyShow.com, an entertainment ticketing platform. The company utilizes an application that leverages data center, compute and storage management technologies from VMware, including vCenter. When the latest Avenger movie came out, the combination of VMware technologies enabled BookMyShow to handle record-breaking advance ticket sales of 2.8 million. Without the internal IT team properly managing the server environment by leveraging vCenter, the site might have crashed under such a heavy workload.


Wide Range of Server Management Capabilities

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the key capabilities your IT team can gain by adding vCenter to your vSphere environment:

  • Patch and Upgrade Deployments: Uses RESTful APIs to enable repeatable deployments from a template—making patching and upgrading easy, speeding up deployments, and reducing human errors.
  • Extensibility: Extends on-premises environments to public and private clouds.
  • Scalability: Manages up to 2,000 hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with a single instance
  • Control: Enables IT to administer entire infrastructures from a single centralized location (using any browser) to assign users to custom roles, search server inventories, and instantly provision new virtual servers.
  • Optimization: Allocates resources to increase server efficiency and replicates roles, permissions and licenses across infrastructures to enable simultaneous log-ins for viewing all servers.
  • High Availability: Provides active-passive high availability that produces a recovery time objective of less than 10 minutes; IT can also back up the appliance while still running, and then restore by pointing a fresh appliance to the backup location to download the files.

For additional vCenter capabilities, be sure to check out this TechTarget article, 5 vCenter features you should know about. The article demonstrates how vCenter helps IT generate visual representations of virtualized environments, implement tasks, respond to events, and manage attributes.  Other capabilities range from moving virtual machines, disks and configuration files (while servers are running) to support for virtual machine clustering, enhancing host resources, boosting power usage, managing multiple data stores, and virtual machine duplication.

Pairing vCenter with Third-Party Tools

vCenter lends itself to integrations with many third-party tools. For example, vCenter provides web services APIs for cost-effective and flexible integration with other system management tools to facilitate provisioning, cloning, and cold migration.

Plug-ins also come in handy, allowing IT to manage third-party data center solutions directly from vCenter—including back-up, data protection, server management, network management, and security management. Key vCenter plug-in partners include Dell, Huawei Technologies, NGC, IBM, Infinidat, Lenovo, NimbleStorage and StorMagic.

Another tool to consider pairing with vCenter is WhatsUp Gold virtual monitoring from Ipswitch. IT can monitor vCenter physical and virtual servers (hypervisors and guest systems) as WhatsUp Gold serves as a platform for automatic discovery, mapping, and documentation of physical servers and virtual machines as well as clusters, hosts, and virtual guests. Using vCenter with WhatsUp Gold, IT can also discover and monitor virtual machines, associate them with physical devices, and track virtual machines that move across physical machines when system failures occur.

The Ultimate vCenter Payoffs

Armed with all of these built-in and integrated vCenter capabilities, IT teams can reduce vSphere server management complexity and the time required for large-scale server deployments. IT also benefits from seamless management across hybrid cloud environments with unified visibility, manageability and operations.

With better visibility into vSphere virtual infrastructures, server issues can be analyzed and remediated more quickly, and load balancing can be automated. Your IT team will certainly enjoy the reduced stress that comes from these capabilities offered by VMware vCenter.

This article has been written exclusively for Level 8 Solutions by Greg Mooney - a TechEvangelist at Progress-Ipswitch

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