Most VMware environments today face the need for sophisticated storage monitoring and management software that helps data center staff provide efficient customer service. Environments that are based on VMware’s Hypervisor can be complimented with third-party tools that give detailed statistics on real-time storage utilization and network traffic.

Third Party Tools for Virtual Environment MonitoringData center topology based on VMware include storage arrays, physical servers, a NAS or a SAN and VMware’s Vsphere and Vcenter softwares. The problem is that in such a diverse environment, each vendor provides its own tool for monitoring. So VMware will bring its own virtual environment monitoring system, while the SAN folks will have their own system that will give information only on how the SAN is performing. That is where third-party vendors fill the gap. They provide an integrated panel view of the entire environment combining the inputs that one would get from the individual tools. The advantage really comes in when you can narrow down to a single virtual machine, and identify which data store it is on, and which SAN it is running on, and the performance of its SAN. That is the incredible power that these third-party tools bring into the picture.

In addition to providing real-time statistics, the tools also provide recommendations and threshold limits so that one can configure the environment for optimal use. Another benefit is that these tools can access guest operating systems and applications, something that is very useful when one needs to get a holistic view of the environment.

One of the disadvantages of using third-party tools is the cost factor. However, the cost benefit works out positively over a period of time and most data center administrators agree that the advantages far outweigh the cost of initial investment.

There are a lot of free tools in the market that supplement the VMware environment. One of them is Veeam Backup, which is a great backup tool for multiuser hypervisor environments. Another great tool is Xangati from Xangati Inc. This one provides a cool display with monitors of the virtual network and significant analytical details on the communication and performance data.

To know more on the best tools to monitor your data center environments, get in touch with the data center experts at

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.