Virtualization lacks of management tools

Techworld published a nice article about the lack of mature management tools for various aspects of virtualization, which is something I strongly agree with:

But as virtual machine technology moves out of development labs and into production server environments in large numbers, some administrators are finding that the growth of virtual servers is getting ahead of the tools available to effectively manage them.

Existing server-monitoring tools are increasingly aware of virtual servers, but most aren’t yet sophisticated enough to interpret feedback in a virtual machine context.

“Some of the things you monitor no longer mean the same thing,”

For many organisations, identifying the root cause of virtual server problems and rectifying them remains largely a manual process. As the number of virtual machines in the data centre increases, solving those problems in an automated way becomes more urgent.

Performance monitoring is just one aspect of virtual machine management. Other tasks include optimising the mix of virtual machines that should reside on each physical server to achieve the best possible performance; automating virtual machine provisioning, load balancing, patch management, configuration management and fail-over; and enabling policy-based orchestration to automatically trigger the appropriate responses to events…

Read the whole article at source.

Processor published an article on the same theme:

“The trend toward server consolidation is an attempt on the part of IT departments to try to reduce the number of servers to reduce some of the complexity,” says Susan Davis, a vice president of strategy at Egenera. “However, as virtual machine technology becomes more widely used, the complexity problem could actually get worse. As an example, if today a company is managing 100 servers, in the future they may need to manage 1,000 virtual machines—thus adding complexity.”

Vishria notes that virtualization costs only add to the perception of complexity. According to Vishria, a driving force behind virtualization is that, while hardware costs have plummeted in a six-to-nine-fold reversal from just a few years ago, labor costs have risen three times as high as they were in 2000. Meanwhile, while SMEs are investing about 3% of their budgets on hardware each year, labor costs have grown to 10% of budgets and will continue to escalate. Virtualization addresses the rising labor cost issues, but the confusion comes in when data centers consider the fact that adding a new Dell PowerEdge server is cheaper than ever…

Read the whole article at source.

A third one appeared on SearchOpenSource:

Key vendors like IBM, Microsoft, VMware Inc., XenSource Inc., Virtual Iron Software Inc. and others are hard at work on management tools, and several are on the verge of releasing beta versions. But fully formed server virtualization management tools will be unavailable until probably sometime next year.

Specific gaps identified by analysts and users include tools to facilitate patch management, x86-based server aggregation, backup and restore management, and workload balancing optimized for virtual servers. With the gaps identified, forthcoming management tools have been scheduled for release…

Read the whole article at source.