Dell Software Foglight for Virtualization 8.0 Preview @ VMworld 2014

Dell Software Foglight for Virtualization 8.0 Preview @ VMworld 2014

Dell Software Foglight for Virtualization 8.0 Preview @ VMworld 2014

This upcoming VMworld in San Francisco will be my 5th VMworld with Quest/Dell and never have I been this excited. For those of you who have been to VMworld, it is one of the best technology conferences run by any vendor and VMware has done an exemplary job of keeping the conference meaningful and technical in nature.

This year, Dell will have a major presence at the conference as a Global Diamond sponsor and Foglight for Virtualization will have five demo stations in the Dell Software section of the booth. Why five demo stations just for Foglight? Well, we are previewing the most significant release of Foglight for Virtualization (vFoglight for those of you who have been around prior to the name change in February of 2013) in the product’s history.  As Dell announced today, my colleagues and I will be previewing Foglight for Virtualization 8.0 which introduces several new features.

Before I begin with an overview of the new features in Foglight for Virtualization 8.0 (FVE 8), let me share a little history on how this release came to be. A little over 4 years ago, Quest Software (before we became part of the Dell family) purchased a fast growing startup, vKernel, that had a popular product called vOps (now Foglight for Virtualization, Standard Edition). The purchase of vKernel was to both gain entry into the SMB market, whereas Foglight was focused on the mid to large enterprise, and to also get access to exciting technology the vKernel product had and Foglight did not, specifically around the area of capacity planning tools. I’m happy to say, we’ve been able to leverage the same development team to bring two of the most popular features of vKernel to Foglight in the areas of Capacity Planning and Change Analysis.

The new Capacity Director option in FVE 8 will go beyond the Capacity Management functionality we have today, by building upon the data provided in Foglight Capacity management with the following features:

  • Advanced scenario modeling to predict the impact of future workloads
  • Hardware refresh to see the effect of changing current hardware to new devices or adding additional hardware capacity
  • Physical to Virtual modeling (P2V) to see the virtual resources needed to migrate physical workloads to virtual
  • Virtual to virtual (V2V) to see what a workload would look like on multiple hypervisors and/or to model a workload moving from one hypervisor to another
  • Physical capacity modeling to predict resource requirements for non-virtualized workloads
  • Performance optimization to recommend and allocate future virtual machines (VMs) based on CPU, memory and storage requirements

In addition to the new features in Capacity Director, we’ve enhanced the current Capacity Management functionality to improve accuracy for predicting utilization and when CPU, Memory or Storage will be exhausted.

The second major new feature in the product is the new Change Analyzer feature that will allow virtual administrators to track, and optionally roll back, change events in the following areas:

  • Cluster
  • Datacenter
  • Datastore
  • Host
  • Resource pool
  • VM
  • DRS
  • vCD

Admins will be able to see a historical record of all changes that log the change event, the event time-stamp, name of the object and name of the person who implemented the change. Other key features include in Change Analyzer include the following:

  • Impact Analysis:  See the impact (performance and capacity) of a change before the change is implemented
  • Compare:  Compare a VM with a template or VMs to VMs
  • Change Event Alarms:  Notification of change events for mission critical VMs
  • VM Performance Degradation:  Detect performance degradation that is associated with changes

Last but not least is the new set of Dashboards being developed to provide a faster time-to-value for new and cursory users of the product. We’ve focused on bringing the “most important” data to the forefront with a new set of dashboards that provide a synopsis of your virtual enterprise. Key components of the new “Getting Started” dashboard include:

Environment Summary - Infrastructure inventory

Monitor - VM health

Investigate - issues needing immediate resolution

Tune  -  under/over allocated VMs

Plan - available capacity and utilization 

A rendering of the new dashboard (still in development) is below:

I think the thousands of Foglight for Virtualization customers will be extremely pleased with FVE 8.0 and the new features including the before mentioned Dashboards, Capacity Director and Change Analyzer. This comes on the heels of our FVE 7.2 release on August 13 that introduced VMware vSwitch monitoring with Netflow level analysis and the 7.x releases last year that introduced vCloud Director support, VMware View support and the popular Optimization feature.  

The rapid introduction of new features in Foglight for Virtualization demonstrates our commitment at Dell Software to deliver best-of-breed solutions to our customers and to be customer driven with regards to new product features.

Don’t forget to stop by the Dell booth, 1417, and/or come to my session, MGT3022-SPO, on Monday August 25 where I will go over the new features of FVE 8.0 and  drill in on the new Capacity Director.

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