Virtugo virtualSuite zeros in on VM performance optimization

Virtugo's modules Meter, Perform, Optimize and Capacity all thrown in the testing toolbox

Virtugo Software's virtualSuite offers integrated performance monitoring and VM optimization tools. Its cost depends on which tools you drop into your box.

Our testing toolbox included Virtugo modules called Meter, Perform, Optimize and Capacity. The Meter module sets up chargeback capabilities based on a Virtugo-patented algorithm (called vCapacity) that combines 'consumable' characteristics of a VM instances including CPU, memory, disk and network I/O resources used.

The Perform module tracks those same host or guest VM utilization characteristics and more. The Optimize module allows an administrator to 'shape' performance among different 'guest' VM instances. And the Capacity module (formerly the History module) tracks and stores performance data for VM hosts and 'guest' VM instances.

An additional module offered by Virtugo, but not tested, is the Connect module, which supplies a communications linking mechanism to Microsoft Operations Manager and other third-party monitoring applications.

The best feature of virtualSuite was resource optimization of VM guest instances. Virtugo has the ability to monitor and analyze VM host resources, then set/reset VM host allocations to suit the activities and resource utilization of VM instance operating system/applications on a VM host platform.

For example, we used a home grown application that would dominate CPU resources for a specific VM-hosted instance. We launched the application, then watched virtualSuite display the problem: that the resources we'd allocated for the application were insufficient (in CPU and memory movements).

The second time we ran the application, virtualSuite was allowed to make adjustments for the application on the one VM, essentially 'robbing' CPU allocation from two other host VM 'guest' instances and re-allocated it to the one that had pegged CPU. VirtualSuite has a long list of resources that can be monitored and reset in this fashion.

There are several components installed (we deployed them in a mixed environment of Windows XP SP2+ and Windows 2003 Enterprise Server SP1 Edition platforms); a Controller, which is a server process that communicates with agents and contains the core logic of the suite; a Viewer (the administrative GUI application); Database (Microsoft SQLServer); and, Sensor agents for virtual host products and 'guest' VM operating systems instances. The agents support VMware ESX 2.5 and 3.5 VMs running on Windows and Linux servers.

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