Virtual Server Management

What is virtual server management?

Virtual server management is the act of managing virtual servers and monitoring their performance in real time. A virtual server management solution helps effectively identify and solve performance issues, optimize resource utilization, prevent hardware failure, and maintain virtual servers at peak performance.

The challenges of virtual server management

Enterprises looking to improve the performance of their server infrastructure, maximize utilization, and cut down on related costs typically turn to virtualization, as it enables them to run multiple applications and operating systems on fewer resources. Virtual servers come with a load of benefits ranging from reduced hardware expenses, faster provisioning and deployment, improved disaster recovery and energy savings, to increased productivity.

However, virtualization isn't perfect. This means that IT administrators must periodically address various issues to ensure the health and availability of their virtual resources. Listed below are some of the most common challenges of virtual server management.

VM sprawl

There are a lot of advantages to deploying virtual machines (VMs) in an enterprise. However, after an increased use of virtualization, it becomes difficult to manage these accumulated VMs, and together these VMs significantly drain computing resources. VM sprawl thwarts any advantage from virtualization and may even require businesses to make further investments into physical hardware. Virtual server monitoring tools can effectively tackle VM sprawl issue in the network.

Network traffic congestion

In an attempt to achieve maximum utilization of hardware resources, companies will often consolidate multiple VMs onto a single server. Since most servers come fitted with a single network interface card (NIC) port, this consolidation causes increased traffic. Workloads sensitive to network latency may report errors or even crash. This may prove to be an expensive affair that can be best avoided with the help of a proper virtual network management solution.

Server hardware issues

Server virtualization provides high flexibility in terms of business continuity and disaster recovery. However, underlying physical resources can still be negatively impacted by the consolidation of virtual servers. Virtual server management helps maintain these resources at optimum utilization as well as monitor their health and performance.

Virtual server management with OpManager

OpManager provides comprehensive virtual server monitoring features that help IT admins identify bottlenecks and troubleshoot critical performance issues. It can even monitor hybrid virtual environments with support for VMware monitoring, Hyper-V monitoring, and Citrix XenServer monitoring.

1. Virtual server monitoring

OpManager provides key metrics on processor, memory, disk, and network usage for virtual servers with the help of virtual server monitors. It also tracks inventory and allocated resources to avoid unnecessary proliferation of VMs in your data center. Virtual server performance monitoring is essential to prevent virtual server bottlenecks which can affect network uptime.

Virtual server monitoring- Dashboard widgets on CPU utilization, memory utilization, disk I/O and network usage | ManageEngine OpManager

2. VM relationship mapping

OpManager has real-time network topology maps for better visualization of your virtual environment. You can proactively spot virtual servers that need attention and understand the relationship between hosts and VMs, networks, and datastores.

VM relationship mapping- A map displaying the relationship between VMs, networks and datastores | ManageEngine OpManager

3. Capacity planning

Capacity planning in your virtual environment can be a demanding task while creating multiple virtual servers, allocating resources, and moving applications across servers. OpManager's out-of-the-box performance and availability monitoring capabilities provide critical insights on capacity planning, and shows recommendations on how you can improve the performance of your VMs.

Capacity planning- Suggestions on how to improve CPU and memory utilization | ManageEngine OpManager

4. VMware workflow automation

Perform regular maintenance and fault remediation tasks on VMware servers using IT workflow automation. This will monitor your VMware server for events and will automatically execute workflow actions based on the configured trigger profile.

IT workflow automation- Refreshing VM datastores using IT workflow automation | ManageEngine OpManager

5. VM migration tracking

VM migration is a feature provided by most major virtualization software providers, that allows live migration of virtual machines. It enables IT administrators and data center managers to easily migrate virtual machines from one physical host to another with minimal disruption. This can be beneficial in distributing consolidated virtual servers that consume a lot of bandwidth across physical resources to minimize network traffic congestion. OpManager tracks these changes and provides complete network visibility without the slightest disruption.

6. Alerts via email and SMS

OpManager has an intelligent fault management module that provides instant email and SMS notifications on performance hiccups, downtime, and faults. You can also leverage workflow automation and self-healing scripts to automate fault remediation. 

Alerts via email and SMS- Notification profiles showing the various ways in which an alarm can be processed to receive notifications | ManageEngine OpManager

Learn more about email and SMS alerts.

7. VM reports

OpManager provides over 70 out-of-the-box reports on processor, memory, disk, and network utilization for hosts and VMs. These reports help in identifying utilization trends, troubleshooting resource allocation issues, and making the right capacity addition decisions.

VM reports- Reports showing key VM performance metrics  | ManageEngine OpManager

Learn more about OpManager's reports.

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