VKernel just released StorageView. I decided to check wether the software works and how valuable it will be since it is free.
Later on in this post I will let you know my findings, first lets see what VKernel has to say about it:
VKernel just released StorageVIEW, a free assessment tool that provides immediate visibility into storage problems in VMware environments.
StorageVIEW downloads and installs in minutes. It provides nearly instant analysis of VM infrastructure path latency:
- Top five host/datastore paths with the highest latency
- Listing of the associated VMs for these high latency paths
- Throughput information for each VM in the high latency path
- Aggregated results for the remaining datastore/host pairs
After registering at the VKernel website I downloaded the (small) .msi and ran the installer:
It’s literary a next-next-finish install.
After confirming the license agreement and the path and icon placement (which even gives you the option to put the app in the startup-folder) you click “Finish”:
Running the app for the first time it presents you the configuration screen:
In this screen you enter the vCenter Server (IP or hostname or FQDN) and the correct credentials to connect to the vCenter Server you specified. The tool measures latency on storage links. In the setup screen you can specify the thresholds for Warning and Critical (Alarm) events. Also the status polling interval can be defined, default the tool checks every half hour.
After clicking Connect you are presented with the main application screen:
The thing that struck me immediately was the simplicity and the buttons with the caption “Help Me Analyze”. These buttons are placed and colored in a way that you feel like you must click them. Clicking these buttons will point you to a trial of the “not free”- product by VKernel (Capacity Analyzer).
It is a nice app but this makes clear it is really a teaser because of the limited functionality and the links to the paid product. The thing it does is monitor the latency of your datastore to host paths and shows the top five data store to host links with the greatest latency. The particular example in the picture above you see an environment with only one esxi host with only local storage. so not a production environment but my own home box.
Latency will not be a problem here, but you can see performance stats about the vm’s using a certain link. It shows the performance (KB/s) for each VM.
During the setup the application runs with an icon in the taskbar:
After completing the configuration the application moves the icon to the systray where it will reside upon closure or status inquiry.
VKernel StorageView is a free tool, which is great. It has limited functionality which can turn against itself. If you want more objects to monitor you probably don not want to implement a whole bunch of monitoring solutions next to each other, instead of that you will try to consolidate as much as possible in one or two products. This tool does not fit in that, the purpose of this tool is more for evaluation purposes or for home lab use. So it turns out to be a teaser for the complete product (VKernel Capacity Analyzer)
Pros: Small, Easy to use (install/configure/running it), Runs on Windows 7
Cons: little functionality, the buttons linking you to the trial of VKernel Capacity Analyzer, does not fit in a single management console vision for management.