ltstudiooo - Fotolia


Use ManageEngine OpManager to monitor your virtual environment

ManageEngine OpManager offers monitoring capabilities that enable IT teams to gather resource metrics, such as CPU usage and I/O operations, to help manage their environments.

As IT teams continue to move their workloads to virtual servers, the need for comprehensive monitoring software is greater than ever. Yet, many platforms lack the ability to penetrate the virtualized environment to the degree necessary to ensure the delivery of business-critical services. ManageEngine is trying to change that with OpManager, a thorough monitoring and management tool that covers both networks and servers, including virtual environments.

Introducing ManageEngine OpManager

ManageEngine touts OpManager primarily as a network monitoring platform. It monitors network and server resources for fault and performance issues -- with the help of over 2,000 built-in performance monitors -- such as speed, latency, errors and packet loss. OpManager comes with an integrated console that provides end-to-end visibility across the environment and includes over 200 performance widgets that offer immediate insights into monitored systems, such as device performance, which devices are down or the health of the IT infrastructure.

ManageEngine OpManager is available in three editions: Standard, Professional and Enterprise. Only the Professional and Enterprise editions include virtual server monitoring and such features as workflow automation and 3D rack views, which let IT teams create a replica of their data center rack structure in 3D. ManageEngine also offers a free app for iOS and Android devices that lets IT teams access information about device performance while on the move.

For IT teams looking for a more comprehensive look into their virtual environments, ManageEngine OpManager provides a number of graphs and reports that include extensive information about network, server and application health. It's an agentless software that supports standard industry protocols and technologies, including the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), Trivial File Transfer Protocol, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Secure Copy Protocol and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

OpManager licensing is based on the number of monitored devices -- with support for up to 50,000 interfaces -- depending on the edition. The exact number can vary, depending on factors such as the type of hardware and devices, as well as the polling frequency. According to ManageEngine, OpManager can support any device able to respond to an ICMP ping.

OpManager server monitoring

IT teams monitor their physical and virtual servers to ensure they're available, responsive and have the capacity to handle the supported workloads. OpManager can monitor both Windows and Linux servers, including applications, services and processes. For each server, the software collects resource metrics, such as CPU usage, memory consumption, disk utilization and I/O operations.

The ability to monitor virtual servers can help address many of the challenges that come with virtualization.

OpManager uses SNMP and WMI to monitor server systems and collect performance metrics at regular intervals. All of the data collected is stored in a relational database for troubleshooting and historical performance tracking. OpManager also supports real-time monitoring and multilevel thresholds to provide more comprehensive alerting.

In addition to physical servers, OpManager can monitor VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V environments, as well as their VMs and guest OSes. OpManager treats virtual servers much like physical servers, gathering such metrics as CPU, memory and disk utilization.

The ability to monitor virtual servers can help address many of the challenges that come with virtualization. For example, IT teams often turn to virtualization to better utilize resources by consolidating multiple VMs on fewer servers. But this can also increase network congestion, and only by monitoring the virtual environment can issues be uncovered and addressed.

VM sprawl and inefficient resource allocation are other issues commonly found when virtualizing an environment, which undermines some of the advantages that come with virtualization. VM discovery and the challenges surrounding resource optimization are also a concern. These issues point to the need for a monitoring platform that can get inside the virtualized infrastructure in a way that provides full visibility into every system, and OpManager offers a number of features that strive to do just that.

At the heart of the software is its monitoring capabilities, which help track inventory and allocated resources, including live VM migrations. It offers real-time network topology maps for visualizing the virtual environment and provides recommendations for how to plan VM capacity to improve performance.

OpManager also includes an intelligent fault management module that extends into the virtual environment to provide instant alerts in the event of faults, downtimes or performance issues. In conjunction with OpManager's workflow capabilities, this feature enables IT teams to automate fault remediation. In this way, IT teams can create workflows to monitor specific events and automatically run a set of actions based on the configured trigger profile.

Some IT teams might not be looking for such a comprehensive platform and would prefer a tool that focuses only on physical and virtual server monitoring, or one that's specific to virtual environments. But for teams that want a single platform that includes network, server and virtual resources, OpManager is worth considering.

Dig Deeper on IT systems management and monitoring

Software Quality
App Architecture
Cloud Computing
Data Center