Dell Monitor Kills Virtual Zombies

Dell has announced a new version of its virtualization management software designed to help datacenter managers recover wasted resources by killing off “zombie” virtual machines.

Version 7 of Dell’s Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition will ship with improvements to the analytic and monitoring functions that allow sysadmins to match performance demands of individual virtual machines with the right proportion of CPU, storage, memory and other physical resources. More significantly, it will also ship with new functions designed to reduce virtual-server sprawl in VMware-based virtual infrastructures, one of the most persistent problems in virtual-infrastructure management.

Dell’s Foglight suite of virtualization management products is an extension of Quest vFoglight Pro, the virtualization management system Dell bought when it acquired Quest Software in 2012.

The new version includes analytics designed to search out, highlight or automatically kill zombie VMs, virtual machines that are no longer used and that don’t appear within VMware’s vCenter management console, but continue to run and use server resources.

Foglight identifies zombie VMs, abandoned server images, unused templates or snapshots and VMs that are powered off but still reserve memory or other system resources, according to Dell. It identifies obsolete images or zombies by comparing the list of VM definitions in VMware’s vCenter management console and comparing it to those it finds running or resident on physical servers.

Foglight is designed to provide end-to-end performance and application monitoring of virtual servers and desktops based on hypervisors from VMware, Red Hat and Microsoft. However, the new zombie-hunting functions are specific to VMware-based infrastructures.

In addition to VMware-zombie-killing functions, the new version gets additional support for VMware’s vCloud Director to allow it to monitor and optimize private-cloud platforms as well as virtual servers. It also adds support for VMware View—the company’s VDI/desktop-as-a-service platform—in order to provide the same end-to-end monitoring of VDI infrastructures it does for virtual servers.


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