Every Virtualization Administrator deals with frustrations daily, and having a management platform to help with daily tasks will ease the burden. But how do you know which one is right for you? How would you go about choosing the right platform that will help you in your daily tasks?
When choosing a management tool, there are many things to consider based on your virtual environment. What hypervisor are you running, what storage is being used, etc.? The best way to choose the right tool for the job is through evaluation, and the more tools you evaluate, the easier it will be to pick the right one for you. During an evaluation process, you should consider things such as:
- Compatibility with your chosen Hypervisor
- Ease of installation and setup
- Program ease of use and navigation
- Details – does the program give you what you need to see
- Reporting – is the reporting sufficient enough
- And so on…and so on….
There are many criteria you can use in the evaluation stage, and the above examples are but just a few. Composing a list prior to starting to look at software would be the recommended approach; this way, you are looking at software that will fit most of your criteria prior to the evaluation/PoC stage.
When you have completed your criteria list and selected vendors for evaluation, ensure to install all of them. Installing all of the products allows you to do a side-by-side comparison of the features you are looking for, like navigation, reporting, etc.
Being able to see the products and how they work side-by-side gives you the best evaluation experience.
During the comparison stage, look at something like a VM that uses too much RAM:
- How does each tool recommend fixing the issue?
- Can the fix be automated, or is it a manual fix?
- If you make the change to the VM, how will it affect the overall performance of the VM or virtual environment? Are there reports that can be run to determine all VM recommendations, and can you schedule them?
- When viewing the issue in the product – how many clicks until you see the recommendation for a solution?
- Is it cumbersome to get to the recommendation within the product and/or frustrating to find the answer?
There are many things when comparing products to be aware of, and answering questions as you go through the products is a great way to evaluate them.
Remember that there are many products out there for evaluation, and choosing the right one can be a difficult decision. Evaluating the ones that appeal most to your organization is the best way to go, and using a methodology for testing them is even better.
In the end, you will ensure your success by choosing the right platform for the job! Evaluate…..evaluate…..evaluate.