In order of Importance:
1. Accuracy of information
2. Reporting ability (able to automatically generate and email customized reports)
3. Diverse compatibility (ability to monitor more than 1 technology, as we utilize both VMware and Citrix Xenserver)
For my point of view, there are 3 points :
- Reports (could be presented to the customer or management team)
- Custom dashboard (to help us concerning Capacity Planning, Forecasting and Resources consumption)
- Resources Management (VM information, VM consumption, VM placement, automation vMotion...).
Lots of very good responses already so don't want to repeat those again but first of all you should start ''what is the problem or needs'' you want new solution to fulfill - in business perspective & IT perspective. What you want to achieve with that. Then you can try to compare current solutions and find any gaps exists - it might even be that current solution is already providing you all needed capabilities. Business case per each solution so don't only compare technical bit and pieces (sometimes more features don't mean better solution for your problem or better business case). Fit for purpose.
Technical comparison elements already mentioned in many of previous responses but consider also soft values and market share and company position and ability to long time support and development. Also try to avoid ''Lock-in'' situation so how to replace the solution if vendor/solution not satisfying you any more. UI and customer experience, easy to use, trainings, support models, open interfaces and easy integration possibilities, reporting capabilities, FURS (functionality requirements as from previous responses, usability, reliability, scalability ..)
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 finding 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.
See my article here on this - https://turbonomic.com/blog/on-technology/guest-post-choosing-a-virtualization-management-platform-by-chris-childerhose/
User reviews, Support reviews, how deep is the hypervisor integration, are API's available for automation, what sort of alerts and dashboards are available and how customizable are they, ease of use, ease of instilation, COST and licensing model. All need to be considered
→ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_platform_virtualization_software - Wikipedia provides a comprehensive application suite
→ http://virtualization.softwareinsider.com - interactive comparison site
→ http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/feature/Comparing-the-top-virtualization-systems-management-products - this is a good point of reference for Virtualized management solutions
I think this way we can do an apples to apples comparison.
Ease of deployment and use.
Needs to be able to scale for use across multiple environments
Needs native integration into the Virtualization environment
Good API integration
Will fit into the established RBAC model.
Some important criteria's when researching Virtualization Management Tools for me are:
Resources needed to install the tools on. The overhead on some of theses tools can be substantial.
Agility to configure and monitor quickly the, add, moves, changes.
Better monitoring metrics availability not only for on premise but also cloud brokering.
Capacity planning on both networking and virtual machine side.
Ensure compliance and auditing.
Improve the performance in the environment.
Reduce operational expenses to justify capital expenditure on the products used.
If you are going to have ideas ahead of the times, you will have to get used to living with the fact that most people are going to believe you are wrong.
Scalability, ease of use and a great API access to the monitoring system so that I can automate both input and output to it based upon status changes. BSM to be able to combine data and base status on multiple criteria. Trend analysis, so that I can predict based upon any history - performance or events.
The most important criteria is how much can the management tool penetrate into the Virtualization or Cloud environments. The level of granularity the tool possess. And most important is in the way it presents its granular reports in a quick and efficient way, which can help in quick management and also in troubleshooting to put things back on track pretty quick. You can try VMware vCenter Operations Management suite (vCOPs), now known as vRealize Operations (vROPs). It also comes packaged with vSphere 6.0.
There are no single feature that can me choose one and not another ...
The balance within some os the fuctionality can make all the difference !
Intuitivness, scalabillity and remote accessibility, at least for my use personal use, are most important, plus price !
If the price are too high, anything else matter ....
1. Needs Analysis to define scope and out-of-scope that will be addressed.
2. Report of findings to management to gain approval and support.
3. Statement of Work and Detailed Project Plan with resources and costs.
4. Ability to monitor Network. Compute, and Storage usage, capacity, and performance.
5. Ability to monitor and manage network activity and cyber security to detect, alert, respond to, and mitigate problems.
6. Ability to formulate selection committee and define tool requirements, including training, implementation, Testing, support, maintenance, and change management with Version and Release Management.
7. Insuring the organizational structure is in place with functional responsibilities and job descriptions supported by standards and procedures and career paths.
8. Exercise a status reporting system that provides all levels of management with the information they need and in a format they approve of.
9. Implementation of a SIEM methodology that includes Firewalls, Intrusion Detection, and Vulnerability Assessments (physical and logical) to avoid disaster events and potential cyber crimes.
10. Integrate next generation application development tools and products that help improve security and auditing.
This is a sampling of activities that should be researched and followed to achieve an automated environment that includes Load Balancing and Error Handling- which is the goal of a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).
Scalability, ease of use, and reliability. Feature set is an 80-20 proposition: 80% of all your requirements (at least) are going to be met by 20% of the features. But if it’s not easy to implement, if it won’t scale out to your environment, if the GUI is clunky, or if you cannot trust it, you will not like it.
1. The mobility and availability of the management tool. By this I mean how available is my management tool as 'can it crash an I fail to get my virtual data center and if it does, how easily is it to get to my last good working point?'
2. How multipurpose it is.. by this I mean how many different hypervisors can it support.
3. The ease of use including the migration flexibility as how easily/fast can I migrate my data center from one host to another having different hypervisors.
1. Is it scalable? (what are the limitations ?) Do I need to deploy a lot of agents ... vms to cover all my Datacenters?
2. Does it have storage support (can I drill down to my datastore ... even array level)?