Product Review : Vizioncore vFoglight

I’ve been using a demo version of vFoglight for about 2 weeks now and I am overwhelmed with how much this product can do.  The installation is extremely straight forward, this product is based on Quest Software’s Foglight Application and Service Management software.  Basically you have three components, the actual Foglight software and the VMware Collector and Connector.  Long story short, this piece of software is most likely all you would ever need for complete monitoring, reporting and alerting of your VMware Infrastructure, the downside is that you would most likely need a team of server administrators and trained professionals to get it all configured and running to meet your needs.

In the two weeks I’ve been using it, I’ve found that there are a great deal of built-in features to help monitor and retrieve data on your environment.  You can view CPU, Memory, Network I/O and Disk I/O consumption from a VirtualCenter level (includes all datacenters, clusters, resource pools, etc.), datacenter level, cluster level, resource pool level and guest VM level. The data is so granular that you can even see disk usage at a VM level (VMDK allocation, usage). Another note to add is that event messages from VirtualCenter are automatically imported into vFoglight as well.

vfoglight1.png(click to enlarge)

Another nice feature is the alarm/alerting functionality, there are a ton of alarms pre-configured but it does seem that they may be a tad on the sensitive side. For instance, I’m running vFoglight within a Virtual Machine, by default the Foglight software will consume at minimum 70% of available RAM, this triggers an alarm within vFoglight. Virtual machine dpcrcvfoglight is reserving 90 % of the memory ESX has granted to it. The application workload of the system is requesting an excessive amount of the available memory resources. Either add more memory to the system or better balance your virtual machines within the cluster.” The funny thing is that no matter how much more memory I add, this alarm will always be on.

vfoglight4.png(click to enlarge)

vfoglight3.png(click to enlarge)

One of the most exciting features for me is vmModeler, this allows you to look at an individual VM instance and see how it would perform on any other ESX host. This gives you estimated usage statistics for your ESX server after you’ve migrated the selected Virtual Machine to it.

vfoglight2.png(click to enlarge)

I’m not even going to touch on the reporting features of this product.  Because this product is built on Quest’s Foglight the opportunities are endless, you can generate completely custom reports with any piece of data that the collector has grabbed. The nice thing is that reports can be generated on a schedule, or on demand. They can be viewed via the Foglight dashboard or exported to PDF format.  One thing I must comment on though is the fact that the Report Browser function of my install suddenly stopped working and does not display properly.

In closing I must tell you that this software is a complete resource hog.  I gave it 2 vCPU with 4GB of RAM and even ran their 64-bit edition and it was very slow (5-10 seconds) between different screens.  It is very possible that this is because I installed it using the provided local database (MySQL).  Performance could possibly improve by using a separate database server. vFoglight runs on Tomcat making it completely accessible via a web browser. vFoglight also supports Role Based Access Control (RBAC) meaning you can assign different permissions/reports/views to different employees, you can use the built-in authentication module or your can configure it to use your local LDAP (ActiveDirectory) server. It must also be noted that as the writing of this document vFoglight does not have any Charge-Back capabilities (unlike its predecessor vCharter Pro), although there are plans to integrate this feature at a later date.

The capabilities of Vizioncore’s vFoglight are so overwhelming, that before I deploy it I would want to take at least a week or two for training and configuration. This product is so robust that it may be too much for most customers, I strongly suggest that if you are looking for a monitoring/reporting system, take your time and see what all the vendors offer, I would even suggest doing a POC with them.

I do plan on performing a demo of monitoring/reporting systems from other vendors, next on the list will be utilities from Veeam.


Created on October 30, 2008 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading, Monitoring.

This blog has 15,468 views.

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8 Comments so far

  1. Greg
    6:31 am on March 5th, 2009

    How did you get on with Veeam?

    I looked at vFoglight a little as well, and was quite impressed apart from the speed. Ideally a monitoring tool should be able to run in a VM (well to me anyway) and that seems to let vFoglight down in a big way. A shame because it seems a very capable product.

  2. Rick Scherer
    4:38 pm on March 5th, 2009

    vFoglight will run on a VM, but you definitely need the resources. I had to give it 2 vCPU and 4GB of RAM. Not too VM friendly if you ask me.

    Free trials of Veeam’s products can be found on their website at http://www.veeam.com

  3. Mike Condy
    3:04 am on March 13th, 2009

    So openly declare I work for Quest/Vizioncore. Running vFoglight in a VM try downloading vOptimizer Pro and running it against the VM to align on disk block boundaries. It makes a difference.

  4. virt
    12:50 pm on March 26th, 2009

    VFoglight is definitely very good but you do need a dedicated team of admins etc to get this configured and tuned right.
    The problem I had with them was that they could never get the process monitoring like the advertised in the new version configured appropriately for me.

    I have over 600 VMs (VDI) already deployed and was looking for a solution whereby I could monitor the processes on the VMs and though they have the new patch that does this, deploying/configuring each VM individually to give us that information was not very practical – post deployment

    Anyone use EG or Vkernel

  5. Jeff
    3:13 pm on August 13th, 2009

    Yeah vFoglight is pretty sluggish. But it is actually a lot more snappy when using Firefox instead of IE. And Safari 4.0 is even faster.

  6. Jim
    12:09 pm on May 4th, 2010

    Every tech I spoke to a Vizioncore told me to never run it on a VM and only use a physical box. We used it where I work at as a VM and it would constantly crash. We are giving it another try on a physical box soon.

  7. Lodewijk van Klaveren
    2:16 am on December 16th, 2010

    Hi, very good story. Did you have the change to look at Veeam? What do you think?

  8. Alan
    8:22 am on May 15th, 2012

    Running a monitoring console from inside the environment that you are trying to monitor isn’t a good idea. If you get a performance issue on your cluster you won’t be able to use VFL to see what led up to the problem or use it as a diagnosis tool.

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