VMAN is the Man
Updated January 30, 2019
VMAN is the Man
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
Virtualization Manager is being used by the IT department to manage and monitor our relatively large, global VMware environment. We have issues with virtual machines being over provisoned, snapshots not consolidated or removed, VMware tools not kept up to date, hardware issues with ESXi hosts. Virtualization Manager was purchased after a successful POC to cover the entire estate and reduce the aforementioned problems.
- The volume of data available from Virtualization Manager out of the box is huge. We were shocked at the amount of issues we had that Virtualization Manager highlighted within the first few days.
- The ability to add additional widgets into seperate screens giving valuable VM and host insight.
- The recommending/reporting element is fantastic and we use it daily to keep track of whats changing in our VM environment.
- We did have issues during the setup, with successfully connecting to some of our hosts and vCenters and we found support were just sending us back to articles we had already read, it was also taking long periods before getting a response. The issue is still ongoing, in fact.
- We have certainly stopped some outages, particulary where delta files from abandoned VMs have been left to grow. In the past this would have caused an outage with the VM going offline.
- We have reduced resources being consumed by using the over provisoning reporting.
We have regained control of our extensive VM environment, we're spotting host and VM issues far quicker than we ever have done in the past. We can manage VMs direct through the Orion console too, which gives a quick turn around if an issue needs addressing.
We have used capacity planning scenarios against several of our production hosts to gauge how long the current resource will last. We have some expansions coming up in our production environment and VMAN has been fantastic in giving us an insight into just how much of a resource will be needed based on the current configuration and inventory.
We're yet to use this feature in full, it would be unfair to give a positive or negative reflection until we have used the product.
We're also a Veeam customer and have assessed Veeam ONE. We found the interface to be lacking and the contents misleading. Having VMAN in a single pane of glass integrated with the rest of our Orion products makes life very easy and everything very clear. The features that VMAN provides out of the box we also found to be far better than that of Veeam ONES.
Virtualization Manager is well suited to any enterprise organisation where the VM sprawl is getting out of hand or if you have hosts in different locations with different staff managing the inventory. It gives control back to you and a deep dive into whats actually happening on the hosts.
Using SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
30 - Virtualization Manager is used by our Business Technology Engineering department staff members, which includes service desk engineers, project engineers, DBA engineers and Managers.
12 - Skills around ESXi hosts and VMware vCenter are an absolute must. Skills around your companies storage solutions and an understanding are also key to you being able to administer VMAN.
- Gaining visibility of how our ESXi hosts and Clusters behave.
- Visibility of VM issues, such as bad out of date VMware tools, snapshots , storage issues.
- Over provisioning of VM resources and being able to claw back said resources.
- Reporting and recommendations on future expansions in our ESXi environments.
- We were unaware of just how much over provisioning was happening with VMs which VMAN highlighed in the first few days.
- We intend on using VMAN to predict future expansions using the reporting elements.
We have been highly impressed with the fuctionality of VMAn since our purchase several months ago. Everytime a new member of staff views the module, they comment on how much data it provides and the ease of use. The capacity planning is invaluable to us and having such an in depth view of our VMs, hosts and clusters metrics allows us to get ahead of issues before they occur, thus reducing downtime and internal issues.
Evaluating SolarWinds Virtualization Manager and Competitors
Yes - We have been using Nagios XI for the past 5 years. At the time we were fully on premise with basic storage. Over the past few years, our environment has scaled massively into a hybrid on premise and cloud based environment. We needed a solution that was going to provide full stack in a single pane of glass. Nagios has great capability if you have the development time, whereas as Virtualization Manager works out of the box with very little needed to get it working.
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Product Reputation
- Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
- Analyst Reports
- Third-party Reviews
For my company, we needed a solution that would work out of the box with a clean interface and provide us with metrics we didnt have visibility with using our current solution. Features under a single plane of glass was the most important factor.
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager Implementation
Implementation was smooth and easy. We already had Solarwinds installed due to purchasing the majority of the modules, including VMAN. Setting up our environment for the implementation was straight forward and and VMAN works so well out of the box that hardly any work is required to get the platform up and running.
Yes - We broke our implementation down into a phased approach. We began with our ESXi hosts, configuring SNMP and tidying them up. We then loaded all of the hosts and clusters into VMAN. We then focused on VMs and then finally the storage side of the VMware environment.
Change management was minimal - As this was a deployment, we did not need to engage change mangement very much. However, we did need to engage when reconfiguring our ESXi hosts ready for the deployment.
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager Training
Yes, very easy to learn without training, especially for engineers with key skills in VMware and Storage. If the latter is missing, then on boarding training and training classes would be a good idea.
Configuring SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
There are over 60 widgets available once VMAN has been deployed. Not all of the metrics are useful, but the vast majority are and you can customize the widgets over multiple screens.
Try to seperate your ESXi hosts, VM and, Networking and Storage data on seperate tabs for ease of identifying issues.
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - Very easy to customize the dashboards and screens.
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager Support
We've had a few issues including one issue which is still on going. I've had to explain the issue multiple times and seem to end up having a different support member respond each time, which isnt great. I would prefer to have one engineer working on the same case. I've also had to escalate the issue through our account manager as it has dragged on and as a new customer, I feel more attention should be given at this stage.
Kept well informed
Quick Initial Response
Problems left unsolved
Need to explain problems multiple times
During our proof of concept, support were excellent in responding to questions and giving us guidance.
Using SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
Usability wise, alot of the features just work out of the box with very little configuration needed. The interfaces and tag pages make browsing around very easy to achieve and of course you can search very easily. It provides a huge amount of detail under a single pane of glass.
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
- Creating custom tabs with predefined metric data. This allows metrics for a node to be spread across multiple pages.
- Viewing vital VM stats and loading additional metrics into the page.
- Performing capacity recommendation reporting.
- Configuring alerts.
- Configuring view and dashboards within VMAN.
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager Reliability
We have yet to enconter any issues in terms of availability. We have a highly available SQL cluster running Orion.
Integrating SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
Very easy to integrate VMAN into an existing Orion installation and also very easy to install as strandalone.
- We have integrated our entire VMware estate
Full integration and no difficulty to achieve really.
- Not at this time.
We have no plans so we havent had to approach them about anything.
Relationship with SolarWinds
Very easy - the account manager we already knew from previous sales with Solarwinds products. He made sure all of our questions were answered and we had the support we needed.
As we were purchasing multiple modules, we were able to negotiate a large discount which allowed us to be in a position to afford the paltform.
Upgrading SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
Yes - Yes we have installed new versions since purchase. Process was smooth with very little downtime. No issues from the experience and we had backups available, just in case.
- We're not aware of any major benefits or changes at this point.