Dell Foglight management tools upgraded, rebranded

Dell rebrands and upgrades its Foglight data center management tools, which include VMware View support and virtual-to-physical landscape.

Several Dell Foglight applications -- picked up in last year's Quest Software acquisition -- were upgraded and...

rebranded this week. The upgrades include Foglight for Storage Management and Foglight for Virtualization Enterprise Edition.

The Dell Foglight products were part of the vendor's $2.4 billion acquisition of Quest in July 2012. Quest picked up the virtualization management technology when it acquired vKernel in November 2011. The storage management technology was acquired by Quest when it scooped up the assets and staff of Monosphere Inc. in January 2009.

Dell's vFoglight Storage is now Foglight for Storage Management. The former vKernel vOPS Server Standard Edition is now Foglight for Virtualization Standard Edition and is geared toward small- and medium-sized businesses and midsize enterprises with up to 1,000 virtual machines (VMs).

The vFoglight product is now the Foglight for Virtualization Enterprise Edition. Its target market is midsize and large enterprise environments with between 1,000 and 50,000 VMs. Version 6.8 of the virtualization management products includes support for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012, as well as support for VMware's View virtual desktop infrastructure environment.

Dell will discontinue the vOptimizer product as a standalone product in 2014, according to John Maxwell, Dell vice president of product management. The vOPS Server Explorer is now Foglight for Virtualization Free Edition.

The upgrade of Dell Foglight for Storage Management to version 2.5 makes the software product a stand-alone product as well as a module for Foglight for Virtualization. Dell added physical server support to the storage management platform so administrators can see their storage infrastructure from a physical standpoint as well as a virtual standpoint. Administrators can now see their storage infrastructure from the VM, through the network fabric, and to a physical logical unit number (LUN) on the storage array. A LUN latency report has been added to version 2.5.

Dell also added N_Port ID Virtualization support for enabling virtual servers to share a single physical Fibre Channel port.

Bernd Harzog, performance and capacity management analyst for Austin, Texas-based The Virtualization Practice, said having products like Dell Foglight for Virtualization and Foglight for Storage Management that can see the entire virtual infrastructure is a boon to troubleshooting.

"When enterprises virtualize business-critical applications, it is essential that they instrument these applications and their component transactions for response time," he said. "Failure to do so will simply cause virtualization teams and the rest of the IT operations staff to waste countless hours in blamestorming meetings and on conference calls trying to troubleshoot application performance issues."

Dell prices the Foglight platform products per CPU socket. Foglight for Virtualization is $799 per CPU socket and the Foglight for Storage Management is $499 per CPU socket. The upgrades are free for Foglight customers with maintenance contracts.

Dell's Maxwell said the version 6.8 release is only the first phase of a two-part release. Phase two, which will be version 7.0, will be released later this year at VMworld and will include the ability to drill down to specific user sessions to diagnose performance issues.

"This initial [release] is really great for seeing how the virtual desktop infrastructure is running, to see the maximum number of users, track login storms and [detect] high areas of utilization to help do basic performance management capacity planning," Maxwell said.

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