PlateSpin PowerRecon helps plan for VM growth

PlateSpin PowerRecon helps plan for VM growth

PlateSpin's PowerRecon serves as a very useful server monitoring, planning and management tool

PowerRecon and associated daemon modules run as a Windows service application. Once installed, PowerRecon uses a Windows Explorer-like user interface called Data Center Explorer that performs a network discovery and maintains an inventory of hosts. Credentials are then supplied by the administrator for server hosts that need to be internally inventoried or further monitored. A handy list of credentials are provided but placing so many crucial passwords in a single place, even though they are protected by files and database access permissions, made us nervous.

The results of the inventory process were shown in a tabbed user interface containing descriptions of host or VM instance characteristics -- such as processors, general information, disk drive information, network adapters, applications, operating system services/daemons, and any other user-defined fields. Power dissipation is also tracked.

Each host can be assigned to a group or site, and we could easily start/stop monitoring, force an inventory to be taken, or launch an application, like a terminal services/remote desktop connection, an SSH or VMware Remote Console session, or another management application such as Embotics' V-Commander. A new template for tracking purposes could also be launched that allowed us to track operational fundamentals of the VMware ESX host we tested with, or a VM instance we tracked. We could set the thresholds for tracking and viewing graphical data, such as CPU utilization, memory use, disk space, disk I/O, and network I/O for warning purposes and watch the trendline or use collected data to graph a forecasted trend.

Once fully configured, PowerRecon can inventory, or begin reporting monitoring details on demand or on schedule, and report findings via e-mail (an available separate SMTP server is required) or to various importable file formats. We set and forgot about this feature until reports started showing up like clockwork. Reports are highly configurable.

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