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How do businesses use virtualization health charts?

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Q:

How do businesses use virtualization health charts?

A:

Businesses can use virtualization health charts to keep on top of how virtual machines, hosts and other elements of a virtualization environment are performing in context.

Health charts in a virtualization monitoring platform bring a level of data visualization to the process of figuring out resource allocation and operating capacity for VMs and storage assets. With so much data visualization built into enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and other types of software, it makes sense to also extend this kind of data presentation to virtualization managers.

Essentially, health charts take in metrics around resource consumption and performance. They look at the use of CPU and memory. They may take in metrics around host profiles or active session data, or other secondary types of information, but generally focus on system health and performance. They generally monitor the “pieces” of a virtualization setup, which includes cluster monitoring.

The idea is that health charts display a certain color according to the optimization of assets. The plan behind the health chart involves software that understands how the VMs and other resources should be optimized. The color-coded charts make this data digestible to human operators. In other words, rather than having to read long, sequential lines of text spat out by a computer, the client’s end user can simply observe the charts and their color coding to understand whether VMs and other components are doing their jobs properly, and doing them well.

Experts may refer to a “desired state” that is a baseline for these kinds of setups. Then the desired state is applied to the immediate state, ideally, in real time. That shows how well VMs are doing in their environment. It can help identify bottlenecks and failure points. It can also uncover scenarios where resources were poorly allocated, and human operators can go in and fix those situations.

In general, the health chart is a visual tool to assist in what can be a challenging process: the continual monitoring of existing VM systems after they are set up. A virtualization environment is a dynamic one, and often confronts the need to scale, optimize or cut down resource consumption. A good health chart tool can help operators to more capably address any issues that arise.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.
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