I have been approached by PHD Virtual to try out and review PHD Virtual Monitor. I have decided to take the challenge and discover how it operate. As usual I will start with what I liked about the product then I will describe what I felt missing and that I would love to see being added or fixed in future releases. I believe this help admins figure out if PHD Virtual Monitor is the product they are looking for and will help PHD Virtual to make sure their products cover the needs of more admins. Before I get to evaluating the product, if you are looking for instruction on how to install it or just wondering how I did install it and test it in my lab then please have a look at my other post at: PHD Virtual Monitor for VMware Step by Step Installation & Configuration
Let’s start with the positive aspects first as PHD Virtual Monitor has plenty of it.
- PHD Virtual Monitor was designed to monitor the full IT infrastructure not just the Virtual Infrastructure. PHD Virtual Monitor combine both Agent as well Agent-less technologies which allow it to not only monitor the Virtual Infrastructure by talking to the hypervisor (Agent-less), but as well monitor up the application level (SQL, Exchange, ..etc) with the help of agents. This could be a great plus specially for Microsoft shops.
- PHD Virtual Monitor is a Hypervisor agnostic, so you can monitor your VMware, Hyper-V, & Citrix environment from the same console
- I liked the one click Agent deployment mechanism. Usually monitoring tools that involve agent installation has a painful process to get the agent installed on every end point, but PHD Virtual has succeeded in making the deployment of the agent to end points to be a breeze. Actually it does not take more than a click!
- I liked how easy and fast to get PHD Virtual Monitor up and running. I was able to get it installed and configured in less than 5 minutes without having to read any manuals which by the way is included with the installer.
- PHD Virtual Monitor is really easy to use and get used to. I did not need to read any manual to start configure it or start monitoring my Virtual Infrastructure lab.
- It can be installed on most Windows flavors out there Windows 2008/2003/XP/7. Although it is preferred to install it on a Windows Server platform, being able to install it on a Windows Workstation platform easy testing in case you did not have a Windows Server handy.
- PHD Virtual Monitor is very light. I have actually installed it next to my iSCSI server software in my lab on a very tiny VM 1vCPU 3GB of ram and it still ran quite quick without any performance impact where this same VM provide disk access for my vCloud Director lab which make this iSCSI VM a quite busy one even before adding PHD Virtual Monitor to it.
- I loved PHD Virtual Monitor log monitoring functionality as it seemed to be quite unique to me. PHD Virtual Monitor has went beyond the standard of being a Syslog server, to being able to monitor for certain events or items in the log and report to the admin if any of these ever occur.
Below are the items I would love to see in future releases.
- PHD Virtual Monitor is still distributed as an installable rather than a Virtual Appliance. I believe Virtual Appliances is the future for such solutions, as it save the customer the cost of the operating system as well ensure a hassle free up to best practices installation.
- Support for other browsers beside IE. I have noticed that the only browser supported by PHD Virtual Monitor is Internet Explorer. Not being the biggest fan of IE, I would love to at least see support for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
PHD Virtual Monitor offers a great option when it comes to IT Infrastructure monitoring, as it does not only allow you to monitor Virtual machines but expand to monitor Physical Servers as well. If you are currently evaluating if PHD Virtual Monitor is the right solution for your environment, your best bet will be to download a free trial from: http://www.phdvirtual.com/trial-monitor-vmware and try it for yourself next to other solutions you are considering. No one else can make the call for you, as every environment needs are different.
Please leave your feedback and questions in the comments field below.
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Eiad Al-Aqqad, VCDX#89
VMware Canada PSO
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