Virtualization is a critically important aspect of modern businesses. Information Technology systems have made the move away from physical systems to virtual ones.
Part of these reasons have to do with cost, and others to do with redundancy and convenience. There are plenty of other benefits too, which we will go into while looking at some of these applications.
Most people are familiar with VMware as a virtualization platform as it is certainly one of the most popular platforms, but we will be looking at Microsoft’s offering: Hyper-V. While there are many built in features and reporting tools that you can tap into with Hyper-V by default.
Many IT professionals find that using a third-party tool and monitoring solution adds extra functionality to the platform. This is especially useful if you need to generate reports for management regarding resource allocation and headroom.
Perhaps you need to report on performance and activity monitors to show how traffic is being generated and allocated to each virtual host. Being able to dynamically allocate resources while keeping an eye on the organizational thresholds of your company’s available resources is critical if you are in a systems capacity or planning role.
Whatever your requirements, you are more likely to find the features that you are looking for when you are using a third-party application or software solution. Not many people realize how important the reporting and information side of Hyper-V monitoring is, so we have highlighted some of these features where they are featured.
Third party solutions are definitely a way to make Hyper-V management and daily use much better and easier for you. Lucky for us there are plenty of different solutions available on the market for just this.
Hyper-V, while not as widely used as ESXI and the now ubiquitous VMWare solutions, is still a very popular virtualization platform.
There are many great features that it brings to the table, and as such there is a need for additional management and monitoring solutions and tools.
We have gathered 6 such tools that promise to make your Hyper-V experience that much more enjoyable and easier to use, so without further ado, lets take a look!
Here's the Best Hyper-V Monitoring Software & Tools of 2019:
1. SolarWinds Virtualization Manager (Best Solution)
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager offers a lot of features right out of the box that you would expect from such a solid software developer.
They have predictive recommendations, VM Sprawl Control, and many more useful features that relate to virtual machine management in general.
Other great features include a comprehensive management suite for all of your virtualization needs, on-premise, hybrid and cloud management, and visibility across the entire application management stack.
Key benefits that come from using this software include faster troubleshooting.
This is because you have full visibility across the Hyper-V installation instances on your network and within your environment, no matter where it is hosted.
This could be a local installation, a hybrid installation, or a full cloud deployment.
You can also monitor all of the connected software and storage infrastructure.
Cloud infrastructure monitoring deserves its own special mention here because it offers alerts for both Azure and AWS infrastructure metrics.
Better than that, it offers all of this from a single location and dashboard for the ultimate control.
SolarWinds also has a Virtualization Manager console that allows you to complete many of the tasks that you need to get your basic workload completed from one single location.
These are either triggered manually or they can be scripted with your alerts.
Other great features include VM Sprawl Alerts which lets you know when you have unused virtual resources.
This can help you to cut costs and maximize your virtual pool of resources, which saves you money in the long term, and will help to increase the overall performance of your environment as well.
This is especially useful for Hyper-V installations as all of the necessary features are available for you to quickly and easily monitor and manage these systems.
Pricing starts at $2,995.
You can request a quote from here.
You can download a free trial of Virtualization Manager from here.
2. PRTG Network Monitor ( Runner Up)
PRTG Network Monitor lets you monitor all of your systems and devices.
It is great for tracking traffic as well as application usage and impact across your environment.
PRTG Network Monitor also has a Hyper-V capability that is really good for keeping an eye on your virtual systems.
The Hyper-V Host Server sensor is one of many elements that is responsible for this within PRTG.
It can monitor and view the important metrics that you need to properly keep an eye on the virtual machines within your Hyper-V environment.
Finding out what each of your Hyper-V machines and hosts are doing is important for proactive resource monitoring.
PRTG lets you looks at CPU usage stats such as the breakdown of resource utilization. You can tell what the breakdown is of guests, hypervisor, and total.
You can see the total number of issues with the hot’s health, as well as critical values that are causing issues.
All of the critical metrics that affect performance are also viewable in graphical elements as well.
PRTG offers plenty of other monitoring features and capabilities, of which Hyper-V is just one.
It is able to monitor network links, individual computer systems, software and applications, and much more.
PRTG lets you avoid overloads by finding out what is wrong before it becomes a serious issue. The three main components that allow PRTG to do this are:
- Hyper-V Host Server Sensor: This is the component that monitors the CPU usage, system health, and network traffic of a host server. You can think of this as the virtual host sever that handles the processing and memory requirements of the virtual machines that are running on it.
- Hyper-V Virtual Machine Sensor: This is the component that monitors the CPU usage and read/write values of virtual machines running on a Hyper-V host server. Each individual virtual machine is monitored closely and if thresholds are breached then you will be notified so that you can take the appropriate actions to avoid issues.
- Hyper-V Virtual Storage Sensor: This component monitors the read/write values and error rate of virtual storage devices running via a Hyper-V host server. With most virtualization technologies there is a Storage Area Network component that houses all of the virtual hard drives of the virtual machines. This storage area is accessible so that if a virtual host fails then a backup one can connect and continue running without any data loss.
PRTG is free for up to 100 sensors, but if you need to go above that then there are different packages to choose from.
Pricing starts at $1600 for 500 sensors.
3. ManageEngine OpManager (Best Value)
OpManager is a general monitoring tool that gives you control over your general networked environment.
It also has some good Hyper-V support and can give you detailed information about the current state of your Hyper-V setup.
OpManager uses WMI to find out about your Hyper-V installation and it monitors these devices through this mechanism.
Setting it up is relatively straight forward. It requires that you setup the WMI credentials which will allow the application to discover all the Hyper-V hosts on your network.
Like most virtual management solutions, OpManager helps you to combat inventory sprawl by letting you identify your currently deployed resources.
It uses an active inventory tracker that gives you near real-time statistics on the currently installed resources on your network.
OpManager is able to monitor all changes and update this inventory list, even if there is a live migration on a specific virtual cluster.
OpManager also gives you a complete overview of your Hyper-V infrastructure by giving you key information about the current state of your resources.
OpManager has over 40 different monitors that cover everything from CPU, memory, Disk and Network utilization for each Hyper-V host as well as the guests installed on them.
Your administrators can monitor everything from services to websites and Windows services and processes.
If you have specific files and folders that need to be monitored then that can also be setup as well.
There are many useful features that OpManager offers over and above Hyper-V monitoring support.
If any of your Hyper-V resources should go down, then you can leverage OpManager’s fault management module.
It notifies you instantly whenever there are any Hyper-V related faults, allowing you to quickly take the appropriate steps.
Reporting is another area that OpManager excels at.
There are over 70 built in reports that give you detailed and useful information about how the performance of your Hyper-V systems are performing.
These reports can be scheduled to run automatically, giving you a deeper understanding of what is happening over longer periods.
They are available in many different formats such as PDF, CSV and XLS. If you need custom data for your reports, then you can generate your own instead of using the built-in reports.
Pricing can be found here.
Dynatrace lets you see an interactive map of your Hyper-V resources within your environment.
This allows your team to make correlations between the different components and dependencies on your network, and allows you to make the most from your companies resources.
Using a visual tool can often help to make sense of complicated environments, so Dynatrace is a very useful resource to make use of.
It also tracks the processes and applications that run on your Hyper-V instances as well, making this a good way to see exactly what is happening on your network.
Any issues that are picked up are automatically analysed with Dynatrace.
This allows you to discover how your virtualization configuration is causing issues with your applications and services, as well as the impact on users.
It is able to pinpoint the root cause in the virtualization and application layers.
Configuring your monitoring components is also done automatically.
If you deploy new virtual devices then those will also show up automatically.
Because the initial setup is largely automated there is a lot of customization that you wont necessarily get from this app.
The application is good for larger organizations and it is built to scale, with over 100,000 hosts per cluster being achievable.
This is a good application for ease of use as the setup is very simple, but for larger organizations with more complicated requirements you might need to look at something else.
Download a trial version from here.
Logic monitor looks to help users identify how well their current resources are being used by offering real-time monitoring within Hyper-V.
It shows you hypervisor health and performance, VM heath and performance, the current state of your virtual storage devices, virtual network adapters and more.
On top of all of these features you can also manage snapshots and hardware health too.
Hyper-V internal metrics offer LogicMonitor a lot of data to work with.
This results in operations intelligence and great visibility.
Hypervisor monitoring gives you a better understanding of how all of the components within the systems work together.
This includes processors, logical processors and memory.
You can set up pre-defined alerts and have them trigger when certain conditions are met, and the messaging language is easy to understand for non-technical users.
All of these features are especially useful when trying to manage a Hyper-V environment, especially when not all of the management staff have the necessary technical backgrounds to understand the information being generated.
Virtual machine monitoring is another element of LogicMonitor that makes it great to use. It automatically discovers and monitors all of the virtual machines on your network.
The virtual machine overview section gives you a larger view of what you are using on your network.
This is a good way to see how well your capacity planning is working and will let you see where there are any shortfalls.
Check here for pricing.
6. Veeam One Free (Best Free Hyper-V Tool!)
Veaam One Community Edition is a free solution that allows you to monitor up to 10 instances of Microsoft Hyper-V infrastructure.
It lets you use all of the powerful reports and data views that you have come to expect from Veaam, as well as the alarms that it provides.
There is application level monitoring that lets you monitor an unlimited number of applications on up to three VMs.
This is good for mission critical apps that need to stay up and running no matter what. Creating new alarms is quick and easy, and there are many different parameters that can be set to allow for differential alarms, depending on what you need to monitor and track.
Heatmaps are another feature that comes with this version of the product, which gives you a visual indication of how the load is being spread across your resources.
This can help you to make better decisions in times of overload and system stress as the better option is clearly visible.
Analysis and audits are another way that Veeam One Free brings value to your setup.
It helps to track changes and keeps a record of the important data that needs to be recorded.
You can perform a forensic analysis on backups and see what changes were affected by specific users for a time period of your choosing. Other important features include:
- Veeam Agents Backup Job and Policy Historical Information Report:
This feature determines how policies and jobs have evolved over time and alerts you to any negatively affecting trends that might be developing.
- Agent Backup Status Report:
This feature provides daily backup information on all protected workloads and gives you a better idea of how these backups are performing.
- Agents with No Backup Copy Report:
This feature identifies the agents that may be lacking archived backup copies to ensure end users and service providers are following best backup practices. This is especially important in a production environment where backups are essential for continued operations in the event of a system failure.
Veeam One also lets you gain deeper insights into the operational requirements of each of your Hyper-V installations.
You can order these resources by location, department or even SLA.
This means that you can get a better sense of your current environment by simply looking at your dashboard. There is dynamic categorization, role-based access control and much more.
Pricing is free and you can download a copy from here.
The main reasons to implement and use virtualization technologies is for the cost benefits and overall reliability that comes with it.
Hyper-V offers a compelling platform to manage your virtual infrastructure from, and there are many tools that not only help to enhance this experience, but they can make it a much less time consuming affair.
As we have seen, there are many different approaches to the way companies have developed these different products.
How these approaches manifest themselves in each product shows us the differing requirements that each one has identified for their potential client base.
Some of these applications concentrate on the management and deployment end of the scale, with monitoring and alerts coming as part of the package.
Others look at backups and capacity planning, while others focus on reporting. In most environments you will find that there is a need for a multi-pronged approach, with there being overlapping between different products and services.
Hyper-V has many different aspects to it that require a lot of planning, maintenance and monitoring if it is to be implemented and maintained properly.
There are many reasons to look at Hyper-V as a go-to solution for your organization, and with the selection of tools that we have shown you today, we hope that you will find exactly the right one for your needs.