VMware Expands Hyperic Management in 4.4 Release

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted Aug 5, 2010


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VMware's SpringSource division this week is launching a new version of its Hyperic system management and monitoring technology. The new Hyperic 4.4 release provides improvements to users of VMware virtualized environments enabling more granular monitoring control. New systems management release offers improved virtualization integration for enterprise users.

All of the improved VMware integrations are found in the commercial enterprise version of Hyperic 4.4 with a subset available to open source users of Hyperic. The Hyperic 4.4 release comes as VMware continues to integrate the technology assets it acquired as part of its purchase of SpringSource in 2009.

"Hyperic is one of the pioneers of open source system management," Al Sargent senior product marketing manager at VMware's SpringSource division told InternetNews.com. "Hyperic has had an open core model since 2006, and we are sticking to that model."

With the open core model there is a core foundation that is open source and then there are additional commercial versions that build on top of that functionality with enterprise-focused features. Sargent noted that the Hyperic Enterprise functionality is a superset of Hyperic Open Source.

For Hyperic 4.4 open source users there is also a new VMware vSphere plugin that is being delivered to manage the virtual machines that run on vSphere hosts. For Hyperic 4.4 Enterprise users the VMware integrations are much broader. Sargent said that in contrast to the open source release, Hyperic Enterprise is more about scaling systems management to hundreds or thousands of servers.

Hyperic 4.4 Enterprise includes improved integration with VMware's vCenter providing enterprise-wide visibility into how virtualized applications and servers are performing. vCenter acts as a kind of nerve center for a datacenter's virtual infrastructure. Sargent said that the Hyperic 4.4 server connects to VMware vCenter in order to pull information about vSphere hosts (ESXi and ESX instances), each of which has multiple virtual machines (VMs) running on it.

"When a Hyperic 4.4 server performs this connection to vCenter, it can be running within a VM on ESXi/ESX, or it can be running physically (not within a VM)," Sargent said. "This is an example of how Hyperic supports both physical infrastructure and virtual infrastructure, and facilitates the transition to cloud computing."

With the additional enterprise virtualization visibility, administrators will also be able to improve their virtualized infrastructure performance.

"Hyperic excels at measuring the delta between native/physical performance of an application and when it is when running on VMware," Sargent said. "Hyperic can measure any of 50,000 performance metrics on over 75 application platforms, so it provides incredible visibility into performance variances introduced by virtualization."

Sargent added that administrators can also create alerts on critical application performance metrics.

Hyperic became part of SpringSource in May of 2009 several months prior to VMware's acquisition of SpringSource. At that point, the monitoring of Java application servers was a key focus for Hyperic. For the new Hyperic 4.4 release, Java app server users won't see much of a difference.

"Those features are unchanged from prior releases," Sargent said. But we're continuing to improve our monitoring of Java, Spring, Tomcat, tc server, and other platforms, so stay tuned."

Hyperic's technology has multiple competitors including several in the open source space. Among those competitors is Zenoss which recently had an update of its own.Olivier Thierry chief marketing officer at Zenoss told InternetNews.com that Zenoss has VMware certified integration. He added that in his view Zenoss has a broader view of datacenter systems management beyond just Java applications.

From Hyperic's perspective, the fact that they're part of VMware, provides a degree of competitive differentiation.

"Our engineers are able to work side-by-side with their VMware colleagues, and learn from some of world's leading experts on virtualization," Sargent said. "We have full access to VMware's significant product development and testing infrastructure."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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