SolarWinds has released a free tool designed to help IT managers monitor a single VMware ESX Server. The capability has been added to the company's Orion network management software to enable enterprises to control larger virtual environments.

VM Monitor is a free utility IT managers can download to their laptop or desktop to begin monitoring a single VMware ESX server. The application also will track virtual machines associated with the ESX server, reporting on data such as CPU, memory and disk utilisation. SolarWinds also included traffic monitoring capabilities that would help network managers better see how traffic runs in and out of virtual environments. Company executives say this utility is a launching off point for bigger virtual server management plans.

"VM Monitor can provide a view into the status of the ESX machine, the host machine it is running on and any related virtual machines," says Kenny Van Zant, chief product strategist.

SolarWinds is also putting its knowledge of VMware into its Orion Network Performance Monitor (NPM) 9.1.The software provides monitoring for routers, switches, physical servers, ESX servers and other SNMP-enabled devices. The software installs on a server and lets IT managers view monitoring statistics in a real-time or historical format. SolarWinds also incorporated features to let network managers see traffic and topology information across the virtual server environment.
"We hear from our network manager customers that they don't have enough visibility into the virtual server, which they don't need in terms of managing them - that is the systems admins' job - but network managers want to understand the ramifications the virtual resources have on the overall network," Van Sant explains. "They might not need control of the environment, but network guys can't handle the lack of visibility virtualisation causes."

VM Monitor is available for free download now. Orion NPM 9.1 pricing starts at US$2,475 (£1,430) for 100 monitored elements including first year maintenance. Existing customers with valid maintenance contracts will get the VMware ESX server monitoring capabilities and other updates in Version 9.1 at no cost.