At SolarWinds, we’ve always known that our Virtualization Manager solution is an excellent alternative to VMware vCenter Operations Manager. Last Friday, Scott D. Lowe published a  competitive matrix for the virtualization management market that I think gives you a great picture of why we believe our virtualization monitoring tool is better than VMware’s for VMware monitoring. To get more details on how SolarWinds Virtualization Manager stacks up against VMware vCenter Operations Manager so that you can decided for yourself on the better VMware monitoring software to perform VMware troubleshooting, take a look at our SolarWinds vs. VMware comparison based on Scott's analysis.

 

Here are a few key observations of the way that SolarWinds Virtualization Manager stacks up against vCenter Operations Manager based on the analysis:

  • vCenter Operations Manager Standard has an attractive price point, but it lacks the majority of the functionality of most virtualization management tools. As a matter of fact, it only fully supports VMware performance monitoring and storage I/O analysis.
  • vCenter Operations Manager is a conglomeration of software from multiple VMware acquisitions and some organic development with most functionality developed in silos. So, functionality varies by module. For example, the level of reporting, alerting, and API access provided is different for each module.
  • vCenter Operations Manager does not provide out-of-the-box functionality to tackle VM sprawl or to help right-size virtual machines that are under- or over-provisioned.
  • vCenter Operations Manager only monitors VMware environments. Maybe you don’t have any plans for a multi-hypervisor environment today, but don’t you want to have the flexibility to add another hypervisor to your environment when it makes sense?
  • SolarWinds Virtualization Manager gives you historical forensics to help you determine if there were changes that resulted in performance degradation in your virtual infrastructure.
  • SolarWinds Virtualization Manager lets you integrate Storage Manager, our storage management tool, into your virtualization management console. VMware only provides visibility to the datastore level.
  • Most of all, there is a HUGE price disparity between Virtualization Manager and vCenter Operations Manager. SolarWinds prefers to keep it simple: we offer you one license with everything you need…at a price that’s very competitive with even VMware’s least expensive vCenter Operations Manager tier.

 

Sure, you can get a little bit of extra functionality from VMware with physical infrastructure management in the ‘Enterprise Plus’ tier and application dependency mapping in all three of their higher tiers. The question is whether that functionality is worth $125 - 1,370 per VM when SolarWinds Virtualization Manager is never more expensive than $60 per VM.

 

It’s probably also worth noting that there’s a conflict of interest in using capacity planning tools from VMware. I think it’s kind of like letting a fox guard the henhouse. Wouldn’t you rather have an objective third party that doesn’t stand to benefit from your over-provisioning giving you advice on how much VMware licensing you need to buy?