Scott Lowe recently posted a competitive matrix for the virtualization management market that I think warrants a little bit of commentary from the SolarWinds team. We’ve also posted it on our General Virtualization Management Competitive Page for your convenience. First off, I think Scott’s analysis provides a pretty objective competitive view that shows the leading virtualization management tool vendors’ strengths and weaknesses from an unbiased perspective. This should be a very useful tool for anyone looking at virtualization management software.


From my perspective, Scott hit the nail pretty much on the head of where SolarWinds positions our virtualization management tool in the market. We aim to develop functionality that the majority of users will actually use so you’re not paying for functionality that you won’t use. One thing that wasn’t specifically called out in Scott’s analysis is the integration of physical storage management into the virtualization management solution. SolarWinds gives you more functionality in this area than the competition.


As Scott points out, when compared with the rest of the market, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager stacks up extremely well and provides some valuable tools that none of our competitors offer. Here are a few high-level observations based on Scott’s analysis:

  • Everyone does virtualization performance monitoring (especially of VMware environments) pretty well.
  • Capacity planning and optimization is available in some tools, but not in others – it’s also sometimes not available in the less-expensive editions of the tools that include capacity planning.
  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager Standard provides alerting for performance only. You have to pay more (quite a bit more) to get alerting in other parts of VMware’s tool.
  • Vendors like VMware and Microsoft (and now really even Quest) have tools that are made up of many disparate components that weren’t built together, so things like reporting, APIs, and configurability can vary greatly by module.
  • It isn’t clear in the matrix, but what Scott calls “vKernel vOps Enterprise” is actually the combination (not the integration, mind you) of Quest vKernel vOps and Quest vFoglight Pro. There’s a lot of overlapping functionality with no real integration between the two.
  • Every vendor except for VMware is building out monitoring capabilities for multiple hypervisors.
  • The total cost of “socket-based” licensing appears to be more expensive than “per-VM” licensing in the average environment.
  • NO ONE except for SolarWinds gives you the ability to use historical forensics to look back in time at what happened that might have caused performance degradation in your virtual environment.
  • NO ONE except for SolarWinds gives you the ability to integrate their storage management software (if they even have storage management software) into your virtualization management console.
  • NO ONE gives you the value that SolarWinds Virtualization Manager offers in price for functionality!

I’ll post some granular analysis of how we stack up next to each of our competitors over the next couple of weeks. These analyses will help articulate what we believe each of the components described in this competitive matrix means, but I think the message is clear: ANYONE LOOKING FOR A VIRTUALIZATION MANAGEMENT TOOL SHOULD BE EVALUATING SOLARWINDS VIRTUALIZATION MANAGER to see if it meets their needs. If you haven’t already, you should try it today.