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Eric Senunas

When is Free not Free?

VMware’s overall goal is to win and maintain dominant share of the hypervisor market.  Since management tools and processes are essential to building out a virtual environment, then VMware needs to help IT organizations overcome management challenges.

That’s why VMware has been aggressively seeding the market with vCenter Operations Manager.  You may have been the recipient of one of their seeding promos where you received FREE or highly-discounted full-featured product.

What you may not realize is that using vCenter Operations Manager could be costing you money.

I recently met with a user who told me they evaluated VMware vCenter Operations Manager. When they did a cost analysis for deploying the solution in their environment they learned that the deployment and ongoing costs was cost prohibitive.


First, the minimum configuration for vCenter Operations Manager is two virtual machines. It has two proprietary databases for the two VMs: one for capacity planning and one for alerting (which means that capacity planning is done on a different set of data than performance alerts).

For each of the other vCenter Operations components in the enterprise bundle, there is another VM with its own database and storage requirements.

vCOPS components matrix

VMware’s solution works by “learning” the environment—what is normal and what is abnormal—over a long period of time. Long-term retention allows VMware to understand weekly, monthly (30 days), quarterly (120 days) and yearly (365 days) patterns. This takes an exhaustive amount of storage space.

The default retention period for the Standard edition is 180 days, and the default cleaning frequency is seven (7) days. For the Enterprise edition, the default retention period is 900 days and cleaning frequency is not configured. At a customer we spoke with, VMware’s solution would require a dedicated filer that would cost $500K to accommodate all of the collected metrics for 15 days of data.

VMware assumes certain parameters to estimate the number of metrics. For example:

  • Each VM has 250-300 metrics
  • Each host has 1200-1500 metrics
  • The VM:host ratio is 10:1
  • The number of metrics collected for each configuration determines the requirements for vCPU, Memory, Disk Storage and Disk IO.

VMware vCOPS parameter assumptions matrix

Finally, to deploy the solution it would takes weeks of labor to set it up.

But wait, there’s more.

Specifically, the “missed savings” in OpEx due to the lack of automation in vCenter Operations Manager, and the risk of breaching SLAs should be factors in considering VMTurbo as an alternative to VMware.

VMTurbo approaches operations management with the goal of preventing performance issues and continuously prescribing (and automating, if enabled) the specific actions that will allocate resources and place workloads appropriately. By offloading decision-making from IT operations staff and eliminating the manual intervention required to interpret metrics and address performance bottlenecks, VMTurbo helps you improve administrator-to-server ratios and avoid costly downtime.

See the difference for yourself. Try VMTurbo for 30 days.