The company name VirtualMetric might lead you to believe that the product is all about the performance numbers. While the product definitely has plenty of metrics, I don’t think that is the biggest differentiator. What stood out for me in the demo was how much more information was gathered and available in the highly configurable console. There was both slow-changing information, such as installed applications, patches, and operating system configuration, as well as faster-changing details such as running processes, network connections, and performance metrics. The main dashboard views are infinitely customizable; the nicest customization is assembling a dashboard from any of the information collected and sharing that with other teams working on the same issue. There is also a mechanism to cycle through a series of dashboards on a timer, ideal for a large display in an operations center. Data collection is agentless; the VirtualMetric server pulls data across your network periodically. Static data such as installed applications is retrieved daily, log information more frequently, and select performance metrics as often as every second. Agentless data collection means that there is no requirement to deploy anything new onto your servers but limit data collection to what is published by the server’s operating system. The second challenge with agentless monitoring is that it has a higher network load, so different retrieval intervals for different data are essential.
I like that VirtualMetric provides a single consolidated location to find a lot of information about my infrastructure and applications. Because there is so much data, having customizable dashboards is good. As a customer, be sure to have subject matter experts author dashboards that enable less specialist staff to identify and resolve issues. I would like the product to do more with that information, some analytics that proactively identifies possible problems and provides me recommended remediations. Ideally, I would like the product to allow me to simply accept the remediation, probably with integration into the corporate change management system. VirtualMetric has remediation actions on its roadmap, although that is over a year away. Right now, the product is read-only and will not make changes to the monitored network.
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