Dell updates and rebrands Foglight for virtualization management

Former Quest and VKernel technologies merge within Foglight and grow to include more VDI and storage visibility

In the seven years the InfoWorld Virtualization Report has been following the virtualization ecosystem, I've seen my fair share of bigger fish swallowing up smaller fish to either consume the latter's technology or take it off the virtualization chess board as a possible competitor or threat.

Case in point: We watched as Quest Software consumed smaller, more nimble virtualization management startups such as Vizioncore back in 2008 and VKernel in November 2011. In July 2012, it was Dell's turn to gobble up Quest in an acquisition that came with a $2.4 billion price tag.

[ Also on InfoWorld: VMware sells off Shavlik patch management to LANDesk | VMware partners with Canonical to extend OpenStack cloud | Track the latest trends in virtualization in InfoWorld's Virtualization Report newsletter. ]

When the news of the Dell acquisition of Quest broke, it left two unanswered questions: First, how would Dell address the overlap in software technologies that it gained with the acquisition? Second, how would Dell bring these technologies together into a cohesive offering?

Fast-forward to last week's news announcement by Dell, and those questions may have finally been answered -- partially.

Dell has been taking a long, hard look at the server, storage, and network monitoring and management tools it gained from the Quest acquisition. It's decided to bring these virtualization technologies under one roof into the Foglight family of products.

The popular VKernel virtualization management tools that were combined into the vOPS product suite (offered in a free version, a Server Standard edition, and a Server Enterprise edition) will now be called Foglight for Virtualization. A free edition and a standard edition will be geared toward small and medium-sized businesses with up to 1,000 virtual machines.

The Quest server virtualization management tool, formerly known as vFoglight Pro (the "v" signifying "virtual" or "virtualization") will now be known as Foglight for Virtualization Enterprise Edition. Its target will be midsize and large enterprise organizations with between 1,000 and 50,000 virtual machines. Quest's vFoglight Storage will also get a makeover and be known as Foglight for Storage Management.

Beyond the branding changes, Dell announced a host of new feature upgrades to these products.

With Foglight for Virtualization Enterprise Edition, Dell has included a number of updates with the latest 6.8 release. One interesting update is that the product now has a more granular virtual data collection sampling rate. With prior releases, the product would take a 20-second sample every 5 minutes of data coming from the hypervisor. After the update, it can take a continuous stream of data in 20-second intervals and present it to the administrator in real time. While extremely useful, the increased sampling must also come with a cost of increased data storage usage, though the company didn't specify.

The new version can also help with the increasing adoption of VMware View in virtualized data centers. As of late, Dell has been taking a keen interest in the end-user computing market. As VDI and desktop as a service (DaaS) continue to gain popularity within organizations and managed service providers, it makes sense for Foglight to extend its management and visibility from a server virtualization environment to a VMware View desktop virtualization environment.

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