In September 2008, VKernel announced its plans to deliver support for Microsoft Hyper-V in Q1 2009 in VKernel Capacity Analyzer and VKernel Chargeback. Fifteen months after its announcement and nine months after its scheduled delivery date, VKernel finally launched a beta version of only its Capacity Analyzer with support for Hyper-V.
Unlike its first-class support for VMware ESX, where it now faces competition from VMware vCenter CapacityIQ and VMware vCenter Chargeback, VKernel's support for Hyper-V has the following limitations and requirements:
1. Breaking of Virtual Appliance Encapsulation
VKernel Capacity Analyzer cannot work with Hyper-V without a new VKernel Capacity Analyzer Hyper-V Collector agent and a shared Microsoft SQL Server database. Because this agent and the database must run on Microsoft Windows, neither one can be deployed within the Linux-based virtual appliance running VKernel Capacity Analyzer.
2. Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Requirement
While many Microsoft customers are using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, making it a system requirement for running a virtual appliance is going to be an issue for some customers.
3. Microsoft System Center Operations Manager must be integrated with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager
According to the user guide, VKernel Capacity Analyzer not only requires Microsoft System Center Operations Manager R2, but Operations Manager must also be integrated with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. Again, this is a feasible configuration but not a trivial requirement for a virtual appliance that should be self-contained.
4. Microsoft SQL Server Requirement
Instead of pulling data into its own database, VKernel Capacity Analyzer now requires Microsoft SQL Server database to be shared between the VKernel Capacity Analyzer and the VKernel Capacity Analyzer Hyper-V Collector agent.
These limitations and requirements raise the following questions:
1. Why do enterprises running Microsoft Hyper-V have to be burdened with additional system requirements for running VKernel Capacity Analyzer compared to enterprises running VMware ESX?
2. Why can't VKernel Capacity Analyzer simply run as a self-contained virtual appliance on Microsoft Hyper-V and collect data directly from Microsoft Hyper-V hosts without additional requirements for systems management and commercial database products?
3. How much additional value would enterprises actually get from VKernel Capacity Analyzer if they are already running Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager?