The rise of virtualized infrastructure and virtual machines has had substantial consequences for network administrators. Well-established network monitoring practices have been shaken up as enterprises incorporate performance monitoring platforms and Hyper-V monitoring tools to monitor virtual infrastructure.
Now that so many companies are using Microsoft Hyper-V to deliver virtual services a range of Hyper-V monitoring tools have cropped up to monitor these resources.
While this has added lots of choice to the market it has made it difficult to tell which monitoring platform is the most effective.
Here is our list of the best Microsoft Hyper-V Monitoring Tools:
- SolarWinds Virtualization Manager EDITOR’S CHOICE A sophisticated VM monitoring tool from the industry leader. Covers Azure and AWS as well as onsite Hyper-V and VMWare virtualizations. Start 30-day free trial.
- Datadog Hyper-V Monitoring (FREE TRIAL) A resource monitoring system that can be enhanced by an add-on for specialized Hyper-V monitoring.
- SolarWinds VM Monitor (FREE TOOL) Free option from SolarWinds for the budget conscious. Limited to one server.
- PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) An integrated network, server, and application monitoring suite that is ideally configured for VM monitoring. Runs on Windows Server and specializes in Hyper-V virtualizations.
- ManageEngine Free Hyper-V Performance Monitor A free tool from ManageEngine dedicated to virtualizations implemented with Hyper-V.
- eG Enterprise Web-based Hyper-V monitoring solution with a massively discounted subscription deal.
- LogicMonitor Cloud-based Hyper-V monitor with three subscription levels.
- Veeam One A monitor for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere that runs on Windows.
- Dynatrace A Hyper-V performance monitor with great live feedback screens and advanced diagnostics.
- Turbonomic Manage Hyper-V, vSphere, KVM, and PowerVM implementation with this live monitoring and capacity planning tool.
- EventSentry Real-time and historical data analysis for a range of infrastructure elements, including Hyper-V.
Why Are Hyper-V Monitoring Tools Important?
Before we look at the best Hyper-V monitoring tools we’re going to look at why they are important. The main reason monitoring tools are needed is that Hyper-V services are virtualized and inaccessible to administrators (particularly when compared to physical infrastructure).
Locked in one device there can be dozens of different virtual machines. Given that these are tangible pieces of hardware it can be easy to lose track of them and miss performance concerns. Using a network monitoring tool that can monitor Hyper-V helps increase visibility over these virtual services.
Without a high quality virtualization tool administrators run the risk of losing track of virtual resources. Failure to maintain virtual resources results in performance issues and can leave the network vulnerable to cyber attacks. In this article, we look at the best Microsoft Hyper-V monitoring tools for monitoring your network.
The best Microsoft Hyper-V Monitoring Tools
First up on this list we have SolarWinds Virtualization Manager, a network monitoring tool designed for managing virtual resources. SolarWinds Virtualization Manager shows the health status of virtualized resources like Hyper-V through a color-coded dashboard. Virtual resources are categorized as Up, Down, Critical, Warning, Shutdown, Unreachable and External to tell you everything that is going on with your connected services.
With SolarWinds Virtualization Manager you can track storage I/O performance. Tracking storage I/O performance allows you to address storage I/O contention, which is one of the most common issues with managing Hyper-V environments.
The main dashboard is fully customizable and can be used to view current alerts and warning messages so that you keep up-to-speed with developments in infrastructure performance. There is also a VM Sprawl dashboard that allows you to keep track of key metrics like CPU, memory, and storage. You can see how much total storage space you’ve used.
To keep your monitoring responsive, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager has an alerts system. The alerts system can monitor Hyper-V problems such as high CPU utilization and latency to warn you about poor performance. Alerts come preconfigured out-of-the-box and can be viewed in one dashboard view. This ensures that you don’t miss anything important and risk your VM going down.
One particularly useful feature offered by SolarWinds Virtualization Manager is capacity planning. SolarWinds Virtualization Manager can predict the CPU, memory and networking resources you will need for future Hyper-V Usage. Capacity planning forecasts are shown to you in the form of graphs so that you are completely aware of the resources you will need to support in future.
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager starts at a price of $2,995 (£2,275). There is also a 30-day free trial available.
The SolarWinds Virtualization Manager is our top choice for Hyper-V supervision because it tracks all performance issues without the need for human attendance. The performance threshold and alerting system built into this tool can free up key technical staff for other tasks while building in enough working time to enable problems to be prevented from becoming critical.
Start 30-day Free Trial: solarwinds.com/virtualization-manager
OS: Windows Server 2016 or later
Datadog is a cloud-based infrastructure management service. The Datadog system is organized into modules and the Infrastructure unit oversees equipment, including network devices and servers. The monitor can be enhanced with “integrations.” There are more than 400 integrations available that add-on specialized monitoring functions. One of these creates the capability to monitor Hyper-V implementations.
The Datadog system is almost entirely resident on the cloud except for an agent program that must be installed on the server of the customer. In the case of the Hyper-V monitoring system, the agent will only install on Windows. The agent gathers information and uploads it to the Datadog server for processing. Once the data has been interpreted, it is displayed in the system dashboard in impressive color-coded graphs and charts.
The main benefit of the Datadog Hyper-V monitor is that it will alert you when a VM server is running out of memory. That gives you time to re-allocated VPMs to other servers and prevent the whole system from hanging or crashing completely.
The Datadog Infrastructure system is able to monitor physical servers as well as virtual systems. It can also monitor network devices and other equipment on the network.
The Infrastructure module is offered in three plan levels: Free, Pro, and Enterprise. The Free version is very interesting for those with no budget, but its capabilities are limited. The Hyper-V integration costs nothing. The paid versions are charged for on a subscription basis per host on a monthly or annual cycle – the yearly payment scheme works out cheaper per month. Datadog offers the Infrastructure module in a 15-day free trial.
SolarWinds VM Monitor is a free virtual machine monitoring tool that can be used to monitor Hyper-V and VMware. On SolarWinds VM Monitor you can view the CPU, memory usage, network usage, and number of running VMs. The user interface is not as contemporary as other tools on this list, but it provides you with visibility over the basic VM performance metrics.
You can also use this tool to view more detailed VM information such as VM name, guest OS, and VM state. These details make it easier to navigate your virtual infrastructure. You can also monitor for VM issues like performance degradation through the use of threshold indicators. For example, you can set Warning and Critical indicators if CPU Utilization or Memory crosses a predefined percentage.
SolarWinds VM Monitor is a tool that is ideal for smaller organizations looking for virtual machine monitoring experience. It is important to note that SolarWinds VM Monitor can only monitor one server at a time. If you want to monitor more servers you’ll need to purchase SolarWinds Virtualization Manager. SolarWinds VM Monitor can be downloaded for free here.
Next up we have PRTG Network Monitor, a tool that offers a streamlined virtual machine monitoring experience. PRTG Network Monitor can monitor the status, CPU usage, memory, and traffic of Hyper-V servers.
There are even sensors dedicated to monitoring Hyper-V servers, these include: Hyper-V Host Server Sensor, Hyper-V Virtual Machine Sensor, and Hyper-V Virtual Storage Sensor. With Hyper-V Host Sensor you can monitor CPU usage, system health, and traffic of the host server. Similarly, with the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Sensor, you can monitor CPU usage, and read/write values of virtual machines.
PRTG Network Monitor has a notifications system that can track key Hyper-V metrics using threshold values. The user sets a parameter for a metric like CPU usage and once a predefined value is exceeded an alert is generated. Alerts are sent via email, SMS, and push notifications. Being able to set performance thresholds gives you control over when you receive notifications.
One of the biggest selling points of PRTG Network Monitor is that it is available free for up to 100 sensors. Paid versions of PRTG Network Monitor start at $1600 (£1,213) for 500 sensors to PRTG XL5 for unlimited sensors $60,000 (£45,524). There is also a 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine Free Hyper-V Performance Monitor is ManageEngine’s cost-free alternative to ManageEngine OpManager. With this tool you can monitor all versions of Hyper-V up to Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. With this tool you can measure metrics such as CPU utilization, memory utilization, disk read/write rate, and network Rx/Tx. You can also track the number of virtual machines that are active and track their health status.
Thresholds are customizable so that you can configure parameters for CPU utilization and view alerts when you need to take action. Though the alerts system is not as complete as ManageEngine OpManager, it provides you with enough visibility to see when Hyper-V servers are experiencing problems.
Performance reports can also be created in real-time to analyse hosts and VMs. These reports include details on CPU, disk utilization, memory, uptime, and OS. Reports can be printed or emailed to other members of your team.
ManageEngine Free Hyper-V Performance Monitor is a tool that is suitable for smaller organizations that want to monitor Hyper-V infrastructure without paying for a complete network monitoring platform. You can download this tool for free on Windows via this link here.
eG Enterprise is another highly-regarded web-based Hyper-V monitoring solution. eG Enterprise provides complete transparency over Hyper-V infrastructure with agent-based or agentless monitoring. The tool can measure the resource health, status, CPU usage, memory usage, disk usage, network usage, and I/O activity of servers. All of this information can be viewed through the performance dashboard in real-time.
However, what makes eG Enterprise a standout offering is its root-cause diagnostics capabilities. eG Enterprise uses pre-configured thresholds and auto-baselines for metrics to detect performance events as early as possible. Once an event has been detected, the automatic diagnosis technology pinpoints the root-cause.
The diagnostics feature looks through virtual machine to physical machine dependencies, application to application dependencies, and virtual machine maps to find out exactly what is going wrong. This saves the user lots of legwork that would otherwise be spent trying to find out what the problem is.
One advantage of eG Enterprise is that it can be deployed as an on-premises or cloud application. There are five main packages to choose from: easy evaluation, perpetual license, subscription, SaaS, and Audit Service. You’ll need to request a quote in order to view the price though.
To view the price of the cloud-deployed SaaS package you need to contact the company directly. There is also a free trial that you can download here.
LogicMonitor is another well-respected Hyper-V monitoring solution that is very easy to configure. LogicMonitor automatically discovers Hyper-V virtual machines so that you can monitor performance metrics like CPU utilization, memory usage, and network throughput. You can view this information as graphs on the performance dashboard to identify emerging trends from a glimpse.
However, LogicMonitor’s monitoring capabilities go well beyond the virtual and can also handle server and chassis monitoring as well. The tool automatically discovers the hardware that is being used to run your Hyper-V infrastructure. After the hardware has been found, the hardware is monitored by looking at power supply, temperature, and fan speed. Keeping track of physical hardware ensures that your virtual infrastructure is adequately supported.
There is also a trigger-based alerts system to keep track of bad performance when it occurs. These triggers are set by Microsoft engineering to ensure that you have the best monitoring setup for monitoring Hyper-V environments. For example, you will receive an alert if memory usage reaches a point that could cause performance problems.
There are three pricing options available for LogicMonitor: the Start, Pro and Enterprise versions. Each starts at 50, 100, and 200devices respectively. However, you’ll need to contact the company directly to receive a quote. There is also a 14-day free trial version you can download here.
Veeam One is a performance monitoring platform for Windows that offers a reliable Hyper-V monitoring experience. Veeam One monitors your network in real-time to track the performance of Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere infrastructure. This tool monitors the status, performance, and availability of virtual infrastructure to find if there are any performance issues.
The Veeam One platform comes with over 200 preset alarms to keep you updated on changes in your virtual infrastructure. There is an intelligent diagnostics feature which works alongside alerts to identify the root-cause of performance issues. The user can even implement automated Remediation Actions which configure automatic responses once certain alerts have been raised. The intelligent diagnostics of Veeam One make it ideal for larger enterprises looking to automate Hyper-V monitoring processes.
Customizable reports help to build up the depth of your Hyper-V monitoring so that you develop more sophisticated insights. Veeam One allows you to create reports based on CPU, memory, network, and disk metrics data. However, you can choose your own configurations so that you see all the information you’ll need within the report.
You aren’t limited to monitoring up-to-the-minute usage data either; you can forecast future usage as well. Veeam One forecasts your usage trends and helps you to implement capacity planning so that your usage doesn’t exceed the available space of resources. This ensures that your organization stays operational.
There are two versions of Veeam One available: the Complete Edition and the Community Edition. The Complete Edition is the fully-featured product and the Community Edition is a limited version that is available for free. You can download a free trial version of Veeam One via this link here.
Dynatrace is an advanced APM tool with Hyper-V monitoring capabilities. With this tool you can see an interactive map of your Hyper-V resources. The map displays how your virtual and physical resources connect to each other. Applications, Services, Processes, Hosts, and Data Centers are all plotted on the map for you to navigate giving you a top-down perspective of your entire data center.
When it comes to monitoring Hyper-V metrics, Dynatrace offers metrics such as read/write, throughput, and IOPs. If a performance issue emerges then Dynatrace automatically starts to analyze and locate the root cause. The tool will be able to identify whether the cause is at the virtual or application layer.
The Dynatrace platform is also easy to use because it stays up-to-date when you add new infrastructure. Dashboards and configurations are designed to automatically add new infrastructure so that you don’t have to waste time with manual configurations whenever you add a new device.
Price-wise Dynatrace has a number of different options. There is a SaaS Pay-as-you-go model which starts from a price of $0.035 (£0.027) per host/hour. There is also an enterprise version and a Web-Scale version available as an on-premises or SaaS installation. In order to view the price of Dynatrace you’ll need to contact the sales team. You can download the 15-day free trial of Dynatrace.
Finally we have Turbonomic. Turbonomic is a virtualization management tool which can monitor Hyper-V, vSphere, KVM, and PowerVM. The tool comes with integrations for Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware, KVM, Redhat Enterprise Linux, IBM Power VM, and Citrix. The storage and network usage of Hyper-V resources can be monitored to prevent poor performance. All of the dashboards that this information is shown on can easily be copied and shared with other key decision makers.
One interesting feature offered by Turbonomic is that of capacity planning. The platform simulates the environmental changes of new workloads to see if resource allocation can sustain the intended usage. The platform can then decide whether to limit or provision more capacity. The great thing about this is that it reduces the amount of time you need to spend provisioning virtual resources and optimizing the usage of virtual machines.
Turbonomic may not be as intuitive as some of the other tools on this list but it provides the core monitoring features to track and manage a range of Hyper-V resources. To view a quote for Turbonomic you will need to contact the sales team directly. There is also a 30-day free trial available here.
Finally, we have EventSentry. EventSentry is a network monitoring tool that can monitor Hyper-V hosts and the virtual machines running inside them. With EventSentry the user can monitor the health of connected Hyper-V systems. For instance, you can monitor disk space, event logs, services, and performance.
The performance and disk space monitoring potential of EventSentry is this product’s greatest asset. You can monitor the performance of Hyper-V environments in real-time and historical analysis. With regard to disk space monitoring, you can monitor a host’s disk space or individual directories.
EventSentry is competitively priced for organizations of all sizes. The cost of a full license for one Windows Server or Workstation is $85 (£66) for the first year and $15.30 (£11.99) for every year after that. There is also a free trial version that you can download here.
Choosing a Hyper-V Monitoring Tool
For environments that use Microsoft Hyper-V, Hyper-V monitoring tools are essential for monitoring resource performance. Using a Hyper-V monitoring tool helps to keep virtual resources maintained and protected from performance degradation. Tools like SolarWinds Virtualization Manager, Datadog, and PRTG Network Monitor offer the best Hyper-V monitoring experience for enterprise users.
Of the two tools, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager is a better fit for those users that want to monitor the status of Hyper-V resources. On the other hand, PRTG Network Monitor is a better fit for users who want to configure sensors and tie them to a configurable alerts system.
The free version of PRTG Network Monitor is also a good alternative for those smaller organizations who can’t afford a more costly tool. If you stick with PRTG Network Monitor then you can simply upgrade to upscale with your virtual infrastructure to keep on top of Hyper-V servers.
Monitoring virtual resources as closely as you would physical machines is the key to keeping resources like Microsoft Hyper-V well-maintained.