New tool for Linux VMs
vOptimizer Pro now supports Linux VMs
Comment July 13th, 2010
By Roger Howorth

Virtualization tool specialist Vizioncore this week announced the latest version of its vOptimizer Pro suite. The update enables the suite to work with Linux-based and VMware Thin Provisioned virtual machines (VMs). Previously vOptimizer Pro could only be used to manage Windows-based VMs.

In a long term lab evaluation of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), The Hypervisor has found managing the size of virtual hard disks used by Windows-based VMs to involve a difficult compromise between providing enough room to grow without over allocation valuable SAN storage. System administrators could use VMware vSphere’s Thin Provision option to prevent allocating SAN storage to a VM until it is actually needed, but the VMware vCenter management console does not have tools to reclaim unused space from Thin Provision disks. Such disks automatically grow as needed, but do not automatically shrink again if files are deleted.

In addition, many firms are slow to upgrade mission critical server software from one release to another. The older VMware VI3 version of vCenter doesn’t have the Thin Provisioning feature, so administrators using that suite must work even harder to manage the amount of disk storage used by VMs.

In The Hypervisor lab tests we found vOptimizer Pro to be an invaluable time saver. It can be configured with a policy to maintain, for example, 4GB of free disk space per VM, and automates the process of checking and updating a VM’s configuration to keep it in line with that policy. The main downside is that the VM must be rebooted several times while vOptimizer Pro is working.

Whether the Linux capabilities will prove as popular as the Windows ones remains to be seen. On the upside, resizing Linux server disks is about as complicated as resizing Windows disks. However, system administrators are usually more reluctant to reboot server systems than Windows desktops.

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