How CDK Global Proactively Ensures a Positive VMware vSphere End User Computer Experience for their 27,000 Auto Dealerships
“We wanted a product for VMware vSphere Performance Monitoring that was very competitively priced, had great flexibility, a complete feature set and was easy to implement and manage. We found it in Goliath for vSphere Performance Monitor”
-Mike Musgrove, Product Development Consultant, CDK Global
The Organization: CDK Global
About the Organization: CDK Global is a $2 billion global provider of IT and digital marketing solutions to 27,000 retail automotive locations in 100 countries. CDK Global has been in business for over 40 years.
The Organization’s Infrastructure: VMware, vSphere supporting hosted applications
The Organization’s vSphere Performance Monitoring Product: Goliath Performance Monitor for VMware vSphere
The Business Challenge: Anticipating & Remediating End User Performance Issues
I was tasked with evaluating and testing various VMware vSphere performance monitoring products to manage our complex IT infrastructure. Specifically, we needed deeper visibility into VMware server performance so our IT Operations team could increasingly anticipate potential end user compute (EUC) performance issues and avoid them by proactively executing remediation or self-healing actions when vSphere performance issues were detected by the vSphere performance monitoring product they selected. If issues did occur that compromise the end user computing experience, it was essential to have the right visibility and VMware server performance data to quickly troubleshoot and resolve before our end users complained.
Two key requirements in our vSphere performance monitoring selection criteria:
- The product must cover a broad range of platform servers because at CDK Global we use a wide variety of operating systems such as UNIX, UnixWare, AIX, Microsoft and various forms of Linux servers all on VMware.
- The product must have the same monitoring and troubleshooting functionality for both physical and vSphere environments and local and remote monitoring.
Additional requirements in our vSphere selection criteria:
- Easy to use vSphere performance monitoring
- Flexible installation and deployment on the various platforms we maintain
- Easy to manage vSphere performance monitoring
- The ability to simultaneously alert and run self-healing programs to automatically remediate problems with vSphere while not needing administrator intervention or having the software change something in our environment
I evaluated many different Vmware vSphere performance monitoring products at various price ranges. The exhaustive evaluation included, but wasn’t limited to, HP OpenView, SolarWinds, Nagios, and Kaseya. The decision to choose Goliath for Vmware vSphere Performance Monitoring was made for the following reasons:
- Ease of configuration: Goliath for vSphere Performance Monitoring comes with hundreds of preconfigured monitoring rules that make it very easy to set up and begin monitoring VMware vSphere. These vSphere monitoring rules proactively monitor all VMware vSphere performance metrics so an administrator doesn’t have to worry if they’re looking at the right things. The monitoring intelligence is out of the box.
- Schedule reports: We also found that Goliath for vSphere Performance Monitoring offered us the ability to run or schedule reports on WMI objects, enabling us to not only monitor for faults but also to detect and tune systems for peak performance, and automatically detect where bottleneck or performance issues were occurring. This is especially useful for intermittent faults as these can be brought to our attention without the need to logon to a suspect server and waste time watching for events or problems.
- Agent or Agentless monitoring: The capability of monitoring VMware virtual servers in real-time with either an agent or agentless solution offered great flexibility. It is easy to capture key metrics from the virtual machine, host or hypervisor; i.e. the full VMware vSphere stack.
- Real-time visibility: Comprehensive vSphere reports and interactive vSphere alert screens offered real-time visibility into the vSphere performance of our VMware vSphere virtual server farms as seen in the image below.
- Master “Intelligent” Agent: The Goliath for vSphere Performance Monitoring includes a Master “Intelligent” Agent that allows one agent at a remote site, behind the firewall, to be designated a Master Agent and receive alerts from all the other agents deployed at that site. The Master “Intelligent” Agent will then send status and alerts back through the firewall to the remote Goliath Performance Monitor server. This made monitoring vSphere in our remote locations very easy and efficient from a resource and management perspective.
- vCenter Plugin: Goliath for vSphere Performance Monitoring has a VMware vCenter plugin that provides a single pane of glass dashboard from which you can monitor the physical and VMware infrastructure in vCenter as seen below.
For our VMware environment, we are now using Goliath to monitor 2,700 vSphere servers both in our data centers and on customers’ remote sites.
We can automatically log calls on our own bespoke call control system and allocate engineers to rectify problems on vSphere virtual servers, sometimes even before the customer is aware that a problem exists. All the statistics from the Goliath vSphere Performance Monitor are fed directly to our Extranet to give our customers a real-time view into the health of their own servers.
Excellent Customer and Tech Support
Obviously, with the number of VMware servers we have it was crucial that we had access to vendor support should a problem come to light. Support is something Goliath Technologies takes very seriously!
Solutions to queries on the product or features were quickly responded to and rectified by the Goliath team. Also, when necessary the Goliath team added enhancements in a very professional and timely way.
We wanted a VMware vSphere performance monitoring product that was very competitively priced, had great flexibility, a vast host of features and was easy to implement and manage. We found it all in the Goliath for vSphere performance monitor.