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Is anyone running ntop on a virtual machine reliably?

We would be monitoring a network as follows:

  • HQ (where ntop will be installed) with about 100 servers and 400 PCs
  • UK offices with about 100 PCs
  • 40 overseas offices connecting via VPN with total of 300 PCs

So a total of about 900 computers and an additional 100 network devices. Most of the network devices would be configured to send netflow (or sflow) data to ntop. Additionally, the ntop server would be connected to a mirroring port on our core switching.

Is this feasible on a VMware virtual machine running on a five host vSphere cluster (also running about 40 other VMs)? Or is the amount of IO going to require dedicated physical equipment?

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VMware is a company which of their products are you using ? – Iain Apr 7 '11 at 10:19
five host vSphere cluster – dunxd Apr 7 '11 at 10:22
up vote 0 down vote accepted

In principal there's no reason why it won't work - I can't speak for your cluster's actual capability to run it at this scale, that's dependent on your hosts, networks and storage but if they're up to the job then sure, go ahead.

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Can you comment on whether you have done this, or if this is just technically something you don't see a problem with? I've avoided running monitoring equipment on VMs in the past - after a nasty experience with a Nagios VM running on MS Virtual Server a few years back. I'm wondering whether with more modern hypervisors this is not the concern it once was. – dunxd Apr 7 '11 at 10:40
The latter - I run lots of 'high-activity' VMs such as Splunk, firewall loggers etc. I can understand your hesitation following your experience with MS VS but that's a massively inferior product, ESX/ESXi is like a ferrari compared to VS's skoda :) – Chopper3 Apr 7 '11 at 10:52
Yes - somehow we still have a domain controller running on Virtual Server. It makes me cry. – dunxd Apr 7 '11 at 10:56

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