Thursday, July 30, 2015

Monitor Datastores using the Datastore Usage Dashboard in vROps.

In the past I have done a lot of dashboards which help you gauge the Virtual Machine Capacity within your virtual infrastructure. While those dashboards have great value, I am stating to think of the day to day operational issues which a VI Admin has to face and how can he solve those easily with vRealize Operations. If you are a fan of vROps (like I am), you would quickly realize that, the more creative you are with your thought process, the more easy it would be for you to visualize data.

I often think that it is funny that we talk about features and functionalities of a tool, while we forget that at the end of the day every person would use these features differently or rather in his or her own way to get the end result. While vROps gives you a lot of great information upfront, there are times when you would want to be creative and paint your canvas with the data you like and then come out with your own opinions about that data. In other words, while data has a lot of potential, it only becomes useful when you can visualize it as information.

I must admit that my friend Iwan Rahabok is great at doing this and I have a lot to learn from. During our discussions on the VMworld Deck which we are prepping up, we had a lot of such good conversations and I thought it would be worth starting this article with those thoughts.

Having said that, Let me move to this new dashboard which gives you some good insights on the storage utilization of your datastores and the VMs which are consuming that storage. Here is what the dashboard looks like:

So on the left you can see all the datastores which are being monitored by vROps in one list. If you zoom in you can clearly see that I am showcasing the Total Capacity (GB), Used Capacity (GB) and the Free Capacity (GB) of these datastores which can be sorted just by clicking the headings in the resource list.

This is an interactive dashboard, hence if you select any of the datastore for which you want to drill down and check the Virtual machines which are lying on that datastore, then you will be able to see them on the right pane where you will see the name of the virtual machines, and the corresponding parameters of Total, Used and Free space in GB within the guest file system.

You can always edit the widget and add the metrics which you would like to see against the Datastore or the Virtual Machine object. It is as simple as I explained here. While creating this dashboard is not a big deal, for someone who just wants to replicate what I have created, you can download the dashboard from this link. This would be a storagedb.json file which can be used to import the dashboard back in your deployments or vRealize Operations Manager 6.x.

Hope this helps you visualize and manage the datastores better!

Share & Spread the knowledge!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Want to learn about effective Performance & Capacity Management - See us at VMworld!

With VMworld 2015 San Francisco Edition being right around the corner, I thought it was only fair to share the details of the session which me and Iwan Rahabok, (author of VMware vRealize Operations Performance & Capacity Management  and indeed a great friend) are presenting during VMworld this year. So far we have decided to present only at San Francisco and Barcelona is still a topic in discussion for us. Here are the details of the session:

"If a VM has performance problem, and the Application Team thinks your Infrastructure is causing it, can you prove within 1 minute whether the ball is in your court or theirs? How can both party agree on a specific, measurable Performance SLA up front? This will reduce the blame-storming session. Can you prove that your Infrastructure is serving all the VMs well? How do you define "well"? How do you take into account Performance SLA when doing Capacity Planning? The session is based on the book by the speaker. More about the book can be found at"

Needless to say that these are the wise words of Iwan who has been working with some large clients around the world. I also wanted to add my scoop to this session by talking about how capacity plays an important role in performance management. 

In my opinion Performance and Capacity are the two sides of the same coin and one who learns to strike a balance between both would be efficient at Operations Management. The session goes above and beyond just the product and talks about some real life examples of efficient operations management by using the concepts of IT operations management framework.

Here are the session takeaways in brief:

1- Learn the art of performance management using vRealize Operations Manager

2- Real world examples of how vROps Performance & Capacity Management can help you manage your virtual infrastructure efficiently.

3- Learn the core concepts of Performance & Capacity counters which drive the health of your virtual infrastructure.

With this, I will close this article and would look forward to see you all in our session at VMworld!!

I would also be around in the vExpert Zone, VMware CTO Ambassador Booth and the VSAN booth where I would talk about how your can manage Performance & Capacity of VMware VSAN using vRealize Operations Management.

Till then..

Share & Spread the Knowledge!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Alvida India! Ni hao Singapore! - Change is the only thing constant.

If you are wondering that why you do not see any action on vXpress, then you can blame me and no one else. I think I should NOT give you the excuse of the BIG CHANGE which has happened in my life, rather our life (my family). I am happy to share that VMware has given me an opportunity to widen my horizons by moving into a new role and a new country. Yes, you heard it right!

I have moved to VMware Singapore and have taken up the role of a Senior Consultant with the ASEAN Professional Services at VMware. With a strong 30+ member team of Consultants, TAMs, Architects and Management, I would be responsible to deliver professional services portfolio for VMware customers in the entire ASEAN region. While, I am extremely excited and humbled by the opportunity provided by my employer, I am equally looking at contributing to the VMware community by sharing the experiences I would gain out of the large services engagements which I would be involved in. 

It is my third day in Singapore and I am already in love with the country. Needless to say that I miss my colleagues, relatives and friends in India, but as someone has said, "The only thing which is Constant in life, is CHANGE". 

I hope that explains why I was missing from the blogging seen... However, as I said before, this would not be an excuse but an opportunity for me to take a break, refresh my cache and blog away all my Virtual experiences as I have done in the past.

Would need all your support and best wishes for this change which I am enjoying so far......

Stay tuned for more on vXpress!!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Part 15: Re-initiate Monitoring Goals Wizard in vRealize Operations 6.0!

One of the post in my vROps 6.0 Tutorial was about understanding the Monitoring Goals in vROps 6.0. I would highly recommend that you read that post before you read this article as this one is a follow up on that post where at the end I mentioned :

"As I mentioned before, any changes to the policy now cannot be done through this wizard. You would have to manually edit the policy now to make changes or you could use my next post where I will tell you a hack which will allow you to re-run this wizard once again."
The above statement means that once you setup a vCenter Adapter to monitor a vCenter Server, you would be asked to define your monitoring goals. These monitoring goals basically translate into the default policy which are then applied on all the objects which are being monitored by that vROps instance. When you read the above mentioned article you would understand how this wizard helps you set the policy for the first time. Unfortunately, you can only run this widget once and set the default policy and to make any subsequent changes to the policy, you would have to manually edit the default policy which could be a cumbersome task if you are not well versed with how policy works!
While you do not have the option to re-run the wizard, there is a hack which was discovered when this question was asked by my colleague Woflgang Stichel who is a Business Solution Architect at VMware. His question was that one of his customer has not selected the right options while responding to the monitoring goals because of which vROps default policy is not monitoring the datastores at all. He wanted to re-run this wizard somehow to select the right options instead of diving into the policies.
Before I share the hack with you, I must mention that this is NOT a supported method and please do it at your own risk :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Part 14: Can I deploy Deploy vROps Cluster Nodes Across Two Sites?


This might be the weirdest way to begin a blog post but I wanted to put this word out, loud and clear! Since the release of vRealize Operations 6.0, we all know that vROps can be deployed in a cluster architecture with multiple nodes which bring in resiliency and scalability to the solutions by just adding a node to an existing cluster. I have discussed this architecture and the benefits of the same in an article before

In that article I have also highlighted that you should deploy vRealize Operations Manager Cluster within the same site as that is the requirement for deploying the solution. Since then, their have been a number of occasions when I have been asked this question as people want to use the cluster architecture to their advantage and deploy the solution across sites to ensure that the cluster is alive even if one of the sites completely fails.

This across site cluster deployment will not work if it is more than a 2 NODE cluster, because vROps nodes randomly distribute data to the nodes in the cluster while storing a copy of the same in some other node, there is no way that those nodes will always be in different sites always (you cannot control that). Hence imagine you have a 4 node cluster and the N1 and N2 are in Site A while N3 and N4 are in Site B. A metric collected by N1 can be replicated as a copy on N2, N3 or N4 and you do not have any control over it, hence if a metric is copied to N2 and the Site A fails, then you will lose that data, hence this solution cannot be a across site solution.