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David Davis on vCenter Operations – Post #13 – Capacity Analysis of Your vSphere Hosts

In my last article in this series, Introduction to Capacity Planning from the World View, I covered how the vC Ops World View can be used to analyze, optimize, and forecast, at the highest level, across the entire virtual infrastructure (or even multiple infrastructures). However, most of us don’t spend our time analyzing capacity from the World View for too long. Many admins move down into the cluster level but all admins, at some point, move down into the host level. How can you analyze and plan capacity from the host view in vCenter Operations Manager? Let’s find out.

vCenter Operations Host View

By selecting an individual host on the vC Ops inventory, you’ll go much deeper into the host performance, capacity, and events than you could at the world level however, you’ll be analyzing the host using the same familiar tabs that you did at the world level.

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Figure 1 – vC Ops Host Level Dashboard

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Exchange Operations – Log Insight can help

Microsoft Exchange is the core messaging technology used in many enterprises.   How many times have you been through an Exchange or Outlook migration?  We all can relate to our experiences over the years.  Large, complex mission critical business applications such as Exchange can be taxing on Command Center and Exchange engineering teams.  The relevant operational time series data from exchange can be analyzed through our vCenter Operations  release last December.    Log data from Exchange is a very important source of additional data and  we have recently released our Microsoft Exchange Server Content Pack.  This content pack has six dashboards, 34 widgets, 32 queries, 9 alerts, and 96 extracted fields.

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vCenter Operations Management Pack for vCloud Hybrid Service – Installation & Overview

Note: This post was co-authored by Jonathan Franconi and Dave Overbeek.

 

 

In case you missed the announcement, yesterday we announced the availability of the vCenter Operations Management Pack for vCloud Hybrid Service. You can read more about the announcement here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2014/07/introducing-vcenter-operations-management-pack-vcloud-hybrid-service.html

The above blog post provides an overview of the Management Pack release details and some other information about its capabilities. Below is a quick overview of the Management Pack installation and configuration along with a review of included out-of-box dashboards that come with the Management Pack.

Installation and Configuration

As with any other vCenter Operations Manager Management Pack the installation is straight forward and easy to do on any vCenter Operations Manager vApp based appliance. For customers with standalone/installable versions of vCenter Operations Manager, the Management Pack contains a separate installer that can be used to install on the platform being used. Continue reading

Cloud Automation – Start Planning your VMworld Sessions Now!

by Rich Bourdeau

I know VMworld 2014 in San Francisco sounds like a long way off, but the VMworld Schedule Builder has been available for a few weeks and some sessions are already starting to get VMworld 2014 Automationfilled close to capacity.  To make sure you get in to the sessions that are top on your list start building your VMworld 2014 schedule now.   If you haven’t registered yet, register now for VMworld –you have to be registered to access Schedule Builder

In all there are 25 Cloud Automation Sessions.  Ten of the sessions are delivered by VMware customers or partners.  Personally I’m headed to the customer sessions from companies like EMC, McKesson, Cleveland Clinic, Asurion, and VMware IT to find out what’s working, best practices and lessons learned.  To help you plan your week I have assembled the definitive list of Cloud Automation Sessions that you will definitely want to check out.  If you can’t fit them all into your week, remember you can watch them online when you return.

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Announcing the VMware vCenter Operations Management pack for NSX-vSphere 1.0

Following on the heals of our vCNS Management Pack announcement, I have great interest in leveraging and correlating networking data in vCenter Operations. Alongside our growing list of network technology partners, we are working very closely with the NSX team at VMware to drive our NSX – vCenter Operations management solution.

 

We are very excited to announce the General Availability of VMware vCenter Operations Management pack for NSX-vSphere 1.0

The vC Ops Management Pack for NSX-vSphere 1.0 extends the operational management capabilities of vCenter Operations into the areas of virtual and physical data center networking. It provides the following operations capabilities for virtual administrators and network operations administrators, in highly virtualized network environments which use both vSphere and NSX technologies:

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vCenter Orchestrator – The Preferred Approach for Adapting and Extending vCloud Automation Center

by Rich Bourdeau

vCAC-VCO ExtensibilityA cloud automation solution is not a standalone application it needs to interact with existing infrastructure tools and processes.  vCloud Automation Center delivers the quickest time to value, because it is a purpose built cloud automation solution with broad multi-vendor support and comprehensive capabilities built in.  However vCAC is also designed to be extensible to allow it to be rapidly integrated with your existing multi-vendor systems.

vCloud Automation Center empowers IT Administrators to rapidly adapt or extend our out-of-the-box capabilities to either integrate with existing tools and infrastructure or add  new IT services by leveraging  vCenter Orchestrator’s library workflows and partner provided plug-ins.

Integration Examples
Lets look at three common examples of how to vCenter Orchestrator can be used to adapt and extend vCloud Automation Center’s purpose built functionality.

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Dell’s Chapter 2 with the EqualLogic Storage Management Pack

Dell’s first foray into operational analytics for Storage kicked off 2014 with a vCenter Operations Management Pack for Compellant Storage.     Recently Dell added a similar solution for their Equalogic Storage line and this broad coverage over their storage lines puts Dell among the leaders in our partner community.

The Management Pack  for Dell EqualLogic storage is a free solution for vCenter Operations Suite that coordinates with SANHQ to deliver performance and health metrics of your EqualLogic Storage to the VMware VI administrator.  The Management pack not only aggregated storage metrics, correlates with the necessary vSphere constructs and comes with four dashboards and the ability to customize them and create new ones based on what you want to see.  Like all of our storage and network based Management Packs, this requires vCenter Operations Advanced Edition.

These out of the box dashboards include:

EqualLogic Storage at a glance – Covering the various groups you are monitoring, pools, volumes and overall health and performance metrics

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David Davis on vCenter Operations – Post #12 – Introduction to Capacity Planning From the World View

In my last article in this series, Understanding and Configuring Alerts, I covered the various types of alerts and how you can respond to alerts in vCenter Operations Manager. One of the many types of alerts you could receive in vC Ops may be a capacity alert. Capacity alerts tell you that you are running low on some form of virtual infrastructure resource such as CPU, memory, or storage I/O. Or, what if instead of receiving an alert, you just wanted to proactively review the current virtual infrastructure capacity available and how long vCenter Operations Manager predicts before that capacity is depleted. To help us gain insight into capacity planning with vCenter Operations Manager, read on!

Capacity Planning Worst-Case Scenario

Before we delve into how vC Ops can help you perform capacity planning, it’s important to first consider – what would happen if we DIDN’T do capacity planning? Of course, the obvious answer is that you would run out of capacity but what happens then? Many of us don’t think about it too much unless we’ve had the unfortunate experience of trying to figure out what happened to a virtual infrastructure that “just stopped working one day”.

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Figure 1 – Capacity Planning and Analysis Tabs

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Justifying Your Cloud Automation Investment

By Rich Bourdeau

If you are like most companies your primary motivation for deploying on-demand cloud Cloud Automation Savingsservices is to better align IT with business demand by accelerating the delivery of infrastructure, applications and other IT services.   While the improvements in service delivery times are quantifiable and easily measured, the benefits in terms of improved productivity of the users consuming these resources and the new business opportunities made possible by more agile IT processes are subjective and hard to quantify for most companies.

If the benefits from the primary motivation are hard to quantify, how do you justify an investment in cloud automation?  The answer: Cost reduction.  Although lowering IT costs is not the primary motivation for most companies, the savings made possible by improving operational efficiency, eliminating over provisioning and reclaiming inactive resources more than justify their cloud automation investment for most companies.

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Announcing the Log Insight Partner Program

With our Log Insight 2.0 Release, our platform for log analytics and machine learning was extended in a variety of areas for both customers and for our partners to build Content Packs.  With this in mind we are announcing our Partner Program for Log Insight.  This program has many zero cost benefits for partners:

Key Benefits of the Log Insight program:

  • Consulting with VMware for partner Content Pack development
  • Partner Content Pack listing/hosting on VMware Solution Exchange (VSX), the customer  Cloud management marketplace
  • Coordinated VMware and Partner technical support for customer end user Content Pack issues
  • Zero program fees or consulting fees

Program requirements

  • VMware Tech Alliances (TAP) membership
  • Enrollment in TSANet.org, a multivendor support community required for all VMware programs

Building a Content Pack is very straightforward as long as you have a representative log file with real life issues in it and the subject matter expert to build the Content Pack with the product UI.  There is no SDK, APIs or coding necessary.

Join the zero cost program here, and learn more about how to build a Content Pack for your technology here.