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vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #30 – Create a One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard – Part 1

It’s easy to set up a cluster capacity dashboard in just one click and I’ll show you how to do it with vCenter Operations Manager Custom Dashboards. In this two-part blog series, I’ll guide you through steps to get this dashboard installed in your environment and explain how to create the interaction XML.

Let’s take a look at the final dashboard in the screenshot below, the problems it will solve, and its features. Then we’ll take a closer look at the process of designing this dashboard and the related customizations you can do.

DuaOCCCD1

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vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #29 – vCloud OvDC Admin vCOps Custom Dashboard – Part 2

original bd 6In the first part for this series we’ve installed and configured vCloud adapter for vC Ops.

The OvDC Admin Custom Dashboard includes many elements related to one another which are mostly rely on Super Metrics. In this post we will create the Virtual Machine related Super Metrics.

Super Metrics

As I mentioned in my previous post, OOTB the vCloud adapter will not show performance metrics for vCloud resource kinds, it will only show the logical structure.

PvDC > OvDC > vApp > VM > Datastore

For that reason, I will be using vC Ops 5.8.1 in order to create quite a few Super Metrics, starting with Virtual Machines related ones. Continue reading

David Davis on vCenter Operations- Post #7 – Adding Your License in vCenter Operations Manager

In my last article in this series, Installing vCenter Operations Manager, I walked you through the three steps that you’ll take to install VMware’s vCenter Operations Manager. With over 30 graphics, I hope that you found it to be a very helpful post (or, if nothing else, at least it was visually appealing). Now that you have vC Ops up and running, I’d like to use this article to talk about licensing vCenter Operations Manager.

vCenter Operations Manager – Foundation vs Standard

With vCenter Operations Manager installed and connected to vCenter, it’s ready to use, right? Yes and No. If you go into it, it will appear that it’s working great (and it is, but it may not be to the extent that you expect). One thing that we never did is to enter a license for our version of vC Ops.

If you enter no license key (as we didn’t do in the previous post), you are using the Foundation Edition of vC Ops. That edition is completely free and will work indefinitely. The downside to the foundation edition is that no reporting based on historical data and no capacity information is available. Even if your company has no funding to purchase vC Ops Standard edition (or the Suite) today, I would recommend installing vC Ops Foundation edition and use it for performance monitoring. If at some point you can upgrade to vC Ops Standard (or above), you will have all that historical data collected and available for instant capacity analysis and you will have experience using vC Ops already. The vC Ops foundation edition still offers proactive smart alerts, intelligent operations groups, vSphere health monitoring, and self-learning analytics.

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Selecting a Cloud Automation Solution: Part 5 – The Perfect Mix of Function and Flexibility

By Rich Bourdeau
In earlier posts in this blog series we looked at the various options companies have for deploying automated, on-demand cloud services.  We also explored what capabilities you Fast and Flexible Cloud Automationshould look for in a cloud automation solution.  If you have not seen these posts I recommend that you start here.

You have probably been asking yourself how VMware stacks up to some of the challenges and stringent criteria that I have outlined.   In this post we are going to explore why vCloud Automation Center delivers the fastest time to cloud value.

Your cloud is not just any cloud!   It’s a business relevant cloud which is optimized for the way you do business and personalized to meet the unique need of your users.  Here are some of the ways we help companies accelerate the delivery of their automated cloud services.

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vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #28 – vCloud OvDC Admin vCenter Operations Custom Dashboard – Part 1

adaptervCloud Director is defiantly one of my favorites. It has lots of use cases, accessible API for orchestration and once you get all the different network concepts you are pretty much good to go, but how do you manage all of it in an efficient manner?

The one thing I was always missing was a comprehensive monitoring for it, especially on the Organization Virtual Datacenter (OvDC) level. Luckily, I got vC Ops on my side!

A bit of background

In large vCloud environments there can be tens or even hundreds OvDC’s deployed, all ready to serve end users. One of my customers holds an environment just like that with around 50 organizations with each one managed by a single OvDC administrator.

Allocating resources for paying customers is what it’s all about but what about giving the OvDC admin a better way to monitor and manage the Org resources? Without vSphere access permissions the only way for him to do this is via the vCloud portal.

01. Monitor

02. Num. of VMs

At the end of this multi-part blog post series you will hopefully be able provide the organization admin an all-around vC Ops Custom Dashboard which will serve as a comprehensive solution for several use cases and requirements:

  • Being able to perform resources capacity control and planning.
  • Perform VM optimization and avoiding resources capacity waste.
  • Monitor all the OvDC resources from top to bottom – OvDC > vApps > VMs > Storage. Continue reading

Service Catalogs Simplifying the IT Experience

When you order electricity for your home, you don’t first contact the manager at the power plant. Complex purchases – like ordering electricity – need to be made simple for consumers. So why is getting help from IT so hard?

How can your IT business simplify the buying process for your customers, while increasing efficiency and consumer satisfaction?

Creating a service catalog not only defines your business’s reputation, but also outlines standards and expectations for employees and customers, and reduces error. Catalogs help customers and users quickly identify the services they require, and also help organizations recognize and manage key services that support business processes.

Learn the do’s and don’ts of creating a service catalog and attend the free BrightTalk presentation entitled “How Service Catalogs Make IT a Better Enterprise Business Partner”. This free webinar, scheduled for Thursday, April 10 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, is by David Bogan, a former CIO and leading IT management consultant and will provide the strategy and tactics to help you build a successful service catalog and better manage your IT business.

Bogan has more than 30 years of experience in technology consulting, IT transformation and IT management, including CIO and CTO roles. He is an accomplished leader and change agent, weaving strategic vision and a practical delivery approach to his projects and engagements.

Click here to register.

Selecting a Cloud Automation Solution: Part 4 – Balancing Function and Flexibility

by Rich Bourdeau
In prior blog posts we discussed the challenges of building your own “as a service” cloud Fast and Flexible Cloud Automationframework, getting stuck with a prescriptive inflexible solution, and the opposite end of the spectrum, a solution that is so flexible that you basically have to assemble it yourself.   After six plus years in the cloud automation business I can safely assert that unless you have very simple needs, you will not likely find a cloud automation solution that matches 100% of your needs.  The reason is every business is a somewhat unique. They have their own infrastructure, tools and best practices.  Even in the same company often different groups have very different ways of doing things.

While you probably want to standardize and automate your process, you likely don’t want to be forced standardize them the way someone else thinks you should do business.  In order to deploy an on-demand cloud infrastructure which delivers business relevant cloud services, your goal should be to find a cloud automation solution that provides a balance between fast and flexible.

Here are capabilities you should look for to achieve an appropriate balance between function and flexibility:

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vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #27 1-Click Capacity Planning Dashboard – Part 4

In part 3 for this series we covered how to create the XML files needed for our 1-Click Capacity Planning Custom Dashboard. In this last part we will put everything to mix and create the dashboard.

The Dashboard Widgets

For this dashboard we will use 1 RESOURCES widget to show all our clusters and 4 METRIC GRAPH widgets which will use to show all the metrics and Super Metrics we added to the XML files.

01. Dashboard Widgets

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David Davis on vCenter Operations- Post #6 – Installing vCenter Operations Manager

In my last article in this series, vCenter Operations Manager Architecture, I discussed the architecture of the vCenter Operations Management Suite and, in more detail, vCenter Operations Manager. In that post, I also covered the 3 things that you didn’t know about vC Ops architecture as well as how to size the vCenter Operations Manager virtual machines.

In this article, we’ll deploy the vCenter Operations Manager vApp. Keep in mind that we already discussed sizing vC Ops, which covers the resource requirements you would normally review prior to installing a traditional management application. Those resource requirements, which vary based on the size of your virtual infrastructure are the majority of the “system requirements” for vC Ops. Additional system requirements for vC Ops 5.x, that the majority of you out there are going to meet, are:

  • System running the vC Ops vApp must be using vCenter 4.0 U2 or later
  • Host running the vC Ops vApp must be using ESX Server or ESXi 4.0 or later
  • Must be using a supported web browser to administer vC Ops – Internet Explorer 7/8/9 or Mozilla Firefox 3.6, 8, 9, or 10 with a minimum resolution of 1024×768

Note: while I, personally, use Google Chrome with vCenter Operations Manager and haven’t seen any trouble, it is technically an unsupported web browser by VMware when used with vC Ops.

Also note: there is an installable version of vC Ops that runs in the Windows or Linux operating systems. VMware doesn’t recommend that installation today. Originally, it was distributed in that format for scalability purposes but with the scalability of the vC Ops in vApp format, it’s no longer needed. In this article, we are installing the vC Ops vApp, which is by far the most popular deployment option in use today.

Keep in mind – because we are installing a Linux virtual appliance-based management application, there is no need to do things like…. create a new VM, buy a Windows Server OS license, install Windows, create a new table and user on your SQL Server, install the Windows-based management application, connect it to SQL, etc.

As you perform your own install, keep in mind how much time and money you will save with the Linux virtual appliance approach.

Step 1 – Prepare vCenter with a Network Pool to Support vC Ops

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Choosing a Horizon View Virtual-Desktop Operational Management Tool

By Guest Blogger:  David G. Wooten, End-User-Computing Product Line Manager, vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View, VMware

Have you ever tried to diagnose a VMware Horizon View end-user virtual desktop issue? If so, you’ll know that it’s difficult because there are so many data sources involved, and so many “subject matter experts” (SMEs) advising you about the potential cause of the issue or  problem and its solution! So what do you do? Many people have found success by using vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View. But there are a few things you should know before you buy and implement a Horizon View monitoring-and-management solution, to ensure the highest possible operational and troubleshooting efficiency. This post will tell you what you need to know to select an effective Horizon View virtual-desktop operations-management solution that will let you successfully scale out your Horizon View virtual desktop deployment, while the tool manages the complexity and moving parts.

If you’re looking for a Horizon View desktop-operations-and-management solution, you want to maximize availability of the virtual desktops and the performance of virtual desktop infrastructure. Look for these criteria:

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