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Tag Archives: tech tips

Manage Your Templates!

Hey, have you seen my Windows 2012 template?  Which one, you ask?  Simple, I just mean the one with SP1.  No, not .NET SP1…  I mean the one with WINDOWS SP1, and just plain ol’ .NET 4.5.  What?  NO, not the one with IE 11!  Seriously, you know none of our apps work past IE 8.  Wait, which version of Java??  WHO runs that version!?  You didn’t put that into the MASTER template, DID YOU!!??

When template sprawl gets out of hand, maintaining all the variations and keeping track of all the things that are in this template but not in that template can turn into a real mess.  Fortunately, as vSphere Admins, we are responsible for keeping order; it’s our duty to rein things in every now and again.  My goal for this article is to pass along a few tips to help you maintain some control over your VM templates.

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vCenter Operations Tech Tips: Tip #39 – Capacity Planning for your Infrastructure

Have you ever wondered what is going on in your virtual infrastructure? Have you ever struggled to see when do you need to scale up or scale down your host infrastructure that runs your VMs? Have you ever thought how do you properly do the capacity planning of your virtualised infrastructure?

If your answer to any of the above is yes, then there is a strong case for you to start using VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite and it’s capacity planning capabilities that will save you from doing manual calculations and human errors while doing capacity planning, adding/modifying extra capacity and modelling that change manually. This post is intended for helping you to understand the “Planning” capability of vC Ops.

When you login to the vSphere Dashboard (default portal) in vC Ops you will see different “Worlds” in the left rail. When you expand the vCenter, Datacenter and select a Cluster, choose the “Planning” tab on the right side and you will see the Summary of the Cluster object.


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vCenter Operations Tech Tip #38: vC Ops – The Soccer World Cup 2014 Edition

logoWell, this post is all about pure fun and doing stupid things with smart products. Although I’m not a huge soccer fan, I’ve decided to accept the challenge and help all the soccer crazy VI Admins out there!

This Custom Dashboard is a very simple one to create; all you need to do is configure the Text Widget and point it to an HTML URL.


Configuring the Text Widget

Now, the fact is that if you want to use the Text Widget to present live HTML URL (which is what we are about to do) you Continue reading

vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #37 – vCloud OvDC Admin vCOps Custom Dashboard – Part 5

groupIn part 4 of this series we have finished laying down the Super Metrics infrastructure for the OvDC Admin Custom Dashboard.

Custom Groups is a powerful feature within vCenter Operations. Having said that, I will use it in order to dynamically grouping the OvDC resources.

Yes I know, we are already in part 5 and still we haven’t started putting any widgets on our canvas. I agree there is a lot of prepping in this Custom Dashboard but this is necessary in order for this dashboard to mean something so hang tight, everything happens for a reason.reason

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vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #36 – vCloud OvDC Admin vCOps Custom Dashboard – Part 4

Clint EastwoodIn the third part of this series we’ve created the vCloud Resource Kind performance Super Metrics needed for the OvDC Admin Custom Dashboard.

As a cloud provider you are required to some level of SLA against your customers. It’s not all about resources performance but it is also the fact that you need to give them a way to control resource consuming.

vCloud Director offers 3 OvDC resource allocation models: Pay-As-You-Go, Allocation Pool and Reservation Pool.

No matter which one you will go with, based on your CPU, memory and storage allocations, it will show the number of “Small”, “Medium” and “Large” VM you can expect to deploy.

As you can see, based on “Dev-OvDC” Allocation Module I can deploy 50 “small” VMs, 25 “medium” VMs and 12 “large” VMs.01. OvDC Allocation Moudle Properties

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vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #35 – Cluster Utilization Dashboard – Bringing it all together – Part 3

This is the last and final part of a 3 part #TechTips series on creating a vC Ops Cluster Utilization Dashboard. Before you read or implement this part on your instance of vCenter Operations Manager, you need to ensure that you’ve read the following #TechTips :-

TechTip #33 – Part 1 – Introduction to the Cluster Utilization Dashboard in vC Ops  &

TechTip #34 – Part 2 – Creating Supermetrics for Cluster Utilization Dashboard in vC Ops

So from the previous part of this series you have the Supermetrics ID of all the Supermetrics which you have created in your environment. We have 8 SuperMetrics with ids from 1 to 8.

To begin with download the following XML file which has the code for the Utilization Metrics:-


Open this file in a notepad after downloading it and now replace the shown metrics with the SuperMetrics ID which you have captured in the part 2 of this post. For me the Supermetrics ID is from 1 to 8 & I have highlighted the same. You need to edit the file with the SuperMetric ID corresponding to your instance of vCOps.


Here is how the file will look like and the values you need to edit.

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vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #34 – Creating Supermetrics for Cluster Utilization Dashboard – Part 2

Continuing from #TechTip #33 (part 1 of 3 in this series) where I gave you an overview of the Cluster Utilization Dashboard, in this post we will create all the 8 Supermetrics required for this dashboard. We will start with one example, wherein I will give you step by step instructions and you would need to repeat the steps for the rest of the Supermetrics. To begin with let’s look at the Supermetrics which we need to create:-

vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #33 – Introduction to the Cluster Utilization Dashboard: Part 1

A few days back I wrote a #TechTip on creating a One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard which was liked by a number of people in the virtual world. In-fact it was so easy to download and replicate that within a few hours of rolling out that post, I could see a number of people coming back to me stating that they have deployed the Dashboard and have started looking at the Capacity numbers for their infrastructure. Many of them asked as to how they can create their own XMLs for creating similar dashboards. I wrote another #TechTip in a few days which spoke about Creating your own XMLs for Custom Dashboards and got some great feedback on that as well.

Doing this is so much fun, however more often it is difficult to think of the various problems you can solve with these Custom Dashboards. With my continuous engagements with the customers on the field, I get some fancy requests which keeps my brain working on digging out possibilities with vCenter Operations Manager.

In my last engagement with a customer, I installed the Capacity Dashboard for him which I have already shared with you before. The immediate reaction of the customer after looking at the dashboard was to have something similar for his environment which could help him gauge the UTILIZATION of each cluster with a single click. This includes, CPU, Memory & Disk Utilization. The client was very clear with what he needs and that helped me create the following dashboard.

I will do this Dashboard in a 3 Part Series:-

Part 1 – Introduction to the Cluster Utilization Dashboard (This post)
Part 2 – Creating the required Supermetrics for the Cluster Utilization Dashboard
Part 3 – Bringing it all together.

NOTE - This dashboard uses both Regular vC Ops Derived Metrics and SuperMetrics. I have marked the Scorecard boxes which are using Supermetrics with the initials “SM <Number>”. We would need to create these SuperMetrics before we could use the .XML file and import the Dashboard as we did previously.


vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #32 – vCloud OvDC Admin vCenter Operations Custom Dashboard – Part 3

super-mario-brosIn the second part of this series we’ve created the Virtual Machine Super Metrics needed for the OvDC Admin Custom Dashboard.

The rest of the Super Metrics we are about to create in this part, are the ones related to vCloud Resource Kinds and will focus on calculating metrics while taking Resource Kind hierarchy into account.

This Custom Dashboard is not just about VM performance, we also need to create some capacity planning, capacity control and performance Super Metrics for the rest of the Resource Kinds so eventually we will have all of our “metrics infrastructure” in place.

Hierarchy and Super Metrics

In the following Super Metrics I used the “hierarchy calculation” principle. When using the vCloud adapter within vC Ops an additional hierarchy tree is created, taking vCloud Resource Kinds into account. As a result, a VM will become a descendant of vApp which is a descendant of OvDC which is a descendant of PvDC.01. Hierarchy

Note: regardless of the vCloud adapter, in vC Ops, a Datastore is a descendant of a VM. Continue reading

vCenter Operations Management Tech Tips: Tip #31 – Create a one-click Cluster Capacity Dashboard – Part 2

As I promised in my last post, Create a One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard Using vCOps, I am going to share the recipe for preparing dashboards similar to the “One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard,” which received a lot of appreciation from the Twitterati. A number of people  deployed the dashboard and within minutes they could showcase the capacity of their vSphere Clusters.

Now I want to take this one level deeper and tell you how you can create your own cool XMLs within vCOps Custom UI (included with Advanced & Enterprise Edition) to create the dashboard to showcase to your CxO, IT VP or the NOC team who are monitoring the virtual infrastructure. I call this the “behind the scenes” post because it will get into XML coding. Creating these XMLs is way easier than I thought, so go ahead, read on….

To begin, let’s have a look at the XML file I created for scoreboard interactions in Part 1 of this two post series. Here is how the file is structured and the details of the components that make up this file. Understanding this is critical.

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