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vRealize Operations Tech Tips #2 – Smart Alerts – Part 2 of 4

Our last blog on this topic was very conceptual, where we introduced you to the new Smart Alerts feature of vRealize Operations.  We explained the new alert definitions and how these alerts are made up of symptoms, recommendations and actions.  These alert definitions are built by subject matter experts and provided to you out-of-the-box (OOTB), but you can also quickly create your own alert definitions to customize vRealize Operations to your specific business needs.  Stay tuned to this blog for more details on how to do that!

Now it’s time to see alerts in action.  This video shows how vRealize Operations helps you manage the day-to-day health and performance of your software defined data center (SDDC) by taking advantage of these aforementioned OOTB Smart Alerts.  There are hundreds of alert definitions available, but we’ll look at just two of them.  We also get our first look of the new UI including the recommendations screen which shows you a quick status of your data center and the alert details screen where you can quickly resolve issues.  The bottom line is alerts will lower your mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR), make your customers happy as their services will perform better and will make you look like a rock star!

Check out the video below to learn all about it.

Watch this space for a lot more on the new features and capabilities that will make your life better…well, at least at your workplace!

vRealize Operations Tech Tips #1 – Smart Alerts – Part 1 of 4

The General Availability date for vRealize Operations 6.0 is right around the corner and the new version is full of powerful and user-friendly features to help you better manage your IT environment.  Some of the new features are major updates that will ensure your environment is always performing at its best and you are meeting your customer’s needs.  Some features are just slick and cool and will make you wonder how you ever lived without them!  Still others are there to help you be more efficient and will allow you to really impress your boss…and your boss’s boss!

The feature I want to talk about today is a major one that will change how you do day-to-day management. It’s one of the slick and cool ones, it is going to save you a ton of time…and it will impress your boss!

The new Smart Alerts feature of vRealize Operations Manager greatly reduces your mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) by showing you not only there is a problem, but also  the causes  underlying that problem, as well as recommendations on how to fix it and even an ‘Action’ button to resolve the issue immediately.

Out-of-the-box alert definitions provide you with subject matter expertise around not only your virtual environment but also your storage, network, operating systems, applications and hybrid cloud deployments.  Simple workspaces, or wizards, allow you to customize and build your own alerts based on symptoms from metric dynamic or static thresholds, faults, error messages, logs, etc.

Check out the video below to learn all about it.

Watch this space for a lot more on the new features and capabilities that will make your life better…well, at least at your workplace!

vCenter Operations Tech Tips: Tip #42 – Latest Plugin Updates in vCenter Hyperic

I wanted to provide you with an update on some of the recent updates to VMware vCenter Hyperic and of course the relevant content that can be consumed through VMware vCenter Operations Manager.

Microsoft SQL server plugin now supports Microsoft SQL Server 2014. In addition to supporting the new version of MSSQL we have updated some of the default metrics following customer feedback.

 

MSSQL2014

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vCenter Operations Tech Tips: Tip#41 – How to Correctly Size vCOps For Your IT Environment

I am sure there are many people who would have worked on VMware vCenter Operations Manager and used this as a component to monitor their VMware Infrastructure. But when ever you use it, you must account that the vCOPs itself will take certain amount of physical resources that includes, CPU, Memory, Storage & Networking. In generic term networking is not the hard, however other three are the major components to consider.

Consider the vCOPs vApp as two VMs (UI VM & Analytics VM) and add that to your overall VM design strategy, including consideration for the disk size, CPU & Memory. It will add these resources to your overall VM design strategy. The vCenter Operations Manager vApp consists of two virtual machines with the same basic virtual machine layout. Both virtual machines have a system disk which is sized at 8GB which should not be resized. On initial deployment, within a logical volume managed by a logical volume manager, both virtual machines have created a 120GB disk each.

Sizing of a vCenter Operations Manager environment can be challenging. In this entire post we will assume some basic consideration. Core CPU speed for the physical host is 2GHz, each VM will produce 250-300 metrics each, a physical host will bring in 1200-1500 metrics. As you can see there is a variation and this is because the number of metrics depends not only on the virtual machine itself, they depend on soft values such as the number of virtual CPUs, memory, number of network adapters, and virtual disks. Each of these components usually brings at least one metric, but can also provide multiple metrics.

You also need to consider the consolidation ratio in your environment when sizing your vCOPs. If you use vCenter Operations Manager only with vSphere and no other additional adapters, you can use the formula shown below. This formula is only used to estimate the amount of expected metrics, in order to size the vApp correctly.

Environment size: metrics = (1350/10 x consolidation_ratio) x hosts + 275 x VMs

Data retention: storage[GB]= ((metrics x 16)/(1024 x 1024 x 1024)) x interval x 12 x 168 x 4.33 x (months+1) x 1.2

Additional adapters: Metrics per resource

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vCenter Operations Tech Tips: Tip#40 – Designing a Custom Storage Performance Dashboard using vCOps

Do you know what it takes to design a custom dashboard in VMware vCenter Operations Manager? If you ever wondered how big that deal is, this post will help you to achieve that.

What you want for creating a custom dashboard (in this example a storage monitoring interactive dashboard) is a heat map dashboard with a health tree, mashup charts and metric graph (rolling view). This is not there in the default storage performance dashboard. Before we roll on to show you how do you create this dashboard, we need to tell you what are the kinds of widget that we will be using and what are their purpose built in.

Heat Map

In most cases, you can select only from internally generated attributes that describe the general operation of the resources, such as health or the active anomaly count. When you select a single resource kind, you can select a metric for that resource kind.

The Health Map widget has a General mode and an Instance mode:

General mode:

The widget displays a colored rectangle for each selected resource. The size of the rectangle indicates the value of one selected attribute. The color of the rectangle indicates the value of another selected attribute.

Instance mode:

Each rectangle represents a single instance of the selected metric for a resource. A resource can have multiple instances of the same metric. The rectangles are all the same size. The color of the rectangles varies based on the instance value. You can use instance mode only if you select a single resource kind.

In either mode, you can group the rectangles according to tag type and select the color range to use. By default, green indicates a low value and red indicates the high end of the value range.

When you point to the rectangle for a resource, the widget displays the resource’s name, group-by values, and the current values of the two tracked attributes. You can click Show Sparkline in the pop-up window to review a small sparkline of the tracked metric by the heat map color.

HeatMap

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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.

Planning-Tab

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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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