By Jim Yanik, End-User Computing Architect, VMware
When I was a child, I used to go camping at the Delaware Water Gap (some of you are heading for Wikipedia right now), and there were many caves that were super-tempting for an 11-year-old boy to explore. My brother and I would go into the caves and wander around, but we always stopped short into the adventure because we were missing something.
We never had a flashlight with us.
For a long time, I kind of felt that way about vRealize Operations for Horizon.
When a user calls the help desk to complain about a slow desktop, administrators need a tool that helps identify the most likely cause of the issue. View virtual desktop environments are complex and have a lot of moving parts to sort through to identify a problem. VMware vRealize Operations for Horizon gives a clear, comprehensive look at the vSphere infrastructure as well as the View components. The information is presented in twelve out-of-the-box dashboards, such as the View Overview dashboard shown in the following screenshot.
The vRealize Operations for Horizon solution provides a wealth of information about user sessions, including PCoIP protocol performance data. You can see metrics about each desktop virtual machine, including CPU, storage, and memory usage, but, until recently, you were unable to see specifics about which services and processes were running inside the guest operating system. Therefore, even though you could see the guest CPU running at 99 percent, you could not see what was causing such high CPU utilization within it.
This is where in-guest metrics come into play. You can now get inside the detailed data for the guest OS. VMware added this feature in June 2014 with the release of Horizon 6. There are a couple of technical requirements that must be in place to take advantage of this feature.
- You must be running vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon 1.6 or 1.7, or vRealize Operations for Horizon 6.0 (the new product name). VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon 1.6 and 1.7 are versions that were released during the summer and early fall of 2014. They are based on vCenter Operations Manager 5.8.x. VMware vRealize Operations for Horizon 6.0 is the most recent version, released in December 2014, and carries the new vRealize branding. It is based on vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.
- The desktop VMs must be running the Horizon with View Agent 6.0 or later. If you are running an earlier version of the View Agent, a standalone vRealize Operations for Horizon agent can be installed in the desktop VMs, in addition to the View Agent.
I get asked all the time exactly where you can go in the dashboards to get the in-guest metrics. Retrieving this information is a fairly straightforward process. The View Remote Session Details dashboard is where you can access the in-guest metrics for a VDI desktop, RDSH desktop, or RDSH application session.
After you get to the View Remote Session Details dashboard, search for the user for whom you want to gather data, using the search filter in the View Remote Sessions widget.
Select the desktop or application session for which you want metrics.
After you select the session, the dashboard populates information about that session. There are several widgets on the dashboard which provide indicators about session health, PCoIP traffic for the session, and session login details. Here you are interested in the Session Processes widget.
You can see that there is no information presented in the widget at this time. You need to request the data. The in-guest metrics are provided on demand. To retrieve the data, select an action from the drop-down menu in the upper-right corner of the widget. You can get processes and services, or perform a traceroute between the desktop and the client. For the purposes of this example, select Get Desktop Processes, and the data will be retrieved from the desktop you selected earlier.
Click the blue Run Action button (right-arrow), and the in-guest processes will be requested.
You will see a message like the following indicating that the data is being collected. It takes about a minute to retrieve the data.
After you get the data, it will look something like the following.
There are a number of metrics which give up-to-date information on running applications and the resources they are consuming. In troubleshooting situations, this provides useful details about what is actually running in the desktop and what might be consuming excess CPU, memory, or disk IO.
You can also get similar information on RDSH servers through the View RDS and TS Host Details dashboard.
The navigation from here is similar, except that you select a host instead of a session, and the widget where you retrieve the in-guest metrics is called RDS and TS Host Processes & Users.
As the name of the widget implies, you can get user details in addition to process and services details. Information about all the user sessions can be retrieved on demand and will look something like the following.
This is particularly useful if you are working on an issue where a host has a high workload. You can retrieve the user details to determine which users are the greatest consumers of constrained resources, and remediate the issue.
As you can see, the addition of in-guest metrics to vRealize Operations for Horizon provides another very useful troubleshooting tool.
The solution finally has a flashlight.