Vblock is an incredibly popular converged hardware/software offering from our friends at VCE. For those not in the know, VCE is an EMC business, and started life as a joint venture between VMware, EMC, and Cisco. It produces pre-assembled, rack-based solutions which contain Cisco UCS compute notes, Cisco network switches, EMC storage, and VMware software. The idea is to provide an easy to install and deploy solution that radically decreases the time to takes to set up new computing environments.
This post will discuss ideas on how to manage Vblock systems with vRealize Operations Insight.
Vblock systems are various described as “Integrated Systems”, or “converged systems”. The idea is not new: Sun had “VOS” (Veritas, Oracle, Sun) systems in the 90’s. While I can’t name them, one imagines that IBM and DEC had them in the past as well. The come a variety of sizes, from a half rack 2-server version, to a whopping 3 full rack 700 series system. VCE describes the Vblock systems as follows: “Seamlessly integrating best-in-class compute, network, and storage technologies from industry leaders Cisco, EMC, and VMware, Vblock Systems provide dynamic pools of resources that can be intelligently provisioned and managed to address changing demands and fleeting business opportunities.” From this description, it can be inferred the intent of the Vblock systems is to provide is essentially to provide “vSphere with a wall plug,” i.e. a turnkey set of compute, network and storage resources that can arbitrarily be allocated to whatever the customer needs.
VCE recently announced a new architecture called VxRack as well.
Using vRealize Operations Insight to Manage Vblock
vRealize Operations Insight is a package that includes both vRealize Log Insight, VMware’s Log Management solution, and vRealize Operations Manager, VMware’s virtualization management platform. Just as VCE has built an integrated or converged hardware stack, VMware is producing a converged hybrid cloud management stack. It is important to realize that vRealize Operations Insight delivers intelligent operations from applications to storage – across vSphere and physical hardware. It also has a wide array of free extension at SolutionExchange.VMware.Com. These extensions extend beyond VMware software to exertions to help customers manage everything from apps to storage, including software from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, EMC, Netapp, and more.
Both these products are included in vRealize Suite. vRealize Suite for Vblock was announced in this blog back in late 2014.
vRealize Operations Manager can be used to resolve Vblock problems that customers raise , respond to alerts that identify problems before users report problems, and generally monitor virtualized environment for problems. When users experience performance problems and alert the datacenter to resolve the problem, the data that vRealize Operations Manager collects and analyzes from the Vblock system is presented to you in graphical forms so that you can compare and contrast objects, understand the relationship between objects, and determine the root cause of problems. vRealize Operations Manager also does sophisticated predictive analytics as well. To manage virtual environment as a proactive rather than reactive administrator, alerts are monitored and responded to. A generated alert notifies you when objects in your environment are experiencing problems, and gives the operator suggestions on how to fix the problem. For more information, see the vRealize Operations Management product page.
The other piece of Operations Insight is vRealize Log Insight. Log Insight is VMware’s Log Management Solution. In a nutshell, vRealize Log Insight collects, imports, and analyzes logs to provide real-time answers to problems related to systems, services, and applications, and derive important insights. Log Insight can be used to troubleshoot last mile storage problems for example. This results from the detailed information that routers, switches, servers and vSphere deliver in its logs. For more information on Log Insight, see the vRealize Log Insight product page here.
For more information on using vRealize Operations Insight, try the Hands-on Lab here.