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By Chuck Petrie, Blue Medora

With the use of endpoint management packs it is now possible to take advantage of the vRealize Operations Suite to manage a FlexPod environment. Third-party endpoint management packs that are tailored specifically to NetApp Storage, Cisco UCS, and Cisco Nexus provide deep insight into the monitoring of each. These management packs offer the ability to map the relationships from the storage array through the compute and network layers and into the virtual stack to provide a comprehensive view of the entire FlexPod environment. Blue Medora has created a monitoring bundle specifically for FlexPod, which we will investigate here.

Figure1-borderFigure 1 – The FlexPod Overview dashboard

The FlexPod Bundle monitors Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and NetApp Storage. The Bundle consists of standalone management packs for individual FlexPod components, each fully utilizing the vRealize Operations (vROps) engine for alerting, metrics, capacity planning, relationships, and reporting. Issues within the individual components can be collected, tracked and monitored through each management pack, all within the interface of vROps.

Monitoring FlexPod using a bundle rather than unrelated management packs also has advantages for monitoring Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and NetApp storage as a FlexPod unit, rather than individual components. Dashboards add great value to FlexPod monitoring bundles, allowing quick and efficient insights into the health of FlexPod systems.

Figure2-borderFigure 2 – The FlexPod Investigation dashboard

In Figure 2, we see a FlexPod Investigation dashboard. For this dashboard, I use the FlexPod Selector widget to select a virtual machine running one of my FlexPod components. The dashboard automatically loads the topology of the virtual machine, including relationships like host system and datastore, the health of the virtual machine, and its metrics. This dashboard provides a comprehensive view of all virtual machines running FlexPod resources, allowing me to monitor the virtual health of my entire FlexPod system without having to check the virtual machines of each component’s separate monitoring solution.

Figure3-borderFigure 3 – The FlexPod Alerts dashboard

Alert dashboards are also another significant value add to FlexPod monitoring bundles. The alert dashboard from Figure 3 displays alerts for all components. These alerts are linked directly to their source, allowing administrators to click the alert and view the KPIs of the affected object. The alert list also links directly to the affected object, allowing for immediate access to low-level details.

By using a bundled monitoring solution for FlexPod, virtual administrators can gain insight not only into their individual Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and NetApp storage components, but into the system as a whole. For more information on the Blue Medora Bundle for FlexPod, visit the product page on Blue Medora’s website. To view all metrics being pulled in the bundle, visit the Blue Medora Knowledge Base and view the user guides for Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and NetApp Storage.