vRealize Operations vSAN

David Davis on vRealize Operations – Post #35 – NEW! VMware VSAN Dedicated Management Pack in vROps 6.4

vrealize-heart-vmware-vsanIn case you missed my last post, I covered one of the coolest features in the vRealize Operations version 6.4 — predictive distributed resource scheduler. In this post, I’m going to cover another one of the very coolest features of vROps 6.4 and that is the new dedicated VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) management pack. Now you may say that vROps could already manage VSAN prior to vROps 6.4 and you’re right, however that was with the vRealize Operations Management pack for storage devices. The storage devices management pack is for managing all types of storage devices with vROps and, thus, isn’t dedicated to just VSAN. The newly released VSAN management pack for vRealize Operations 6.4 is dedicated just to managing VSAN and, as such, it offers a lot of cool functionality. To learn how to download it, how to install it, and what it offers you, read on !

What You Need to Know About the New VSAN Management Pack

Hold on for a second there! If you are like me when you see some new just released application you quickly scroll to the download button (or google the app), download it, and install it before you ever finish the article. Before you do that (if you haven’t already and had trouble) you should know that there are a couple of requirements that you must meet in order to use the new vROps 6.4 VSAN management pack. They are:

  • Must be using VMware VSAN version 6.2 or 6.5 (or later)
  • AND vRealize Operations Manager version 6.4 (or later)

So make sure that before you download the new VSAN management pack and deploy it that your version of VSAN and vRealize Operations are up to those minimums. Besides just allowing you to run the new VSAN management pack, the new vRealize Operations 6.4 offers so many great new features, I recommend deploying that asap (for more info on what’s new in vROps 6.4 checkout this YouTube video from Sunny Dua and Simon Eady, both vROps experts from VMware). According to Duncan Epping of VMware who wrote about the new VSAN Management here, one of the benefits of having a dedicated management pack over the shared storage devices management pack is that the VSAN team will have greater flexibility and ability to release new features, faster.

Once you have met the pre-reqs, you can download the new VSAN management pack for vRealize Operation 6.4 from the VMware Solutions Exchange (VSX).

Among the numerous new very cool VSAN dashboards, the new VSAN management pack will also…

  • Discover VSAN disk groups in a VSAN datastore
  • Identify the VSAN-enabled cluster compute resource, host system, and datastore objects in a vCenter Server system
  • Leverage vRealize Operations 6.4 features like KPI Metric groups and Alert groups

I was excited by what the new VSAN management pack could offer so I took it for a spin!

Downloading and Deploying the VSAN Management Pack for vROps 6.4

Once you’ve met the the prerequisites mentioned above, you’re going to want to go to the VMware Solutions Exchange (VSX) and download the new the VSAN management pack for a vROps 6.4. Next, go into vROps Solution configuration and click “+” to add a new solution. Select the PAK file that you downloaded from VSX for the VSAN management pack and click Upload.


Once uploaded, click Next. Check the box to accept the end-user license agreement and click Next. When that deployment is complete, you’ll see the installation details and, assuming everything went well, click Finish.


Once installed, you’ll see that the VSAN management pack solution will be in a state of collecting data then receiving data.


After a bit of collecting has passed, you’ll see all the cool new dashboards populate, which is what we should talk about next!

How the New VSAN Management Pack for vROps 6.4 Helps You

Since I’m just getting started with the new VSAN and management pack, I’m sure there’s much more that it offers then what I’ll be able to show you in this post. From what I have experience, the greatest benefits of the new management pack are the numerous new dashboards and the tons of information that they provide. For example, the optimize VSAN deployments dashboard, shown below, shows you the top VSAN datastores with available capacity, the latency across all your district that make up the VSAN datastore, the virtual machines that are running in the VSAN datastores as well as their IOPS and latency trends.


Moving onto the VSAN Performance dashboard, it’s here that you’ll find all your VSAN clusters, across every data center, being managed by vROps. I really like the heat maps that very quickly show you based on color coding, how the virtual machines are performing in every VSAN


If we scroll on down the VSAN Performance dashboard, you’ll see that you can very quickly tell if the write buffer and read cache it each of the same cluster is properly tuned by looking at the write buffer and read cache performance charts. Additionally, you’re very easily be able to tell if your vSphere hosts have the CPU and memory resources that they need to adequately provide the IOPS needed to run the virtual machines and serve up VSAN disk requests.


Moving onto the VSAN environment overview tab, it’s here that you could very quickly tell what’s going on across your VSAN clusters, whether they’re sitting next to you and your own data center or distributed around the world.


Besides all the new VSAN dashboard tabs, you’ll notice other new benefits of the VSAN management pack when you look at things like vROps Views, shown in the graphic below.


Finally, with the new VSAN management pack you can:

  • Monitor & proactively alert on vSAN problems, not metrics, via Alert Groups- for health, capacity, config (based on the VSAN health checks)
  • Identify VSAN clusters running out of capacity now or soon
  • Compare Non-vSAN and VSAN clusters to deploy or balance workloads to & optimize for performance & utilization

David’s Take…

I’m impressed with what VMware has done to marry vRealize Operations and VMware VSAN. If you haven’t already, make sure that you upgrade to (if you are already using a previous version of vRealize Operations) or evaluate vRealize Operations 6.4. From there, if you aren’t already using VSAN, VSAN is easy to evaluate or if you are using the VSAN, make sure that you’ve upgraded to the latest version. With these two pieces in place the next thing you want to do is to try out the new (and free, mind you) VSAN Management Pack for vRealize Operations from the VMware Solutions Exchange – Download it here!

PS – something else I just learned about from Sunny Dua during the research for this post is the new SDDC Health Solution for VSAN Monitoring. Once you are done with the above, you might want to check that out 🙂


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