By: Alain Geenrits, Blue Medora
vRealize Operations is a very powerful management platform with some little known features. None are used less than super metrics and that is a shame as it is a very flexible and powerful way to extend your management environment. In this article, I will discuss some use cases with our Blue Medora management packs.
What is a super metric?
The easiest way is to imagine a super metric is as a spreadsheet formula or cell. vRealize Operations offers a worksheet-like environment where you can combine existing metrics for an object in a formula to create a new one: a super metric. This metric can then be attached to an object and data collected like any other object. You can of course also visualize them in a dashboard, view or report.
Figure 1: Creating a super metric
Since they work on any existing metrics, you can create super metrics from metrics imported using Blue Medora Management Packs. As I will demonstrate later in this blog post, there are quite a few use cases for those metrics. Think what you can do with database query times, network port throughput, storage volume utilization and more!
What makes a super metric so super?
First of all you can apply functions to the metric. If you want to know, for example, what the average is of a metric such as execution time of queries on a database, you can do that with one operation (avg()).
You can also perform rollups. For instance, if you are interested in three volumes on a NetApp storage appliance not reaching 80%, you can do that by creating the average of the sum of all three ‘volume space occupied’ metrics.
A further specialty of super metrics is that you can attach them to an object higher in the relationships. By specifying a depth parameter, you can attach the average CPU time of a VM to the parent cluster, as an example.
This means a rollup metric has a very interesting feature. If you create a metric for an object type and then define a rollup, the function will work automagically across all children of the parent object, with no need to define which ones. Think of the possibilities!
Generic resource types are used to add metrics to a certain object type, such as something you are missing in your day-to-day monitoring and want to add. You use the ‘this’ button in the creation panel to reference an object.
Why use a super metric instead of a view?
There is a simple rule: If you need to create a view once with a metric, by all means do. But if you need to repeatedly view a metric that is not available out of the box, you should consider a super metric.
Figure 2: Attaching the super metric to an object type
Since you attach a super metric to an object, you can also specify if it is a key performance indicator or not. From there, you can decide if it is subject to normal vROps dynamic trending, or if you want a hard threshold. All of this is specified in a policy.
How do you create a super metric?
Quite a lot has changed since the launch of vROps 6.0. In VCops 5.x you had to search for super metrics in the dark corners of the enterprise dashboard, but now they have their own menu item in ‘Content’.
To create a super metric:
- Navigate to the ‘manage super metric’ panel in ‘Content,’ which is where you will create the super metric.
- Once you’ve identified your super metric, test it in the same panel on live or historical data (which is a new feature, and quite handy!).
- Now that it’s created, add the metric to an object type.
- Enable the super metric in a policy. If it is a KPI, define it along with how to collect the data.
- Start using the super metric.
Now that you know how to create a super metric, check out my post next week to see how you can use a super metric with a NetApp volume.
- How to create a super metric in vRealize Operations 6, blog
- Mastering vRealize Operations Manager, book by by Scott Norris, Christopher Slater, Pakt Publishing
- VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.4 Information Center, VMware