With the release of vRealize Operations 6.6 I am excited to announce that customers can now manage their vSAN deployments with native integration. No need to install a management pack; just set up your vSAN adapter instances and vRealize Operations will do the rest. As a critical component of the VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), vSAN is given first class treatment. This includes an exciting new array of dashboards and alerts which are tailored to new and improved vSAN 6.6 features. In this post, I will cover the capabilities of vSAN management in vRealize Operations, including a review of the available dashboards.
If you are a vSAN customer or follow this exciting technology from VMware, you know that the 6.6 release contained some interesting capabilities and some of these allow for better, deeper visibility within vRealize Operations. Specifically:
- Degraded Device Handling for proactive detection and handling of failing devices
- Improved Resync and Rebuilds to minimize impact on primary workloads
- Enhanced Health Monitoring including alert tuning to reduce duplicative alerts
As I walk through the dashboards, I’ll point out how we take advantage of these and also new capabilities from the vRealize Operations side:
- Visibility to the physical disk level, including SMART data reported by the disks
- A new “Getting Started” dashboard page to guide you to content for vSAN monitoring and analysis
Configuration Is Easy
Setting up your vRealize Operations 6.6 instances for vSAN monitoring is really easy, since the adapter and solution content are preinstalled for you. You configure the vSAN adapter instances just as you would your vCenter adapter instances, from the Administration > Solutions tab.
From there, just select the VMware vSAN solution and click the gear icon to configure. Setup is practically the same as with a vCenter adapter.
Click the green “plus” to add an adapter instance, fill out the display name, FQDN of the vCenter Server hosting your vSAN clusters, configure and apply credentials, test, save and you are done!
Multiple instances can be added for environments that have multiple vCenter Servers hosting vSAN clusters.
Once you have configured one or more adapter instances for vSAN, you can begin to use the dashboards tailored for vSAN management. These dashboards cover topics that pertain to many IT personas that need information about vSAN. NOC users and IT managers will get overviews for your vSAN environment in the Operations category. Capacity planning teams, VI admins and Storage Admins benefit from detailed information provided in the Capacity and Utilization category. Performance Troubleshooting provides step-by-step workflows for investigating vSAN-related issues.
Where can you find all this great content? In vRealize Operations 6.6 it is easy! Just use the improved “Getting Started” dashboard and select the category you wish to investigate. From there, you can find simple descriptions that guide you to the specific dashboard you should use. For example, if you need an overview of all your vSAN deployments, click the vSAN Operations Overview dashboard link.
Once the dashboard loads, and with the new HTML5 user interface it loads very quickly, you get a great summary of your entire vSAN footprint with high level details on individual clusters. I have broken the dashboards into sections to give you a brief tour.
Start with the Environment Summary (1) to view the components, VMs served and some basic overall vSAN performance information. Note that each of the metrics has a sparkline chart under them, so that you can also quickly see historical trends.
Next, you can dig into some configuration and performance information for any vSAN cluster by selecting a cluster (2) and viewing summary information (3). Key performance indicators for latency, IO and throughput are provided (4) in a time-series graph. Finally, while you would not use this dashboard for troubleshooting, it is good to know the alert trending for your vSAN cluster (5). If I see Critical alerts start to trend upward, it may be time to bring the VI admin into the conversation and start doing some digging.
Even More Content
I will not go through each dashboard in detail, since another feature of vRealize Operations 6.6 is the helpful links to in-product videos that walk you through each of the dashboards included in the “Getting Started” dashboard. You can find the video playlist from the “Getting Started” dashboard in the top right corner.
If you like, you can also view the dashboard videos on YouTube in the new vRealize Operations 6.6 Dashboard Videos playlist.
I mentioned some new capabilities in the vSAN 6.6/vRealize Operations 6.6 combination that give you deeper and better visibility. Here is a highlight of those features and where you can find them in vRealize Operations 6.6.
SSD storage is expensive. This is why many customers with all flash vSAN clusters prefer to enable compression and deduplication. But, what is that really doing for you? The answer can be found in the “vSAN Capacity Overview” dashboard!
You can easily see, overall Total vSAN dedupe and compression savings (top charts) as well as detailed dedupe/compression information for each vSAN cluster. Keep in mind, the MORE data stored the better you will benefit from dedupe and compression!
I mentioned physical disk visibility earlier in this post. You can find that in the “Troubleshoot vSAN” dashboard by scrolling to the bottom. Two heatmaps for the Cache and Capacity disks provide adjustable configurations to view Bus Resets, IO Aborts and SMART data for all physical disks in a cluster. This allows you to do full-stack troubleshooting of your vSAN environment from a single view!
This augments the DDH feature of vSAN 6.6, giving you visibility into which disks are at risk and for what types of issues. Each block in the heatmaps above represents an individual disk (SSD or MD). Green is good, indicating no problems.
Take It For A Test Drive
There is much more to explore and view with this powerful new integration of vSAN and vRealize Operations manager. If you are already a vSAN customer, but do not currently use vRealize Operations, you can easily download and deploy a trial to see for yourself how vSAN management is quick and easy with vRealize Operations!