In his blog post last week, Henry Guo introduced a new integration between Wavefront and vRealize Operations 6.7, to extend application monitoring with Wavefront to provide IT control and developer agility.
This is a fantastic new capability that allows customers using vRealize Operations 6.7 to begin exploring Wavefront and offer consistent monitoring tools for DevOps – while maintaining visibility and control for the cloud admin. In this post, I will explain how this integration works, cover the architecture and requirements and provide a link to a video to help you get started with installation and configuration.
The integration supports deployment and management of Telegraf agents on virtual machines monitored by vRealize Operations. The following are supported VMware software versions:
- vRealize Operations 6.7
- vCenter Server 6.5 or higher
- VMtools 10.1 or higher
Additionally, the following guest OS versions are supported with this release:
- RedHat 7.x
- CentOS 7.x
- Windows 2008R2, 2012, 2012R2 and 2016
- Oracle Enterprise Linux 7.x
For all supported platforms, OS metrics will be collected and forwarded to Wavefront. There are 18 enterprise applications and services supported in this release for monitoring their metrics into Wavefront.
- Apache Web Server
- Apache Solr
- Elastic Search
- MS SQL
- MS Exchange
- MS IIS
- Pivotal Server
This includes pre-configured queries and dashboards in Wavefront that are ready to use and provide immediate value. Before I provide you with the installation video link, it would be helpful for you to understand a bit about the architecture.
Introducing: The VAP
The key component for linking these two solutions together is a virtual appliance known as the VMware Application Proxy (VAP). You can consider this as a black box if you wish, but personally I (and most probably you as well) like to know what’s under the hood, so here are the major components provided by the VAP (which is based on Photon OS):
- Salt Master for deployment of Telegraf agents, as well as continued management of those agents (configure, start, stop) and even uninstallation if desired.
- Wavefront Proxy for collecting and forwarding metrics from the Telegraf agents to your Wavefront cluster.
- Control Plane for various services including security, scheduling, plugin management and bootstrap deployment of Salt minions. This is the component that vRealize Operations Manager communicates with for agent management, account management, service discovery status and more.
- Message Bus for handling metric and service discovery from the VMs to the Wavefront and vRealize Operations Manager.
There are other components such as Docker for running the various component service containers, an MQ service, etc. This diagram provides a high-level overview of the architecture, using an example of setting up a new VM for Wavefront monitoring.
- The bootstrap process leverages VMtools to install the Salt Minion. From there, the Salt Master takes over and completes the initial installation of Telegraph.
- Once installed, there is a service discovery to find any supported services from the list above. This information is presented back to vRealize Operations Manager so that the services can be configured for Wavefront collection.
- A service is configured in vRealize Operations Manager for the VM. The Salt master will perform the required plugin configuration.
- Collected metrics are forwarded to the Wavefront Proxy within the VAP.
- Metrics are sent to Wavefront via Wavefront Proxy.
The above is not intended to show you the internal wiring, but rather to show you how this integration provides you with lower administrative overhead, better control and reduced risk. Can you imagine setting this up on each VM manually? Now imagine starting or stopping agents at scale or configuring them to monitor new services. VAP is a real time-saver!
Sizing and Deployment
As mentioned, the VAP is a virtual appliance and the OVA file can be downloaded from within vRealize Operations Manager – since it only works with vRealize Operations Manager, there’s really no point in downloading it outside of the product. Though, it is hosted at the VMware Market Place as well, just in case you want to download it directly and then install it.
There are some sizing options depending on the number of VMs you’ll want to deploy agents onto. VAPs are mapped to vCenter servers to manage deployments for VMs on those servers. You should be aware that you can deploy multiple VAPs in your environment. Each VAP can support one or more vCenter server mappings – you could deploy one-to-one (VAP-to-vCenter) or one-to-many. It really depends on your needs.
How to Get Started?
Now that you have the basics, hopefully you are ready to try out Wavefront with vRealize Operations giving you a huge helping hand. I have created a video for you to get started with installation – which is an easy three step process including information on how to set up your own trial account with Wavefront.
You can also find more information about Application Monitoring with Wavefront in vRealize Operations at vRealize Suite Technical Guides.