Track 2: The Importance of Relationship Mapping in vRealize Operations
Original Author: Kyle Wassink
Remastered by: Peter Haagenson & Tim George
Welcome back to our Essentials Album, where we are remixing all of the best hits and looking at the best ways to use vRealize True Visibility Suite (vRTVS) to optimize your IT Operations. This week we’re looking at the importance of relationship mapping. This feature is one of the foundational components of vRealize Operations, and when you open it up to the components in vRTVS it takes visibility into your datacenter to a whole new level.
First, the Basics
In vRealize Operations, a relationship consists of two resources and the type of relationship (parent or child, typically). For example, a virtual machine and the host system it resides on have a relationship where the virtual machine is the child of the host. Relationship functionality extends to non-VMware management packs as well. For example, Oracle Database instances will create a relationship to the virtual machine they reside on (if virtualized), where the database instance is the child of the virtual machine.
Once the point-to-point relationships are created (generally, automatically), vROps can begin using them throughout the platform. The remainder of this blog will cover some of the ways that vROps uses relationship mapping to your benefit.
Relationships are used extensively in dashboards to show multiple layers of your stack and how they perform. Below is an example of a custom dashboard where, upon selecting the virtual machine in the top left widget and, by using relationships, vROps identifies and displays the Microsoft SQL Server Database that resides on it. If you select a different virtual machine, the virtual machine section will dynamically update to display the related database instance. On the right half of the dashboard, KPIs for the selected SQL instance and virtual machine are displayed.
Figure 1: vROps uses relationships to correctly identify the virtual machine that the selected Microsoft SQL instance resides on
Inventory trees are hierarchical lists of resources that rely on relationships to populate. Below is an example of an inventory tree that is part of the MySQL Management Pack. Note that it includes information from both MySQL (instances, databases, tables) and VMware (virtual machine, host, datastore). As more MySQL instance/databases/tables are added, they will appear in the hierarchy. Similarly, if the virtual machine is moved to a different host system, the hierarchy will dynamically update the host system shown.
Figure 2: An inventory tree that shows the hierarchy of a MySQL database instance as well as the related virtual infrastructure.
NEW! – Troubleshooting Workbench
One incredible new feature that has been released since the original blog that we want to make sure we include is vRealize Operations’ Troubleshooting Workbench. The workbench allows you to see not just the primary object that you selected, but you can use a custom scope to select multiple related objects. As you can see below, we have gone five steps beyond the VM itself.
There are many other ways that vROps uses relationship mapping throughout the platform. Quite a few of them are subtle, but all of them provide a ton of value and save you time and effort. Expanding beyond the virtual layer in vROps is another way to leverage relationship mapping, which I’ve demonstrated throughout this post.
Ready to extend relationship mapping out to the virtual layer and beyond? Learn how vRealize True Visibility Suite can enhance your IT Operations.