Technical Account Manager
As TAMs we are always trying to help our customers to do more with our tools. Sometimes we face some challenges and we need to use our experience and knowledge to overcome them.
I spent 3 years as a Senior Consultant in the Field, and I had the opportunity to work with almost all products, but especially vRops and vRA. In all my engagements about vRA, we always face a challenge: “After requesting a Virtual Machine, how long do I need to wait? What is happening with that Virtual Machine? Is it doing ok or is it facing problems?” By default, we need to wait 2 hours until vRA decides to delete that provisioned (but unfinished) VM that was requested.
Hearing from my customers about the lack of visibility, I decided to do something about it.
I will teach you how to use Log Insight to leverage the use of vRA, and how you can have visibility (even with your custom scripts!) after requesting a Virtual Machine.
What do you need?
- vRA working
- Log Insight working
- LI Agent installed in the Image that you are using to deploy your VMs
- LI Agent Installed in the IAAS Server
- LI Agent started in the vRA APPLIANCE
- Install the Windows Content pack and vRA Content Pack
I will assume that all agents are installed already.
Go to administration and choose Agent on the left:
You will see:
Microsoft – Windows VMW.GURU Guest Agent – To be used in the Virtual Machines provisioned by VRA
vRealize Automation 7 – Linux – VMW.GURU – To be Used in the VRA Appliances
vRealize Automation 7 – Windows – VMW.GURU – To be used in the IAAS Servers
After choose the Agent, you need to copy it (with the name that you will choose) and configure the Agent.
In this example below, all virtual machines starting with DEV are machines that will be provisioned by VRA.
Save your new group and repeat the same procedure for VRA appliance and IAAS machines.
The Dashboards and explanations are below:
vRA Provisioning Status Dashboard
- Shows all logs grouped by hostname – Useful to see what object is already generating logs
- Shows events and information leveraged by the Original Content Pack for Windows – Useful because during the Provisioning Time, the Virtual Machine could have some problems that affect the time of provisioning (EX: Low Memory because SQL Server is consuming everything available).
- Shows the Logs that are being generated – Useful to see in real time the various stages that the Virtual Machine is in.
- Shows the Logs of the Manager Server – This widget is crucial to know if the Manager Server is doing well and progressing along smoothly.
- Shows the Logs in plain text – Useful for Troubleshooting over time.
- Shows the Custom Script Log – Helps to understand the script progress and convey to the user about provisioning progress.
vRA Provisioning Stages Dashboard
This dashboard maps all the stages that a Virtual Machine could be in during Provisioning.
The dashboard above maps this status below (from vra Audit Log)
How do you use it?
After requesting a Virtual Machine and waiting more than the normal time, you can see that the GuestOS/Agent are generating Logs:
Why is the virtual machine is taking so long to finish?
Using this combination of Log Insight and vRA, it becomes easy to find the root cause of your deployment issue. In this case, you can see the appd.properties file was not detected and the deployment could not continue. I am looking forward to using this method to help my customers gain greater visibility into the VM deployment process. I hope you find it useful as well. Please feel free to try it out and comment with any feedback you have.
Luciano (He liked to be called Lucky because is easier to have your name correctly pronounced) joined VMware in 2012 as a Senior Consultant based in the beautiful Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Since then, he has worked with many customers and diverse industries in almost all states of Brazil. Lucky is recognized as an MVP in your first year at VMware, and Latin America Delivery Award twice ( 3years as a Senior Consultant and 3 Awards in a row) he holds multiple industry certifications including VMware VCP-DCV,VCP-NV,VCP-CLOUD, Double VCP,Cisco DCUD, DCUI and Riverbed RCSA-W. He is a very enthusiastic supporter of Management and uses every chance he gets to discuss with customers about how to leverage your vROps License and avoid spending more time(and money) with other tools. Lucky’s 17+ year technical background helps him to understand customer’s business needs and to find the right technical solution to address those requirements. Connect with him on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucgomes/) and follow Luciano on Twitter (@lucgovmw).