Saturday, April 25, 2015

VM Component Protection (VMCP)

VM Component Protection (VMCP) is a new feature in vSphere 6.0. As discussed in my previous post, there are two distinct states a device can be in when storage connectivity is lost; All Paths Down (APD) or Permanent Device Loss (PDL). VMCP will respond to both conditions, and the configuration is rather simple.

If you have had the pleasure of losing a datastore on you vSphere host, you know all too well that the virtual machine can become orphaned and unusable until the datastore is back online. VM Component Protection (VMCP) can help eliminate that issue if there is another host in the cluster that has access to the datastore. When a datastore accessibility failure occurs, the affected host can no longer access the storage path for a specific datastore. You can determine the response that vSphere HA will make to such a failure, ranging from the creation of events to virtual machine restarts on other hosts.

To enable VMCP, you check off Protect against Storage Connectivity Loss.

Monday, April 20, 2015

All Paths Down (APD) and Permanent Device Loss (PDL)

Last week I had the good fortune of working with the VMware Product Line Manager for Storage. While working with him, he provided some information on APD and PDL that I thought I would share.

There are two distinct states a device can be in when storage connectivity is lost; All Paths Down (APD) or Permanent Device Loss (PDL). For each of these states, the device is in an All Paths Down condition, but how they are handled is different. All Paths Down (APD) is a condition where all paths to the storage device are lost or the storage device is removed. The state is caused because the change happen in an uncontrolled manner, and the VMkernal core storage stack does not know how long the loss of access to the device will last. The APD is a condition that is treated as temporary (transient), since the storage device might come back online; or it could be permanent, which is referred to as a Permanent Device Loss (PDL).

The Permanent Device Loss (PDL) is the permanent removal of a device. This is typically caused by a storage administrator removing a LUN at the storage array, either by unmapping or deleting it. The VMkernal core storage stack knows the device is not coming back because the storage array informs the host of a PDL state through a SCSI command response. The removal is considered permanent when all paths have the PDL error.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Humanizing IT

Typically when we think about technology, we talk about the products and features. For instance, in several of my posts over the past few months I have explored the new capabilities of VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.0. Some of the topics included the new merged user interface, policy based alerting, and reporting. All of these are important components of the technology, but it doesn't illustrate the value of the tool to the business. This is something that is hard for most technologist to put into context, we have been working in enterprise datacenters for most of our careers, which has not provided us the opportunity to be connected to the core business initiatives.

Humanizing IT, it almost sounds like a contradiction in terms, most people would consider technology as a set of computational instructions to provide solutions to business opportunities and challenges. And while that is the underlying foundation, I think that technology has significant impact on the core value of a business, which IT professionals find hard to conceptualize. Although companies are trying to make a profit, successful organizations deliver products or services that change the world for the better. They want to design something that improves quality of life.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Report, report, get your vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 report here!

This should be a fairly short post, because doing reports in vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 is very simple, especially after you have already created a View. The reports in vRealize Operations Manager allow you to keep track of current resources as well as predict potential risks to the environment. You can schedule automated reports at regular intervals, and then email them to systems engineers maintaining the environment or IT leadership that may want increased visibility into the health and stability of the infrastructure. vRealize Operations Manager comes with several reports out of the box, but the custom reports you create is the sweet spot.

IT professionals routinely need to make monthly reports that detail the datacenter capacity, usage, and trending. In the past, this could include the manual process of exporting information into a spreadsheet, creating the charts, and then moving them to a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. This can all be automated with the available views and metrics.

To start, we are going to select the Content item in the Navigation pane. Then we will select Reports, to create a new report we are going to click on the green + icon on the Report Templates.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 - Views

With vRealize Operations Manager 6.0, there is a new component called views, which provides details on a specific object that has been selected. In order to get the most out of views, VMware has provided a custom UI to build your own views. Views can be accessed right from the Analysis tab, if you find something that you want to investigate further, there is a good chance you can get the information you want from a view instead of having to dive right into the all metrics information on the Troubleshooting tab.

For instance, you may find a workload issue on a host with CPU demand, under Further Analysis you could select Host CPU Diagnosis List to get more details.

A view presents collected information for an object in a certain way depending on the view type. Each type of view helps you to interpret properties, metrics, alerts, policies and data from a different perspective. A view is the smallest component of a dashboard or a report. 
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