Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ManageIQ with vSphere: Deploy and Configure

ManageIQ is company that Red Hat acquired in 2012. ManageIQ created a cloud management program by the same name, which is available with a Red Hat subscription as CloudForms. ManageIQ provides a single pane of glass for the unified management of infrastructure resources. It can manage vSphere, Hyper-V, RedHat, OpenStack, and Amazon EC2 environments.

ManageIQ was made open source last summer; since it is a free download, I decided to try it out in my lab environment. I have it managing my vSphere lab infrastructure and my Amazon EC2 account.

The deployment couldn't be much easier; you go to http://manageiq.org/download/ and click on VMware vSphere.

You then follow the three step instructions to deploy the appliance in your vSphere environment and start collecting information.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Did you know?

When troubleshooting an issue in your environment, you are going to gravitate to All Metrics in vRealize Operations 6. To view all the counters available, you are going to click on the Troubleshooting tab and select the All Metrics button.

I have selected my vCenter Server Appliance; I want to look at the Guest Demand (KB) to understand the amount of resources being used before I right-size my virtual machine. I scroll down the metrics selector, expand Memory, and then double click on Guest Demand (KB). In the panel to the right it shows me a graph for the past 6 hours. I notice the high value is 2,503,718 KB and the low value is 1,796,278 KB.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Understanding the Importance of Business Outcome

This was a post I wrote for the VMware TAM blog that I wanted to share on my personal blog. 

As technologists, most IT professionals have a hard time connecting the dots between technology solutions and business value. This predicament isn’t something relegated only to system engineers and middle managers; it can extend to IT directors and CIOs, too. When working with business leadership, it can be difficult for most IT professionals to describe the benefits of deploying IT solutions.

Even in my role as a Technical Account Manager, when talking about technology solutions I focus on the expected business outcome. This is especially true during my TAM Business Reviews (TBR), which is my opportunity to make sure I am in alignment with my customer’s business priorities.

Why is it so important to understand the business value of technology?

Walking down the hallways of enterprise organizations, you will still hear business leaders rationalize that their company is not an IT organization; I would like to refute that assertion.

Friday, June 19, 2015

vRealize Operations 6 Administrator's Companion

Similar to Cinderella's stepsisters, the IT operations team is asked to "do this, do that" - while managing a multitude of requests to fix everything from storage latency issues to application performance problems. How do you find time to be strategic?

It only complicates matters when you have an explosion of virtual machine growth, while staffing levels remain the same.

Being "good shepards" and having routine systems management of datacenter resources is one of the most important aspect of IT operations, but without a foundational understanding of the supporting tools, it is often overlooked.

If you don't understand the health and efficiency of the infrastructure resources supporting the business applications; you will always be fighting fires. You are in constant reactive mode, never proactively resolving problems before they impact the business. Furthermore, the IT operations team starts to overprovision VM resources because logically that is how you resolved problems before virtualization, it is how you ensured systems were running at optimal levels.

Systems management is important to the business because it ensures that the supporting systems are running efficiently, making certain mission critical applications are available. Proactive monitoring tools like vRealize Operations will help you avoid application downtime, which makes happy end-users, business leaders, and ultimately your boss.

Over the past year, I have posted several articles about vRealize Operations. With some encouragement from my friends, I decided to compile my blog posts, added an additional chapter of content, and published it as an eBook on Amazon.com. The book is called vRealize Operations Administrator's Companion. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can download the book for free.

In my book, I walk you through vRealize Operations 6, helping you gain a level of comfort in performance management, capacity planning, and troubleshooting issues.

If you decide to read the book, thank you! I hope it helps you with one of the best tools VMware offers.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

vRealize Operation Projects

Understanding capacity in vRealize Operations involves finding opportunities for resource optimization and cost savings. On the Projects tab of VMware vRealize Operations, you can monitor the use of resources and the available capacity in your virtual environment. Furthermore, you can use scenarios for project planning to understand capacity needs in the future. 

In the image above, I have selected the labesx02.home.virtlab.com object and in the Memory Demand panel it is showing the memory capacity remaining in my host. This is typically going to demonstrate an upward trajectory. The extended forecast is going to present you the prediction for the amount of capacity remaining and the shortfall.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Reserved Memory with vRealize Operations

Over the past few days, I have been analyzing the resource capacity of a cluster that supports a mission critical application for one of my clients. The application is streamed by Citrix XenApp virtual machines that run on vSphere ESXi infrastructure. Each virtual machine has 14,336 MB of memory reserved, which provided a different visual in vRealize Operations for Workload than you would typically observe. For instance, in the diagram below, we recognize that our memory demand is well below our memory usage. The memory demand is the active memory workload, the usage is what was delivered. ESXi allocates physical RAM only as necessitated. The vSphere host below has 7,999 MB allocated, but the virtual machines are currently only demanding 2,349 MB (31% of the usable memory). Because the virtual machines have touched 7,262 MB of physical memory (95% of the usable memory), that is the amount of allocated. The usage is the memory address blocks that are being held in physical memory, but may not be in active use by the virtual machines.

Another thing to keep in mind, ESXi only allocates memory as needed, if it has plenty of memory resources it doesn't bother to reclaim it. But, if there is memory contention, it does go through a process of reclaiming some of the memory.

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