Category Archives: vRealize Operations

New Dedicated VSAN Management Plugin For vROps Released

Some of you may have seen the tweets and the article from legendary Duncan Epping here about the release of the new VMware VSAN plugin for vROPS (vRealize Operations Management Pack for vSAN version 1.0)

If you’ve ever had the previous VSAN plugin for vROps deployed, you might know that it was not a dedicated plugin for VSAN alone, but was a vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices as a whole which included not just the visibility in to VSAN but also legacy storage stats such as FC, iSCSI and NFS for legacy storage units (that used to connect to Cisco DCNM or Brocade Fabric switches).

This vROps plugin for vSAN  however is the first dedicated plugin for VSAN (hence the version 1.0) on vROps. According to the documentation it has the following features

  • Discovers vSAN disk groups in a vSAN datastore.
  • Identifies the vSAN-enabled cluster compute resource, host system, and datastore objects in a vCenter Server system.
  • Automatically adds related vCenter Server components that are in the monitoring state.

How to Install / Upgrade from the previous MPSD plugin

  1. Download the management pack (.pak file)
    1. https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/vmware-vrealize-operations-management-pack-for-vsan
  2. Login to the vROps instance as the administrator / with administrative privileges and go to Administration -> Solutions
  3. Click add (plus sign) and select the .Pak file and select the 2 check boxes to replace if already installed and reset default content. Accept any warnings and click upload.
  4. Once the upload is complete and staged, verify the signature validity and click next to proceed               
  5. Click next and accept the EULA and proceed. The management plugin will start to install.
  6. Now select the newly installed management plugin for VSAN and click configure. Within this window, connect to the vCenter server (cannot use previously configured credentials for MPSD). When creating the credentials, you need to specify an admin account for the vCenter instance. Connection can be verified using the test button.  
  7. Once connected, wait for the data collection from VSAN cluster to complete and verify collection is showing
  8. Go to Home and verify that the VSAN dedicated dashboard items are now available on vROps               
  9. By Default there will be 3 VSAN specific dashboard available now as follows under default dashboards
    1. vSAN Environment Overview – This section provide some vital high level information on the vSAN cluster including its type, total capacity, used, any congestion if available, and average latency figures along with any active alerts on the VSAN cluster. As you can see I have a number of alerts due to using non-compliant hardware in my VSAN cluster.   
    2. vSAN Performance
      1. This default dashboard provide various performance related information / stats for the vSAN cluster rand datastores as well as the VM’s residing on it. You can also check performance such as VM latency and IOPS levels based on the VM’s you select on the tile view and the trend forecast which is think is going to be real handy.    
      2. Similarly, you can see performance at vSAN disk group level also which shows information such as Write buffer performance or Reach cache performance levels, current as well as future forecasted levels which are new and were not previously accessible easily.
      3. You can also view the performance at ESXi host level which shows the basic information such as current CPU utilisation as well as RAM including current and future (forecast) trend lines in true vROps style which are going to be really well received. Expect the content available on this ppage to be significantly extended in the future iterations of this mgmt. pack.  
    3. Optimize vSAN Deployments – This page provide a high level comparison of vSAN and non vSAN enviorments which would be especially handy if you have vSAN datastores alongside traditional iSCSI or NFS data stores to see how for example, IOPS and latency compares between VM’s on VSAN and an NFS datastore presented to the same ESXi server (I have both)    
  10. Under Environment -> vSAN and Storage Devices, additional vSAN hierarchy information such as vSAN enabled clusters, Fault domains (if relevant), Disk groups and Witness hosts (if applicable) are now visible for monitoring which is real handy.                                                                        
  11. In the inventory explorer, you can see the list of vSAN inventory items that the data are being collected for.   

All in all, this is a welcome addition and will only continue to be improved and new monitoring features added as we go up the versions. I realy like the dedicated plugin factor as well as the nice default dashboards included with this version which no doubt will help customers truly use vROps as a single pane of glass for all things monitoring on the SDDC including VSAN.

Cheers

Chan

VMware vROPS 6.4 – Upgrade Process From 6.3

Most people know by now that the VMware vRealize Operations Management version 6.4 was released by VMware on the 15th of November 2016, amongst a number of other new products.

Since then, I’ve been meaning to upgrade my vROPS appliance from the previous 6.3 version to 6.4 and finally tonight managed to get around to doing it. I’ve documented below (briefly though) the easiest migrations steps to follow.

  1. Backup any customised contents (such as custom views, definitions…etc.)
    1. This is required so that that during the vROps product update you can select “Reset default content, overwriting to a newer version provided by this update” option.
  2. Login to the vRops appliance’s admin page
    1. https://<fqdn of the vROps appliance>/admin
  3. Offline the vROps cluster
    1. Click on the “Take offline” button to offline the vROps cluster                                   
    2. Note that obviously this means downtime and this may take some time to complete
    3. You need to repeat if for each node in the cluster if you have a HA cluster of vROps nodes
    4. Verify its offline properly                                                                                      
  4. Take a snapshot backup
    1. Once offline, go to vSphere web client and take a snapshot of the vROps 6.3 appliance VM’s (precautionary best practise)
  5. Download the appropriate update files from My VMware for vROps 6.4 – I have the vROps appliance deployed rather than a Windows install and you need 2 update files here as follows
    1. Virtual Appliance OS system update PAK file: You need the file titled “vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-OS-6.4.0.4635873.pak”
    2. vROps product update PAK file: I’m using “vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-6.4.0.4635873.pak” file as I don’t have windows remote collectors configured (if you do, make sure you download the “vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-WIN-6.4.0.4635873.pak ” file instead)
  6. Appliance OS update
    1. Go to Software Update and click on Install a software update and locate the .Pak file for the OS update (“vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-OS-6.4.0.4635873.pak“)
    2. Click Upload. Once complete, read the warning messages (about the appliance restart) and click next
    3. Accept EULA and click next twice & finally click install. The vROps virtual appliance OS upgrade install with begin.  
    4. Once the OS install is complete, the appliance will restart and would prompt you to login back to the admin page.
    5. Login back to the Admin page and wait for the vRops services to become online.
    6. Go to the Software Update section and ensure that the OS update is successfully complete.          
  7. vROps product update
    1. Go to Software Update and click on Install a software update and locate the .Pak file for the OS update (“vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-6.4.0.4635873.pak“)  
    2. Click Reset default content checkbox and click upload
    3. Once uploaded and staged on the appliance, ensure that the new version (to be upgraded to) is appearing correctly and click next
    4. Accept EULA and click next twice and then click install                                                                          
    5. During the install stage, you will be automatically logged out of the admin interface and will be prompted to log back in.
    6. Log back in to the admin interface and wait until the software update completes. This stage can be time consuming somewhat
    7. Once complete, go to System Status section and verify that the vROps version 6.4 is not showing successfully.  
  8. That’s it. vROps upgrade has successfully completed now for my cluster / node. If you have multiple nodes in your vROps cluster, you may need to repeat this process for each node.
  9. Also do remember to remove the snapshot if all operations are normal, after a while and that you can see all your views, dashboards…etc.

 

Cheers

Chan