vRealize Operations tutorial videos

This page serves as a compilation of relevant vRealize Operations tutorial videos for an upcoming workshop that I’m co-delivering with Kenon Owen. We’re piloting a workshop to help customers operationalize performance and capacity management. It is based on this book.

If the workshop is successful, we plan to roll out across Asia Pacific.

I try not to duplicate videos already made by others, and will link to their instead if I find theirs to be relevant for the workshop. In general, the videos in 6.0, 6.1 and 6.2 are applicable to all versions as the features I used are fairly basic.

My video has no sound for 2 reasons. I tend to make wrong pronounciation and my England isn’t exactly clear. I added music from YouTube as compensation, hope you like it 🙂

The workshop does not cover Installation & Configuration as there are many materials covering it, plus I’m only given around 4 hours to cover both vRealize Operations and Log Insight 🙂

Here is the videos so far. As I get closer to the workshop date, you will see more videos here:

  1. How to determine if a VM slowness is not caused by your shared infrastructure
    1. This is probably the #1 request I get.
    2. This demonstrates how useful Performance SLA is. Without it, you’re defenceless!
    3. I’ve added a variant to the dashboard, where you can also show the VM utilization.
  2. vSphere overall performance
    1. How is your IaaS serving the VMs?
    2. This shows that you need to define what you mean by Performance. It cannot be subjective!
  3. How are the VMs using your shared Storage and Network?
    1. Is there anyone abusing the shared IaaS?
    2. The challenge with Network IO and Storage IO is generally you do not cap. So it’s possible for a VM to excessively use it. The question is: who and when?
  4. How to create super metric.
    • I created my Top 3 most frequently asked super metrics. They are the first 3 I created in almost all my engagements.
    • I created multiple in 1 video so you can see that some steps can be done together. You can also import them, as per what Sunny has shared here.
  5. How to create view
    1. I use View widget heavily as it allows data transformation. This video also includes steps how you can use it report.
  6. Tag and Custom Dashboard
    • Matthias Eisner shows you how to Tags to group objects. He showed how to create tags, and he created a custom dashboard to show an application. Justin, our UI Architect, also shares about Custom Dashboard.
  7. How to create a multi-tenant structure
    • One of my customers enhance this by having 2 levels. 1 tenant has many Apps, and 1 app has many VMs.
  8. How to create alert for specific customer
  9. How to create a new alert definition
    • Justin, our UI Architect, share how it is done.

BTW, if you want to see them as 1 link, see this.

I will also share the workshop material once it’s finalised. For those in Singapore, see you at the workshop!

Why I work for VMware

Today, I completed 8 years at VMware. Time certainly flies when you are having fun. A lot of things have changed, and even more things will change, so I thought I jotted down my thought.

This post was inspired by sharing by Heath Johnson. He shared why he joined VMware here, and what’s it like working for VMware. It’s heartwarming, so I thought I complimented it by covering additional things.

Working as an SE in VMware is like watching movie and getting paid to do so.

I’ve worked for almost 22 years in IT, starting as a Mainframe programmer. I think we’re witnessing a once in a life time changes in IT. It used to be about getting faster, cheaper and smaller. And that’s basically it. But now fundamentals are changing. Cloud computing, container, IoT, big data, SDDC, mobility, quantum computing, AI, are just a handful of innovation moving in parallel.

What that end state will be, it’s hard to be sure. While we can project for the next 5 years, predicting 25 years is impossible. For what we know, human becomes the battery 🙂 I wrote a light hearted article saying that I’m not sure if I want my kids to follow my path.

All the “IT Prediction for Next Year” articles should actually be called IT Projection. There is a trajectory, and the authors simply move along the trajectory. Within the next few years, it’s easy to see trends that benefits VMware. I wrote some of them here.

VMware is a player in this industry. It is both affecting and being affected by the industry. I’m fascinated by how my customers, partners, colleagues adapt to this ever changing industry. I’m enjoying the conversation and exchange of knowledge. It is interesting that different companies/individual react differently to the same thing.

Technology aside, I’m privileged to be working for an organisation that cares about the less fortunate. This year, I’m working with our user community VMUG to host our first ever charity + team building event. We are helping River Kids. They work with children in Cambodia who are really, really hard to help. Families that no other NGOs could help. Traffickers look for the worst families because their children are the easiest to prey on. River Kids look for families that are complex and incredibly difficult, families hurting their children or planning to sell them, families with generations of abuse. We listen to them, we help them to recover and we protect their children.

Capture

While I look forward to see the ending of the movie, I enjoy the scenes as it’s being played out. Have fun in the virtual world!

Tenant Utilization Report

A common request from Tenant of IaaS business is Utilization Report. If a Tenant or Customer has 100 VMs, she wants to see the summary of the VMs utilization. You need to sum up the utilization amount.

Be careful not to bill based on Utilization. A tenant in SDDC or Private Cloud looks at things from different view. She does not care about the infrastructure as it’s a service to her. From a business viewpoint, she pays either based on Utilization or Configuration.

I encourage based on Configuration as Utilization can lead to argument.

  • She may question why you are charging her more when her application is hardly doing any business transactions. You end up digging into the VM Utilization even though you have no access to the VM, nor understand the application behaviour.
  • Utilization varies per minute. It can even spike within a minute. Do  you bill per second, minute, hour, day, month…? Where do you draw the line for fair charging without spending a lot of money calculating the bill? 1 month has 30 days or 720 hours. If you do hourly charge, you perform the calculation 720x in a month.

Ok, enough about money. Money can certainly give headache 🙂 Let’s talk something technical instead 🙂

We will discuss how to report Total VM utilization. This is a common requirements. Money aside, a Tenant Management certainly wants to know how much work is done. That’s a fair request.

High Level Requirement: Show Total Utilization across all VMs every month.

To present a monthly chart that strikes a balance between accuracy and usability, you need to roll up the data. 1 month has 720 hours. A data at 5-minute average will be way too details and unreadable. Hourly is in fact relatively very accurate. On the other hand, averaging at hourly means a 10 minute spike will not appear. In the example below, the 2 peak will be lost when you average all the numbers.

roll up hourly not daily

When it comes to utilization, Peak is important. So what you should do is roll the 5-minute peak into each hour.

Overall Steps

The steps are not straightforward, so I’ll give a summary first.

  1. Create a group per Tenant
    1. The group simply has all the VMs of 1 tenant. If you have a proper naming convention, you can create a dynamic group.  Any VM that you add/remove from the group will automatically be included/excluded from the calculation.
  2. Create summary values
    1. The value you want are:
      1. The total CPU Utilization for all VMs.
      2. The total RAM Utilization for all VMs
    2. Create super metric for each.
      • For CPU, you need to take into account the number of vCPU. A 16-vCPU VM running at 10% consumes more CPU than a 1-vCPU VM running at 100%.
      • Since what you want is a %, not GHz, you need to divide with the Total Capacity.
  3. Create a View widget
    1. The View widget allows data transformation. The metric chart does not allow that.
    2. Roll up the data every hour. This makes the chart readable.
    3. Default the View to monthly data
  4. Create a Dashboard
    1. Ideally, you want this to be a report so it can be automatically sent for each Tenant.

Detail Steps

To create a group, use the screenshot below as your guide. You can mix the dynamic members and static members. Create 1 per tenant.

11

Once you created the groups, you end up with something like this. You can park the group under any group type. It does not have to be Environment as shown below. You should create a group type called Tenant.

3

Create the super metrics, using the screenshot as a guide. You should create the following:

  1. Sum of all VM vCPU. The unit is no of vCPU.
  2. Sum of all VM CPU Demand. The unit is MHz
  3. Sum of all VM CPU Configured. The unit is MHz.
  4. Sum of all VM CPU Demand / Sum of all VM CPU Configured. This gets you a %, which is what you want to report.

1

The last super metric is derived from super metric no 3 and 4. I’ve shown the formula below.

2

When a Tenant has a lot of VM, the sum can be a big number. If you want to assure yourself that you got the right sum, you can use the View widget to show you the expected total. As you can see from the following screenshot, it can do a summation.

6

Now that you have the super metric, time to plot into a chart. Here is where you do the roll up in the View widget.

4

The roll up smoothens the chart, which makes it easier to read. The example below shows how an hourly roll up makes the chart more readable. I could only show 1 day data, not 1 month, as it’s too dense without the roll up.

12

Once the line chart is done, it’s a matter of putting into a dashboard. There are many guides in creating dashboards, so I will just provide a simple screenshot below.

5

Hope you find it useful!