Monthly Archives: September 2015

vRealize Operations 6.1 End Point: how to add metrics

[Update: Gal Zellermayer from the vRealize Operations product team corrected me. In End Point, you can only change interval in the resource level and not per individual metric. Thank you Gal for the expertise!]

Following the previous blogs, where I cover the End Point agent installation, I will now cover

how to enable additional metrics to be collected. vRealize Operations 6.1 comes with hundreds of metrics and properties. Not all of them are enabled, meaning data is not being collected. You can customise what vRealize Operations collect, by modifying the policy. Go to the Policy Library screen, as shown below.

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From there, edit the policy you want by selecting it, then click on the edit (pencil) icon on top. A large dialog box, called Edit Monitoring Policy, opens. From here, go to Step 5. Collect Metrics and Properties. You will have something that looks like the following:

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In my instance, it has 44,075 metrics, properties and supermetrics. That’s a lot of information that vRealize Operations can potentially collect and analyse for you. Certainly, you do not need most of them. In large scale implementation of vRealize Operations, I recommend you disable what you do not need. This will speed up performance and improve usability.

Back to End Point Operations. Click on the Object Type drop down. From there, go to EP Ops Adapter. Expand it, like what I have shown below. You can see AIX, HPUX, etc. Scroll down until you see the Guest OS that you need. In my case, I’m interested in Windows, and I have selected that.

Can you see how many metrics and properties does vRealize Operations have for Windows?

choose Windows

Yes, that’s 460. That’s a lot of information. We now have great visibility inside Microsoft Windows.

Browse through what you are after. They are Windows counter, although the name maybe different to what Windows call it. You can also use the Filter to filter the list. Enable the metric or property that you like. Properties is typically used in Configuration, while metric used in Performance or Capacity.

You can enable multiple lines at the same time. In the following example, I have selected a mix of properties and metrics. Go to Actions, choose State, then Enable.

enable the metrics

Go ahead and enable what you need. You can move to the next set of metrics, without leaving the dialog box. At the end, click on Save button to close the dialog box.

Once you enable them, they will appear on the Windows objects within minutes. In the following screenshot, I have added Memory Commit Limit and Memory Committed Bytes, as I think they are good indicator whether Windows need more RAM or not.

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You can also monitor the EP Agent itself. From the screenshot, you can see that it’s collecting more metrics now. I actually added something like 100 metrics, as I’m curious to see what happens to the agent performance 🙂 The good news is the JVM Free Memory remains constant. It did not drop drastically. The EP Agent uses Java. I’ve also verified that the JVM Total Memory is 24 MB. So we’re good here.

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BTW, isn’t the icon cool? 🙂

At this junction, you may ask what counter is missing? One that I can think of is CPU Run Queue.

There you go, hope it’s useful for you.

vRealize Operations 6.1 End Point with existing JRE

In an earlier post, I shared that the vRealize Operations 6.1 End Point agent uses Java. Because Java can be a source of complexity on its own, vRealize Operations provides you with choice.

  1. You can use your own, existing Java that is already installed.
  2. You can use the embedded Java that comes with the installer.

Since I’ve covered the embedded Java in the earlier post, I’d now cover the existing Java in this post.

Java is a world by itself. The first thing you need to know is there are 2 JRE. The client JRE and Server JRE. What you want is the client JRE. You get it by simply pointing your browser to www.java.com, and click the Free Java Download. It does not say JRE, but that’s what you are getting.

The Server JRE is from another download site. Just in case you’re not sure, I’m showing it below.

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Going back to your www.java.com, the button will automatically select the latest Java for you. Strangely, it installed JRE 1.8 51 instead of 60 for me. Looks like there is different Java version for different of Windows. Simply follow the instruction.

When you are done, it will look something like this.

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Once you are done, launch the Java Control Panel. Go to your Windows Start Menu and find it there. Once launched, click the Java tab, as shown below. From there click on the View button. It will pop up a window, where you can find all your JRE. This can take minutes. In my example below, it finds a couple of JRE.

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Click Finish, and it will copy what it found. Notice now I have a lot more JRE.

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The weird thing is after I close the window, and open it again, it’s showing less JRE. Perhaps it considered some as duplicates as they are just symbolic links. Take note your JRE location. In my case below, it is c:\program files (x86)\java\jre1.8.0_51.

a3

We need to manually specify this directory in the Windows system variables. To do that, go to your System, and bring up the Systems Properties window. On the window, click on the Environment Variables.

If you are unable to find the setting in Windows 2012, here is a good guide. It’s better than the Technet article as I could not follow the later.

This will bring up the Environment Variables window. Click on New button. In the dialog box, type

  • HQ_JAVA_HOME as the variable name
  • C:\program files (x86)\java\jre1.8.0_51 as the variable value. Do not include the bin directory, as the agent has added it on its installer. If the space does not work, use C:\progra~1\java\jre1.8.0_51. Whether it is progra~1 or progra~2 or progra~3 depends on your Windows translation. Just open a command prompt that type progra~1 and it will show you the directory. From there, you can see what it translates to

a4 HQ_Java system variable

The above completes the Java installation, but we are not done yet. vRealize Operations expects the  Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) with Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction. For that, you need to download the files, and replace the standard file.

You download the JCE from the the URL below. No registration required.

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It is just a single, small zipped file. Open it, and you will see 3 files. Copy the files into your java\lib\security. See mine as example below.

b2 preparation - overwrite existing CE

Now that you’ve got the prerequisite completed, you’re ready to download and install the End Point agent. The VMware download page can be confusing, so I’ve highlighted what you need to download for Windows. It applies to both Windows server (e.g. 2008) and Windows desktop. It applies to both 32 bit and 64 bit.

c1

Once you downloaded, do this

  1. Unzip it.
  2. Open a command prompt
  3. Go to the installer directory. In my case, I called the directory vrops.
  4. Go to bin subdirectory.

The installation has 2 steps.

Step 1: execute ep-agent.bat install.

This should only take a few seconds. It’s just setting up, not doing the real install, so I did not show it on the screenshot below.

Step 2: execute ep-agent.bat start.

This is the real install. As you can see below, it’s only asking a few question. It asks for the following:

  • vRealize Operations server hostname or IP. I provided the FQDN, which is vrealize-ops-6.vmsg.lab in my case.
  • Default port. I left it as 443
  • Certificate to trust. I typed yes as I’m using the default one. Yair Yogev from vRealize team in Israel shared with me that if you have your own certificate, the installer would present that instead. Certainly, you need to modify the agent.properties file first.
  • User name. I used Admin.
  • Password. No, not gonna tell you 🙂

And that’s it. It only took around 1 minute.

c2 install

Some tips on troubleshooting:

  • If the ep-agent.bat complains about your HQ_JAVA_HOME directory, try to close the Command window, and opened it again. It could be a refreshed issue.
  • If the ep-agent.bat complains about wrong IP or port were used, uninstall it first. This includes manually removing EP Ops Agent directory at the C:\ProgramData\VMware.

Hope it helps!

Tips for VMworld presenters

Thank you for all the “Congratulation!” notes we got after Sunny and I delivered our VMworld session. It was indeed humbling to receive a score of 4.38 in the first session. We took the feedback and the second session score went up to 4.77. There were requests to give tips for fellow presenters, so this blog hopes to address that. The tips here should apply to all IT events, as the evaluation criteria is quite generic.

From the feedback, the audience noticed clearly that we worked well together as a team. That did not happen without a lot of practice. We actually delivered the presentation 2x before that. We also rehearsed a lot, playing devil’s advocate to each other. It is better to get negative feedback from each other than from the audience. We actually review each other sentences. Yes, down to the choice of word.

We made a decision to have 2 speakers speaking like 2 friends sharing. Have you ever seen 2 friends sharing their common adventure that they clearly enjoyed? You will notice that they finish each other sentence. You can sense their passion as they speak, and their eyes lighted up as they recall the excitement.

Because of the above strategy, it cannot be the usual “your slide, my slide”, as one has to be idle standing while the other is presenting. I’ve done it before. It is not natural and it is not a good experience for the audience. We want the audience to see 2 buddies enjoying each other presence, and having a good time engaging with the audience. To achieve the above in a public speaking setting, it takes a lot of practice. The 2 speakers have to be in-sync, on every single slide. We know what each person will say on every slide.

The amount of practice is often makes the difference between a good presentation and a great presentation. How much practice? Read this for the guideline.

Let’s now move into VMworld specific information. The great thing about VMworld is it gives good information to the speakers. For a start, you can see all your sessions, and who registered for it. So you know how many people are planning to attend. You can also visit the room, so you have an idea on the size and setup.

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Once you delivered your session, you can see who actually attended. You cannot see their name and contact, for privacy reason, but you can see the company, job title and country. It looks something like this:

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You can also see the feedback, and this is where I want to show you. Click on the View Report in the Survey Result. If you have repeat session, you can see for each session. Our second session had a higher rating as we took the feedback.

Majority of the survey questions are the kind of questions you expect, but it’s worth knowing them. Look at question 2 below. It is quite specific. So your session:

  1. Provide practical knowledge that they can apply to their job. You only have 45 minutes of speaking, as you should allocate time for Q&A. Do not waste that 45 times with theory that audience cannot bring home.
  2. Have content that matches the description. I got penalized in my first session as some audiences were not expecting vRealize Operations.
  3. Have minimal marketing or sales pitch. This one should be obvious. There is no need to waste your audience time.

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As the speaker, you are also being assessed. Again, it is quite specific:

  1. Are you good at the topic you’re presenting? Sunny and I blog extensively on the topic, I wrote a book about it, and we have a dozen engagements in the past several years. The Q&A session allowed us to show the audience that we know the topic.
  2. Do you encourage engagement? Do you ask survey questions, and pause to allow questions?
  3. Do you present it well? I spent a lot of time restructuring the deck. Humour can also help as it’s a dry topic. The audience wants to learn, but they also want to enjoy the session.

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Question 6 below provides you area that you need to take care:

  • Speakers
  • Content. It should be logical and clear. It should also flow smoothly.
  • Demo. Take note of live demo. I’d record it for a smoother delivery. Be careful of font size as 16 points is what you want have. I think 10 point is simply too small.
  • Technical Level. Be very clear on setting expectation here.
  • Format. Make the slides interesting.

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You also get feedback on areas to improve. I find this part very valuable. I listened back to my session to review it. I definitely spoke too fast.

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I hope you find the tips useful. All the best in creating that lasting VMworld presentation!