Monthly Archives: April 2016

Proving your VDI is performing well

How do we know a user is getting a good performance on her/his VDI session? When she called help desk and shared that her Windows is slow, how can help desk quickly determine where the root cause is?

I shared the metrics you need, and showed a sample dashboard here. There were a few requests to add the threshold line. This makes it easier for the Help Desk team. They just need to know that Actual should be better than Threshold.

So here is the updated dashboard. I’ve added a Threshold metric for each counter. You do this by creating a super metric, with a constant value. For example, if the CPU Contention you tolerate is 2%, then simply specify 2 as the super metric formula. No need to add the %.

image002

Compared to the previous example, you will notice it’s neater. I’ve organised the widget, so Network widgets are grouped together, CPU widgets are grouped together, etc. I’ve also named the metrics to just Actual and Threshold. Lastly, I’ve removed the units and displayed it at the Widget title bar.

The help desk just need 3 steps:

  1. Search the user. We use the MS AD Login ID. I did a search above. It’s showing 2 results as this user ID has 2 concurrent active sessions (on different Horizon pools). I
  2. Select a session. All the counters from Horizon session (from V4H adapter) are automatically shown.
  3. Click on the VM object. This is to display the VM counters (from vSphere adapter)

Hope it helps!

How healthy is your vSphere environment?

One common question I get from customers is how to prove that there are not hidden warning lurking around in the log files. As you know, vSphere produces a lot of logs. I shared how you can check performance issue here, so I will complement it here.

Your first stop should be the General Problems dashboard in Log Insight. This dashboard checks the health of your vSphere using 8 queries. You expect a flying color, meaning it should be blank like this. That means vSphere does not log any issue.

1 good result

Let’s look at some of the query that Log Insight does. The SCSI latency is based on 1 second, which is 1,000,000 microseconds. Here is what the query look like:

good result 1

1 second is on the high side; you can change it to a lower number. Do note that this is from VMkernel viewpoint and it’s taking 1 SCSI operation (1 read or 1 write), so the number will be much higher than vCenter average. I’ve seen 12 ms value in vCenter (from the real time chart, so it is a 20 second average) became 600 ms. For details, see this.

The above query is pretty simple, as it’s looking for a specific item. Here is a much broader health check.

good result 2

The example below check for any error in the vCenter that is not already reported as alarm.

good result 4

This query below check for cluster imbalance.

good result 5

This query tracked for VM rebooted due to HA.

good result 6

OK, all the above are what you want to see. In reality, your environment may not be 100% healthy. Let’s look at another example, this time with some errors.

bad 1

You can drill down to each widget. Log Insight presents the Interactive Analysis screen, as you can perform analysis interactively on this screen.

bad 2

The above data gives you the relative distribution. You can drill down by adding time dimension. This lets you see if the problem happens consistently or not. In the example below the problems keep on happening.

bad 3

I can drill down to a specific problem. Let’s choose SCSI device connection loss. Once I narrow it, I can group the information by device.

bad 4

vSphere logs seem to be distinguishing the permanent loss further. From the above, we can see there are multiple types. I did not know about it, but it’s clearly shown by Log Insight. As a result, I can probe further.

bad 5

We can go on with more examples. I hope it has given you the idea that Log Insight is a good companion for your VMware logs. Since it is free for 25 sources per vCenter, give it a spin!

Monitoring VM when you do not have vCenter access

This blog is contributed by my friend Luciano Gomes, a VMware PSO Consultant in Rio de Janeiro Area, Brazil. Thank you Lucky!

The Olympic games is coming soon, if you come to Rio, just let me know, I will be glad to show you my wonderful city.

logo-olm

We never stop learning. But before we start this post, I have a question for you. If a customer wants to monitor ESXi Host and the VMs, but for some reason do not have access to vCenter Server. Is it impossible? Actually, no. Our colleague Brandon Gordon, wrote this solution.

It requires Hyperic. Be informed that vRealize Hyperic 5.8.4 and 5.8.5 has End of General Support Date on 9 Dec 2017. You can see the complete list here. The process of merging Hyperic into the base vRealize Platform has begun.

Pre-requisites

  • vRealize Hyperic Server
  • vRealize Operations Manager
  • VMware Tools Installed in the VMs that you want to monitor
  • vRealize Hyperic Agent installed in VMs that you want to monitor

Overview of the Installation

  • Install VMware Tools
  • Install Hyperic Agents
  • Import vmtools-plugin.xml in Hyperic
  • Optionally import vmtools_dashboards.json in vRealize Operations for default dashboards
  • Optionally import vmtools_alerts.xml in vRealize Operations for default alerts

Downloading and Installing the Solution:

I will not cover the VMware Tools installation. I think you know that 🙂 For how to install the Hyperic Agent, look here. You should also have the vRealize Operations and Hyperic properly configured.

the first step is get the download of the VMware Tools Hyperic Plugin from solution exchange website, you can found here.

Access your vRealize Hyperic server and click in Administration –> Plugin manager–>add/update plugin(s), as shown below:

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  1. Select the plugin file
  2. Check the Plugin File name
  3. Click Upload

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Check the progress of the installation:

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Click refresh. Finally check if the status is ok

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Optional – Dashboards

Now you can go to vRealize Operations UI and import the dashboards:

  1. Go to Content
  2. Click on Dashboards
  3. Click on Import Dashboards

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Select the dashboard file and click open

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Optional – Alerts

  1. Click Alert Definitions
  2. Click in the Button
  3. Import it

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Click in the alert file and open it

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By this time, we are almost there, just to clarify and helps the understanding. My virtual machine that resides in a host without management by vCenter is called desk03, as you can see, there is nothing from that VM in vRealize Operations. I was not running the Hyperic Agent yet, because of it, we have nothing in vRealize Operations.

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Wait for some time (around 10 minutes) and go to Hyperic interface. You will see the new resource has been discovered, as shown below. Just click Add to Inventory button

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Now, go back to vRealize Operations, and desk03 is showing some information.

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Just wait for a few minutes. You will see the collection status changed to green

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Now, we are ready to get metrics inside that VM.

  1. Type the name of your VM
  2. Choose VMware Tools

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Click in the troubleshooint TAB

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From within the Troubleshooting tab, click All Metrics

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Click Utilization

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And you can see all metrics that comes from VMware tools directly.

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This concludes this post, in the next post (Part 2 ) we will talk about the same approach, but using EPOPs agents.