Category Archives: Products

Articles covering specific products, such as VMware vSphere, vCloud Suite, NSX, vRealize, Horizon Suite.

From Local to Global

I made a career move from local role to a global role mid last year. It’s been almost a year, so I’d like to share the pro and con of both roles. Hopefully it helps you in your career, and keeping the fun in work!

It’s common for a global corporation to have 4 levels of geographic coverage:

  • Local: cover a city or a small country. In my case, it’s just Singapore.
  • Regional: cover a region or large country. In my case, it’s ASEAN.
  • Continent: Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, America
  • Global.

In vendor environment (as opposed to end-user), there are 2 large primary teams

  • Product team: develop the product. The sub-team are:
    • Product Management, R&D, QA, Sustaining, UX (focus on the UI), IX (focus on documentation).
    • They focus on releasing the next big thing.
  • Field team: sell, implement, support the product.
    • Sales, SE, Consulting, Technical Account Managers, Support, Education.
    • They focus on the quarterly target, closing large deals.

Of course, they are supported by many smaller & supporting team, such as marketing, pricing, and CTO Office.

I’ve never worked in Product Team, so when an opportunity arose, I took the leap of faith.

  • From Local to Global, bypassing ASEAN and Asia Pacific.
  • From Field to R&D. My boss no longer in Singapore, ASEAN and Pacific, but directly at our HQ in Palo Alto. A few months ago, there was a re-org and my boss now in Europe. I have not met him yet!
  • From generalist to specialist. I now do vR Ops full time.

Now that it’s almost a year, I can say with enough confidence that it was a good decision. We all work for 3 reasons. I call them the 3M of work:

  • Money
  • Meaning. It has to fill your spirit, not just your pocket.
  • Merriment. It’s gotta be fun, and you love your work.

The job at global level is harder, much harder. Instead of thinking for just 1 customer (my job was Account SE), or a few customers, I have to think of the world. While working on future version, I have to think of current version and previous version. Brownfield is much harder than greenfield. I learned from R&D team that there was many things to be considered before adding or removing a feature. The complexity makes the job meaningful. Life is short, and the journey is as important as the destination. I’ve never done product development before. Luckily, folks are kind and we got along really well. I work with R&D team in Armenia and Palo Alto. They have never, never asked me to accommodate their time zone. I’m truly grateful for that. Folks like Monica Sharma (Director, Product Management) and of course Sunny Dua provide a lot of coaching and guidance.

My perspective was widened. Before, I was just working with a few customers in Singapore, and a bit of ASEAN. Now I work with customers from Europe to US. What I accepted as the best before, has been reset. I’ve seen other region and customers achieved something better.

I didn’t know there was so much work! The demand for the role I took was apparently untapped. I had no idea since I was not busy when doing local role! There was so much request for help outside Singapore. I do webex regularly with customers, helping them remotely. They would login to their production environment, and we troubleshoot issue together. I get to see live environment, and insight into operation.

The downside is travel. Controlling the schedule is important, else I could travel non-stop and just spend weekend at home. My travel schedule is practically full 3 months in advance. Again, folks are generally accommodating. I learn when we explain to folks openly why we can’t be there (they are sponsoring my trip), they are willing to accommodate.

Travel can be sudden. I gotta a call to help large customer on Thursday morning, and on Sunday I was already in the plane to see them. If you have young kids, this can be deal breaker. My 2 kids are 12 and 15 already, but my Mum at 80 needs care.

Speaking of travel, gluten free is a challenge. I am allergic to both dairy and gluten, so keeping these 2 away is difficult when abroad. There is no easy solution today. Singapore Airlines changes the menu every 3 months, so I know in advance exactly what I’m getting 🙂

I hope the sharing is useful for those who are thinking of taking global role.

Monitoring Active Directory with vRealize Operations

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

In this post, I would like to show how you can monitor Microsoft Active Directory.

First, let’s get the prerequisites out of the way:

  1. vRealize Operations (Enterprise, not Advance. AD is considered as application, not infrastructure)
  2. Endpoint Operations Agent running on each AD machine you are monitoring.
  3. AD Solution for vR Ops (here)

With the above done, download the dashboard I created. Import it into vR Ops.

Once done, follow the steps below to configure the Metric Config XML Files. This is required to drive the widgets, so they show the correct metrics.

The above will take you to the Manage Metric Config screen.

  1. Click ReskndMetric folder to expand
  2. Click Green Plus Sign to create a new file.

You will need to repeat this step 4 times, please, make a note and repeat the name exactly like listed below:

ad-server.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <AdapterKinds>
 <AdapterKind adapterKindKey="EP Ops Adapter">
 <ResourceKind resourceKindKey="Active Directory">
 <Metric attrkey="AVAILABILITY|ResourceAvailability" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="THROUGHPUT|DSClientBindsperMinute" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="THROUGHPUT|DSDirectorySearchesperMinute" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 </ResourceKind>
 </AdapterKind>
 </AdapterKinds>

ad-ldap.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <AdapterKinds>
 <AdapterKind adapterKindKey="EP Ops Adapter">
 <ResourceKind resourceKindKey="Active Directory">
<Metric attrkey="Active Directory LDAP:LDAP|AVAILABILITY|ResourceAvailability" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
<Metric attrkey="Active Directory LDAP:LDAP|THROUGHPUT|LDAPSearchesperMinute" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
<Metric attrkey="Active Directory LDAP:LDAP|THROUGHPUT|LDAPNewConnectionsperMinute" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
</ResourceKind>
</AdapterKind>
</AdapterKinds>

ad-authentication.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <AdapterKinds>
 <AdapterKind adapterKindKey="EP Ops Adapter">
 <ResourceKind resourceKindKey="Active Directory">
 <Metric attrkey="Active Directory Authentication:Authentication|AVAILABILITY|ResourceAvailability" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="Active Directory Authentication:Authentication|THROUGHPUT|NTLMAuthenticationsperMinute" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="Active Directory Authentication:Authentication|THROUGHPUT|KerberosAuthenticationsperMinute" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="Active Directory Authentication:Authentication|THROUGHPUT|KDCTGSRequestsperMinute" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 </ResourceKind>
 </AdapterKind>
 </AdapterKinds>

VM-OS-AD-metrics.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <AdapterKinds>
 <AdapterKind adapterKindKey="EP Ops Adapter">
 <ResourceKind resourceKindKey="Windows">
 <Metric attrkey="FileServer Logical Disk:C:|UTILIZATION|Avg.Disksec/Transfer" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="FileServer Mount:C:\ (local/NTFS)|UTILIZATION|UsePercent" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="FileServer Physical Disk:0 C:|UTILIZATION|%DiskTime" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="FileServer Physical Disk:0 C:|UTILIZATION|Avg.DiskQueueLength" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="FileServer Physical Disk:0 C:|UTILIZATION|CurrentDiskQueueLength" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="FileServer Physical Disk:0 C:|UTILIZATION|DiskReadBytes/sec" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="FileServer Physical Disk:0 C:|UTILIZATION|DiskWriteBytes/sec" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="NetworkServer Interface:Network Interface eth10 (ethernet)|THROUGHPUT|BitsReceivedperSecond" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="NetworkServer Interface:Network Interface eth10 (ethernet)|THROUGHPUT|BitsTransmittedperSecond" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="UTILIZATION|CpuUsage" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="UTILIZATION|PercentUsedMemory" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="UTILIZATION|PercentUsedSwap" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 </ResourceKind>
 </AdapterKind>
 <AdapterKind adapterKindKey="VMWARE">
 <ResourceKind resourceKindKey="VirtualMachine">
 <Metric attrkey="cpu|capacity_contentionPct" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="cpu|usage_average" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="diskspace|actual.capacity.normalized" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="diskspace|underusedpercent" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="mem|host_contentionPct" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="mem|usage_average" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="storage|totalReadLatency_average" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 <Metric attrkey="storage|totalWriteLatency_average" label="" unit="" yellow="" orange="" red=""/>
 </ResourceKind>
 </AdapterKind>
 </AdapterKinds>

That’s it!

To use the Dashboard, watch the 45 seconds video below:

PS: If you like the soundtrack, the music is Plain Truth offered for free by Gunnar Olsen. Nice right! 🙂

Hope you find it useful. Do reach out via Linkedin and Twitter. Thanks for reading!

Which VMs need more resources?

You can reduce the following resources from a VM:

  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Storage

Network isn’t something you can reduce, but you know that already 🙂

You can check which VMs need more resources by building a dashboard like the one below. It’s a simple dashboard, which you can customize and enhance. It lets you reduce the resources independently.

I’ve marked the above dashboard with numbers, so we can refer to them:

  1. This is a table that lists all VMs. It’s sorted by the highest 1-hour average of CPU Demand and RAM Demand. The table also lists the VM CPU and RAM configuration, so you can see if the VMs are small or large. It also shows the cluster the VMs are located. The table is sorted by the highest CPU Demand. I’m showing both CPU and RAM in a single table. You can clone the view and split them if that suits your operations better.
  2. This is a table that lists all VMs, but focusing on storage only. With storage, we do not have the complexity of checking peak utilisation. We simply need to check the present situation.
  3. This lists the Top-15 VMs with highest CPU Demand and RAM Demand in a given period. The list is now split, as they can be different VMs. Do not that Top-N widget will average the number over the selected period. A VM with cyclical workload may not show up. The Top-N is complemented with a distribution chart. Select a VM from the Top-N, and you can see where the VM utilisation is.
  4. The distribution chart helps you see if the VM is really under resources or not. The 95th percentile is marked with a vertical green line. You expect that line to be at 100%, indicating that the VMs hit 100% utilisation frequently. If the 95th percentile is at a low number, and you do not see the number 100 in the x-axis, that means the VM is not under resourced.
  5. Storage is easier, as we can simply use the last data. As a result, we can show a distribution of all the VMs. We use a heat map as it can show 2 dimensions. Every VM is represented as a box. The bigger the box, the more storage the VM is configured with. The color indicates if the VM use it.
    • 0% = Black. Wastage
    • 10% = Green. Balanced usage
    • 100% = Red. Need more space!

The CPU and RAM have limitations. For example, they may show high utilisation during AV backup. You want to ignore those period. At this moment, the only way is to plot the high usage over a line chart. We use Log Insight for this. The chart below shows VMs that hit high CPU usage in a given period. Every time a VM hits high CPU usage, it will show up here. As you can see, there are only 4 VMs that hit high CPU usage. All other VMs do not need more CPU.

The above is an example from a healthy environment. What about an environment where a lot of VMs are under-sized? You expect to see lots of alarm! That’s what you have below

Hope the above is useful. If not, drop me an email.