Performance and Capacity Management in virtual datacenter

[30 Nov 2015: this was the reason why I wrote the 1st edition. While the 2nd edition has major changes, the high level goals of the 2nd edition remain the same]

Ever wonder what those counters mean in vCenter and vCenter Operations? For example, what does Memory Contention really mean, where does it get its value from, and what values you should expect in a healthy environment?

I was puzzled myself. I’ve been with VMware for 6+ years, and I do not see them being documented. Scott Drummonds did document some of them at when he was doing performance. But I have not seen a complete one, especially one written from VMware Admin’s view point (as opposed from a product view point). I want to explain from the view point of the person whose hands are on the keyboard when the VMware platform is not performing as expected.

I’m writing a book to address it. As a field person, I work closely with customers. I see first hand that there are related issue which makes performance and capacity management difficult in virtual world. The gaps explain why customers struggle with virtualisation. Because there are several gaps, I address them “top down“, starting from high level then move to technical matters. There are >100 pages on counters, so this is going to get deep 🙂

Chapter 1 covers the big picture. I aim to correct some architecture and operations mistakes that customers make. It is very rare for customers to master the virtual world, both architecturally and operationally. Part of the reason is the software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) is not yet matured. The biggest reason, however, is the lack of deep understanding of what exactly virtualisation means to IT. As we all know, small leaks sink the ship, so I’m going to expose the details.

Chapter 2 continues the theme, but I dive into Capacity Management. I’m hoping to share how you do capacity management. Once you know what it takes, you can use a tool to automate it.

Chapter 3 dives into the metrics and how CPU, RAM, Disk and Network change once you add a layer called hypervisor. You need to know this, as there are behaviour that completely change.

Chapter 4 – 7 document the counters in vCenter and vC Ops. One chapter for CPU, RAM, Network and Disk. The book goes beyond documenting the metrics. It also applies them so customers can operationalise their virtual platform.

Chapter 8 provides examples of dashboards. The book was practically born in the field, sitting down with customers in creating all those dashboards and performing troubleshooting.

The book is with Packt Publishing. There are many reasons why I chose to work with them. The plan is to have the book out at the same time with the GA of vRealize Operations 6.

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