Tag Archives: Blue Medora

Monitoring NetApp With vRealize Operations

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

Continuing in our series of blog posts about the “extensibility” of vRealize Operations to monitor the “Physical World”, this time we will show you how to monitor your Netapp Systems. We’re using the NetApp management pack by our partner Blue Medora.

Pre-requisites

Ensure you have the NetApp management software installed. You can read the pre-requisite from the official Installation guide available in here. You can also see the NetApp DFM installation here.

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You need have an ID in NetApp that vRealize Operations can use to login and retrieve information. The table below shows the minimum permission.

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You need the license to try this management pack. Contact Blue Medora before to start the installation.

Netapp: Object Relationship:

The NetApp adapter recognizes the following NetApp storage objects:

  • Cluster
  • System (host)
  • vFiler
  • Aggregate (the container that owns volumes)
  • Volume (which may contain multiple LUNs)
  • LUN
  • Storage Virtual Machine
  • Disk

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Copying from the official installation guide, the adapter collects data from Netapp DFM / OCUM Systems on each data collection cycle (5 minutes). It runs queries to get the data.

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Installation

After all prerequisites are done, download the Netapp Adapter from Bluemedora website. To install the Netapp Adapter, go to Administration –> Solutions and click green plus icon. See the numbers in the screenshot below

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Follow the installation wizard.

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Make sure the signature is valid.

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The usual EULA.

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At this stage, just wait until the installation end. It might take a few minutes. Time for some fine Brazilian coffee! 🙂

 

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Configuration

Give the system enough time to finish the installation. Don’t close or finish without the message that the installation has been completed with no errors. Once done, follow the instructions below to configure the Netapp Adapter, go to: Administration->Solutions

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Follow the numbers in the screenshot below.

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Choose Netapp and vRealize Credentials:

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Generally speaking, for NetApp DFM/OCUM, you must use the same user ID that you use to instal it. In this case below, Windows AD username

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Always click Test Connection before click Save Settings and Close.

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After this configuration, you should to see this status of your Netapp Adapter:

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Collection Status: 201601241354.jpg

Don’t panic! The above is because I have not applied the license. Here is the proof.

Connect in the vRops appliance via SSH and check this log. The log location is:

/storage/vcops/log/adapters/NetappAdapter/

Look at the content by issuing a tail command, as the error should at the end of the log file

tail -f /storage/vcops/log/adapters/NetappAdapter/NetAppAdapter_144.log

Bingo! I saw this error message – Invalid License

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So let’s apply the license key. Follow this screenshot:

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Click on green plus to add the license:

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After click validate, you should to see this message below.

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Create a License Group for Netapp Adapter:

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Give it a name

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Add all instances below the “NetApp Adapter Instance”, as shown below:

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When you finish adding all Netapp Options, click Next.

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Review the result. If it’s good, click Finish.

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Now, check the collection status of Netapp Adapter. It should show data is being received.

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You’re done!

Time to see the beauty of this adapter. A lot of very useful Dashboards:

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This concludes the installation and configuration of Netapp Blue Medora Adapter for vRealize Operations. In the next article, we will explore the metrics and dashboards that comes from this amazing adapter.

Enjoy Netapp Bluemedora Adapter!

Blue Medora NetApp Management Pack: A deeper dive

The good folks at BlueMedora helped me to upgrade the Management Pack to their latest release, which is 5.1. This releases has both enhancements (2 new dashboards as you can see below: IOPS and Historical Debugging) and fixes. It also has UI enhancements, for example numbers are rounded to make it easier to read. The entire list of dashboards are shown below.

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I will just cover some of them, as they are actually quite straight forward. The product will help NetApp Storage Admin and VMware Sys Admin to sit down together and jointly customise the dashboards to their specific needs. It has a lot of data, so it increases visibility and transparency.

Below is the Cluster Systems Overview dashboard. It lists the systems being monitored. The Identifier-3 column is actually the DFM Server name. Clicking on any of the system will automatically shows the information on the right and below it. You can then choose a metric and plot it (apology it is not visible as it’s right at the bottom).

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The NetApp Heatmaps dashboard drills further. As shown below, you can see the heatmaps of Systems, Aggregate, Volume, LUNs, etc. For each Heatmaps, you can choose different Configuration. Just choose it from the drop down. You can also add/remove/change them. The data on the right shows a bit more details. It can be difficult to see which ones are which. This is a limitation in vRealize Ops. As a workaround, you can mouse over.

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The Top-N NetApp Disk dashboard shows the physical spindles. It picks up all disks: data disks, parity disks and spare disks. From VMware Admin view point, being able to see the performance at spindle level is certainly assuring.

You can easily customise the dashboard. I’ve shown some examples below, where I changed the latency to show Top 15 instead of Top 5. You can also change the time period. I normally like to see current data in Top-N. Looking at past 30-day is not a good idea as it’s an average.

My dashboard below looks different to yours as I have also reorder them. As I said in my book, do not be afraid to customise any dashboard. It does not change the way the product works. You will not “damage” it in anyway.

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How do I customise a widget? Simply click on the small edit icon (pencil). It brings up a dialog box. This is for Top-N widget. Other widget will have different dialog box. Any changes you make on this is safe. So go ahead and tailor the dashboards and widget to your own needs.

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Back to Blue Medora management pack. You can see from the window below that they have added a lot of objects. For each object, they’ve added a lot of metrics. Great visibility into the NetApp array!

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Version 5.1 of the Management Pack adds this IOPS dashboard. I like this one as at a glance I can easily see the IOPS at Volume level, Datastore level, and VM level. So I can see whether an issue happens at a VM level, or it’s a more a widespread issue.

The dashboard is interactive. You first select the volume. For each volume, it will automatically list the Datastore. You select a datastore, and it will automatically list the VM. The IOPS data will be shown on the right automatically. Nice!

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All in all, I think it’s a product that gives both deep and complete visibility into the NetApp array. This makes collaboration between VMware Admin and NetApp Admin much easier, as there is a rich set of data supporting them!

Blue Medora NetApp Management Pack – First Impression

Before playing with the software, I recommend that you review the powerpoint files first. You will find them listed under Resources in this page. The slides (in PDF format) is not based on the vRealize Operations 6.0 release, but it still contains a lot of useful information. It will be useful for you to read them before reading my blog, as mine is based on the 6.0 release.

With a management pack, we certainly expect deeper visibility. There are many things that a VMware admin would love to see from their storage. Often, all they know is the LUNs. What’s backing up those LUNs are not exposed. For example, on the following screenshot you can see that it shows the number of systems I have. For each system, it shows the NetApp aggregate, volume, etc. The Environment tab shows the relationship. Notice I selected a Datastore. The VMs are highlighted, but the LUN is not. Can you guess why?

You are right, it’s an NFS. I have 4 datastores, and 1 of them is an NFS.

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I like the way it’s structured like the above. It’s easy for me to understand the structure, hierarchy and dependancy. You can even see the VM in the datastore, as shown below.

31 VMs are showing

On the screen below, I clicked a LUN. All the associated Datastores, VM, etc are shown. If your Datastores and LUN are not mapped 1:1, they will be visible here. Relevant information is also shown if you do a mouse-over on an object.

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If you click the Map sub tab, you get something like this. This is another visualisation, which some of you may like. Personally, I’d like to see the volume put under the Aggregate, not at the same level.

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You might be wondering, where are the disks? It’s storage after all 🙂 Well, they are now shown. I did not know that the default setting does not include Disk.

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What you need to do is to go the Advanced Settings, as shown below, and choose the collection you want. I set mine to all as you can see below.

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I like the screen below. It’s one of the default dashboards that come with it. It gives me a good overall summary. I do not have the performance data, which I’m checking with the folks at Blue Medora.

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My first impression is this delivers the visibility that VMware admin often do not have access too. Cool stuff!