Tag Archives: Management Pack

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.


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).


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.

00 heatmap

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.


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.


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!


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!


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.

30 NetApp in envi overview 01

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.

30 NetApp in envi overview 011

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.

30 NetApp in envi overview 012

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.

30 NetApp in envi overview 013

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.

30 NetApp in envi overview 013a

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.


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

Blue Medora – NetApp Management Pack configuration

I shared earlier that the configuration of a management pack basically involves connecting it to a source provider. In the case of Blue Medora NetApp, you need to connect to a DFM server (OnCommand Unified Manager). The configuration is pretty straight forward, as you can see below.

20 Blue Medora

If you are curious about the Advanced Settings, here is what it looks like, with its default settings. I did not change anything as I’m quite happy with it. I want both Metadata and Performance data. Notie the Disk Collection is off. Disk here means the physical spindles in the array.

20 Blue Medora advance setting

And that’s it.

Now, you should also configure Licensing, as it’s not a free product. If you do not apply it, it works but all the dashboard is watermark. Blue Medora has given me evaluation key, so I’m going to configure it. Go to the Licensing screen in vRealize Operations.

21 license key - click edit

Add the key provided. It’s a long one, so the best is just copy-paste. I had to hide the key. Click the Validate button, and it would show you the details like below.

21 license key 2

After you add the key, you need to assign it to the Management Pack. Follow the screenshot below.

21 license key

Click on key you just added. In my case, it’s not a permanent licence, so the type is Temporary.

22 select it

The Blue Medora NetApp is applied per NetApp array. Since I have 2 arrays, I need to assign to both. The good thing is it automatically selected the objects. Notice the Objects to always include shows 2 items., which are my arrays. Nice!

23 it automatically select

Click Next button and you got the screen below, which is just a summary.

23 its done

And that’s it!