VMware vRealize by Iwan ‘e1’ Rahabok – An Encounter with Counters

Over the weekend I finished reading “VMware vRealize Operations Performance and Capacity Management” book by my friend and guide Iwan ‘e1’ Rahabok. He mentioned that this book is a hands-on guide to master Performance and Capacity in VMware, which is absolutely true. It requires a good level of experience and expertise on VMware and its products, specifically vCenter and vRealize Operations. I want to thank my buddy Yajuvendra Singh for gifting me with this book.

I just want to give my honest feedback and worth of reading this book. Having the book in my collection, it gives me immense support to handle design work. The book has a total of 8 chapters with loads of technical details on the 4 infrastructural elements (CPU, Memory, Network and Storage) and their related counters. It reminds me of the days when we used to work on MS Windows perfmon tools. Those Windows tools where kind of single server single issue solution, it was a reactive approach. The book also reminds me of different dashboards being used to actively monitor servers and generate graphs for days and months.

As mentioned earlier the book has 8 chapters and they are divided to form a foundation before actual hands-on the tool, I took following from the book:

Foundation and Theory:
– Chapter 1, Virtual Data Center.
– Chapter 2, Capacity Management in SDDC.

Solutions and Samples:
– Chapter 3, Mastering the Key Counters in SDDC.
– Chapter 4, CPU Counters.
– Chapter 5, Memory Counters.
– Chapter 6, Network Counters.
– Chapter 7, Storage Counters.
– Chapter 8, Dashboard Examples and Ideas.

The Virtual Data Center, covered in chapter 1, is a favourite topic of mine. It talks about difference between management of physical and virtual data centers. It is required to see virtual data center in a different ways as they cannot be run in similar manner as we have being doing stuff in the past. It has comparison tables that highlight individual components and their differences. Also it has enhancements after servers are being moved into virtual world. My favorite topic being “Physical Data Center v/s Virtual Data Center”. After introduction of products/features like NSX, NIOC, SIOC and many more, VMware has taken virtualization to a next level..

Chapter 2, provides details of on SDDC approach and its benefits. This point has a major impact on Operational and Architectural areas wherein IT Teams have a different role to perform all together i.e. they move out of system builder to service provider. The chapter leads by examples on capacity planning on different layers (Computer, Storage and Networks).

Chapter 3- 7, discuss different counters and especially how to segregate issues pertaining to Virtual Machine and Hosting environment. I have been using and working on different counters at the time of preparation of VCAP5-DCD with my best buddies Yajuvendra Singh and Rahul Stephen. I would surely mention that we had a limited set of counters and values to look but after reading book it has been an eye opener with so many counters and kind of depth (Horizontal and Vertical) of tool. We have been using vCenter charts but vRealize Operations takes it to more different approach (Reactive and Proactive). Another important point was (Contention Counters v/s Utilization Counters) that draw our attention. Usually we use general counters that may or may not be suitable for our environment. This book gives In and Out details on those with used cases.

Chapter 8, Highly recommended for all levels – CTO, IT Managers, IT Support and Helpdesk as it gives solutions on overall health of system and alarming states. I found really crisp and clear definition for dashboards.

I would definitely suggest everyone to read this book especially those working on VMware products as Designer, Architect, and Support as it has enough detail for all kind of projects.

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