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!

IOPS

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!

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