vCenter Operations Manager 5.8 Overview

VMware offers vC Ops “aka”  vCenter Operations Manager to monitor VMware vSphere and vCloud environments in the most efficient way.It provides the great visibility on VMware infrastructure to the system administrators and stake holders.The most important feature of vC Ops is capacity planning.It projects the resource consumption growth with help of the historical statistics. VMware vSphere itself  provides the necessary performance chart for each VM and ESXi’s resource consumption. Then why do we still need vCenter Operations Manager ? How different it is ? VMware vCenter’s monitoring system is just restricted to its own VM’s and hypervisors.But vC Ops can able to monitor multiple vCenter servers and provides the great visibility to the system administrators about the whole virtual IT infrastructure. .

The vC OPs Dashboard provides the three important things about the virtual infrastructure  environment.  The first thing is  health of the each VM’s and ESXi servers.Using the colour  codes, we easily navigate to the VM/ESXi which is in high risk(Green-Normal , Yellow=Information, Red=Action Required). The second things is about “Risk” . The vC OPs predict the future issues by calculating the historical data. For an example, XYZ  datastore’s data size is increasing everyday rapidly. vC OPs will predict that if this datastore usages goes for next 7 days , it will get full and those kind of updates will be shown on “RISK” column.The third one is about the efficiency of the environment. Please see the below screenshot of vC OPS dashboard.

VCOPS dashboard1

 

License:

vCOps has four edition. Based on your requirement , you need to purchase the license for this product.

  • Standard – vSphere performance and basic notifications
  • Advanced – as above features +  capacity management
  • Enterprise – as above features  + chargeback, reporting and advanced alerting, and configuration management
  • Enterprise plus – as above feature + enhanced configuration management and extensibility (third party plugins, customizable dashboards etc…)

Resource Requirement:

vCOps require huge storage since it needs to store the historical performance data for each VM and ESXi servers.

Environment Size Memory CPU Storage IOPS
Small (up to 1500 VMs) 16GB RAM 4 vCPUs 900GB 1500+
Medium (1500 – 3000 VMs) 25GB RAM 8 vCPUs 1.8TB 3000+
Large – (3000+ VMs) 34GB RAM 16 vCPUs 3.6TB 6000+

 

vCOps Monitoring vs VMware vCenter Monitoring:

This is an small example to prove that how vCOps is different from inbuilt-VMware vCenter Monitoring. For an example , You have one specific VM which runs batch jobs at 12 AM mid-night and during that time CPU usage goes beyond the 85% everyday. In VMware vCenter, you have configured the CPU threshold  as 80%. So everyday vCenter triggers critical alert due to the batch at mid-night. When you use the vCOps, it will not trigger the critical alarm since it actually learns our environment and this is normal behaviour of this environment. But it will not forget to update the VM status on the dashboard.

How vC OPs reduce the troubleshooting time ?

When its comes to performance issue, it is very difficult to troubleshoot.If we do not have historical performance  data for the ESXi or VM, it is very difficult to tell what was the normal state. But when you use vC Ops , it will tell you that what was the normal resource consumption of the VM or Host .It will be indicated using the “Blue brackets” (See below image) and the current usage is displaying using the green bar.

Workload VM

 

Intermediate VM issue also make you mad sometimes. Application team may be complaining about this VM that application/DB crashes frequently on this host. As VMware System administrator, you need to find out that what is happening in the VM at the time of DB/APP crashes. vC Ops will help you to identify that how much time VMware was running out of the resources and recommended resource for this VM. It also collects the logs and VM events.

If you integrate with VMware vCenter configuration manager, you can easily track the changes of each VM.

vSphere Objects Relationship:

vCOps provides the great view of the objects that has direct relationship with object which you have selected.

Relationship-VM objects

 

Capacity Planning:

In vCOps portal, You can get lot of information about capacity planning under “Planning” and “Analysis” tab. With the help of historical data , vCOps can easily figure out the resource , when it might be ran out off space.

What’s New on vCOps 5.8 ?

According to the VMware notes, vCOps 5.8 has ,

  • Optimized query execution to improve performance at scale.
  • Enhanced authentication options with new active directory integration for authentication.
  • Improved security with upgrades to the OS and runtime environment.
  • New integration with VMware vCenter Log Insight using a vCenter Operations Manager Content Pack that enables you to monitor your vCenter Operations Manager infrastructure.
  • Expanded integration with vCenter Hyperic using the vCenter Operations Management Pack for vCenter Hyperic. This management pack provides many new capabilities, such as:
    • Support for Microsoft Hyper-V servers, including out of the box dashboards for troubleshooting and performance analysis.
    • Support for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Servers, with out of the box dashboards for troubleshooting.

In this article ,we will see that how to configure the network protocol profile for vC Ops vApps using vSphere web-client. Network protocol profiles provide a network identity to vApps. A network protocol profile is a pre-defined network configuration that is assigned to a network used by a vApps. The vApp can then leverage vCenter Server to automatically provide an IP configuration to its virtual machines. vC Ops OVF file contains “Analytical VM” and “User interface VM” vApps. We need to set the static IP address for both VM’s but however network profiles are mandatory to power on these vApps. Let’s see how we can create network protocol profile for vC Ops vApps.

1. Login to the vSphere web Client .

2.Click on the Networking .

VMware vSphere - Networking1

3.Select the Network in which you want to configure the vC Ops network profile.

VM Network

4.Click on Manage and Select Network Protocol Profile.Click on the Link icon which is on the right side.

Network protocol profile

5.If you click the link icon, new wizard  will pop-up like below.Select “Create a new Network protocol profile”  and click next to continue.

Network Protocol Profile creation

6.Enter the network name and select the network which you want to associate with this profile.  Click Next to continue.

Name the Profile

7.Enter the network information according to your requirement.

Enter the IPV4 Network information

You can restrict the network profile to use to specific range of IP address by enabling the network pool. In our case,we are going to set the static IPs for vC Ops vApps . So do not enable the “IP pool”

8.You can skip IPV6 if you are not using it.

Skip IPV6

9.Set the other network configuration according to your environment.

Enter the DNS servers and Domain Names

I have left blank since I do not have DNS servers configured on my test environment.

10.Review your settings and Click finish to create a new network protocol profile.

Review Settings

11. We can see that new network protocol profile has been created successfully.

Network profile

This profile will be used when we are going to deploy the vC Ops which we have downloaded from VMware.

VMware provides the vC Ops installable software for windows & Linux.VMware also provides the pre-configured vApps to deploy vCenter Operation manager in few clicks and this will be the most common method. If you plan to install it on Linux or Windows hosts, you need to buy license for operating systems  along with vC Ops. But when you deploy vC Ops as appliance (vApps) , you just need to buy license for vC Ops only. vC Ops comes as bundle of “Analytical VM” and “User interface VM”. Analytical VM is responsible to collect the performance matrix data and stores using the PostgreSQL database. User can directly access the “User interface VM ‘aka’ UI VM”   to retrieve the necessary information from analytical VM.

To know the system requirements for vCOps , Check the Part 1.

Before deploying the vCOps , you  need to configure the IP Pools for vCops on the VMware vSphere networking.Check it in Part 2.

1.Download the VMware-vcops-5.8.4.0-2199700-vapp.ova from VMware website. VMware provides 60 days trial for this product.

2.Login to vSphere Client and navigate it hosts and cluster.

Login to vSphere-Web-Client

3.Right click the datacenter and select “Deploy OVF Template” .

Deploy OVF Template

4.Browse the OVA file location and select the vC Ops OVA file.

Browse the OVA file

5.Review the OVF template details.

Review the OVF template

6. Accept the end user license agreement and click on next.

Accept the End user License Agreement

7.Enter the vApps Name and select the datacenter or folder where you would like to deploy.

Enter the Name and Select the Data-centre

8.Select the configuration type according to the environment size. “Small” configuration can able to monitor up to 1500 VMs.

Select the deployment configuration size

9.Select the host in which you would like to deploy the vC Ops vApps . (UI VM & Analytics VM).

Select the host to deploy

10.Select the datastore in which you would to store the vC Ops VM’s.

vC Ops Select storage

Select “Thin Provision” if you do not have enough space to enough space on the datastore for thick provision. VMware recommends to format the virtual disk as thick provision to improve the vC Ops performance.

11.Select the network configuration. We are going to set the static IP for analytical VM and UI VM. So Select “Static-Manual”  in the IP allocation tab. You must provide the DNS servers to deploy the vApps.

Enter the network details

12.Select the proper time-zone and set the static IP’s for the both VM in the below screen.

Enter the Static IP for both VM s

13. Review the settings prior to proceed with deployment.Click “Finish” to start the deployment.

Review the settings

14. You can see the deployment status on the tasks details tab.

Task Details

15.Once the deployment is completed, you can see the new vApp and two new VM’s.

vC Ops deployed successfully

We have successfully deployed the vC Ops

This article will help you to configure the vCenter Operating Manager 5.8 . Once you have deployed the vC Ops using the OVA file , new vApps will be created along with  two new VM’s. (Analytics VM & UI VM). When you power on the vApps , Analytics VM gets power on and it takes nearly 10 minutes  to initialize. There are plenty of start-up scripts runs to configure the VM to use for first time. Once the Analytics  VM is up , UI VM gets power on and it also has plenty of start-up scripts for first time initialization. Once the both VM’s are up , you can use the UI VM ip address/hostname to access the web-portal to configure the vC Ops. Once you have logged in to the portal using “admin” user account, initial setup wizard pop-ups to perform the configuration.

1. Login to vSphere web-client  and power on the vC Ops ‘s vApps. VM’s will take its own time to initialize for first time.

Power on vApps

2.Here is the summary tab of Analytics VM.

Analytics VM status

3. UI VM summary tab .Click on the Launch console link to open the VM console  for post configuration.

UI VM Status

4.VM console will be opened on new browser tab. You will get the UI VM console like below.

UI VM - console

vC Ops – User Interface VM username / password : root/vmware , admin/admin.

5. In the above console ,you will get the URL to access the web-portal of UI VM. (Ex: http://192.168.2.50) In new browser tab, access the vC Ops UI – VM web-portal.

UI VM - web-portal

6.Once you have logged in on UI VM web-portal , wizard pop-ups for initial configuration.Provide the vCenter details where UI VM & Analytics VM is hosted.

Enter the Appliance - vSphere info

Security alert may pop-ups like below. Just select “yes” to continue.

Secutriy alert

7.Change the factory default password for users admin and root in the below screen.

Change password

8.Enter the vCenter servers details which needs to be monitored using vC Ops.We have also option to specify the Registration user and collector user.

Specify vCenter Server to monitor

9.If this is the first time vC Ops installation, then  you can forget about “Import Data”. If you have any historical data from vCenter extension, you can import it here.

Import Data

10.If you are  connecting your vCenter servers from different sites using vCenter Linked Mode,then you can provide the information on this window.

Linked VC registration

Click Finish to complete post configuration.

Registering vCenter Server on  vC Ops

You will get the below window, once you have completed the registration.You can also add the new vCenter Server by clicking the New Registration tab.

vCenter Operating Manager Administration

If you are not getting the above page , you can access it using “https://UIVM-IP/admin” URL.

11. Once the registration is complete, You can open a new window to browse the UI VM with IP address.It will be automatically re-directed to below page by default.If not , you can access the below portal using “https://UI-VM-IP/vcops-vsphere/” .   Login as admin with new password which you have set .

Login page - vCenter Operations Manager

12.Once you have logged in , you will get the home page like below.

Home page of vC Ops