Posted by Marek.Z on 23 May 2013
Beside the standard dashboard that comes with the default installation, the vCenter Operations Manager allows you to create your own custom dashboard to meet your specific needs. The design process is done using the custom portal and not in the administration portal. The custom portal can be accessed by typing the FQDN/IP address of the UI virtual machine in the internet browser followed by /vcops-custom/. For example: https://10.10.13.28/vcops-custom/
In this example, I’ll create a custom dashboard that will provide extensive information about datastores in your environment.
Create Custom Dashboard
- Open your browser and navigate to https://<FQDN_or_IP_address_vCOps>/vcops-custom/
- Login with the administrator account.
- Navigate to the Dashboard menu and select Add. A new dashboard editing tab will open.
- You can create a new dashboard using widgets by dragging them into the area on the right or you can create a new dashboard from a dashboard template. In this case, I’ll go with the widgets option. If you want to use the dashboard template option, click the icon in the top left to switch the view.
- Select and drag the Resource, the Metric Graph and the Health Tree widget to the right pane.
- Provide a name for the dashboard in the Tab Name text box, for example Datastore Monitor.
- Optionally, mark this dashboard as the default dashboard.
- Select the 3 column layout.
- Click OK to create the new dashboard.
- Rearrange the widgets over the columns. And make it a bit bigger with the “double arrow down” button.
- Select the Resource widget and click the gear button.
- Enter a widget title, for example Datastores.
- Set the Refresh Widget Content to On.
- From the tags filter, scroll down to Datastore, expand it and select All Attributes.
- In the Sort Data By pane, select the first order as Health and the second as Name.
- Click OK to save the changes.
- From the Dashboard Tools menu click Interactions.
- Set the providing and receiving widget as depicted below and click OK.
- Click OK to save and close the Interactions window.
You can now select one of the datastores and see the results in the health three windows as well as extensive information about this particular datastore in the metric graph window.
This is of course a very simple example of a custom dashboard and it can be easily be extended with other widgets or refined using other filter criteria.
This concludes the vCenter Operations Manager part of this vCloud Suite POC. The product is very extensive but provides you with good information about your environment. The powerful custom dashboard editor enables you to gather a vast amount of information to troubleshoot and forecast your environment.
Continue to part 16 (coming soon) where we will take a closer look at the vCloud Automation Center.
Posted in How To, Operations Manager, vCloud Suite, VMware | Tagged: configure, create, custom, dashboard, how to, Proof of Concept, setup, UI, vCenter Operations Manager, vCloud Suite, VMware | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marek.Z on 15 May 2013
Now the vCenter Operations Manager vApp is deployed, we can proceed with the initial configuration.
- Open the vSphere Client and log in to the vCenter Server where the vCenter Operations Manager vApp is located.
- Select the vApp and from the Summary tab click the Available link to open the vCenter Operations Manager Administration page.
- Accept the SSL security warning and log in with username admin and password admin.
- In the Initial Setup Wizard, provide the vCenter Server address which will be monitored and a username and password. Click Next. Note that the IP address of the Analytics VM is already present.
- Click Yes on the SSL security alert to accept the authenticity of the vCenter Server.
- Next, change the password for the admin account (for the vCenter Operations Manager Administration Portal) and the root password (for the vCenter Operations Manager virtual appliance console).
- Specify the details for vCenter Server that will be monitored. Provide a display name, FQDN or IP address, username, password for the registration user and optionally for the collector user. Click Next.
- Click Next on the Import Data section. This is only available if you already running a legacy version of vCenter Operations Manager or vCenter CapacityIQ.
- In the next step, you can register vCenter Servers that are in Linked Mode with your vCenter Server. In my case there are no vCenter Servers in Linked Mode. Click Finish to complete the initial setup.
When the registration of the vCenter Server instance is completed you will be redirected to the vCenter Operations Manager Administrations user interface. This process can take some time to complete.
Configure Email Notifications
The vCenter Operations Manager can send email notifications when a problem with its operation occurs. An Administrative alert is sent when the vCenter Operations Manager detects a problem with one or more of its components and cannot collect data from the monitored objects.
- On the vCenter Operations Manager Administration UI select the SMTP/SNMP tab and enable SMTP and/or SNMP.
- Click Update.
- Close the vCenter Operations Manager Administration page.
- Open the vSphere Client and log in.
- From the Plug-ins menu, select Manage Plug-ins.
- In the Plug-in Manager, scroll down to vCenter Operations Manager plug-in.
- If not enabled, right click the plug-in and select Enable.
- The plug-in should now be enabled.
- Click Close to close the Plug-in Manager.
- You should now see a vCenter Operations Manager icon under the Solutions and Applications section.
The final step in the initial vCenter Operations Manager setup is assigning a valid license key. This must be done in the vCenter Server.
- Open vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client and log in to you vCenter Server. In this case I will use the Web Client.
- From the Home page, select Licensing under Administration.
- Next, select the Solutions tab.
- Highlight the vCenter Operations Manager and click Assign License Key.
- From the drop-down menu, choose if you want to assign an existing key or if you want to assign a new one.
- Enter a new key or choose one, if you already entered one.
- Click OK to assign the license key.
This concludes the initial setup of the vCenter Operations Manager. Proceed to part 15 where we will create a custom user interface dashboard.
Posted in How To, Operations Manager, vCenter, vCloud Suite, VMware | Tagged: configure, how to, Proof of Concept, vCenter Operations Manager, vCloud Suite, VMware | 2 Comments »
Posted by Marek.Z on 7 May 2013
So far the vCloud Suite proof of concept has been installed and configured with the vCloud Director with vCloud Networking and Security, vCloud Connector and vCenter Chargeback Manager. In this part we will take a look on how to proactively manage the health of vSphere infrastructure, virtual machines and applications. But also how to spot potential bottlenecks and how to remediate the problems. To do this, VMware offers vCenter Operations Manager, which is also part of the vCenter Operations Management Suite, to address these questions. Before we jump into installation and configuration of vCenter Operations Manager, let’s define what it actually is.
VMware vCenter Operations Manager is the key component of the vCenter Operations Management Suite. It provides a new and much simplified approach to operations management of vSphere, physical and cloud infrastructure. Using patented, self-learning analytics and an open, extensible platform, vCenter Operations Manager provides you with operations dashboards to gain deep insights and visibility into health, risk and efficiency of your infrastructure, performance management and capacity optimization capabilities.
Source: VMware vCenter Operations Manager Overview
The vCenter Operations Manager is a virtual appliance and comes as an OVA downloadable from VMware. It can be deployed using the vSphere Client and the Web Client. Once deployed the vCenter Operations Manager is a vApp containing two virtual machines.
- UI VM: this virtual machines provides you with access to the analytics using a web-based application.
- Analytics VM: this virtual machine is responsible for gathering data from one or multiple vCenter Servers or vCenter Configuration Manager of any other third party data resources.
The vCenter Operations Manager comes in four versions:
The license model is either per processor with unlimited virtual machines which is advisable for environments with high consolidation ratio or per virtual machines on physical server which is suitable for environments with low consolidation ratio. Other option is the “a la carte” license which contains a 25 virtual machine instance license pack. More information about licensing can be found on VMware website.
Tip: if you are (re)building or upgrading your infrastructure, consider buying vCenter Operations Manager as part of vCloud Suite or as part of vSphere with Operations Management.
The vCenter Operations Manager uses the following ports for communications. Make sure these ports are open before the deployment on the firewalls.
- Port 22: SSH access to vCenter Operations Manager vApp
- Port 80: redirects to port 443
- Port 443: SSL access to the Admin portal and the application
- Port 1194: tunnel between the UI VM and the Analytics VM
At the time of this writing, the vCenter Operations Manager supports the following browsers:
- Internet Explorer 8.0 and 9.0
- Mozilla Firefox 18 and 19
- Google Chrome 24 and 25
- Apple Safari 6
Deploy vCenter Operations Manager
The deployment of vCenter Operations Manager vApp is quite easy and straightforward, it is just basically like deploying any other vApp on you vSphere infrastructure. I assume you already downloaded the OVA file from VMware. In my case I am using version 5.7 which is the latest at the time of this writing.
- Before you begin the deployment, you must configure an IP Pool which will provide network identity to the vApp. The vCenter Operations Manager vApp can then use this IP Pool to automatically provide an IP address to the UI and Analytics VM. Also, the IP Pool facilitates the use of a static IP address during the vApp deployment process.
- Connect to the vCenter Server where you want to deploy the vCenter Operations Manager. In my case I used the vSphere Web Client.
- Navigate to Hosts and Clusters, select the datacenter object, click the Manage tab and select the Network Protocol Profiles (this is the IP Pool tab in the vSphere Client).
- Click the green plus button to create a new profile.
- In the Add New Protocol Profile wizard, provide a name and select a network association from the list.
- Next, specify the subnet, gateway address and DNS servers. DO NOT select the “Enable IP Pool” checkbox and DO NOT specify a range of IP addresses. Those will be specified in the deployment of vCenter Operations Manager vApp.
- Enter the DHCP server if there is one available on your network, but in this case it is not necessary. Click Next.
- Leave the IPv6 Configuration and the Other Network Configuration as default.
- Review the settings and click Finish to complete the wizard.
- Now the Network Protocol Profile is created, we can proceed with the vCloud Operations Manager Deployment.
- With the datacenter object still selected, click the Action button and select Deploy OVF Template.
- Select the source and click Next.
- Review the details and click Next.
- Accept the EULA and click Next.
- Provide an intuitive name and select datacenter or folder for the deployed vApp.
- Next, chose the deployment configuration. You can chose from small, medium or large. Each option displays its limits in the window below. Click Next.
- Select a resource in your datacenter and click Next.
- Select a location on your storage for the files and select the virtual disk format.
- Next, in the network setup, chose the network destination from the drop-down menu and make sure the IP allocation is set to Static-Manual.
- In the Customize Template window, set the appropriate time zone setting and provide static IP addresses for the UI and the Analytics virtual machines. Click Next.
- Review the settings, select “Power on after deployment” checkbox and click Finish to start the deployment. When it is finished, the vApp and the virtual machines should be powered on.
This concludes the overview and deployment steps for the vCenter Operations Manager. Continue to part 14 where we will configure vCenter Operations Manager for the first time.
Posted in How To, Operations Manager, vCenter, vCloud Suite, VMware | Tagged: deploy, how to, install, Proof of Concept, vCenter Operations Manager, vCloud Suite, VMware | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marek.Z on 2 May 2013
Now the installation and configuration of vCenter Chargeback Manager is completed, a new chargeback hierarchy can be created. A chargeback hierarchy is an organization of vCenter Server entities and vCenter Chargeback Manager entities. The vCenter Server entities include virtual machines, hosts, data centers, resource pools, host folders, and virtual machine folders.
Create New Hierarchy
To identify the resource utilization and generate a usage or cost report, we must first create a chargeback hierarchy and add the required entities to it.
- Log in to vCenter Chargeback Manager homepage.
- Select the Mange Hierarchy tab and click the Create Hierarchy button.
- In the Create Hierarchy window, enter a name and description. Under the hierarchy creation option select whether you want to create a custom hierarchy, synchronize with a vCenter Server or import a hierarchy from a CSV file. In my case, I selected to synchronize with the vCenter Server.
- When you hit the Create button a new hierarchy will be created and you should be able to browse it.
Configure Cost Model
- Navigate to the Manage Cost tab and select Cost Template.
- Click the Create button to create a new cost template.
- On the General tab, provide a name, description and select your currency.
- Next, select the Rate Factors. This is the multiplication factor that is used with the base rate to calculate the charge for a unit of chargeable computing resource used or allocated for a specified duration. I set the rate factor to 1 for all entities. If you want to charge more, then set the value to for example 2. This will double the costs. If you want to give a discount for example, set the value to 0.5 for 50% discount.
- Next, select the Fixed Costs tab and add any fixed cost you want to charge.
- Click Create.
- Next, click the Pricing Models tab and click the Create button.
- On the General tab provide a name and description and set your preferred currency.
- Select the Billing Policy tab, select the period of time and change the billing policy. In my cast the billing policy is the preconfigured “VMware vCloud Director Billing Policy – Reservation Pool”.
- Click Create.
There are many ways to create reports in vCenter Chargeback Manager, in this case I’ll create a simple report that will reflect the usage on my environment. Also, in my case, the vCenter Chargeback Manager is integrated with the vCloud Director so the cost information will be based on the organizations created in the vCloud Director environment.
- With the vCloud Chargeback Manager still open, navigate to the Reports tab and select Create Reports.
- From the drop down menu, select an item from the hierarchy, in my case this will be “Organization A”.
- Right-click the organization and select Generate Cost Report.
- In the Create Report wizard, enter a name and description for the report. Optionally, provide a user name. Set the effective period and select the pricing model created earlier. Click Next.
- Click Next once again on the Report Summary window.
- Select any extra details you want to include in the report and click Next.
- Click Submit to start creating the report.
- When the report is ready you can view the costs for the specified period. Mine is empty because I did not set any rate for CPU and memory used for the period I specified
- You can now save, export or email this report to your customer.
This report is just an example. There is a lot of reporting in vCenter Chargeback Manager so you should create one based on your own environment and rates. The vCenter Chargeback Manager provides you with the Base Rate Calculator which enables you to calculate the fixed costs to be charged per virtual machine on a monthly or yearly basis. It also enables you to identify the base rates for the CPU, memory, and storage to recover the hardware investment over a defined period of time.
This concludes the vCenter Chargeback Manager part of this vCloud Suite POC. The vCloud Chargeback Manager is a very extensive and powerful reporting tool in my opinion. It takes some time to learn it but once set up correctly the reporting can easily be automated.
In the next part of the vCloud Suite series we will take a closer look at the vCenter Operations Manager.
Posted in Chargeback Manager, How To, vCloud Suite, VMware | Tagged: configure, cost, hierarchy, how to, Proof of Concept, report, vCenter Chargeback Manager, vCloud Suite, VMware | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Marek.Z on 25 April 2013
Now that the installation requirements are met, we can proceed with installation of the vCenter Chargeback Manager. In this case, I’ve created a dedicated virtual machine with default settings running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. I assume you already downloaded the software and extracted it to a directory.
Install vCenter Chargeback Manager
- Start the executable and wait for the installation wizard.
- Click Next at the Introduction screen.
- Accept the EULA and click Next.
- Click Next if you accept the default installation folder, or choose another one.
- In the vCenter Chargeback Manager Database Configuration section, provide the database type, the database URL, the database name, SQL Authentication Mode, the database username and password. Click Test Connection to verify if the settings are correct. If so, click Next.
- Accept the settings in the Load Balancer section. In my case, this is the first installation of vCenter Chargeback Manager so it automatically becomes the first load balancer instance.
- In the Server Configuration, check “Install vCenter Chargeback Manager Server” and provide a server instance name. Click Next.
- In the Authentication Details section, provide a username and password for the vCenter Chargeback Manager installation.
- Next, in the Data Collector section you have 3 options. I chose all 3 because this deployment is to monitor and collect resource usage in the cloud.
- If you chose the vCloud Director Data Collector you need to provide the vCloud Director URL or IP address and a username and password.
- Review the settings and click Install to start the installation process.
- When the installation is finished you should receive a message stating that you should add all the vCenter Servers in your vCloud Director to the vCenter Chargeback Manager. Also, the passwords for all vShield Manager Server in your vCloud Director must be configured in the vCenter Chargeback Manager.
- Click OK to close the message and click Done to close the installer.
- Next, you must generate a SSL certificate for security reasons. You can choose to generate a default certificate or to generate your own. In this case, I chose the default option.
- When the generation of the SSL certificate is successful, you should see the following message. Press any key to close the window.
After installation, don’t forget to install vCenter Chargeback Manager 2.5 Patch 01 to resolve some issues in the previous version. Installation instructions and patches can be found in VMware KB 2041041.
Configure vCenter Chargeback Manager
Before you begin, make sure you have Adobe Flash player installed.
- Open Launch vCenter Chargeback Manager Homepage from Start > Programs > VMware > VMware vCenter Chargeback menu.
- First, enter a license key, username and password and click the Add button.
- Next, enter the admin user credentials and click OK to log in.
- Select the Settings tab and under the General section click Add under the Email Settings.
- Enter the settings for the SMTP server and click Add.
- Click the vCenter Server section under the Settings tab and click the Add button in the right bottom.
- Enter the connection information for the vCenter Server and the vCenter Server database.
- Check the “Register As vSphere Client Plug-in” option and click Add.
- Click Install when prompted if you want to install the vCenter Server certificate.
- The vCenter Server should now be added in the vCenter Chargeback Manager.
- Next, under the Settings tab, select the Data Collectors.
- Navigate to the vShield Manager tab and click the vShield Manager instance.
- Click the Edit button in the right bottom and provide the password for the vShield Manger.
At this point the installation and configuration of vCenter Chargeback Manager is completed. Navigate to the System Health tab and make sure that vCenter Chargeback Manager is running correctly.
Continue to part 12 where we will create a new vCenter Chargeback Manager hierarchy and generate a cost report.
Posted in Chargeback Manager, How To, vCloud Suite, VMware | Tagged: configure, how to, install, Proof of Concept, vCenter Chargeback Manager, vCloud Suite, VMware | Leave a Comment »