Saturday, March 26, 2016

vROps Webinar 2016 : Part 3 - Capacity Planning De-Mystified!

As promised, I am posting the recording for the 3rd installment of vROps Webinar Series 2016. We successfully delivered the session on vROps Capacity Planning with some demo scenarios which might help you define your capacity monitoring goals.

Session Details:-

Capacity Planning Demystified!



Capacity Planning is an integral part of vRealize Operations Manager and through this session we want to de-mystify the concepts of Capacity Planning in vROps using features such as projects and the out-of-box capacity views. We look at defining the capacity planning policies based on the business requirements of an organization

I also wanted to take this moment and thank Simon Eady for co-hosting this session and Rawlinson Rivera to provide all the lab equipment required for live demonstrations...


Here is the recording for this session on Capacity Planning:::


Note : It is recommended that you watch the video in HD quality for a great experience.



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Sunday, March 13, 2016

vROps Webinar 2016 - Announcing Part 3 : Capacity Planning De-Mystified!


vROps Webinar Series 2016 is back and as promised during the last session we will now deep-dive into vRealize Operations Manager Policies, specifically around the area of Capacity Planning.


Capacity Planning Demystified!

Capacity Planning is an integral part of vRealize Operations Manager and through this session we want to de-mystify the concepts of Capacity Planning in vROps using features such as projects and the out-of-box capacity views. We will also look at defining the capacity planning policies based on the business requirements of an organization & yeah this would be all done through LIVE DEMOS :-)


Day & Date          : Thursday, 24th Mar 2016

Time                     : 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM  (SGT)

Event                    : vROps Webinar 2016

Topic                    : Part 3 : Capacity Planning De-Mystified!

Speakers               : Simon Eady & Sunny Dua

WebEx Link          : Join WebEx meeting 

Save Calendar       : Click to Download & Save Invite


NOTE - Don't forget to mark your calendars by saving the calendar invite!! Feel free to forward the invite to anyone who might be interested. It's open to all!!


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vROps Webinar Series 2016 Episodes

















vROps Webinar Series - Part 9 - What's New with vRealize Operations 6.3





vROps Webinar 2016 - Part 8 : SDDC Operations with vROps Custom Dashboards






vROps Webinar 2016 - Part 7 : Working with Alerts & Symptoms





vROps Webinar 2016 : Part 6 : Understanding vROps SuperMetric & Views






vROps Webinar 2016 : Part 5 - Design & Deployment Considerations






Monday, March 7, 2016

An Overview of Blue Medora’s “Oracle on VMware” Solutions!


Guest Post By: Kyle Wassink, Blue Medora

More and more of Blue Medora’s customers are choosing to run their Oracle workloads on VMware. This choice comes with spectacular benefits such as server consolidation and licensing savings, as well as new challenges. One of the biggest challenges is effectively monitoring the Oracle workloads in context of the underlying VMware layers. Blue Medora has created solutions to address this specific pain point of virtualization, which helps you keep your Oracle environments running smoothly.

Virtualization challenges and solutions

One of the challenges with virtualization is the inaccuracy of the OS level performance metrics. If you try using Oracle Enterprise Manager’s Host target to monitor your servers after virtualization, you’re looking at inaccurate data. In fact, if you’re relying on any monitoring tool that collects performance information from the operating system (typically with an agent), you are using inaccurate data. You need to get performance metrics from VMware for accuracy.

Another challenge customers face with virtualization is increased Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR) when troubleshooting issues. With the additional virtualization layers, multiple tools and teams are now needed to troubleshoot issues effectively.

When you are experiencing issues or an outage with a production Oracle Database or workload, accuracy of data and quick MTTR are vital to recovery. Blue Medora has helped their customers solve these issues with unified “Oracle on VMware” monitoring solutions.

VMware vRealize Operations for Oracle Enterprise Manager

This solution provides a unified view of Oracle running on VMware by collecting data from Oracle Enterprise Manager and pulling it into VMware vRealize Operations. The platform itself collects all the VMware metrics automatically as well as provides advanced customization abilities that are utilized by the Blue Medora Management Pack. Examples include automatic relationships and custom views, reports, dashboards, and capacity planning.

 

This solution excels at giving our customers complete control over how they want to view their Oracle on VMware environment. While over a dozen dashboards are provided out of the box (see an example above and below), customers can also create their own dashboards for specific environments or use cases.

Customization in a unified platform is a huge advantage over multiple monitoring tools because it allows customers to meet once with their vAdmins and Oracle Admins to determine the important use cases and metrics, then create custom dashboards, reports, or views so they are always available. Do the work once and reuse the customizations!

 

If you would like more information or a free trial of the Management Pack for Oracle EM, please visit the product page.

Oracle EM12c Plugin for VMware

This solution is geared toward Oracle admins already using EM12c in their everyday routines. The plugin collects data from the VMware vSphere API and pulls it into Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, automatically creating relationships from the VMware environment to the Oracle targets. With this plugin, our customers take advantage of the deep integration with alerts and new VMware target types to simplify their workflow.

The deep integration with incidents (alerts) in EM12c means that Oracle Admins can create custom monitoring templates and threshold levels on VMware targets without modifying the vSphere environment. For example, one customer had VMware Admins that had a specific list of metrics and threshold values that they cared about for VMware targets. The Oracle Admins, however, wanted to receive alerts at a lower threshold for the Virtual Machines running their production Oracle Databases because they were responsible for uptime and performance SLAs. With the Plugin for VMware installed, the Oracle Admins could setup and receive their VMware-related alerts just like their Oracle ones within EM12c. These VMware incidents even appeared in their Oracle Database dashboards! See below for an example.


A unified view of the Oracle Database > VMware Virtual Machine > VMware Hypervisor relationship has also been a great help to our customers. KPIs are shown for each layer along with links to customized views of each layer. Below is an example of what this looks like.



If you would like more information or a free trial of the Oracle EM12c Plugin for VMware, please visit the product page.


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Thursday, March 3, 2016

vROps Backup - DO NOT quiese the nodes

vRealize operations manager is quickly becoming the backbone of your SDDC and it is important that you always have a sound backup methodology for vROps to ensure that you can recover from a disaster.

The backup of vRealize Operations Manager cannot be done through a regular agent based backup. VMware supports only a specific way to backup the appliance. You need to use vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) to have a successful backup. This backup methodology leverages the vSphere snapshot mechanism which allows the base disk of a virtual machine to be backed up while the current I/O is written on a redo log. Once the backup is completed, the redo log is committed to the base disk and you have a successful backup.

It is important to remember that there are some basic guidelines given by VMware pertaining to the backup of vROps and it is highly recommended that they are followed in order to avoid any outages on vROps and a proper restore in case of the disaster.

At this time I would like to point you to this document.

Quoting from this document:


To minimize vRealize Operations Manager downtime and data loss in an event of failure, back up on a regular basis. In this way, if your system fails, you can recover it by restoring to the last full or incremental backup.
You can backup and restore vRealize Operations Manager single or multi-node clusters by using vSphere Data Protection or other backup tools. You can perform full, differential, and incremental backups and restores of virtual machines.

Note
All nodes are backed up and restored at the same time. You cannot back up and restore individual nodes.

Be aware of these prerequisites when you back up vRealize Operations Manager systems by using any tool:

Disable quiescing.
Verify that all nodes are powered on and are accessible while the backup is taking place.
Be aware of these guidelines when you back up vRealize Operations Manager systems by using any tool:

Use a resolvable host name and a static IP address for all nodes.
Back up the entire virtual machine. You must back up all VMDK files that are part of the virtual appliance.
Do not stop the cluster while performing the backup.
Do not perform backup while dynamic threshold (DT) calculations are running because this might lead to performance issues or loss of nodes.
It is important to note that Quiescing Should be disabled to ensure that you do not kill the Gemfire layer which is an in-memory database in vRealize Operations.  A few days back I wrote about a whitepaper which which helps you configure the backup of the entire vCloud Suite using Netbackup.
I would highly recommend you follow the principles defined in this white paper to have a successful backup and more importantly a successful restore of vRealize Operations Manager.

In case your backup software does not have a way to create a backup policy with Non-Quiesced snapshot, you can use the steps mentioned on the following guide to disable quiescing at the Virtual Machine level.

http://pubs.vmware.com/vrealizeoperationsmanager-61/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vcom.core.doc%2FGUID-6159E2FA-B6C5-4580-AC93-C912CFEBF2CB.html 

Special thanks to my colleague Dean Ravenscroft for pointing out to this limitation of some of the backup software and the workaround. 
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