Friday, April 29, 2016

Configuring HP OneView Adapter with vRealize Operations Manager

While configuring the HP OneView Adapter 2.0 for vRealize Operations Manager 6.x, I faced an issue which is not documented appropriately in the HP documentation and hence I thought I will share my experience through this article.

HP OneView Adapter 2.0 is a powerful management pack for vRealize Operations Manager. It provides you a lot of information about the HP hardware being monitored through OneView and provides a number of out of the box alerts which can save your day as an admin. Here is an abstract from the documentation from HP about this management pack:

"HPE OneView for VMware vRealize Operations provides integrated and highly automated performance, capacity, configuration compliance, and cost management tools to the vRealize Operations custom GUI. The software uses the VMware’s analytics engine that analyzes what is normal and then applies that baseline to a dynamic server environment. For information on vRealize Operations, see VMware vRealize Operations Enterprise documentation at http://
www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vcops-pubs.html.

When the OneView for VMware vRealize Operations is installed, the custom OneView Dashboard
is added to the vRealize Operations custom GUI.

The OneView Dashboard allows you to monitor resources in a vRealize environment. The attributes that can be monitored include: resource health, power, temperature (server and enclosure), and system alerts. The analytics engine allows for proactive monitoring of the OneView resource environment and indicates the state of the resources. If a problem occurs, an alert is triggered and displayed. The analytics engine also provides for proactive prediction which can determine the point in the future when a resource will reach a predefined critical level"


The same document talks about installing this management pack and mentions that you need to a couple of username and passwords to configure the credentials for this management pack.


It is not clear as to what this username and password should be. First of all the author spelled vRealize incorrectly and then there is no mention of what is the OneView for vROps Username anywhere in the document. I tried using the same account which I have configured on OneView for vROps integration and tried to Test the Connection. 

The process failed with an error about unable to connect to OneView. I received the following error on the UI. 


To understand the error better, I browsed through the collector.log located here

/usr/lib/vmware-vcops/user/log

I saw the following log:

2016-04-29 05:28:08,740 INFO  [Communicator]  com.integrien.alive.collector.CommunicatorThread.receivedTask -    <-  Received 'Test connection' task from Alive (id: 437, cid: 1) Details: {AIR=null,ResId={null};}
2016-04-29 05:28:08,740 INFO  [Task Processor worker thread 8]  com.integrien.alive.common.communication.CommunicatorWorkItem.run - Starting to process 'Test connection' task... (id: 437, cid: 1)
2016-04-29 05:28:10,772 WARN  [Task Processor worker thread 8]  org.springframework.web.client.RestTemplate.handleResponseError - GET request for "https://localhost/suite-api/api/auth/users?_no_links=true" resulted in 401 (Unauthorized); invoking error handler
2016-04-29 05:28:10,832 ERROR [Task Processor worker thread 8]  com.integrien.alive.common.communication.CommunicatorWorkItem.run - Unable to process task Test connection id:437 from collector:1


The log tells me that this adapter tried connecting to the vROps API and it failed to authorize, which means that the user for vRealize has to be a user within vROps and not OneView.

I created a local user in vROps with admin permissions with access to all the objects and used that user to connect. This helped me connect successfully and complete the adapter configuration. 

To create a local user Go to Administration > Access Control. Under User Accounts Tab Click on the + sign to add a user. Fill in all the details and click on Next. Select the Role as Administrator, and Allow Access to all the Objects and click Finish

This should help you fix the problem.


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

vRealize LogInsight Upgrade Fails During /etc/hosts Pre-Upgrade Validation.

All this while I have been blogging about vRealize Operations Manager, however the more I work with LogInsight, the more I fall in love with the product and its fantastic capabilities. The good news for me is that both vROps and LogInsight work beautifully together and hence I have another area where I can explore and learn and enhance my capabilities around managing and monitoring the SDDC platform and it's tenants.

With that, let me quickly jump into what I want to share. 

While trying to upgrade the LogInsight 2.5 GA built to LogInsight 3.0 for a customer, the process failed during the pre-upgrade check with the following error on the GUI


UpgradeError: "2.5GA Log Insight deployment didn't pass pre-upgrade validation: localhost used for host ;127.0.0.1 in /etc/hosts. Please edit /etc/hosts and remove the string localhost from all non-loopback addresses."


I logged into the LogInsight Master node using the root credentials and browsed to the following directory using the command

cd /var/log/loginsight

I looked up into the upgrade.log and found the same error in the upgrade.log as well. Based on the advice given in the error log, I checked the /etc/hosts files and found that someone had played around with the entries in this file. I immediately referred to the Bible Blog on LogInsight by Steven Flanders and found this article which talks about the importance of /etc/hosts file. 

While browsing through VMware KB, I found this KB which talks about how this entry should be as per the recommended practices from OS and Application perspective. This is how the entry should be on all the nodes (if you have more than one) in the /etc/hosts file.

Example 

10.11.12.13  <HOST FQSDN> <HOST CNAME>
127.0.0.1    localhost


Once configured on all the nodes, restart the loginisght service using the following command

service loginsight restart

Attempt the upgrade again and you will be successful this time. I wanted to document this and bring all of this learning together, so that you can benefit out of this and save time during upgrades :-)


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vRealize Operations Manager 6.2.1 is out. Go for it!

A few hours back VMware announced the release of vRealize Operations Manager 6.2.1. This is a maintenance release and is highly recommended for use cases such as:

1- Planning an upgrade to vROps 6.0, 6.1 or 6.2, instead plan for 6.2.1

2 - Having large vROps Cluster deployments with a number of nodes/remote collectors. You need this release for improved stability and performance.

Primarily, this release helps you with Upgrade Related Issues, Troubleshooting & Performance, all of which are pretty important to an installation of vRealize Operations Manager.

With a long list of resolved issues in the release notes, I am going ahead and giving this a shot today. Thanks and congratulations to VMware engineering for spinning this release out in such a short duration to ensure that vROps keeps doing all it does without any down times or performance issues.


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Saturday, April 23, 2016

vROps Webinar 2016 : Part 4 - Contention Based Performance & Capacity Management

As promised, I am posting the recording for the 4th Session of vROps Webinar Series 2016. We successfully delivered the session on Contention Based Performance & Capacity Management using vRealize Operations Manager!

Session Details:-

With this installment of the series, we have a new speaker who will entertain us :-) He is no stranger to the world of vRealize Operations Manager and has written a couple of books on vROps as well. I am referring to Iwan Rahabok who has been my partner in crime on all the vROps related work which we do, inside VMware or with the community. 

During this session we will help you understand a few basic concepts of using the right counters to monitor performance and capacity in your infrastructure. We will deep dive into the concept of the consumer and the provider layer and help you with solving issues which you might face as a provider of infrastructure to your business.

I also wanted to take this moment and thank IwanSimon for their continued support to this series.


Here is the recording for this session:::

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




Sharing of this article is highly appreciated because Knowledge Increases By Sharing :-)




Monday, April 11, 2016

vROps Webinar 2016 - Announcing Part 4 : Contention Based Performance & Capacity Management!

Hope you are having fun with the vROps Webinar Series and learning in the process!! If you have not reviewed the old sessions then you should go ahead and check out this page where you have all the recordings in one place. 

With the next installment of this series, we have a new speaker who will entertain us :-) He is no stranger to the world of vRealize Operations Manager and has written a couple of books on vROps as well. I am referring to Iwan Rahabok who has been my partner in crime on all the vROps related work which we do, inside VMware or with the community. 

During this session we will help you understand a few basic concepts of using the right counters to monitor performance and capacity in your infrastructure. We will deep dive into the concept of the consumer and the provider layer and help you with solving issues which you might face as a provider of infrastructure to your business.

So come, join us and have some fun along with learning new things!!!


Day & Date          : Friday, 22nd Apr 2016

Time                     : 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM  (SGT)

Event                    : vROps Webinar 2016

Topic                    : Part 4 : Contention Based Performance & Capacity Management!

Speakers               : Simon Eady / Sunny Dua / Iwan Rahabok

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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Friday, April 8, 2016

Making the most out of your vRealize Operations Manager Investment!

Today's article is being written by me, however the thought process behind the article comes from Murad Wagh who works as a Sr. Manager, Systems Engineering  at VMware. Murad is a great leader and a master in management products and his thought process is always aligned towards how customers can make full use of their investments into VMware Products. 

In one of our recent discussions, he mentioned about the install base of vRealize Operations Standard Edition across various customers he has worked with. He was absolutely correct in pointing out that there are a number of installations of vRealize Operations Manager on Standard License edition which have either been stand alone purchases or has been bought by customers as a part of the vSphere with Operations Manager. He also mentioned that while the Advanced and Enterprise editions of vROps give some fantastic features around customization of Dashboards, Reports etc. vROps Standard has pretty much everything to offer to an organization who wants to get on the journey of monitoring their Virtual Infrastructure with tools which understand virtualization. In a nutshell, someone who is still stuck in the primitive world of using tools which were invented for physical servers into the virtualization environment, even vROps standard edition can bring in features which can give them an insight into the deep and wide world of Virtual Environments.

I remember the days when we use to monitor CPU Usage, Memory Usage, Disk Capacity etc... All those metrics were good in the physical world. With the introduction of Virtual world, the apps and OS no longer have a one to one relationship with the server and hence this gave birth to the concept of Sharing. With sharing things changed. The same metrics which you use to monitor in physical world almost immediately became either irrelevant or they would only show you half the truth. 

vRealize Operations Manager uncovers the layers of complexity from a Virtual World and allows you to look into the workloads from a hyper-visor perspective. Which, in almost all cases shows the real utilization and performance of workloads. 

Now that it has been proven that you need to move the needle from the generation X to generation NEXT tools, it is important that you know what you get when you make your investments into vRealize Operations Manager. 

If you have been a reader of my blog, you would know that vROps advanced and Enterprise editions provide you with a plethora of options to Monitor Anything and Everything which generates a metric and a time stamp and speaks computer language. We have also seen that with multiple extensible solutions, vROps allows you to connect to the entire eco-system, whether it is Software Define Datacenter Components, Converged Infrastructure or Hyper Converged Infrastructures, almost all of the vendors available out their can feed data into vROps for both Performance Monitoring and Capacity Planning. 

Having said that, if you are some who wants to make the most out of your investments in vROps Standard Edition, you really can do a lot with this edition as well. I would ask you to look at the following Web Page to understand what all you will be able to do with your Standard Edition License and then share with you a nice laundry list which Murad shared with me.

Here are  the things you can achieve:-

1- Powerful data visualization with out of the box Dashboards, Views & Reports.

2- Automated Remediation of issues using the Automated Actions Framework.

3- Customized Groups and customized Performance Monitoring and Capacity Planning Policies.

4- Use of Projects for Capacity Modelling.

5- Workload Balancing across Clusters for improved workload performance and efficient utilization of resources.

6- Configuration and Compliance Manager for vSphere which includes vCenter, ESXi hosts and VM Containers.

Now that is a long list of things which you can do with the basic license edition, Now let us look at how you can make sure that you can operationalize the Standard Edition of vROps in your environments through a simple checklist.

  • Get someone in your team to OWN the vROps setup for installation, configuration, customization, maintenance & upgrades.
  • Deploy the latest version of the vROps appliance.
  • Connect vROps to at least one instance of vCenter and validate data-collection.
  • Configure user in vCenter with appropriate rights for this connection.
  • Define users to have role-based access to vROps. Do NOT use the default ‘vcenter’ or ‘admin’ users. 
  • Create at least 2 users with ‘administrative’ and ‘read-only’ privileges.
  • Create custom groups for your key applications in production. Define and assign policies to appropriate groups. Do NOT use the default policy AS-IS without understanding implications
  • Create at least 2 custom policies – ‘Production’ and ‘Non-Production’
  • Configure alerts and notifications. Define who should receive what type of alerts and configure appropriate out-bound notification. Start with basic alerts around CPU/memory/disk/network related alerts for VMs, CPU/memory contention related alerts for hosts and capacity/performance related alerts for data-stores.
  • Configure scheduled reports to be sent to relevant users. Key reports such as idle, powered-off, over-sized and under-sized VMs should be analyzed on a monthly basis and sent to relevant stakeholders Unless these reports are actioned, you will not be able to reclaim waste.
  • Plan capacity for new requirements. Use projects feature to validate availability of capacity for new demand and also to forecast upcoming capacity in terms of a new hardware purchase.
  • Validate vSphere hardening guidelines. Use vROps to ensure your vSphere hosts are in compliance using Alert-Based Compliance.

You can see from the above mentioned list that you can get a lot out of your investments on this basic edition of vROps. As you grow and mature your IT into the next level, you can start looking at enhancing and extending these capabilities to solutions other than vSphere by upgrading to higher license versions of vROps. 

Well, if you have read the article till here, then you should have all what you need to hit the road of next gen performance and capacity management. Have a great journey ahead...


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