Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Part 8 - Setting up vCOps Data Retention Policy

In the last post we looked at setting up the advanced parameters for session timeout on Custom & vSphere User Interfaces. Let us look at another advanced setting which requires a tweak in most of the cases.

In this post of this series, I will post the steps you need to follow in order to change the Data Retention Period on vCenter Operations Manager FSDB. If you have read this series and are aware of the architecture of vCOps, you would know that the FSDB a.k.a the File System Database is a DB in the vCOps Analytics VM which is the home for all the raw data which is collected by the collectors. You can read about data collection process in a post I did back in June 2013.

By default vCOps retains this data for a period of 6 months (180 days). Based on this retention policy you size the vCOps vAPP as shown in my sizing post here. Their could be multiple use cases where you want to decrease or increase the data retention for the collected metrics in your environment. Some of them which I have experienced with the customer are:-

-> Compliance Requirement for Retaining Data for 1 Year. 
-> Resource Constraints on Storage, Network, CPU etc.
-> Multiple Collection Sources doing millions of metrics

I am sure the more customers I speak with, the longer would be that list, but Constraints and Compliance would be still on the top. Without further ado, let's have a look at the steps which you need to follow in order to change the Data Retention policy!

1- Login to the Analytics VM using root credential via a SSH client such as PUTTY. 

2- Browse to the following directory


3- Locate the file

4- Edit the file using VI or Nano. (Note - If you are not comfortable with CLI use winscp to browse to this file and edit using notepad.)

5- Locate the following entry in this file 

#old date range for FSDB. Default is 180 days

6- The value 180 denotes the 6 month of time for data retention. Change this value to a desired number.

Disclaimer - While doing this is supported, there are certain risks/impacts of this change. Would highly recommend that you go through this paragraph from VMware Documentation to understand the impact.

"vCenter Operations data retention should be configured according to the amount of resources and the cyclic needs for data patterns. The system analyzes and learns the normal behavior when allowed to use long histories of data. This allows the system to learn weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly patterns. For example, to learn the normal behavior for quarterly patterns, the system requires 120 days retention. Storage grows quickly with the number of resources configured in the system. The FSDB can become corrupted if the storage space is exhausted."

I will close this post here. In the next post we will look at various authentication methods via which users can login to vCenter Operations Manager.

Stay Tuned!!

Share & Spread the Knowledge!!

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