Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Catching up with World Cup Cricket 2015 using vRealize Operations Manager 6.0

This post was first published on VMware Management Blog by me as a contributor to that blog. Posting it here for my readers as well!

This post is to add a little FUN to how we use the VMware Management solutions in our day to day lives in our workplaces. We know the power of vRealize Operations Manager that allows us to capture structured and unstructured data from literally any object in your datacenter which understands the computer language, run smart analytics on this data and then give you some meaningful output based on which you can take some intelligent decisions which would help IT and ultimately your business. While all this helps IT to keep the lights on, I thought about using the same solutions to bring in some FUN in the daily life of the IT admin.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Part 12: Monitoring Goals in vRealize Operations Manager 6.0

In the past I have written about vCenter Operations / vRealize Operations policies and how they play an important role in the way the analytics and capacity engine run to process the collected metrics in your environment. 

With the release of vRealize Operations Manager 6.0, the policies do not change much, however the way you configure them has changed a bit. With the introduction of a number of third party management packs and vROps treating all the objects as FIRST CLASS CITIZENS, it is important that with each management pack you have a specific set of policy which would define the monitoring criteria for a particular object being monitored by vRealize Operations. For instance, if you install a NetApp management pack or an EMC Storage Analytics management pack, then, you should either define your monitoring goals for the objects it brings into the system for monitoring or a better option would be to get this as a pre-defined policy from the management pack vendor. In this case, EMC or NetApp would be in a better position to tell you as to what are the things to monitor on their storage array than VMware. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Part 11: Using vRealize Operations Manager to Monitor the Cluster Nodes

In the series on vRealize Operations, I wrote about the Architecture of vRealize Operations Manager which allows you to have Master and Replica nodes in a vROps Cluster. This not only allows you to distribute the adapters or solutions to more than one collectors present on each host, but also gives you resiliency in case the Master Node in the cluster fails.

With this post, I will actually share a failure which has been seen in my lab because of a couple of services failing on the master node. This resulted in a fail-over and the Replica switched over to become the Master Server. All this is possible because just like the previous releases, each and every service on your vROps nodes in being monitored by vROps itself.

Let me give you a brief description of my lab before I begin:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Book Review : vROps Performance & Capacity Management + Coupon Code Inside!

Today I decided to spend the weekend by writing about books I have been reading for the past few days. Infact, this review is for a book which I officially reviewed as a Technical Reviewer and has my name on it. While I have been contemplating on writing a book myself on the topic of operations management, I believe with the release of "VMware vRealize Operations Performance & Capacity Management" by Iwan 'e1' Rahabok I have one task striken off from my list of things to do before I die :-)

I remember the time when Packt reached out to me a few months back and wanted me to write on vCenter Operations (that was the name of the solution to begin with). I passed the offer at that time since I knew that VMware would change the game completely by launching vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 and my blog series on vROps 6.0 clearly shows that the solution has come a long way from the previous releases.

About the author and his thought process:

While Iwan or "e1" as he likes to write his name, is not a stranger to the VMware community, the hidden side of his has a great author who has not only given a deep insight about vRealize Operations Manager as a product, but has devoted this book primarily to the concept of Operations Management in the Virtualized world. Infact I would compliment him for taking this one level above and talk about operationalization of the Software Defined Datacenter which is one of the key pillars of the VMware's vision of transforming the way data centers have been created and operated in the traditional world to this new way of computing.

The book is aimed at:

As a Consultant in my previous role and as an Architect now, I help customers in the adoption of this Software Defined IT. In my humble opinion, while the CIOs, CFOs and the CEOs completely understand the benefit of this new generation IT, it is still a big learning curve for individuals who run the day to day IT operations. If you are the modern day System Administrator who is the the midst of this big change then this BOOK is for YOU. The Book also helps the modern day Solution Architect to understand how they can build solutions around vSphere Hypervisor and what are the Key Performance Indicators in the entire ecosystem which define the performance and service level of the solution they create using the VMware vSphere hypervisor. The book would also help Delivery Consultants who implement virtual infrastructure built on VMware platforms. Iwan in the book has sections which gives you the much needed dope on designing the vSphere platform and implementing them with specific design decisions which can make the environment simplified for day 1 operations. 

The Capacity angle of vRealize Operations and the way Iwan has explained it in this book will help the IT Heads and the IT procurement teams including project managers to understand how they can finally have a scientific forecast for augmenting IT capacity in their data centers without maintaining heaps of spreadsheets and purchase orders to understand their IT consumption behaviour. Lastly, it will provides key insights to a Technical Support Engineer about how the vSphere hypervisor works under the layers and what are the metrics associated with vSphere hypervisor which defines the behaviour of the workloads running on tope the hypervisor. In a nutshell, I have not seen such a great repository which describes each metric which vCenter collects and vROps both collects and derives using its analytics engine. Hence this can be a bible for a person who troubleshoots virtual infrastructure for a living.

The content and the value proposition:

While I love writing, I am not the biggest fan of reading books. They can quickly get boring for me if they just talk about the technology and not give insights into how it can be used to solve real world business problems. Moreover a book on Operations Management can only be interesting to me if it speaks about the real world experiences and examples. When Iwan reached out for a book review via Packt, I immediately agreed to the same since, I believed that if not anything, I would end up learning a bunch of stuff from a Staff Engineer who is working with the biggest enterprise clients in Singapore.

In the first few sections of this book, Iwan has clearly defined how this new way of running IT is functionally, operationally and technically different from the traditional IT or in his words, The Hardware Defined Datacenter. Then he dives deep into each area of the ecosystem and talks about the "metrics which matter". Whether it is compute, network or storage, he digs down into each of these areas and helps the reader understand how we can use these metrics in various different ways in their respective roles.

When I commit to a book, I see the value proposition, and IMHO one should always look at what value would an article, blog post or a book would bring to you and how it can help you with your work, with your personal and professional development. Remember in the world which speaks about the internet of things, their is too much information out their to consume and with our so called bandwidth decreasing on a daily basis, it is important that we pick and chose what matters the most!!

Well I think with this I will close the review and would let you pick a copy for your self to see how this book can help you the way it has helped me. When I spoke to Iwan about publishing this article, he was kind enough to help me with a coupon code which can be used to get a FLAT 50% discount on buying an e-copy of this book from Packt's website. Here are the details:

DISCOUNT CODE                  - SunnyDua

DISCOUNT START DATE       - 5th February 2015

DISCOUNT EXPIRY DATE      - 10th March 2015


MAX USES                            - 500

MAX USES PER USER             - 01

FORMAT                               - eBook

Go ahead order and enjoy the book.. Do leave your comments here to share your experiences with this read.

**************UPDATE 12TH FEB 2015****************

The publisher has been kind enough to give me 500 more discount codes. Please feel free to use the code to get the required discounts.