Monday, February 29, 2016

Thoughts & Experience around Expanding vROps Clusters

Expanding your existing vRealize Operations Manager Clusters is an activity which you would definitely come across if you have started to operationalize your vRealize Operations Manager investments in your organizations.

Photo Credit -

In other words, the more you start using the product, the more you want to do with it. Mostly people size the vROps Nodes and clusters, thinking that they would only monitor their Virtual Infrastructure using the vCenter Server Adapter. However as you find the product useful and learn about the gamut of extensibility options through vROps Management Packs, you quickly start reaching to a point where the original architecture design of your vROps Cluster cannot support you increasing needs. This is the time when you need to re-look at augmenting capacity and performance to your existing vROps Cluster.

I would highly recommend that you look at this VMware KB and the calculators which they provide to understand what could be the right size of your vRealize Operations Manager Cluster.

Once you have figured out the number and size of nodes which you need, the rest of the process is pretty simple. Here are the steps you would need to take:-

1- Build a new node, make sure it exactly matches the size of the other nodes in the cluster. A basic requirement is that all the nodes should be of the same size (CPU, RAM and DISK wise).

2- Understand what version of vROps you are on and how do you build a node which matches the version of your vROps install. The good news is that if you have installed any patches to your existing vROps cluster, then while adding the GA built node to your existing cluster, all those patches would be automatically pushed by the master node to the newly added node.

3- Post building the node, you would browse the same using a web browser and choose the option to expand an existing cluster to ensure that you can add this new node to the existing cluster. The process can take anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours, depending upon how big your cluster and nodes are.

4- If you are adding more that one node, please ensure you finish adding one node completely and then add the second node. This will keep the master less busy and upgrade more planned and smoother.

5- Lastly, do not forget to use the Re-balance features of vROps to Re-balance the Adapters to begin with. This feature is available under the Administration -> Cluster Management -> Actions. Ensure you do these operations during hours when you will have lesser load on your cluster as these can be heavy operations.

Well with this, I hope you can use some of my experience and plan your vROps cluster expansions in a better and informed manner. 

Stay tuned for more on vROps.

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Singapore VMUG : Come join the vParty!

Glad to share that I will be attending Singapore VMUG on Tuesday, March 1st 2016 and would also co-deliver a session with my partner in crime Mr. Rahabok.

We decided that we will share some of the goodness of our VMworld Session - MGT4973 - Mastering Performance Monitoring and Capacity Planning with the user group in Singapore. 

We will talk about some real-life use cases for effective performance management and talk about how capacity plays an important role in your virtual infrastructure, and it might not be the sole reason for performance related issues.

I am also looking forward to attend sessions from some renowned speakers who will be at the event. If you have not registered for the event so far, then go ahead and do it as soon as possible and plan to attend. Here is the link to register -

Here is the agenda from the VMUG website:-

Event Agenda
Click here to learn more about what to expect at the Singapore VMUG UserCon. Click here for a printable version of the agenda.
8:30 - 9:20Registration | Exhbit Hall OpenGrand Ballroom Foyer
9:20 - 9:30VMUG WelcomeGrand Ballroom I
9:30 - 9:50 Grand Ballroom I
9:50 - 10:40VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) - Hyper-converged Infrastructure for Virtualized Environments
- Cormac Hogan, Senior Staff Engineer in CTO Office, Storage and Availability, VMware
Grand Ballroom I
10:40 - 11:10Break | Mingle with SponsorsGrand Ballroom 2
11:10  - 11:50 Cardinal
Convergence and Protection of Hyper Convergence Storage - Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IntelGalleria 2 & 3
Containers, VMs, or Both - Neil Cresswell, Community SessionCanary Room

VMware Hands-On Labs
11:50 - 12:00Break | Mingle with SponsorsGrand Ballroom 2
12:00 - 13:00 Cardinal
Galleria 2 & 3
The Art of Infrastructure Design and Convergence
- John Arrasjid, Community Session
Canary Room

VMware Hands-On Labs
13:00 - 13:50  Lunch | Mingle with SponsorsGrand Ballroom 2 
13:50 - 14:30 Cardinal
Galleria 2 & 3
Canary Room

VMware Hands-On Labs
14:30 - 15:10Break | Mingle with SponsorsGrand Ballroom 2
15:10 - 15:50Dell Session Cardinal
Automating Advanced Security for the Software-Defined Data Center
Check Point
Galleria 2 & 3
"You Can't Virtualise That!" Extreme Performance Myth Busting
Michael Webster, Community Session
Canary Room

VMware Hands-On Labs
 15:50 - 16:00Break | Mingle with SponsorsGrand Ballroom 2
16:00 - 17:00 Cardinal
Galleria 2 & 3
The Next Chapter of the VMware Story - Scott Drummonds, Community SessionParadiso
vBrownBag - Alastair Cooke, Community SessionCanary Room

VMware Hands-On Labs
 17:00 - 17:40VMware Customer Case Study - Mariano Maluf, VMUG Board PresidentGrand Ballroom 1
 17:40 - 18:40Closing Reception & GiveawaysGrand Ballroom 1

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Session Timeout for vRealize Operations NOC Dashboard!

Photo Credit - 

Just wanted to share something which I recently learnt about the vROps dashboards and session timeouts for a user. We all know that with vRealize Operations Manager you can use the session timeout feature under Administration -> Global Settings, to control the session timeouts for users. While the default option for this timeout is 30 minutes, the maximum you can go up to is 34560 minutes which is around 22 days. Here is the screenshot from the settings page:-

The product does not give you the option for disabling the session timeouts completely as it did in it's previous avatar : vCOps 5.x. The reason you would not want to disable the session timeout is to ensure that you do not run out of sessions, since each vROps node can provide only a limited number of sessions.

If this is the case, how can you have a dashboard for your NOC monitors which does not timeout?

Actually the answer is pretty simple, if you have a dashboard which contains a widget which refreshes every few minutes, or basically if the refresh period is less than 30 minutes, then you will not be timed out. So make sure that you have a widget which keeps refreshing the session alive.

Also, I would recommend that you use Firefox as I have seen one of my customer test it in their NOC and the NOC user did not timeout.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

vROps Webinar 2016 : Part 2 : Understanding vROps Policies

I am glad to share that the vROps Webinar Series took a step ahead towards the year long commitment of providing quality content on vRealize Operations Manager. We successfully delivered the most awaited session on vROps Policies.

Please remember that this is an introductory session to policies and we intend to go deeper into policies in the next section in the month of March, where we deep dive into more details around capacity planning with vRealize Operations Manager. You will hear more about that as we progress into the next month.

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

Here is the recording for this session on vROps Policies:::

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 :-)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Reset out-of-the-box content during vROps upgrade!

VMware recently release vRealize Operations Manager 6.2 (now 6.2a with the recent patch). If you are on a version of vROps 6.x or above and trying to upgrade to the 6.1 or 6.2, you will get an option during upgrade to reset out-of-the-box content when you install the software update.

Here is how the setting would look like during the upgrade:-

The release notes over here explain this setting:-

I have had many customers ask me the meaning of this statement as they are concerned about losing customizations they have done in their vROps environments. 

This statement means that, if you are using any of the out-of-the-box Alerts, Symptoms, Recommendations or Policies which came with the product when you first installed it, checking this option may reset them back to default (with newer settings wherever applicable).

This also applies if you have just renamed the out of the box content. A best practice would be to clone out of the box content and then do further customizations to avoid resets of your valuable customizations.

So if you have not modified the existing Alerts, Symptoms, Recommendations or Policies and have created everything from scratch then those configurations would not be harmed by checking this option. It is a good idea to check this option to get the latest and the greatest released with the product, however be CAREFUL and assess your Alerts, Symptoms, Recommendations & Policies before taking a call.

A GOOD PRACTICE to manage Alerts, Symptoms, Recommendations & Policies would be to NEVER customize the one's available out of the box, but to Clone from the existing one's and customize the cloned Alert, Symptom, Recommendation or Policy. This way you will never be dependent on the out of the box content and would never be impacted if VMware provides new updates to those in the upcoming releases. Another benefit is that, you will never mess up the original configuration in case you are trying to test drive stuff.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

vRealize Operations Manager Management Pack Compatibility Guide

With vRealize Operations slowly becoming the backbone of your software defined datacenter, it is crucial to keep an eye on the latest releases of vROps from VMware. Last week, VMware release d vRealize Operations 6.2 with some great new features. I will not run through the new enhancements as this has already been covered in this post by Product Marketing of VMware.

While it is important to upgrade vRealize Operations, it is also important to keep in mind that if you are using vROps beyond your vSphere environment through various management packs, you need to keep in mind that all the management packs you are using are compatible with the latest release of vROps as well. Remember, management packs are a joint effort between VMware and other vendors and hence it is important that they are checked for compatibility for new releases to ensure that your monitoring solution does not break.

The popular Hardware Compatibility Guide which was used mostly for compatibility for hardware has been updated with vRealize Operations Manager and now can be used to search for compatible management packs which is a great addition to the Compatibility Guide.

You can see from the screenshot below where it shows you options of selecting vROps versions and the management pack partners.

I would also like to call out Blue Medora here who in no time become one of the most innovative developers of vROps Management Packs. The list of management packs they produce is astronomical, especially around the areas of application monitoring. Business Critical Applications such as SAP, Oracle & SQL can now be easily monitored at the application layer using these management packs. Check out the entire list of management pack on their website.

So go ahead, get the shiny new version of vRealize Operations,however make sure that you are all set from a compatibility standpoint.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

vROps Webinar 2016 - Announcing Part 2 : Understanding Policies.

vROps Webinar Series 2016 is back and as promised during the last session we would now take you to the world of vRealize Operations Policies. 

What is a Policy??

"A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol" 

Source - Wikipedia
While the role of vRealize Operations Manager is to help you with Performance & Capacity Management of your Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), it is important that you feed in the guiding principles of your Business Environment into vROps to get the rational outcomes. These outcomes span across Health, Risk & Efficiency of your SDDC environment.

Join us to learn more about policies and leverage the knowledge to enhance your SDDC environments. As always, it would be a combination of theory and hands on.

Day & Date          : Friday, 19th Feb 2016

Time                     : 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM  (SGT)

Event                    : vROps Webinar 2016

Topic                    : Part 2 : Understanding vROps Policies

Speakers               : Simon Eady & Sunny Dua

WebEx Link          : Join WebEx meeting 

Save Calendar       : Click to Download & Save Invite (Open with IE / Firefox)

Don't forget to mark your calendars by saving the calendar invite!!

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