Monday, October 15, 2018

Ability to transfer the ownership of dashboards with vRealize Operations 7.0

There have been several amazing changes in the realm of dashboard management in vRealize Operations 7.0. The very first one in my list of favorites is the ability to transfer dashboard ownership.

In the previous releases of vRealize Operations, one can create and share dashboards, however if a user must be removed from vRealize Operations for any reason (leaving the organization or transferring to a new role), he/she would not be able to transfer the ownership of their dashboards which they have created. This means that, in order to maintain their dashboards, one has to clone them and reshare them, which can be painful if you are dealing with a number of dashboards. Our awesome engineers decided to reduce this pain by introducing a simple button in the UI to seamlessly transfer the ownership of dashboards. So now if a user is planning to leave, he/she can easily transfer their dashboards to other users or the built-in admin account. This solves a big operational hassle.

Let's look at how it is done:

1- Click on Dashboard - Actions - Manage Dashboards.

2- Select one or more dashboard from the dashboard list which you want to transfer the ownership for.

3- Click on the actions tab and Transfer Dashboard.

4- Select the user to whom you want to transfer the ownership.

5- Click on Ok to confirm transfer. 

Easy Peasy....... The new owner now has all the power and privileges to manage this dashboard. Make sure you chose a responsible person as a new owner as "With great power comes great responsibility" πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ

Oh, by the way, while you are transferring the ownership, the dashboard sharing remains the same and hence no viewer/consumer of the dashboard is impacted. It is like vMotion of the dashboard rights from one user to another without impacting the consumers πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

Another important thing to note is that the built in "admin" account has permissions to transfer the ownership of any dashboards.

In another post I am writing, I will share details around managing content of a user (dashboards, report schedules), who is accidentally deleted from the list of users. Stay tuned for that one as well.

Share and spread the knowledge...


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Using the compare to previous period option while troubleshooting with vRealize Operations

One of the less known feature of vRealize Operations is to visualize data patterns and compare them against previous time periods of same interval. This feature helps you to easily detect changes in behavior of a workload a.k.a anomalies which could be a result of an event leading to an underlying performance problem.

Let's explain this with an example. I am currently looking at the CPU Usage of one of my virtual machines here using a metric graph. This is the last 7 days worth of data showing the regular patterns of how CPU is being used. You can see the peaks and valleys. Upon observing closely, you can see that the data patterns are pretty consistent.

Imagine, I need to quickly look at how was the behavior of this metric at exactly the same time-period A WEEK AGO. I want to compare to see if things have changed, or is their any anomaly in the data pattern..

Alright, I will click on the calendar icon and from the second date time control chose 1st Period:

Let's click on GO and see what happens.

oooh.. look at that, I am now comparing to a previous period.. But this seems a little harder to compare in this mode.

Let's click on the split charts option to compare these charts in a single graph:

Bingo... Look at that... We immediately found atleast a couple of data points where the CPU Usage is abnormal as compare to what it is this week.

If by now, you are thinking, what happened the week before that, then you my friend are thinking exactly like me :-)

Let's get one more week in by adding "previous period 2".

Easy Peasy... A quick and easy way to get value out of vRealize Operations.

Well, I hope this gives you some ideas to how manual troubleshooting which ofcourse is a day to day operation done by admins and architects can become increasingly simple yet effective by using these hidden gems or vRealize Operations.

Share and Spread the knowledge and do share your troubleshooting techniques with vRealize Operations....

Sunday, October 7, 2018

How to embed vRealize Operations dashboards for easy information sharing.

One of the most πŸ’–lovedπŸ’–feature of vRealize Operations 7.0 has been the new capability of sharing dashboards with URL. The following blogpost explains the options around dashboard sharing. In this post, I wanted to share a quick example on how you can use the embed feature of dashboard sharing.

Use Case - The use case is pretty obvious. In organizations where vRealize Operations data can be consumed by different departments, BUs, groups etc, the Operations admin can provide embed code with specific dashboard URLs to the consumers of this dashboard. This embed code can be used to embed the dashboard in an external webpage, confluence page, sharepoint, through a simple iframe.

Let's look at an example. We will use a Billing App dashboard which I have created to monitor the CPU Contention and Disk Latency on all the virtual machines which make up the billing application in my organization.

Let's click on the share button and get the embed code for this dashboard. In case of embedding dashboard, I would recommend that you keep the link expiry option to Never Expire for obvious reasons :-)

In my case, I want to embed this dashboard in this blogpost itself. See for yourself. This is a live dashboard from our lab :-)

P:S - I am able to publish a live dashboard on a public blog because my vRealize Operations instance is running on VMware Cloud on AWS. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‹

Note - You would require to accept the certificate for my vROps instance to see this dashboard in your browser. Click on this link to access the dashboard directly once and then it will be available to view in this blog post -

Go ahead and hover over the metric charts and see the live data of all the billing VMs. You can also see historical data by selecting the calendar icon in the widgets.. πŸ‘πŸ‘

Hope this posts helps you undertsand the power of dashboard sharing with vRealize Operations and also allows you to share meaningful data with your peers in your oragnization.

Share and Spread the knowledge.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Exclude filesystem partitions from alerts with vRealize Operations 6.7

With the release of vRealize Operation 6.7, one of the little less known feature around alerting capabilities is the exclusion of filesystem partitions from symptoms.

Imagine you have a fleet of Windows of Linux Virtual Machines where you want to monitor the file system usage of the various logical partitions created by the guest operating system. In most of the cases, you don't care about general purpose partitions such as /log or /tmp partitions. Traditionally, any monitoring solution which have the capability of monitoring file system would alert you on each of these file system partitions and would create something commonly termed as ALERT FATIGUE.

To avoid this alert fatigue vRealize Operations provides a feature which allows you to "EXCLUDE" the partitions which you don't care about easily while creating symptoms. You can then use this special alert on one, few or all of your virtual machines to ensure that you do not get alerted on filesystem partitions you don't care about and reduce the alert volume to actionable alerts.

Here is how you would create such a symptom:

1- Login to vRealize Operations 6.7 with a user account who has privileges to create symptom definitions.

2- Click on Alerts, expand Alert Settings and click on Symptom Definitions.

3- Click on the + symbol to add a new definition. 

4- Configure the symptom definition as described in the screenshot below:

5- Click Save

Once saved, you can use the newly created symptom definition in your file system monitoring alerts. Here is the link to vRealize Operations 6.7 guide which can help you with the steps, if you have not done this before...

This exclusion rule can be applied to multiple use cases, such as exclusion of CPU instances, snapshot instances or any other instanced metric type where instances are generated based on occurences in the given object dynamically.

Hope this helps.

Share and Spread the Knowledge...

Friday, July 20, 2018

My VMworld 2018 Plan.

As I type this I feel the guilt of not being able to blog for some time now. As most of you know, I have moved into the Product Management role for vRealize Operations, the role has sucked me into the wave of continuos enhancements which we are doing into the product.

A tremendous amount of time and effort went into closing vRealize Operations 6.6 and 6.6.1 and planning, implementing and releasing vRealize Operations 6.7. I am extremenly excited to see the success of vRealize Ops 6.7 and happy to share that we have not stopped but only doubled down our investments in making Operations simple and immenstly impactful to your IT environments, people, processes and ultimately business.

As always, VMworld would be the place where we will be able to share where we are headed and I thought it would be a good idea to share my VMworld Vegas schedule with you all. If you are preparing your VMworld agenda and looking at what sessions to attend, then here is a quick list of sessions I will be presenting during Breakouts and TAM sessions along with my immensely talented co-presenters :


Session ID: MGT2552BU
Submitted to: Both events
Session Type: Breakout Session
Session Title: Troubleshooting Made Easy
Chris McClanahan, VMware (Speaker, Submitter)
Sunny Dua, VMware (Speaker)

Session ID: MGT2621BU
Submitted to: Both events
Session Type: Breakout Session
Session Title: From VI Admin to Cloud Ninja: Top 5 Skills Needed in the Digital Age
John Dias, VMware (Speaker, Submitter)
Sunny Dua, VMware (Speaker)

Session ID: MGT2934BU
Submitted to: Both events
Session Type: Breakout Session
Session Title: Optimize Workload Cost and Performance Using the vRealize Suite
Helen Michaud, VMware (Speaker, Submitter)
Sunny Dua, VMware (Speaker)

Session ID: TAM3779U
Submitted to:
Session Type: TAM Customer Central Deep Dive
Session Title: vRealize Operations 7.0 - Foundation for Self Driving Operations
Kameswaran Subramanian, VMware (Speaker)
Sunny Dua, VMware (Speaker)

Session ID: TAM3841U
Submitted to:
Session Type: TAM Customer Central Deep Dive
Session Title: Intent-Based Workload Optimization with vRealize Operations
Chima Njaka, VMware (Speaker)
Sunny Dua, VMware (Speaker)

With this post, I also promise to come back to my regular cadence of blogging to ensure that I can always have an alternative career of a writer if the world decides to give up on IT :-)

See you at VMworld!!! 😁😁😁

Friday, April 13, 2018

Using "Shrink Cluster" feature of vRealize Operations 6.7

vRealize Operations 6.7 comes with a new functionality which allows you to reduce the number of nodes in your vRealize Operations cluster. This feature of vRealize Operations is to meet the following use cases:

1. Scale up your vRealize Operations nodes to extra-large nodes - If you wish to scale down the number of nodes in the cluster and scale them up to extra-large configuration

2. Rightsizing a large cluster - A cluster which is deployed for more nodes than required. This would also include clusters where you would want to take the benefit of scale improvements of 6.7 and hence want to reduce the number of nodes now.

Note - This process will bring the cluster offline, once the data is copied over from the node which needs to be removed. It is recommended to run this operation during a planned downtime.

This option of shrinking a cluster is available in the admin UI.

a) Login to the Admin User Interface with https://vrops-ip/admin/ using the admin credentials

b) Click on the Shrink Cluster button.

c) Once the Shrink Cluster wizard, review the nodes in the cluster and select the node which you want to remove from the cluster. This will also show you the space used by each node. 

Note - Before the node is removed all the data from this node will be copied over to the remainder of the nodes in the cluster.

d) Upon clicking next, you can see all the adapter instances which are being hosted by the node you are trying to remove. These instances will automatically failover to the remainder of the nodes in the cluster. 

e) Put a check against I understand the risk and click on Next.

f) Click on Shrink Cluster.

g) From here on the process is automatic. The data migration will start. In my environment, the node was using 13 GB space since it was a new deployment. It hardly took 5 minutes to copy data over.

h) Once the data was copied over, the cluster went offline.

i) After a few minutes, the shrunk node was removed from the cluster and the cluster was ready to be brought online again. Click on Bring online.

j) BOOM, the cluster is back online with a single node and ZERO data loss.

Here are some recommendations for using this feature in your environments:

1. Please ensure you have done a sizing excercise to determine the number of nodes and node sizes required for your environment.

2. This operation might run for hours if you have a large amount of data to copy from the node, hence please schedule this during non-business hours to lower impact.

3. The users will only be impacted when the cluster goes offline. It is recommended to open a change or inform the users about the expected downtime.

4. Ensure you have enough storage available on the remainder of the nodes.

5. The removed node will be in an unusable state. It is recommended to destroy the node and re-build if you plan to re-use them.

6. You can cancel the operation till the time the option is available on the UI, post that, it is an irreversible process.

7. If you have ran this feature to shrink the cluster to upsize the cluster to extra-large nodes, please upsize all the remainder of the nodes before bringing the cluster back online.

8. It is recommended not to run this process during backup process of vRealize Operations.

Click here to download your copy of vRealize Operations 6.7.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The return of the dark theme with vRealize Operations 6.7

With the recent release of vRealize Operations 6.7, one of a most awaited feature which has been re-introduced is the concept of themes.

In the past releases of vROps, you could change the entire user interface into a Dark mode. This feature has been re-introduced and can be set by a user through preferences.

To enable the dark theme:

a) Login to vRealize Operations.

b) Click on the user icon and Preferences

c) Under the Color Scheme select "Dark Theme" and click on Save.

d) The screen will reload and within seconds your entire vRealize Operations screen will be in the dark mode.

Here are a few previews of vRealize Operations 6.7 with dark theme:

Click here to download your copy of vRealize Operations 6.7.