Written by Rick Davies, Senior Virtual Datacenter Architect, Datatrend Technologies, Inc.
Whether it be clusters of VMware vSphere servers or full on vCloud implementations, we are seeing an uptick in the number of customers that are moving to virtualized environments. The holy grail of virtualization has been focused on better utilization of hardware capacity that historically had gone largely unused due to a number of factors. While virtualization has taken off, the age old thinking of how server resources need to be dedicated to specific applications – such as file and print servers, databases and even analytics engines – has taken much longer to evolve. As a result, some virtual machines essentially mirror their physical counterparts in CPU resources, memory resources, and network resources.
Recognizing this practice of under-leveraging virtualization capabilities (and the resulting waste), VMware built a number of ways to measure performance of a vSphere server, a virtual machine, and all of the piece parts that make up a virtual environment. The only drawback was there was no easy way to see, at a glance, what all of those metrics meant for the virtualized server farm as a whole, without analyzing separate metrics in a very user-unfriendly way.
Enter VMware vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM). With vSOM, VMware introduces a much simpler, more informative way for virtualization administrators to see, at a glance, just how well (or poorly) their environment is performing against a baseline of metrics. vSOM is made up of 3 main categories of key performance metrics: Health, Risk and Efficiency. Each category is made up of several subcategories contributing to a top level “score,” which is then displayed at each level of the virtualized environment. Differently shaped “badges” allow an administrator to easily identify which specific area is experiencing issues so they can zero in on problems and quickly correct them.
The Health score is made up of three sub scores: Workload, Anomalies, and Faults. Each section can show you specific issues that are negatively affecting the overall health score and are hyperlinked to specific performance or machine data at the cause of the problem.
The Risk score is made up of three sub scores: Time Remaining, Capacity Remaining, and Stress. These sections show you how much “time” (or days) is remaining in your current configuration, based on historical growth; capacity remaining, based on VM sizing and metrics such as vCPU, vRAM, & other metrics; and stress, based on how hard the entire virtualized system is working.
The Efficiency score is made up of two sub scores: Reclaimable Waste and Density. Each will show you how efficiently your virtual machines are running and if all virtual resources are being used to their maximum. Density will tell you if your overall environment is loaded to a point where you are receiving the optimum benefit of virtualization from your hardware.
With VMware vSOM, administrators can more easily remedy problems as they occur, since they no longer need to manually determine how well their environment is working and what problems, if any, are preventing them from obtaining the optimum throughput and workloads. They can obtain much better utilization of the resources dedicated to their virtualized environment. In some cases, as much as a 30-40% reduction in configured virtual resources may occur. That means that an additional number of virtual machines can be supported on their virtual infrastructure, reducing the need to order additional equipment to expand their virtual infrastructure. This will result in a monetary savings, as additional hardware does not need to be purchased immediately.
vSphere with Operations Management makes administration and monitoring of a virtual environment simple, less time consuming, and much more user friendly. Factoring in the reduction in the need for troubleshooting, administration overhead, and problem determination means that administrators become much more effective and can concentrate on solving other problems instead of worrying about their virtualized environment.
For a live interactive demo of vSOM, or to conduct a trial and assessment, or to simply more information on vSOM or other VMware solutions, please contact us.