Archives For Monitoring

Xangati StormTracker

August 22, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today Xangati have announced StormTracker the latest feature coming to their monitoring product, I was lucky enough to get a pre-release demo with Nathanael Iversen VP for Product Management at Xangati.

For those of you who aren’t aware of Xangati their monitoring product offers a realtime insight into your virtual environment by not simply just collecting the statistics from vCenter but also by being able to inspect many key network elements. It also has PVR like functionality allowing you to capture what is going on during key points during the day or when an alarm was raised, this means you can go back in time and look at exactly what was happening.

See the video below to give you an overview of their VI dashboard, it is a little old now but will give you a good flavour.

The new StormTracker adds further intelligence to their product allowing live performance storms to be detected and the route cause to be pinpointed with a simple easy to use UI, this new functionality is being added to their Management Dashboard Suite as well their free 1 host version at no extra cost to customers.

storms

The view above shows the StormTracker view inside the product, each of the clouds shown are representing ESX hosts and their virtual machines followed by the data stores, network interfaces and finally the applications, we can see that the darker clouds are indicating some kind of performance storm is apparent at that level, severity is then marked by the darkness of the cloud. By clicking down through the storms we are quickly and easily able to get to the route cause with a clear explanation of the problem and how we should look to rectify it. This level of intelligence in the product is something I am really pleased to see, the Xanagati dashboard collects such a large amount of data that often trying to pinpoint the route cause yourself can take time, but with the new StormTracker functionality Nathaneal was able to show me that within 4 clicks we had found the storm, tracked the route cause and the StormTracker was even suggesting some remedial actions for us.

Analyzestorm

recommendation

Xanagti will be demonstrating this new functionality at VMworld in San Francisco and it will be ready for public release on the 30th September, I am really looking forward to putting it to action and seeing how good it actually works.

For more information be sure to check out Xangati’s site here >> http://xangati.com

Due to my HQ moving to new premises I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like recently. Now thats all under control I’m playing catchup!

The first post is about a couple of Vizioncore’s free tools, namely vEcoShell and vFoglight Quick View.

With the initial outlay on a virtualised environment the cost for third party tools (not including backup which would be a must have!) can often be seen as a nice to have initially rather than a must have. Which is why i’m a big fan of free products that will assist you with the administration of your virtual environment. Some of these tools are a fully featured free version others offer a limited feature set but with no expiration like demo software. The benefit of a lot of these tools is they will allow you to use them now and if useful, budget for the full version is applicable later.
vEcoShell

As any regular readers of my blog or followers on twitter will know I am a big fan of vEcoShell (www.thevesi.org), the good news is that vEcoShell has now left beta and is still a freeware application. Great thanks must go to Scott Herold (@vmguru) and his team as well as the community for making such a fantastic free product!.

vEcoShell is a freeware application that utilises the power of PowerShell in a graphic user interface to assist administrators manage and report on their virtualised environment.

You don’t need to have any powershell experience or knowledge as everything is presented to you through the GUI, vEcoShell takes care of the powershell code.

With the community being heavily involved in the product some of the best powershell experts in the VMware community have teamed up together to make their own powerpack to help you even further. For more information on the powerpack check out the landing page on Alan Renouf’s blog http://www.virtu-al.net/featured-scripts/vmware-powerpack/

With this first GA of the product comes a couple of new features over and above the last beta these include

  • Completely rewritten PowerPack to support VMware PowerCLU 4.0 Update 1 and its ability to manage connections to multiple $viServer objects.
  • Ability to copy and paste code from “PowerShell Code” tab directly into standalone PS1 files (Will still need to Add-PSSnapin and Connect-VIServer for script to function).
  • Ability to copy and paste code snippets from the internet and they will work without needing to add our $managedHost.connection code everywhere.

For the latest information of vEcoShell, blog posts by Scott Herold and to join in with the community visit http://www.thevesi.org

vFoglight Quick View

The next free product is vFoglight Quick View, you may already be familiar with Vizioncore’s VMware monitoring product vFoglight (http://www.vizioncore.com/products/vFoglight). They have now released a simple cut down version of the product that aims to give you basic monitoring information regarding your virtualised environment. It supports monitoring of 1 vCenter with up to 250 and will give you 6 reports surrounding the health of your environment. An important point to note is that there is no upgrade path between vFoglight Quick view and the fully featured product, so if you are thinking about purchasing vFoglight in the short term you maybe better trialling a vFoglight.

The install process for vFoglight Quickview is very simple and is a point and click operation, it did take a little longer than I expected but when I installed it, it was only in a VMware Fusion VM on my MBP.

Once installed the management console for vFoglight Quick View is accessed by a web browser, this makes it very easy for multiple people to access and for remote access over a VPN etc.

When accessing the console you are presented with a very clear view of the health of your environment, you will see the spinning dials that are a familiar vFoglight view. I have been using the product to monitor my virtual environment for the last week and have been very pleased with the results.

Here is a getting started video put together by Vizioncore

For more information check out the product page and download it at http://www.vizioncore.com/free/vFoglight-quick-view/, that’s it for this post but check back for more information about free products as next I will be looking at Veeam’s free offerings.

OK all I seem to go on about at the moment is Virtualization Eco Shell and powershell, being a bit of a newbie to Powershell I have been amazed by just what I can do with it and have been eager to learn more. Whilst I have been learning and modifying code I have found on the internet, I have also started using Virtualization Eco Shell since its release.

The Virtualization Eco Shell is now the first tool I open when I get to site, I find it quicker and easier to get the information I need about an enviroment than using the VI / vSphere client.

A few examples of how I have recently used it

Reporting number of CPU’s and RAM in all the VM’s in an enviroment, using the advanced reporting pack that can be downloaded here >> http://thevesi.org/downloads.jspa within seconds I was able to produce a customised report similar to that below for a system with well over a hundred VM’s.

vmsummary2

Upon discovering a large amount of VMs we not time syncing with the host through VMware tools you would usually have to change the setting on each guest. After posting a question on the www.thevesi.org forum Scott has now added this functionality to the Virtualization Eco Shell >> http://thevesi.org/message.jspa?messageID=29595#29595

I am now able to set all my VM’s to sync at the click of a button

synctimewithhost

As for the vDiagrams they are fantastic, having previously used Veeam reporter to draw diagrams for infrastructures the vDiagrams option does it miles better and for free. Although I haven’t used the latest version of Veeams Reporter so this may have improved significantly. I just want the option to be able to diagram my network now as well! Maybe thats asking a bit much for a free product.

vmdiagram

For the latest information keep an eye on www.thevesi.org and also be sure to check out their blog here >> http://blog.thevesi.org/

I found this fantastic article on installing HP agents for ESX for more information visit here >> http://vikashkumarroy.blogspot.com/2009/02/installing-hp-insight-management-agents.html

For anyone looking to learn more about PowerCLI or VI Toolkit I can highly recommend watching the PowerCLI – What is new in PowerCLI by Carter Shanklin on VMware’s coffee talk webinars page here >>http://is.gd/Op6J 

For me this session was fantastic it really opened my eyes to some of the more advanced methods of getting data using PowerCLI, there are a number of commands that will assist you in day to day troubleshooting techniques.

I blogged a while ago about downloading the Virtualisation Eco Shell (VESI), since then I haven’t stopped using it. It now forms one of my tools that is opened as soon as I am dealing with VMware. VESI puts a graphical user interface over the top of the VI Toolkit / PowerCLI and powershell. Allowing you to run queries and get information out of a environment in a matter of seconds. Below is a short list of some of the ways I have used it recently. I plan on doing a more detailed blog post shortly depicting how usefull this free tool is. Big thanks must go to Scott Herold who runs the project, he has been extremly helpful  and accommodating with assistance and feature requests.

  • Quickly shutdown all VM’s when doing SAN maintainance
  • Documentation / Infrastructure Diagrams
  • Checking host log files
  • Checking for snapshots
  • Using the script editior to write, test and debug powershell scripts
  • Checking Windows service status / restarting / starting services
  • Checking Windows event logs for VMs

Plus lots more.

For more information please visit the website www.thevesi.org

Was pointed to the following articles on understanding ESX performance by VMware’s Scott Drummonds during this weeks VMware Roundtable podcast

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-5250