VMware vROps: Monitoring Solutions for NetApp Storage

VMware’s vRealize Operations Manager is a great tool for monitoring not only your VMware environment but also the underlying components utilized by this virtualization solution. vROps has the ability to incorporate many other solutions, in order to provide what most IT departments search for; a single point to monitor the environment.

As the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) begins to take over, it is more evident that the main components that comprise IT infrastructures include virtualization of servers and network, as well as storage. Monitoring such technologies can be cumbersome and may require many tools, unless we leverage vROps management packs. I have utilized other tools such as native vendor tools, tools that offer management packs as well, but I have not been able to find the granularity that I need to monitor a large environment, specially when it comes to graphical representation. A picture is worth a thousand words.

After installing vROps 6.0, I started to leverage its new features, but I wanted more. I searched for storage integration and luckily came across Blue Medora’s NetApp management pack for vROps. This management pack provides not only granular visibility to the storage arrays, but more importantly how those arrays, volumes, and LUNs are associated with the VMware environment. This solution also allows for the familiar vROps drill down of information in order to aid in the troubleshooting process. This and many other solutions can be found at VSX site (VMware Solutions Exchange) https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store.

The installation of the Blue Medora pack is very simple and straight forward, as long as you meet all the requirements. The most obvious requirements include VMware’s vROps and NetApp’s OnCommand Unified Manager Core (DFM), which acts as a proxy between vROps and the NetApp arrays to obtain information. As previously mentioned, you can obtain the management pack from VSX or Blue Medora’s site for a 30 day free trial. After obtaining the pack, add this to your vROpS solutions and configure.



You can also tune what and how much to collect depending on the entity, by expanding the advanced settings during configuration. These settings can be changed after deployment as well.



That is pretty much it. After a successful deployment, you will notice about a dozen new dashboards on vROps’ home page.




vROps 6.0: Why you need it now

One of the most time-consuming activities within an IT infrastructure is “keeping the lights on”. The operations of an IT environment requires many, many man hours, and this may also vary depending on the type of tool(s) utilized. There are many operations related tools that help administrators manage an environment, but VMware’s vRealize 6.0 brings great enhancement to its predecessors, and definitely sets itself apart from the competitors.

vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 introduces smart alerts. These types of alerts are the result of the aggregation of similar alerts into a single “smart” alert. This approach reduces the number of false-positive alerts, as well as decreasing the alert storms when issues appear. vROps, also provides a mitigation recommendation based on the smart alerts and allows for automatic problem remediation from vROps to the target vCenter, without the need to go to the vCenter Web Client. This integration provides management from one single console. The same applies within the vCenter Web Client, where information from vROps is visible for each entity.

The aforementioned features are key differentiators from older vCOps versions as well as from 3rd party competitors. vRealize Operations Management suite also allows to monitor other aspects outside the VMware environment such as storage, network, OS, and applications among others. This integration is done via management packs and plug-ins that allows businesses of all sizes to monitor their IT infrastructure from one single UI. It is also important to mention that vROps is capable of providing information for both security compliance as well as regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI among others.

For those that are currently running pre-vRealize version of Operations Manager (vCOps), I highly recommend that you make the move to vRealize 6.0. The additional features are worth the migration, which by the way is a breeze. I was able to deploy a new vROps instance and import from vCOps 5.8 in less than an hour. The new version provides many additional reports and dashboards that will reduce the time spent monitoring your IT Infrastructure.

By the way, to migrate to vROps 6.0 you need at least vCOps 5.8.1 version on the source system. I have a post regarding upgrade of vCOps here. You can either deploy vROps as a virtual appliance, on Windows OS or RHEL 6.5. Please refer to VMware’s documentation for details.

Here is a dashboard comparison between vCOps 5.8 and vROps 6.0.

Figure 1: vCOps 5.8.2



Figure 2: vROps 6.0