vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 overview

VMware announced the release of vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 today. With the release of vCOM, Capacity IQ has been put to sleep as all of Capacity IQ functionality has been fully integrated into vCOM. So what does this tool offer?

Apart from the features that CapIQ offered, vCOM will provide you more insight on whats happening in your virtual environment performance wise, alert you for any risk or current issues and forecast any potential issues that could come up down the road. Not to mention it will also tell you how to more efficiently use your environment. Sounds insane doesn’t it?

Let’s look at the screenshot below. What we have here is a dashboard that gives you the view of your world. Now what is your world? A world comprises of one or more vCenter along with it’s population. In the example below, we are looking at whats happening across two vCenters. The holistic view below shows you the hotspots under the health category which may require your attention along with a Risk widget that predicts issues in the future. The efficiency widget scans your environment and proposes ways on how to right size your VM based on how it has performed overtime. As you can tell, vCOM is boldly telling us that we can reclaim 308 vCPU, over 9TB of disk and 1 TB of vMemory, nice aye!! Instead of wasting more money in buying more resources for your environment, lets make full use of what we have. I am sure your boss will appreciate that as well and when it comes time to hand out bonuses, saving 9TB of disk alone will be hard to ignore 😀

 

Of course this is all from a 50K foot view, can you zoom in? Absolutely! You can go down to one vCenter level, datacenter level, cluster level, host level or even at the VM level. The screenshot below is a cluster level view pointing out how many resources can be claimed from this cluster alone. This is the kind of details that we always wanted but never had the time to gather it. Well now there is a tool out there that will do this for you.

Another aspect of vCOM that I really liked was its integration with CapIQ. This is labelled as planning in vCOM but you will be familiar with what you have seen in the past and more. This covers “What if” analysis, trending, forecasting usage and resources that will be needed etc.

 

So is that it? Nope. You can click on the operations tab and get the holistic view of your entire world. This gives you a 50K foot view of any performance related issues that you could be encountering, its the operations tab. If you are in operations, this is where you will live.  As you can tell, you can drill down to multiple levels by simply clicking on the item to get a detailed view of the problem. You may find out issues that you never thought existed or never thought about something the vCOM may point out. Keep in mind, vCOM is virtual aware and specifically designed for it. Hence it gives you a whole new way to manage your environment.

As you can tell some of the hosts are marked as red, by clicking on one of the hosts in red you can get a more detailed view of what kind of performance related issue this host is facing at the moment. According to the screenshot below its clear that we have some memory related issue. However the host has ample memory but some of the VMs that are running on this host don’t. You can certainly click on the VMs to drill down to figure out the root cause and finally put this cat and mouse game to rest. The events for a particular object are listed in the “Events” tab under “Operations” and this is a graphical representation of the your system performance along with the events that have been logged for your VM. This will help you drill down to the point where you can tell what event causes the spike on your VMs.

Another breathtaking feature of vCOM is is its reporting and analysis. Though the reporting is not out of this world (still very good), I do feel the analysis part is pretty awesome. For example, below you are looking at the capacity that is remaining in your environment grouped by cluster/host. And you can run all kinds of crazy combinations. To give you an example, you can run analysis on your datastores to see which datastores have the highest I/O. Wouldn’t that be something you always wanted to know. Now you can get all kinds of crazy information from just one place and actually have a life.

So is that it? No, I saved the best for last. vCOM also comes with something called the vCenter Infrastructure Navigator. What does it do? Good question, it helps you navigate your away around your environment and help you understand dependancies that  your application/VMs have over one another. This will help you map put the environment, enable you to assess the risk of making certain changes and last but not the least, give you information like how many web-servers you are running in your environment. Yep, no need to look at a boring spreadsheet anymore.

You can see the relationships the VMs have between one another and the kind of dependencies they have that you may have not discovered until you use something like this. I think information like this is priceless for creating a DR plan. How much time would have spent before you could have relationships for your applications mapped out like this?

 

In a nutshell, vCOM suite provides integration of  vCenter Infrastructure Navigator, vCenter Configuration Manager, vCenter Chargeback Manager and we already know the product formally known as CapIQ is now part of vCOM. Keep in mind, you don’t get all the functionality with all the versions. Wait, there is more than one version? Yes, here is the list of functionality of each one of the 4 versions of vCOM. The licenses are sold per VM.

What’s next, quit reading and take this bad boy for a spin to see how it can make your life better. Remember it will help you reclaim resources, track performance issues, predict future risks, alerts for immediate problems, do capacity analysis, manage billing, map out the VM relationships just to name a few. This is how a cloud should be managed. If none of this interests you then I am not even sure why are you on this blog.

 

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