Saturday, March 21, 2020

vROps Custom Dashboard for Monitoring vRealize Automation Reservations

It's been a while since I last tried to create a custom dashboard in vRealize Operations Manager (vROps). I think it was called vCenter Operations Manager at that time and the version was 5.8. Fear not, in today's post we are talking about vROps 7.5.

The use case is pretty simple: I need a way of monitoring the capacity of the reservations in terms of memory and storage. The management pack for vRA is tenant and business group focused, which doesn't really apply in my case where I have only one tenant and multiple business groups using the same reservation.

The way the dashboard is being organized as following:


Top level is an object list widget that gets automatically updated by any selection in the other dashboards. Main information is displayed in Top-N widgets that show top 15 most utilized reservations in terms of storage and memory. On the right side I've added 2 heatmap widgets for the same metrics - allocated % storage and memory per reservation. However the heatmaps present all reservations and their size is relative to the size of the reserved resource. The bigger the drawn size, the bigger the reserved value is. Any interaction with the Top-N or Heatmap widgets will provide more details in the Object List. The interactions view has been added to vROps somewhere in 2018 and it's a great and simple way  to create interactions between widgets.

How the dashboard works: let's say we have a reservation that is 90% memory utilized displayed in Top-N widget. When selected, the Object List on top will get populated with the reservation details: which vSphere cluster is being mapped to the reservation, how much memory is actually allocated for that vSpher cluster in vRA and how much physical memory in total the cluster has. Kind of a drill down into the situation. Of course, being in vROps you can further drill down on the vSphere cluster.


In this case the selected reservation is at 81% memory usage. The top widget displays the real value - which is less than 400 GB. The heatmap on the right can be used to analyse the overall situation. Don't forget the bigger the reservation size is, the bigger the size in the heatmap. While in the Top-N list we are actually filtering the data and selecting only the ones that are critical.

Let's take a deeper look into how each widget type is configured:


  • Reservation Usage - Object List widget
Configuration is selected as Self Provider off since it receives data from other widgets. We add additional columns to display in the widget such as mapped cluster, free memory. 

To add columns, press the green plus and filter by adapter type and object type

I've also removed the widgets default columns from the view since I am not interested in collection state, collection status. 





  • VRA Reservation Memory Allocated % - Top-N widget
For this widget, select Self Provider On in configuration section. Aslo select Top-N Options as Metric analysis and Top Highest Utilisation. Enable auto refresh if you want to update the metric data. 

Once self provider is set to on, Input Data section becomes active and here add all your reservations. Data will be analysed from all reservation and only first 15 will be displayed based on the criteria selected in Output Data section. 


In Output Data, select the object type as reservation and then the metric to be processed as Memory Allocated %.



Lastly, we can add Output Filters. Let's say we don't want to see a top 15 of all the reservations' memory usage, but only the ones that are above a certain threshold like 75%. We also do not want to see in there reservations that are above the set threshold, but because they are very big they actually have sufficient resource, more than 1TB of RAM for example. In this case we would add a filter on the output data that limits the displayed info:


  • Memory Allocated % - Heatmap widget
For heatmap we use the same input data as for the Top-N: all reservation. What changes is the Output Data. We'll group the information by Reservation (but it can be Reservation Policy, or tenant or whatever grouping it suits)


Next we select Reservation as the object type. The metrics used for Size by and Color by are different since I wanted to have a representation of how big is the VRA reservation  and also of its usage. The bigger the reserved memory size, the bigger the box will be drawn. The more used the reservation is, the darker the color will be. 

Output filter can be used here also, for example if you are not interested in very small reservation or want to filter out some of them based on the naming (reservations for a test environment). Putting a little extra time to tweak the widgets to your requirements and environment will prove beneficial since the visualized data makes sense to different users based on their needs.  


No comments: