NetApp Management Package for vRealize Operation Manager 6

vRealize Operation Manager 6 (aka vROps) is new generation of vCenter Operation Manager. I started to use vCenter Operation Manager since version 1.0. I like the idea of self-learning and dynamic threshold. But the product only monitors virtualization layer. It would be perfect if it's able to monitor under layer storage. In large vSphere environment, virtual machines share IO capacity of datastores. If few virtual machines running high disk IO it may lead to other virtual machines get performance degrading in same storage. Think about you have 100 datastores come from a NetApp filer, and 300 virtual machines running on its. One user says their virtual machine is slow but no workload from applications end. It hard to say where the latency comes from because multiple virtual machines may share same datastore, multiple LUNs share same aggregate, and maybe same physical disks. vCenter Operation Manager provided NetApp Adapter for 5.x few years ago. But the problem was it's too hard to associate storage objects with vSphere datastore objects.

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I saw a brand new NetApp Adapter was released for vRealize Operation Manager 6 few months back. Somehow it's not developed by VMware but Blue Medora. I had a chance to test Blue Medora NetApp Storage Management Pack for vRealize Operation Manager 6. It really impressed me! The MP installation is straightforward, you just download PAK file from Blue Medora website and import in vRealize Operation Manager as a new solution. The MP supports to monitor 7-Mode and Cluster-Mode both of NetApp filers. You need to implement DMF server for 7-Mode and NetApp API Services server for Cluster-Mode as the MP leverages both to collecting performance data.

After initial configuration and license assignment, the MP start collects performance data automatically. The MP collects data for storage system, aggregates, LUNs, volumes and clusters (Cluster-Mode only). You are able to see these objects from Environment – Inventory Trees
in left panel of vRealize Operation Manager.

The out-of-box dashboards can be used for day-to-day monitoring. You can know overall environment status, or specific VM and associated storage performance in the dashboards. For example the NetApp Overview
dashboard below, uses colors indicate stress of selected metrics on each monitored storage. It's straightforward to understand what the status of storage environment is at this moment. Another example is NetApp Virtual Machine Troubleshooting
dashboard below, you select a single virtual machine it automatically shows associated datastores, LUNs and volumes. Then if you select any associated object it shows you available metrics for further troubleshooting.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="298"] Out-of-Box dashboards[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1020"] "NetApp Overview" Dashboard[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1019"] "NetApp Virtual Machine Troubleshooting" Dashboard[/caption]

Following are screenshots of Blue Medora NetApp Storage Management Pack for vRealize Operation Manager 6 collected performance/capacity metrics and customized report. Since too many metrics I cannot screenshot everything, I only expanded LUN performance below. You could build your own dashboards and reports as long as data is collected correctly. And the reports are PDF or CSV format, easy for further data analysis and presentation.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="741"] Metrics[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="728"] Sample Report[/caption]

The MP can also monitors capacity of storage and triggers vROps alarms, it is another great benefit if you integrate vROps alarms with ticketing system. Operation team gets tickets when storage capacity or performance is getting worse. Last, license…the MP is licensed by storage system, listed price is lower than $10K for 5 systems (Sorry, not sure is it ok to talk price.). Compare with other storage performance monitor tools, I think it maybe ok since I know some tools are extremely expensive or licensed by storage capacity.

Personally I think Blue Medora NetApp Storage Management Pack for vRealize Operation Manager 6 is an ideal MP for troubleshooting. It's easy to figure out which VM has problem on which NetApp storage, which volumes and how the performance looks like on storage end. As I mentioned in beginning, virtualization environment is a resource shared infrastructure, to be a virtualization administrator you have to know each layer when degraded performance is happened. Blue Medora NetApp Storage Management Pack for vRealize Operation Manager 6 provides performance data of storage end, combines with vSphere end data you are able to find root cause more quicker and easier ( My experience, storage performance degrading is hardest problem to troubleshooting in all performance degrading incidents). In other hand, operation  cost can be reduced if you integrate it with ticketing system.

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