SolarWinds provides a solution for managing storage performance within virtualized environments by using the  Storage Manager plugin enabled in Virtualization Manager's Configuration Wizard. Using these solutions can help you identify, diagnose, and correct issues in your virtual environment infrastructure.


Resource Contention in Virtualized Environments


A major resource drag in virtualized environments stems from storage contention. Yet locating the source of contention is a challenge especially as storage monitoring solutions tend to be vendor-specific and do not give the data necessary for finding and debugging storage contention problems within virtual environments. Often there is plenty of available storage capacity within the infrastructure, but the ability to dynamically allocate resources so Virtual Machines (VMs) don't interfere with each other is murky or unavailable. One solution is using Storage Manager and Virtualization Manager together as a dynamic tool that spans across vendors, platforms, and hardware types, and provides an end-to-end troubleshooting solution from the VM all the way down to the spindle. Once you are able to get a full picture of the infrastructure, you can quickly pinpoint where your bottlenecks are located, and you can identify VMs that are using more resources than expected, so you can take corrective action to reallocate your resources to meet demand.

The Virtualization Manager / Storage Manager Connection


Virtualization Manager provides tools to help manage your virtualized environment. Its high-level dashboard provides a quick view of what's happening across your virtual environment infrastructure. This example shows how Virtualization Manager and Storage Manager can be used together. Start from the high level map across the virtual environment infrastructure to see what's happening in each cluster.



From the Environment map, you can get a quick view of the VMs, hosts, datastores, clusters, and apps. By clicking the Clusters tab, you can get a quick view of the health of the clusters.



In this example, the Curitiba ESX cluster has a warning, so we'll drill down further to get a clearer picture of what's happening.




Focusing on the LUNs associated with this cluster, we can see the back end datastores associated with this cluster.




In this example, the shared LUNs have hyperlinks into Storage Manager so you can take a deep dive into the storage back-end. The link from Virtualization Manager drops you into the Storage Manager's target details view.




The information in the target details provides some of the information provided in Virtualization Manager as well as more detailed information including the Total IOs per second and the IO Response Time.



In this example we see that one of the VMs is using significantly more IOs. From here, you could explore what application is running on that VM, and see if it needs to have it's own RAID group so it’s not disrupting other VMs.


So within a few clicks, you can see how resources are shared across your infrastructure, and you can proactively provision your storage so quality of service is met. See the YouTube presentation, Managing Storage Performance in Virtualized Environments, for the complete demo.


Setting up Storage Manager to work within Virtualization Manager


What you need before you begin:

Storage Manager powered by Profiler

Virtualization Manager

Network address for Storage Manager

Username and Password for Storage Manager


Enable the Storage Manager plugin from the Virtualization Manager's Configuration Wizard.


Configure Storage Manager to interact with Virtualization Manager.


See the Basic Setup page for more information about configuring Storage Manager within Virtualization Manager.