It is with great pleasure I introduce Virtualization Manager 6.0, fulfillment of the dream of deep integration with SAM (Server & Application Monitor) and NPM (Network Performance Monitor). This isn't simply embedding a view or two, but real contextual integration into Orion views and resources allowing you to navigate seamlessly from App to VM to Host to Datastore/CSV without ever leaving the familiar interface of SAM and NPM. Is it perfect? - well no (at least, not yet), but it is a huge step forward and has been your most requested features on our Thwack ideation forum. But enough with the pleasantries, lets get down to business!
What's New In 6.0?
This release is a smörgåsbord of goodness, including large features and small enhancements, plus numerous bug fixes as well. We will cover the most important and asked for features in this blog post.
Integration with SAM and NPM
The goal of integration was to expand the breadth of virtualization data in SAM & NPM, but maintain a seamless experience in the Orion GUI, with contextual linkages to Virtualization Manager when needed. The focus for the data was around storage (datastores, local volumes, cluster shared volumes) and how it relates to other nodes - mainly hosts, VM's and applications. Here is a quick video showing the kinds of issues you can solve with the integration:
To cover these new capabilities, let's list the different integration points (Views, Resources & Links) and their benefits:
Let's start out with the 6 new views added to SAM and NPM that appear after you install/upgrade and turn on the integration. Under the virtualization tab, you will see the 5 new links (click on the image to brief video). The datastore view is available via links from other views.
If this is enough to convince you, jump to the download and install instructions. But if you want to know more, read on.
Sub-Views appear in tabs on the left of the node you are viewing. When you turn on the integration, a new "Storage" sub-view will appear for all Virtualization Nodes, including the Virtual Center, DataCenter, Cluster, Hosts and VM's. In general, the Storage sub-view has the same resources as the Storage view detailed above but for just that slice of the virtual environment - i.e. if you drill down to a cluster, then click the Storage sub-view, you will see storage, datastores, hosts and VM's that belong to that cluster.
New Resources and Links
Much of the virtualization data is presented in native resources of SAM/NPM (one of the main goals of the integration), linking to the data of native nodes and applications. However, not all of the data available is shown via the integration. In some places, there are contextual links into Virtualization Manager features (Performance Analyzer, Maps, Alerts, etc.), allowing you to launch a feature while maintaining the context from SAM/NPM. This allows you to smoothly diagnose issues while traversing from SAM/NPM to Virtualization Manager (and back again).
Hyper-V Storage (Yes, Cluster Shared Volumes!)
We've improved our Hyper-V coverage by going deep on storage, making local and CSV (cluster shared volumes) equivalent to a datastore object in Virtualization Manager... what does that mean? It means everything that works in Virtualization Manager on datastores (trends, capacity planning, search, alerts, link to Storage Manager, etc.) now works on Hyper-V local storage and CSVs! Yes, including the integration detailed above.
Hyper-V storage data includes:
- Storage capacity, usage and growth
- Relationships to Clusters, Hosts and VMs
- Performance including IOPS, Latency and More
- LUN information
Note: We've kept the "datastore" nomenclature to represent all storage presented to hosts (at least for now).
GUI and Speed Improvements
As this post gets longer, I get slower, but Virtualization Manager 6.0 would still be going strong. We made numerous improvements to increase the speed of data collection, dashboards, maps and capacity planning - "snappier" is what one of our RC testers called it. Also, we completed many long requested GUI improvements... here are a few:
How do I turn on the integration?
To see the integration in your environment, you need to install two pieces.
- First, for Virtualization Manager:
- Second, you need to update your production SAM or NPM server with the IVIM package included in the zip file you downloaded above (upgrade or fresh install).
Once both servers are installed/upgraded, then you have to "turn on" integration. All downloads of Virtualization Manager installs and upgrades include the update installer for SAM/NPM too.
- Download Virtualization Manager 6.0:
- Make a snapshot/backup of your servers. Always important to have a backup!
- Install/Upgrade Virtualization Manager.
- If you are using SAM 6.0 or NPM 10.6, there is nothing additional to install on Orion.
For SAM (5.5) or NPM (10.5), upgrade Orion with the IVIM package included in your zip. This upgrades the IVIM module to 1.7.
- In SAM/NPM, go to Settings > Settings section > Virtualization Settings.
- Go to Setup Virtualization Manager integration
- Enter the required information, press Submit.
- If everything works, you should see a green check mark appear.
- Click on the Virtualization tab, you should see 5 new links. Congrats, you are done!
- For some views to work, you must accept the security certificate in your browser for the Virtualization Manager website.
- To get the maximum benefit of the virtualization (everything detailed above), you'll want to turn on monitoring for the same virtual environments in both Virtualization Manager and SAM/NPM.
The End of the Beginning
This is the first step of integrating Virtualization Manager with SAM, NPM and other Orion-based products. We'd love to hear what you think about the integration and the new features in Virtualization Manager 6.0 - and, of course, what you want in the future. Check out our What We Are Working On post and the idea forum for Virtualization Manager.