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:

 

New Views:

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.

VMan6Login2.gif

 

 

ViewDescriptionUse Cases and BenefitsImage
Storage

High level summary of storage capacity, usage and performance of all the storage in your virtual environment in a single view.  Resources Include:

  • Virtualization Storage Summary
  • Top 10 Datastores by Low Free Space
  • Predicted Datastore Space Depletion
  • Top 10  VMs by Storage Consumed
  • Predicted VM Disk Depletion
  • Top Datastore I/O Latency
  • Top Datastore IOPS
  • Top VM Latency
  • Top VM IOPS

From this view, you can see capacity and performance across the entire virtual environment, generally emphasizing where you have issues:

  • Identify the busiest Datastores, drill down to identify which VM and Application is causing the load.
  • Identify the busiest VM's, drill to the datastore and see what other VM's are affected.
  • Identify which Datastores and VM's are low on storage and which ones will run out first.
  • The Storage Summary (aka "the bragging screen") lets you know how big your virtual storage environment really is.
VMan60ViewStorage.png
Datastore

Wait - there's no "datastore" link in the Virtualization Tab!  Correct - you link to this view from other virtualization nodes (VC, DC, Cluster, Host, VM).  We use the name "datastore" to represent any storage managed by the host - i.e. datastores for VMware and local storage and cluster shared volumes (CSV) for Hyper-V.

The datastore view unifies three different areas:

  • Datastore capacity, usage and growth.
  • Datastore relationships with both applications and virtualization nodes (VC, DC, Cluster, Host, VM)
  • Datastore performance (IOPS and Latency) overlaid with the busiest VM's

Resources on this view include:

  • Virtualization Manager Tools - Links directly to Virtualization Manager features (see more below)
  • Virtualization Manager Alerts (see more below)
  • Datastore Info
  • Datastore Usage
  • Related Nodes - related clusters, hosts and VM's
  • Applications on this Datastore - which applications are running on this datastore, more info on this one later.
  • Top 10 VMs by Used Space
  • Top 10 VMs by Allocated Space
  • Top 10 VMs by Low Storage Space
  • Datastore IOPS and Latency Gauge
  • IOPS: This Datastore and its Top VMs
  • Latency: This Datastore and its Top VMs

This view combines all the key data onto one screen to show you contention between VM's at the datastore level, allowing you quickly identify which VM's are the source of the issue and what other VM's and applications are affected.

  • Identify contention on a datastore, drill down to the VM causing the load, investigate applications and services on that VM.
  • Identify over allocation from thin provisioning.
  • Find which VM's are using the most storage or about to run out of storage.
  • Quickly see what Applications and VM's are using this datastore, with status and drill down.
  • Visually map relationships between the datastore and other nodes, ranked by current status.
  • See additional alerts (from Virtualization Manager) indicating configuration and performance problems, drill down to see suggestive corrective actions.
VMan60ViewDatastores.png
Sprawl

Summary of actions you could take in your environment to optimize resource utilization, including removing VM's, decreasing resources assigned to under utilized VM's, and increasing resources to busy VM's. Resources include:

  • Top 10 VMs by Underallocated CPU
  • Top 10 VMs by Overallocated CPU
  • Top 10 VMs by Under allocated Memory
  • Top 10 VMs by Over allocated Memory
  • Top 10 VMs by Snapshot Disk Usage
  • VMs Idle for the Last Week
  • VMs Powered Off for More than 30 Days
  • Rightsizing: Once over and under allocation problems are shown, drill down to the VM and see what applications and loads are on the VM and then decide to increase or decrease resources to that VM.
  • Reclamation: Reclaim resources by decommissioning and removing idle VMs, removing VMs that are not running, and deleting old snapshots.
VMan60ViewSprawl.png
MapShows the Virtualization Manager Map within the SAM/NPM website.  The Map shows the relationship of virtualization objects and is ranked by object status.  Bonus: When you click on an object in the Map (Cluster, Host, Datastore or VM) it opens up the corresponding node in SAM or NPM.  .
  • Visually understand relationships in your virtual infrastructure and where issues are currently occurring.
  • Focus on an issue by altering the context on the Map to any node.
  • Quickly drill down to the SAM/NPM node view to diagnose application, OS and network issues.
VMan60ViewMap.png
ReportingShows the Virtualization Manager reports in the SAM/NPM website.Allows you to run reports and see the results in a single pane of glass.VMan60ViewReports.png
DashboardsShows the Virtualization Manager dashboards in the SAM/NPM website.  You are able to switch to any dashboard while staying within the Orion website. Most links in the dashboard drill down to the corresponding SAM or NPM node.

Allows you to leverage all the default and custom dashboards from Virtualization Manager without leaving the Orion website, but with the ability to drill down to nodes in SAM/NPM.

  • Identify overloaded nodes, drill down to the corresponding SAM/NPM node and review application, OS and networking data..
VMan60ViewDashboards.png

If this is enough to convince you, jump to the download and install instructions. But if you want to know more, read on.

 

New Sub-Views

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.

 

Sub-ViewDescriptionUse Cases and BenefitsImage

Storage Sub-View

for:

  • Virtual Center
  • Data Center
  • Cluster
  • Host


Same view and resources as the Storage view, but data is filtered for the appropriate node (Virtual Center, Data Center, Cluster and Host).  Resources included:

For all virtualization Nodes:

  • Virtualization Storage Summary
  • Top 10 Datastores by Low Free Space
  • Predicted Datastore Space Depletion
  • Top 10  VMs by Storage Consumed
  • Predicted VM Disk Depletion
  • Top Datastore I/O Latency
  • Top Datastore IOPS
  • Top VM Latency
  • Top VM IOPS

The cluster and host add these Resources:

  • Virtualization Manager Tools
  • Virtualization Manager Alerts

This Host also adds this Resource:

  • Related Nodes

The Storage sub-view slices up your resources according to your virtual environment configuration, allowing you to focus your attention on the data in each area.

  • Identify the busiest Datastores, drill down to identify which VM and Application is causing the load.
  • Identify the busiest VM's, drill to the datastore and see what other VM's are affected.
  • Identify which Datastores and VM's are low on storage and which ones will run out first.
  • Cluster, Host & VM: Visually map relationships between the datastore and other nodes, ranked by current status.
  • Cluster, Host & VM: See additional alerts (from Virtualization Manager) indicating configuration and performance problems, drill down to see suggestive corrective actions
VM60vCenterStorageView2.png

Storage Sub-View for:

  • VM

The Storage sub-view for the VM is different than the others, as it focuses on a single node.  Resources include:

  • Virtualization Manager Tools
  • Virtualization Manager Alerts
  • Storage Summary
  • Related Nodes
  • Component Volumes
  • Virtual Machine IOPS and Latency (gauges)
  • Virtual Machine IOPS - compared to Datastore
  • Virtual Machine Latency - compared to Datastore

For VM's, the Storage sub-view shows how this VM is running and compares that to the overall load of the datastore.

  • Identifies if the VM is loading the datastore or if the datastore is overloaded by other VM's.
  • Visually map relationships between the datastore and other nodes, ranked by current status.
  • See additional alerts (from Virtualization Manager) indicating configuration and performance problems, drill down to see suggestive corrective actions
  • Quickly see if there have been configuration changes to your VM's or if your VM has migrated to another Host
VM60VmStorageView.png

 

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).

 

Resource or LinkDescriptionUse Cases and BenefitsVideo (No Sound)
Resource: Applications on this Datastore

When you are in the datastore view, it shows the applications related to this datastore, along with their status and their associated nodes.

Appears for Datastores.

If you are having a problem with a datastore in your virtual environment, you can instantly see what applications could be affected.  You can then drill down to the application .

Link: View Performance

Allows you to contextually launch Performance Analyzer in Virtualization Manager and then pick any metric and chart, all within the SAM/NPM website.

Appears for Clusters, Hosts, and VM's.

Contextually drill down to any metric in Virtualization Manager, not just the ones shown in Orion, allowing you further diagnose performance issues.VMan6ViewPerf.gif

Link: Show in Maps

Allows you to contextually launch Maps in Virtualization Manager and see all related nodes and their status.

See a visual representation of all the nodes related to the current node, ranked by their status.  Easily drill down to any node to go to the SAM/NPM view.VMan6Map.proj.gif

Link: Diff Recent Config Changes

Allows you to contextually launch the "Virtual DNA" feature for hosts and VM's in Virtualization Manager to view configuration or environmental changes of that node over the past week. 

Appears for Hosts and VM's.

Quickly see if there have been configuration changes to your VM's or if your VM has migrated to another Host.VMan6VirtualDNA.gif
Resource: Virtualization Manager AlertsShows you the current alerts for that node with the ability to drill down to the alert in Virtualization Manager.

Appears for Clusters, Hosts, Datastores, and VM's.

See in-depth virtualization alerts not available in SAM or NPM, drill down to get more details and suggestions.VMan6Alerts.gif
Link: Datastore to Storage Manager TargetIf you have Storage Manager and turn on the integration with Virtualization Manager, the link from Datastore to the Target View (LUN/Share) will also be propagated to SAM and NPM.When diagnosing a problem with your application, after drilling down to storage level in the virtualization layer, you can drill down to the Array level, jumping directly to the LUN your application is running.VMan6STMLink.gif

 

Hyper-V Storage (Yes, Cluster Shared Volumes!)

VMan6CSV.pngWe'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
  • Snapshots
  • 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:

 

FeatureDescriptionUse Cases and BenefitsVideo (No Sound)
Resize WidgetsResize widgets to 1x1, 1x2, 2x1, and 2x2.  Dashboards automatically adjust to make the widgets fill up the page properly.

Users can customize dashboards to fit their environment.

  • Enlarge the Map widget to see more of the environment
  • Enlarge key performance metrics to see more detail in charts.
VManResize.gif

Improved Charting

Change the size of the legend, easier to select time ranges, improved selection of a time range on the chart, and made the time slider work more like SAM/NPM.

Easier to use charting - bonus, it works more like SAM/NPM.VMan6Chart.gif

Appliance Health and Status

Quickly see the health and status and link to the appliance login.

Quickly understand if your Virtualization Manager appliance is healthy.VMan6Status.gif

 

How do I turn on the integration?

To see the integration in your environment, you need to install two pieces.

  • First, for Virtualization Manager:
    • If you own Virtualization Manager, download the upgrade ISO from the customer portal and upgrade to 6.0.
    • If you don't own Virtualization Manager, download the appliance from the SolarWinds website and install it in your VMware or Hyper-V environment.
  • 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.

 

VMan6Setup.pngHere is a brief overview of the steps to install and configure, more detailed steps can be found in the Admin Guide.

  1. Download Virtualization Manager 6.0:
    1. Upgrades: Get the upgrade ISO from the customer portal (the full install is available too).
    2. Try It: If you want to try it, download it from the SolarWinds website.  Installation of the appliance is super easy - watch our video Virtualization Manager Installation on VMware®.
  2. Make a snapshot/backup of your servers.  Always important to have a backup!
  3. Install/Upgrade Virtualization Manager.
  4. 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.
  5. In SAM/NPM, go to Settings > Settings section > Virtualization Settings.
  6. Go to Setup Virtualization Manager integration
  7. Enter the required information, press Submit.
  8. If everything works, you should see a green check mark appear.
  9. Click on the Virtualization tab, you should see 5 new links.  Congrats, you are done!

 

Notes:

 

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.

 

Cheers!