The team at Solarwinds has been hard at work at producing the next release of Virtualization Manager with some great new features. It is my pleasure to announce Virtualization Manager 6.2 Beta which is packed full of features and continues VMAN's journey of integration with Orion. The Beta is open to VMAN customers currently on active maintenance, to try it out please fill out this short survey.

 

VMAN Beta button.png

 

 

Beta Requirements

Orion integration with VMAN Beta 1 will require an install of the SAM 6.2 Beta.  Check out the the 3 part blog post (links to the blog posts can be found here) which details the new features of SAM including AppStack support for end-to-end visualization of the environment: App > Server/VM/Host > Storage (datastore).  As a reminder, beta software is for testing only and should not be used in a production environment.

 

AppStack

Essential to diagnosing an issue (or preventing one) is understanding dependencies and relationships in a virtual environment.  Most administrators start troubleshooting an issue armed only with the knowledge that an application is slow or a server process is functioning sub-optimally.  AppStack provides an at-a-glance view of environmental relationships by mapping dependencies end to end and providing easily identifiable statuses which can quickly be used to identify root cause.  If a VM is reporting high latency an administrator can quickly identify the datastore, host, and related VMs to determine where the issue may be.  In cases where NPM, SAM, and VMAN are integrated, AppStack can quickly identify if a SAM threshold alert is attributed to network latency or virtual host contention.

 

AppStack can provide a view of your entire environment with relational dependencies visible end-to-end.  Status from additional integrated SolarWinds products such as SAM, SRM, and WPM are provided and the relationship mapped to the virtual environment.

AppStack.png

 

AppStack is also visible from an individual Virtual Machine's Details View and displays the relational context of that virtual machine only.

Ministack.png


 

Management Actions

A great new feature is the ability to perform virtual management actions without leaving Virtualization Manager.  With all your virtualization monitoring information available you can make a decision to stop, start, or  pause a VM from within VMAN.  In addition to power management options a Virtual Admin can also create and delete snapshots without ever leaving the VMAN console or logging into vCenter. An administrator can now act on an alert they see in the dashboard such as VMs with Old Snapshots and then delete those snapshots from within Virtualization Manager.  The addition of management actions also allows a Virtual Administrator to delegate operational tasks to non-virtual admins or teams (such as helpdesk) without providing access to vCenter.


Mgmt actions 1.JPG


 

Management ActionsWhat you will see

Power Management Actions

  • Power Off VM
  • Suspend VM
  • Reboot VM

Selecting a power management action will present a pop up confirming your action.

reboot.JPG

Snapshot Management Actions

  • Take Snapshot of VM
  • Delete Snapshots

Creating a snapshot will present you a pop up to Confirm the snapshot and create a custom name.

Create Snapshot.JPG

Deleting a snapshot will present a pop up to select a snapshot to delete.

 

Delete snapshot.JPG


Management Action Permissions

To execute management actions, the account used to configure the credentials that SolarWinds will use to contact your Virtual Center, must be given the necessary vCenter Server permissions. The minimum vCenter Server permissions required are:

 

  • Virtual machine > State > Power Off
  • Virtual machine > State > Power On
  • Virtual machine > State > Reset
  • Virtual machine > State > Suspend
  • Virtual machine > Snapshot management > Create snapshot
  • Virtual Machine > Snapshot management > Remove snapshot


Note: In vCenter Server 5.0 the location of snapshot privileges is below:


  • Virtual machine > State > Create snapshot
  • Virtual Machine > State > Remove snapshot

 

Managing access to the Management Actions within SolarWinds

Once permissions are set on the account used to connect to vCenter you can delegate access within SolarWinds to execute the management actions. The default permissions for management actions is set to Disallow which disables the virtual machine power management and snapshot management options.  To enable these features for a user or group select Settings in the upper right hand corner of Orion.  Then select Manage Accounts found under User Accounts and select the account or group to edit. Expand Integrated Virtual Infrastructure Monitor Settings and select Allow for the management action you wish to enable.

 

Mgmt Actions Permissions.JPGVirtual Machine Power Management

     Allow - Enable the options to start, stop, or restart a virtual machine.

     Disallow - Do not enable the options to start, stop, or restart a virtual machine

 

Snapshot Management

    Allow - Enable the options to take snapshots of a virtual machine, or to delete snapshots.

    Disallow - Do not enable the options to take snapshots of a virtual machine, or to delete snapshots.

 



If an admin attempts to perform a management action without being provided access within Solarwinds they will receive an error similar to the one below.

failed snapshot.JPG

 


 

Co-stop % Counter

A new counter has been added the VM Sprawl dashboard that is useful for detecting when too many vCPUs have been added to a VM thereby resulting in poor performance.  Co-Stop ( %CSTP as it is represented in ESXTOP) identifies the delay incurred by the VM as the result of too many vCPUs deployed in an environment.   Any value for co-stop above 3 indicates that virtual machines configured with multiple vCPUs are experiencing performance slowdowns due to vCPU scheduling. The expected action to take is to reduce the amount of vCPUs or vMotion to a host with less vCPU contention.

 

Co-Stop.JPG

CoStop - VIM.JPG

 


Web Based Reports

Web-based reporting introduced in VMAN 6.1 allowed us to represent all data in the VMAN integration in the web based report writer bringing about an easy way to create powerful customizable reports in an easy to use web interface.  We have extended this functionality to include out--of-the-box web based reports found previously only in the VMAN console. These new web based reports include:

 

HostVM
    • Disconnected Hosts
    • High Host CPU Utilization
    • Hosts with Recent Reboots
    • Newly Added Hosts
    • Datastores in Multiple Clusters


    • All VMs
    • Existing VMs with Recent Reboot
    • High VM CPU Utilization - Latest
    • High VM Memory Utilization - Latest
    • Linux VMs
    • Low VM CPU Utilization – Day
    • Low VM Memory Utilization – Day
    • Newly Added VMs
    • Stale VMs – Not Recently Powered On
    • VMs configured for Windows
    • VMs that are not Running
    • VMs Using over 50GB in storage
    • VMs Using Thin Provisioned Virtual Disks
    • VMs With a Bad Tools Status
    • VMs With a Specific Tools Version
    • VMs With Less Than 10% Free Space
    • VMs With Less Than 1GB Free Space
    • VMs With Local Datastore
    • VMs With More Than 20GB Free Space
    • VMs With More Than 2 snapshots
    • VMs With No VMware Tools
    • VMs With old snapshots (older than 30 days)
    • VMs With One Disk Volume
    • VMs With One Virtual CPU
    • VMs With One Virtual Disk
    • VMs With over 2GB in snapshots
    • VMs With RDM Disks
    • VMs With Snapshots
    • Windows VMs
    • High Host Disk Utilization
    • VMs on Full Datastores (Less than 20% Free)
    • VMs Using More Than One Datastore



Web Based Alerts

As discussed in the Virtualization manager 6.1 blog post web based reporting was introduced which allowed virtual administrators to take advantage of baselines and dynamic thresholds. Originally we only included only a small subset of standard VMAN alert out-of-the-box but we now have now extended these out-of-the-box alerts to include:

 

ClusterHostVMDatastore/Cluster Shared Volume

 

    • Cluster low VM capacity
    • Cluster predicted disk depletion
    • Cluster predicted CPU depletion
    • Cluster predicted memory depletion


    • Host CPU utilization
    • Host Command Aborts
    • Host Bus Reset
    • Host console memory swap
    • Host memory utilization
    • Hosts - No heartbeats
    • Hosts - No BIOS ID
    • Host to Datastore Latency


    • Guest storage space utilization
    • Inactive VMs - disk
    • Stale VMs
    • VM - No heartbeat
    • VM Memory Limit Configuration
    • VM disk near full
    • VMs with Bad Tools
    • VMs with Connected Media
    • VMs with Large Snapshots
    • VMs with Old Snapshots
    • VMs With More Allocated Space than Used
    • Disk 100% within the week
    • VM Phantom Snapshot Files
    • Datastore Excessive VM Log Files



 


Appliance Password Improvements

With ease of setup provided by the virtual appliance it is easy to overlook changing the appliance admin account (Linux password) or the Virtualization Manager admin account password.  In Virtualization Manager 6.2 the initial login will now display a password change reminder with links that will easily change both passwords.


Password change.JPG


Linux Password.JPG 


That's it for now.  Don't forget to sign up for the Beta and provide your feedback in the Virtualization Manager Beta forum


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