What is the Goal of this Release
The SolarWinds team has been working diligently to release Virtualization Manger 6.3, which continues the evolution of VMAN to an operational management and monitoring platform for the virtual infrastructure. As you have seen VMAN evolve over the last couple of releases we focused on providing monitoring utility, troubleshooting utility and reporting utility. Culminating with VMAN 6.2 management utility was added by providing power management actions, snapshot management actions and AppStack support (to name a few features). With the release of Virtualization Manager 6.3 we further extend the operational role of VMAN with the end goal of providing remediation utility to the mix of features we provide. Not only does an administrator have the tools to identify and troubleshoot an issue in the virtualization infrastructure but they can also remediate the problem within VMAN.
What's New in Virtualization Manager 6.3
This is the 1st of several blog posts reviewing the new features of Virtualization manager 6.3. Provided below is a high level overview of what is new in VMAN 6.3:
New Management Actions
In Virtualization Manager (VMAN) 6.3, we further enhanced the existing management functionality by including migration actions, VM removal actions, and change CPU and memory actions.
- Migration Management Actions
- Move VM to a different host - Provides the ability to migrate a VMware® or Hyper-V® virtual machine to a different host within VMAN.
- Move VM to different storage - Provides the ability to migrate VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine storage to a different datastore or Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) from within VMAN.
- VM Removal Actions
- Delete VM – Provides complete removal of the VM from the virtual infrastructure once the VM is turned off.
- Unregister VM – Removes the VM machine files form the hypervisor but leaves behind the VMDK files on disk once a VM is shutdown.
- Change CPU/Memory Resources Management Actions
- Add/Remove CPU - Grow or shrink the amount of virtual machine CPU from within VMAN.
- Add/Remove RAM - Grow or shrink the amount of virtual machine RAM from within VMAN
The Virtual Manager Tools can be found on the virtual machine details page and are conveniently accessible to remediate a virtualization manager alert with out leaving Solarwinds. For instance an administrator may get a virtualization alert that indicates a VM with high disk latency, they could now initiate a storage vMotion or live migrate the VM to a different datastore or CSV from within Virtualization Manager to resolve the alert.
Execute management actions directly from the Sprawl page
Not only do we alert the administrator to Sprawl issues in the virtual infrastructure we also provide the the appropriate management action to remediate the problem on the Sprawl page.
- Top 10 VMs by Overallocated vCPUs - Change CPU/Memory Resources
- Top 10 VMs by Underallocated Memory - Change CPU/Memory Resources
- Top 10 VMs by Overallocated Memory - Change CPU/Memory Resources
- Top 10 VMs by Snapshot Disk Usage - Delete Snapshots
- VMs Powered Off for More than 30 Days - Delete VM
- VMs Idle for the Last Week - Power off VMs
- VMs that might benefit from decreasing vCPUs - Change CPU/Memory Resources (Decrease vCPU)
- Orphaned VMDKs (New Sprawl Resource) - Delete Orphaned VMDKsTop 10 VMs by Underallocated vCPUs - Change CPU/Memory Resources
An administrator monitoring their virtualization environment can use the Sprawl page to inform them of areas in which they can right size to reclaim resources or improve performance. For an IT team that has has multiple administrators provisioning virtual machines it becomes a task in itself to determine which resources were temporary and no longer needed. By leveraging the VMs Powered Off for More Than 30 Days alert to identify virtual machines that are no longer needed , the administrator can identify what needs to be deleted and then remove the unnecessary VM from the Sprawl page.
New Sprawl Resource - Orphaned VMDK
This new resource to the Sprawl page alerts to any orphaned VMDKs in the monitored environment. Orphaned VMDKs are virtual hard-disks that are not connected to a VM. Most likely the result of removing the VM from inventory but never deleting the vmdk file and thereby using valuable datastore capacity.
Provides the ability to configure an alert to trigger a management action based on a threshold. By providing management actions as a trigger for an alert the administrator can now choose to automatically remediate any alert that crosses a critical threshold without needing to manual perform the management action.
The ability to create an alert with a management actions as a trigger is valuable by ensuring up-time for a VM or maintaining performance of an application hosted on that VM. The administrator in charge of the server infrastructure is always concerned about the next time a threshold is reached, how fast can they react to that issue, and how that may affect the application that resides on the VM. Creating an alert and setting a management action as a trigger helps to reduce the Time To Resolution for the affected VM without the administrator manually needing to execute the action. For example, if there is a reporting server that does all its heavy lifting from 12 am - 5 am and application performance is suffering from datastore latency, an alert action can trigger a migration of VM storage to a destination predetermined by the administration if the latency threshold is crossed. This would ensure that the VM has the storage performance that is necessary to complete its workload (reports) before the administrator arrives in the morning.
All Alerts Dashboard Migrated to Orion
Migration of the all alerts alerting widget from the Virtualization Manager (VMAN) appliance to the Orion® Virtualization Summary, provides customers with a VMAN specific data of the environment from the Summary page. The very useful All Alerts widget is now available in as two resources, All Active Virtualization Alerts and Potential Virtualization issues. The resource provide virtualization alerting in Orion Out-of the-Box with all VMAN alerts enabled by default when Orion is integrated with VMAN. Each triggered alert provides an alert details page with recommendations to take to resolve the issue, general alert details, and a link to the VM details view.
- All Active Virtual Alerts - Provides a view of all triggered virtualization specific alerts with a severity of warning or higher. All alerts in this resource indicate a problem that is affecting performance or functionality in the virtual infrastructure and should be prioritized accordingly. These alerts are sorted by active time and provide the following details:
- Alert name
- Alert message
- Triggering Object (i.e VM, datastore, host, etc)
- Potential Virtualization Issues - All triggered alerts with low severity and grouped by alert name. These alerts notify the administrator of items that require attention but do not necessarily equate to a critical issue. The VMs with Bad Tools alert is an example of this scenario, which notifies the administrator that the virtual infrastructure contains VMs that require a VM tools update but this does not necessarily ensure that the VM is having a critical performance issue.
- Categories without issues - This resource provides Virtualization Manager specific alerts that have not been triggered but do provide a glimpse into what alerts are enable out-of-the box. Unlike the Potential Virtualization Issues resource and the All Active Virtual Alerts resource these alerts are not select-able and do not provide an alerts detail page.
We have improved polling performance in Virtualization Manager 6.3 allowing for on demand data polling and improved scaleability. Common use cases that improved polling addresses are situations where the virtual topology changes due to management actions, maintenance, or provisioning but VMAN fails to reflect the new VM to host or datastore association in a timely manner. In VMAN 6.3 once a migration management action is executed, the topology change is reflected within minutes. An administrator who receives a virtualization alert and resolves the alert with a management action will see the results of the action immediately within Virtualization Manager.