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32 Posts authored by: bmrad Employee

A long time ago, in a network far, far away, a post was written called Why Should I Care About Release Candidates?  I say a long time ago because it was 2009, shortly before I joined SolarWinds and while feature phones still ruled the earth.   Since that post, SolarWinds has added thousands of customers, but as Product Managers, we work hard to stay close to you so we deliver real value in every release.  And we are very thankful for your willingness to share your time and thoughts about our products and company.

 

However, we wanted to reach out again, to customers both new and old, to tell you (or remind you) the secret of how to get what you really want in future releases of your favorite products. Ready for the secret?  The main secret to getting what you really want?  It's easy - PARTICIPATE!  Participate as much as you can!  Since we operate on the YAWL principle (You Asked, We Listened), the more we hear from you, the better.  We have a variety of ways for you to participate.

  • Review What We Are Working On: Our What We Are Working On posts details the features we are currently working on across all our products.  Its a great place to start and see what is on the roadmap.  If you don't see what you want, check the feature request form for your products and vote.
  • Vote on Feature Requests: Each product has a Feature Request forum  (examples:  NPM, SAM, DPA) where you can add and vote on your favorite features.  While product managers reviews all feature requests, voting helps up prioritize... and when we start working on a feature, we can reach out to directly to everyone who votes.
  • Walk Through UX Mockups:  Early in the release process, our excellent UX team puts together functional mockups for you to review.  Feedback here has a big influence on what we implement and how it works. At times it may feel like a therapy session, but we really want to understand what you see, how you process the information and decide what to do next.
  • Install Beta Releases: Beta's are early versions of the next release with some features complete and ready to try in your environment.  This is where the rubber meets the road and features come to life - and your feedback is crucial.  Remember - beta's are fresh installs only, not suitable for consumption on your production server.
  • Upgrade to Release Candidates:  As emphasized in the old post, Release Candidates are fully supported releases, meaning you can upgrade your production servers and start using new features right away. Our Support and Sales Engineering teams are fully trained in the new version.  Don't hesitate - our new upgrade process for Orion products is amazing.
  • Show Us Your Environment:  Our UX team also loves to do "Show Me" sessions, where we watch you use our products in your environment, and see how you solve problems.
  • Answer Surveys:  From time to time, you will receive requests to fill out surveys, here on Thwack and via email.  These help us understand broad trends of your business, environment, and feature needs.

 

Hopefully you are in inspired mood, because here is your opportunity to participate: Take this one page survey so we can reach you next time we are looking for volunteers.

REALITY CHECK: Will I really get EVERYTHING I want?

You may be thinking to yourself "Will I really get everything I want"?  Sadly, no... we can't make all your dreams come true because we have limited resources and no limit of good ideas from you.  But this is why your participation is so important, to help get the most valuable features to the top of the list.  And patience often pays off - check out this feature we implemented earlier this year from a request in 2012 - Silence Alerts While Still Monitoring.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully we will be hearing from you!

 

The PM Team.

If you are in the cloud or heading there, I'm excited to tell you Database Performance Analyzer 11.0 has your databases covered.  DPA already monitors databases on cloud VMs and Amazon RDS, but now we've got each vendors database DBaaS offerings as well.  Also, the updated DPA Integration Module (DPAIM) shows these new databases in Orion, and add SRM integration as well.  Here are some of the great features in DPA/DPAIM 11.0 RC:

  • Azure SQL Database... and in Orion too!
  • Amazon RDS Aurora support
  • SQL Server Availability Groups
  • Oracle Adaptive Plans
  • SRM Integration
  • GUI Improvements
  • Updated wait type descriptions

 

Monitor Azure SQL Databases

Microsoft did an awesome job creating a DBaaS option in Azure using SQL Server technology, and now we can analyze the database just like we do SQL Server, with database cloud metrics too!

Moving databases Azure SQL DB is measured and priced by by DTU's (Database Transaction Unit).  The more CPU, Memory or IO your SQL DB needs, the more money you pay.  In addition to our measuring the Wait Time, DPA captures DTU size and utilization, and captures CPU, Memory and IO in terms of percent utilization of the DTU, making it easy to see which resource is driving your DTU consumption.

So if you're bumping up your DTU limit, before you move up to the next DTU tier and increase you OPEX, try tuning some queries, eliminating blocking or adding some indexes.

And you can use Azure SQL DB as your DPA repository too.

 

Azure SQL Database in Orion too!

Oh, did I mention this would show up in Orion too!  If you have the DPA Integration Module (DPAIM) installed and configured, as soon as you add Azure SQL to DPA, you'll see your Azure Databases Orion as well.

Now you can map your DBaaS to your applications running on Azure VMs to fully support Hyrbrid-IT end-to-end single pane of glass!!!

 

Monitor Amazon Aurora

Aurora is Amazon's database that is MySQL compatible is now fully supported by DPA, to round out support for Amazon's database offerings.

 

Support for SQL Server Availability Groups

Availability Groups are one of the most popular features of SQL server these days, and DPA can now show you health and status of the availability groups and their member replicas and  databases.  You can configure DPA two ways:

  • Monitor via the listener - DPA will follow the primary replica from server to server.
  • Monitor each instance in the cluster

Either way, you'll see the same data for the primary server - the status of all availability groups for that server.

And if you drill down on an individual availability groups, you can see the status of all the replicas and databases.

When an instance is not the primary replica, you can still see the status of the itself in the availability group, but not the overall AG health or health of other replicas.

So now, when you see HADR wait types increasing, you can drill in and see the health and status of your availability groups

 

See Oracle Predicates and Adaptive Plans

For all Oracle users, we've added structure to our plan view and made it easy to filter out noise by hiding/showing the predicates.  Oracle 12c instances get the added bonus of seeing how Oracle is adapting plans for their queries.  And you can download the plan in easy to use and share text version, complete with link back to the plan view.

 

Storage Resource Monitor Integration

If you are a DBA and need to take a deeper dive into your storage array, you can now monitor your arrays with SRM and build relationships to the databases you are monitoring with DPA.  Once built, you can see capacity utilization and performance of the LUNs connected to your databases, including where you are at risk at to run out of a storage or performance capacity.

 

And a lot more!

In every release, we do a lot more than we can include here, but here are a couple more features worth mentioning:

  • GUI Improvements - Streamlined home page and filters, pages require less scrolling, simplified flow to Advisors and Historical Charts.
  • Updated Expert Advice - the expert advice for the most common Wait Type descriptions were expanded and improved... and to compliment the new Availability Group feature, we updated the HADR wait types as well.
  • Simplified Help - we unified our help into a single "Learn More" button and began adding and updating content, especially training around wait time analysis to help new users... more to come.
  • To see more, check out the release notes.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Log into the Customer Portal and download DPA 11.0. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to post them in the Database Performance Analyzer RC group as well.

Time flies when you were having fun, so I must be having a blast because Database Performance Analyzer 10.2  has arrived in a blink of an eye (just 6 months since 10.1).  If you are ready, you can download it from the customer portal and for free evaluation from the SolarWinds Website. Be prepared to save hours every day as we take analysis of blocking and deadlocks to a whole new level.

 

New Features in 10.2

  • Identify Root Blockers causing the greatest impact
  • Find the last activity of an Idle Blocker
  • Monitor Deadlocks
  • Use MySQL as a DPA repository
  • Support for the latest databases - SQL 2016 and MySQL 5.7
  • AD/LDAP Configuration Wizard
  • Tomcat 8 and Java 1.8
  • Lots of minor fixes - see the Release Notes.

A major theme in this release is blocking and locking analysis.  Blocking occurs when the database locks an object to perform a transaction and another request for this same object is received.  The database blocks the second transaction until the original transaction is complete and the lock is released. Locking is a good and necessary thing for a database to function properly, but excessive blocking causes programs and clients to wait, and is very difficult to diagnose.  DPA 10.2 is focused on solving difficult blocking and lock problems with just a few clicks.

 

Identify Root Blockers causing the greatest impact

Blocking can involve more than just two transactions, as transaction A blocks transaction B, B blocks C, and so on, piling up the time applications are waiting quite quickly.  DPA 10.2 not only identifies the root blockers, but also aggregates the wait time in the correlation tab to show which queries are causing the most overall wait.  If one query is the root blocker for other queries, say from your online website store, customers may be waiting - which can impact your bottom line.

This new blocking summary information appears as a correlation tab under the wait time chart and tracks with your choices of dimension and time slice (from 30 days to 1 sec)... even the colors of the queries in the bar chart matches.

Bonus 1: You can toggle on the idle blockers (gray bar), to see if they are causing a lot of wait.

Bonus 2: We also have a Top Waiters view, so you can quickly find which queries are most impacted by blocking as well.

 

Find the last activity of an Idle Blocker

Imagine a construction crew blocks the road you're on, and while waiting for them to complete their work, you notice they stop jack hammering and walk away.  You are being blocked, and your blocker is idle - they're doing something (maybe eating lunch), but they sure aren't working on the road.  This is analogous to an idle blocker, where a program or user locks an object in the database, but then performs work outside of the database before completing the transaction.   From the database's perspective, the blocker is "idle" because its not doing database work, and there is no association with database activity.

So when you try to diagnose an idle blocker, you have no starting place, nothing to pass on to the developer other than "it's idle".  Often times, the DBA would have to spend hours sifting through queries to identify the last activity before the lock went idle, so that the problem could be found and fixed. Well, you don't have to do that manual work anymore - with a couple of clicks, DPA will take you back to the last known activity of an idle blocker, and let you easily annotate it too.

To find the last activity, drill down to an hour and click the Blockers tab. On the left of the table, root blockers are shown, and you can expand the tree to see all the waitiers.  For Idle blockers, there is a new link called Find Last Activity on the right.

When you click Find Last Activity (ex SPID 79), a popup appears with a couple of choices - Annotate and View Activity, or just View Activity.

If you choose "Annotate and View Activity", DPA will search the past 48 hours for last activity for that session related to the blocker (Session 79).  We've now found the last activity before the block went idle.

And we annotated it, so its much easier to find in the future!

Now you have something you can share with your team and quickly identify and fix the problem!

 

Monitor Deadlocks

A deadlock happens when two or more transactions block each other by holding locks on resources that each of the transactions also need.

DPA uses a modified Extended Event session in order to capture deadlock details for SQL Server, and will use the default system health session for SQL Server on Amazon RDS. Users are able to configure a non-default session using the Advanced Properties page. When deadlocks are detected, they are displayed at the bottom of the Trends tab:  DPA also shows a metric named Victim Impact, which is a measure of time the victim's transaction was running and consuming resources.

Deadlock analysis is contained in the correlation tab with two options - Deadlock List and Deadlock chart.  The deadlock list contains a list of all the deadlocks for the current timeslice.

Clicking on a deadlock link takes you to a deadlock details page which has three parts.

1. Deadlock Summary, which shows the Total Victim Impact.
Bonus:  Open the deadlock XML in SQL Server Management Studio and see the visualization of the deadlock or email the deadlock information with a click of the button!

 

2. Victims and Survivors: Shows you details of the queries that were victims and thus rolled back, as well as the survivor which completed.

3. Deadlocked Resources - Bonus: All those links have popups with definitions and expert advice.

The Deadlock chart simply counts the number of deadlocks occurring in the same dimension and time slice you are viewing, helping you identify trends.

For a deeper dive on the nature of deadlocks and how to analyze them with DPA, check out our deadlock analysis KB article.

 

MySQL as a DPA Repository

When we released monitoring for MySQL in DPA 10.0 less than a year ago, our customers were excited to finally be able to monitor MySQL with the same wait time analysis methodology as used for SQL and Oracle.  However, there were lots of folks who wanted DPA to use MySQL as a data repository too.  I am happy to say you have the option to use DPA as a data repository!  If you want to change from SQL or Oracle, we don't migrate old data when changing repository types.

 

New way to get to Historical Charts

A new trick that's easy to miss is the addition of a link to the historical charts wherever you open the query popup.  There is a new button in the bottom left that allows you to jump to historical charts from almost anywhere. Its a small but welcomed change.

 

But Wait, There's More

Every release has some minor features too, and 10.2 is no exception.

  • Support for the latest databases - SQL 2016 and MySQL 5.7
  • AD/LDAP wizard now makes it much easier to connect to your directory.  Current configurations are supported and you can modify them via the Wizard.
  • Tomcat 8 and Java 1.8 moves DPA to the latest versions with security updates.
  • Lots of minor fixes - see the Release Notes.

 

Sign up to get on the next beta!

The dust hasn't settled on 10.2, but our dedicated team of database nerds and code jockeys are already hard at work on the next awesome DPA release - check out the What We Are Working On for DPA (Updated April 7, 2017) post.  If you don't see everything you've been wishing for there, you add it to our Database Performance Analyzer Feature Requests

 

If you want to get your hands dirty as soon as our next beta is ready, get on the list for the next beta by filling out this survey.

I am excited to announce that Database Performance analyzer 10.1 with support for Oracle 12c multitenant is now available in the customer portal and for free evaluation from the SolarWinds Website. What's so special about DPA 10.1?  Let's take a look!

 

New Features in 10.1

  • Support for Oracle 12c Multitenant
    • Monitor Oracle Pluggable Databses (PDBs)
    • Automatic Grouping of PDBs
    • Summary View, showing usage per PDB
    • Detect and alert when PDBs are added, remove or moved.
    • Mass registrion for PDBs, just like other
    • PDBs should up in the Orion integration
    • Using a PDB as an DPA repository
  • Improved Mass Registration
  • Offline License Deactivation
  • Lots of minor fixes - see the Release Notes.

 

What is a PDB?

What's a PDB you ask?   Officially, a Pluggable Database is "user-created set of schemas, objects, and related structures that appears logically to an application as a separate database". Basically, its everything that makes up the database.  Why is this important?  Previously, Oracle didn't have a good way to have multiple databases on one Oracle instance. You had a couple of options, table spaces and multiple instances per server, but they had their drawbacks.  Multitenant support is kind of like virtualization, where you can quickly "plug" in multiple databases into one Oracle "container" (aka CDB) and let them share resources and be managed as a whole, improving resource utilization and reducing management time.

 

Monitoring Oracle Multitenant and PDB changes

Adding individual PDBs now works just like Oracle single tenant or the classic Oracle databases.  Just choose Oracle, enter the needed information and go!  Same thing with mass registration.  DPA will only allow you to register PDBs, not CDBs (Container Databases).  If you try to add the CDB, DPA will politely ask you to register the PDBs instead.

 

Once you have registered two Oracle PDBs in the same CDB (Container Database), they will auto group in the home screen.  If you register just one PDB from a CDB, is will still show up as an individual database.

CDB View - Summarizing PDB Load

As a bonus, you can click on the CDB and get summary data across the PDB instances, allowing you to quickly see which PDB has more wait time, what kinds of waits they are experiencing,

 

Which PDB is waiting the most in the CDB?  Quickly see the balance between the PDBs.

If you are seeing unusual wait times at the PDB level, you can drill up and review the PDB.  Here we see a major increase "direct path read" and "read by other session".

Finally, if you want to look across all your PDBs and find the query with the most wait time, use the Top SQL tab.  You can click on the link to see the query.

 

PDB Annotations and Alerts

The data collected from a PDB is the same data we've always collected for Oracle.  However, we do annotate all PDB changes - when they are added, removed or moved.

For example, you will see annotations on the 30-day trend when

  • You plug in a PDB
  • You move a PDB from one CDB to another (see sample below)
  • You unplug a PDB

PDB Odds and Ends

  • If you have a dozens or hundreds of PDBs, mass registration allows you to quickly add them via a spreadsheet upload.
  • If you want to use a PDB as a repository for DPA, no problem - it works out of the box.
  • PDBs will show up in the Orion integration and support all current features, so they will map to your Orion nodes and application just like traditional databases.

 

 

But Wait, There's More

Every release has some minor features too, and 10.1 is no exception.

  • The mass registration file can now be uploaded directly to DPA via the GUI, rather than moving the file to the DPA server.  This simplifies mass registration and makes it a more secure process.
  • You can now deactivate licenses without involving support or customer service - even if you are offline.
  • Lots of minor fixes - see the Release Notes.

 

What's next?

Our dedicated team of database nerds and code jockies are hard at work on the next awesome DPA release - check out the What We Are Working On for DPA (Updated April 7, 2017) post.  If you don't see everything you've been wishing for there, you add it to our Database Performance Analyzer Feature Requests

 

If the above features get you excited, get on the list for the next beta by filling out this survey.

Virtualization Manager 6.0 introduced integration with NPM and SAM, exposing VMan data in native Orion resources, allowing you to navigate from Application to VM to Host to Datastore/Cluster Shared Volume without leaving the Orion interface.  However, the integration did not allow you to leverage all of Orion goodness on the virtualization data - but the team has been hard at work to make that a reality. To try it out, please fill out this short survey, Enough of introductory chit-chat, lets get down to the fun stuff - features!!!

 

 

 

Baseline Thresholds for Virtual Machines

In the last release of Server & Application Monitor, we introduced baselines and we are happy to announce the feature has been expanded to Virtualization data as well.  When monitoring VMs (both Hyper-V and VMware), you'll be able to leverage your historical data to automatically build your warning and critical threshholds (note that host baselines will be available in future betas).  Simply click edit node and scroll down to the Alerting Thresholds and choose Override Orion General Thresholds and click Use Dynamic Baseline Data and it will automatically set your thresholds based on the analysis of historical data. .

VManTheshold1.png

If you want to see or adjust how your baseline is calculated, simply click the Latest Baseline Details to see more information about the calculation.

VManTheshold2.png

 

 

VManWizard9.pngSynchronization Wizard

To maximize the usefulness of the integration of Virtualization Manager with SAM and NPM, users need to keep the configuration of both products in sync or confusing data and linkage gaps occur  Keeping the configuration in sync is painful and tedious and many of you encountered this problem as your environment grew or changed.  Also, the product didn't notify you that there was a synchronization problem, so you would find you were missing the data right when you needed it.

The synchronization wizard takes the Virtualization Manager "datasources" (vCenter, standalone ESX, and Hyper-V Hosts) and credentials and maps them to SAM/NPM, displaying discrepancies and then allowing you to pick and choose which pieces of the virtual environment you want to synchronize.  Best of all, when the products are out of sync, you get a notification with a link to the synchronization wizard so you can quickly fix it.

You can get to the integration wizard two ways:

  • The integration wizard will automatically start when you first configure integration.
  • The Run Synchronization Wizard link (Settings > Virtualization Settings in Virtualization Manager Integration section)
  • When SAM or NPM detect a configuration difference between the two products, it will prompt you to run the notification wizard in the notification banner.

 

 

First step is turn on integration, go to Settings > Virtualization Settings > Setup Virtual Manager Integration.  You'll enter the IP address and port of the Virtualization Manager and admin credentials.  When you click submit, the linkage will be tested and any errors reported.  If the connection is good, the synchronization wizard starts.

 

If you already have the integration turned on, you can go to step through the wizard again.

VManWizard1.png
Next, you can choose if you want to skip to the end and synchronize everything (Recommended) or pick and choose which datasources (VC, standalone ESX, and Hyper-V Hosts) and credentials to synchronize (Advanced).  Let's choose Advanced so we can see the intermediate steps.VManWizard2.png

Here we can select which datasources we want to synchronize.  If the datasource is already configured in both products, it is hidden by default.  Pick which ones you want to synchronize, press the green arrow button and then press Next.

 

Lets skip the next two screens (Synchronization Exceptions and Assign Pollers) for now.

VManWizard3.png

The review screen allows you to review the proposed changes before they are implemented, including the additional node licenses needed.  You can uncheck any changes you don't want to make before pressing Next.

 

One of the great things about 6.1 is it will provide Orion with all the virtualization data directly, so your virtual environment is only polled once to supply Virtualization Manager and SAM/NPM with all their virtualization data.

 

Don't worry, this change is transparent to you - your data, alerts, customizations, GUI, etc. continue to work as they do today.

VManWizard6.png
As the synchronization occurs, the wizard will report success or failure of each step. Once completed, any new nodes will be configured and licensed in SAM/NPM and data will start populating shortly.VManWizard7.png
And here is the notification you get when the product configurations are out of sync.VManWizard10.png

 

 

VManVNodeTree.pngSee All Your Virtual Machines (vNodes)

Virtualization Manager collects information about every VM in the environments you are monitoring.  In the current integration with SAM/NPM, you have to manage each VM (node) in order to see the data.  We've changed that so that you will see the data for every monitored VM regardless if they are Managed in SAM/NPM.  These will look like regular nodes but with just two subviews (Virtualization and Storage).  We've made it easy to add them as a node if you want to... but you are no longer required to.

VManVNode2.png

 

 

More to come...

To try out the beta, please fill out this short survey, Stay tuned for more information on Orion based alerting, RBAC (Role Base Access Control), and more metrics!

Superseded by this page: EOC - What We Are Working On - Mar 2015

Please bookmark that page and follow it.

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!

I am very excited to announce the beginning of the Virtualization Manager 6.0 beta (sign up for the beta).  Many of you have been voting for your favorite feature on the Virtualization Manager Feature Requests forum, but no feature is requested more than Integration with SAM and NPM. Well, you are finally going to get your wish!  Before we dive into the details of the integration, lets review all the goodness that is coming with 6.0.

  • Integration with Orion - we will talk about this feature more below.
  • Resizable widgets - one size does not fit all, and now you can change the size of your widgets.  Check out the details in the feature request Add Ability to Adjust Widget Grid for all the details and some cool screenshots.
  • Performance Analyzer (charting) - we have made numerous improvements like better date selections, allowing you to adjust the size of the legend, and improving the segmentation of data.  Be watching the feature request Change the format of the legend for charts for more details.

  • Capacity Planner - speed improvements and bug fixes
  • Speed and Security - we made adjustments to improve the speed of collection and the GUI.  A few of these sneaked into the recent 5.1.1 service release, but most arrive in this release.  We have also updated the core components of the appliance to address known issues.

 

Sign Up: Don't forget to sign up for the beta at Virtualization Manager 6.0 Beta Participation Survey.

 

Integration - what does it mean?

Before we dig into the features and screenshots, a couple of notes on what integration means:

  • Seeing it in Orion - we aren't just pasting some Virtualization Manager widgets into Orion views, were actually exposing the data in Orion in native resources.
  • Keeping it in Orion - we wanted to keep you navigating in Orion naturally, moving from Application to VM to Host to Datastore and back again without leaving the Orion interface - unless you want to.
  • Linking it to Virtualization Manager - we do want to expose the Virtualization Manager interface, but contextually.  When you see a link to Virtualization Manager, it will be in context of the Orion object you are viewing, and it will be clear that it links to Virtualization Manager.

With that out of the way, let's get to the cool stuff.


What can you do with all this Goodness?

This is a lot of new data we are exposing in Orion but how will you be able to leverage it?  Here are a few new and enhanced ways you can solve problems:

  • Enhanced:  Why is my application slow? 
    My application is running slow, I drill down to the VM, CPU and Memory look good... storage feels slow, but I don't see anything suspicious on the VM.  Click the storage subview and drill down to the Datastore View.  From here,I see another VM is using all the IO on the datastore, click to that VM and see the applications associated with it, diagnose the issue from there.
  • New: Which of my datastores are busiest?
    My hypervisor is suppose to load balance everything, but I constantly run into storage performance issues.  With the new Top 10 lists, you can find out quickly which datastores are busiest and what VMs are causing the problem.
  • New: Do I have any CPU/memory/storage capacity I can reclaim?
    With the sprawl view, Orion will give you recommendations on modifying or deleting VMs to reclaim precious CPU, Memory and Storage resources - but before you do, you can drill down to the application view to make sure there is nothing important running on that server.


List of New Views

There are many new views, subviews and resources - here is a quick list.

  • Added to the Virtualization Tab
    • Storage - summary of all virtualization storage, both capacity and performance.
    • Sprawl - where you could reclaim computer, memory and
    • Map - show Virtualization Manager map embedded within Orion
    • Reporting - show Virtualization Manager reports within Orion
  • Added to the some virtual object views in Orion (Cluster, Host and Virtual Machine)
    • Storage Subview - summarizing the storage related to that virtual object, both capacity and performance
  • Datastore View: Summary of the capacity and performance of a datastore

I'll focus on the datastore view next.

IntegrationDatastore2.png

 

Datastore View Details

The datastore view focuses on a single datastore, presenting both capacity, utilization and performance, as well as the other virtualization objects and applications related to this datastore. Yes, applications too.

 

List of Resources:

  • Virtualization Manager Tools:  Links to Virtualization Manager from this object
  • Virtualization Manager Alerts: All Virtualization Manager alerts for this object
  • Datastore Info: Status, type and location of the datastore
  • Datastore usage: Capacity, utilization, over provisioning and predicted depletion date
  • Related nodes: All the nodes in Orion related to this datastore.
  • Applications on this Datastore: Show the applications running on the VM's on this datastore.
  • Top Ten VMs by Used Space: What VM's are consuming the most space
  • Top Ten VMs by Allocated Space: What VM have been allocated the most space.
  • Top Ten VMs by Low Storage Space: What VM's are almost out of space.
  • Datastore IOPS and Latency gauges: Last value collected for IOPS and Latency
  • IOPS (Datastore & Top VMs): Chart of datastore IOPS over time overlaid with IOPS from the busiest VMs.
  • Latency (Datastore & Top VMs): Chart of datastore latency over time overload with the latency of the busiest VMs.

 

More to Come

We couldn't list everything or cover all the aspects in a single post.  There will be lots of questions about core features (alerts, reports, configuration, etc.) that we will cover in future posts, but please ask questions here or contact me directly if you want to have a more in depth conversation about integration. 


Disclaimer:  The screenshots presented here are mockups and are not identical to the final deliverable.

 

Integration-DSInfo.png

Integration-Apps.png

Integration-IOPS.png



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We are currently working on Virtualization Manager 6.1 and beyond.  Some of the items we hope to deliver:

 

Disclaimer:  Comments given in this forum should not be interpreted as a commitment that SolarWinds will deliver any specific feature in any particular time frame. All discussions of future plans or product roadmaps are base on the product teams intentions, but those plans can change at any time.

 

If you don't see what you are looking for here, you can always add your idea(s) and vote on features in our Virtualization Manager Feature Requests forum.

Virtualization Manager is built on search - all the widgets, alerts, charts, etc. are simply queries that bubble up the most important data to your fingertips.  This allows us to quickly alert you about potential problems, including configuration recommendations for over and under allocation of resources (like CPU, memory, storage, etc.).  Many users have asked about how these recommendations are calculated, and the answer is - its all in the queries!  And even better - you can easily copy and edit the alert queries to build your own.

I was recently working with a customer on the alert recommendations for the default alert "VM Memory Overallocated".  The queries for this alert are based on average memory usage over a week, and the customer was concerned (and rightfully so) that if he followed our recommendations, he might induce swapping during memory peaks. So I took a deeper look to see what we could do.  

 

Make a copy of the current alert

First, I took the current alert and made a copy to work with:

  • From the Administrator Dashboard, scroll down in the All Alerts widgets and click "VM Memory Allocated".
  • At the bottom right of the screen, click "Configure".
  • At the bottom right of the screen, click "Save As", enter a new name and click "Save".  I changed mine to "VM Memory Peak Overallocated".
  • You should see the new name at the top and now click "Configure" at the bottom right again.

VManAlertSaveAs.png

 

Change the scope

I decided to change the scope, editing the last item to evaluate the weekly peak instead of the average and increased it from 30% to 50%.  I wanted to make sure I captured any VMs whose peak memory utilization was under 50% of the allocated.  Here is the query in full (bolded is the part I changed):

     vm.powerstate:poweredOn AND vm.memory:[2048 TO *]  AND vm.memloadPeak.week:([* TO 50])

 

So this establishes the scope as all VMs with at least 2GB of RAM whose peak memory usage did not go above 50% for the entire week.

VManScope.png

Change the recommendation

Now that we have the scope of the query set to the VMs we are interested in, we next tackle the recommendation.  In this case, I am going to take the peak utilization and multiply it by the VM Memory to get a peak utilization.  I will multiply that by 1.25 to add some buffer, and then do some fancy xpath functions to make recommendations in multiples of 256KB.

     concat ('Reduce ', /virtualMachine/memory, ' MB to ', (ceiling(/virtualMachine/memoryPeakUtilization/week * /virtualMachine/memory * 1.25 div 100 div 256))*256, ' MB')

 

Just to break that down:

  • Multiply weekly memory peak * VM memory * 1.25 (buffer) div 100 (because the peak is given as a percent)
    /virtualMachine/memoryPeakUtilization/week * /virtualMachine/memory * 1.25 div 100
  • Build a multiple of 256KB by dividing by 256, rounding up to the nearest integer, and then multiplying by 256.
    (ceiling(... div 256)) * 256

 

VManAlertNotification.png

 

Save and view the results

Once you click "Save" it will return you to the alerts view and immediately show you all VM's that match this condition. In this case, we now have 31 VM's that meet the criteria and now have memory recommendations for them.

VManAlertSummary.png

 

Validation

To validate the recommendation, click on the scroll icon for one of the VM's in the list.  This will take you to the detail view of the item. Switch to the XML by clicking the very small icon next to the name, this will allow you to see the latest instances of all the data.

VManVMxmlSwitch.png

Once you have the XML View open, you can look for the corresponding metrics (via the search bar at the top) to validate the suggestion:

  • memory: 2048
  • memoryPeakUtilization: Week 19.99

Calculation:  2048*19.99*1.25/100=511 so rounding up to the nearest multiple of 256 is 512MB, which matches the recommendation in the image above.

So in this case, we could reduce memory on this VM down to 512MB and have a 25% buffer over the historical peak value.

 

Additional alert features

Some of the features of alerts we skipped over:

  • Condition needs to be sustained for a certain amount of time.
  • Notification via email - we can send these alerts to multiple users
  • Execute an external action - for example, capture the currently monitored processes on the VM
  • SNMP traps and overrides.

For more information on alerting, please see our help documentation.

 

Alert Ideas (and more)

The default alerts packaged into Virtualization Manager are based on lots of customer feedback, but they are by no means a one size fits all!  We highly recommend you customize the alerts (and dashboards and widgets) to fit your environment.  For example, the choices I made on the building the above alert (ex: weekly peak 50% of total or the 1.25 buffer) should be customized to fit how you want to run your environment. Some more ways you can leverage the search:

  • You could also take the searches and functions and rework the "Top-N: VM Memory Overallocated" widget on the Sprawl Dashboard.
  • If you wanted to alert when a drive goes under 700MB, you can take "Guest Storage Space Alert", copy and change it to:
    • Scope: vm.powerstate:poweredOn AND vm.vol.freeSpace:[0 TO 734003200]
    • Alert: string-join(for $fullVolume in /virtualMachine/diskVolume[freeSpace<=(700*1024*1024)] return concat($fullVolume/mountPoint, ' (' , floor($fullVolume/freeSpace div 1024 div 1024), 'MB)'), ', ')

The possibilities are truly limitless with the search and xpath capabilities.

 

Other thoughts and references

Here are a few other thoughts to consider when building alerts, as well as some additional references:

  • Check out our help for Search in our documentation.
  • Here is a list of all properties and metrics that Virtualization Manager collects.
  • Performance and configuration data are collected on different intervals, so if you are mixing them in formulas, just be aware that the times will not necessarily align.
  • Rollup for peaks and averages are calculated a couple of times a day and restart at the beginning of their time period (day, week, month).  See this KB article for more information on data collection and rollup.
  • xPath functions are fun - see this excellent general xPath tutorial.

Just in time for Holidays is more goodness for Virtualization Manager.  The new version is available for all customers under maintenance in the Customer Portal, but if you are not a customer, you can always download an eval or go to our Live Demo to try it out!

 

What's New in Virtualization Manager

 

  • Virtual Desktop Dashboard - a dashboard dedicated to your desktops, allowing you to quickly see top consumers in your environment.  Combined with our new per-Socket licensing, this makes Virtualization Manager a perfect fit for your VDI environments.
  • More Hyper-V data - we've added more storage data in our Host and VM views.
  • Improved speed and scalability - lots of collection improvements have increased speed and scalability of our collection and GUI.
  • Many minor improvements (see the Release Notes for more info) - one example is our sorting objects in map views and widgets by alert severity.

 

We will expand on a couple features below.

 

Virtual Desktop Dashboard

If you have a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and need insight into your performance and capacity, our new dashboard is for you.  With it, you can:

  • Find out how many and what kinds of desktops are running in your VDI.

Desktop OS Breakdown.png  Desktop VM Count.png

 

  • Identify and alert on which desktops are consuming the most resources (CPU, Memory, Network, Disk)

Desktop VMs CPU Ready Latest.png  Desktop VM Memory Ballooning Latest.png

Desktop VM Network IO.png  Desktop VM IOPs.png

    

  • Identify which desktops are about to run out of space

Desktop VM Disk 95pct Full.png Desktop Datastore Low Free Space.png

 

  • Find capacity and performance issues at the datastore and cluster levels.

Desktop Cluster CPU Util Latest.png  Desktop Cluster Memory Util Latest.png

Desktop Datastore IO Latency Latest.png

 

Severity Ranking in Maps

Previously, our Map View and Map Widget would sort objects (datstore, VM, etc) in a way that could hide those with issues.  In this version, sorting is by severity so all your problems bubble up to the top.

  • Map Widget: Now your more severe issues appear at the top:

     Environment Map.png

 

  • Map:  Each widget in the map will bubble up the objects with the most severe alerts, so you can quickly find where your problems are, and who and what are being affected by them.  We also changed the object popup (see VM in image) to also show the most severe alerts first.

MapView1.png

 

That's all the goodness we have to show today, so give it a try and let us know what you think!

Customers can download Virtualization Manager from the Customer Portal, but if you want to try it, you can download an eval.

We are currently working on Virtualization Manager 5.1 and beyond.  Some of the items we hope to deliver:

  •   Expanded support for Hyper-V, including support for Hyper-V v3
  •   Support for VMware 5.1
  •   Enhanced support for VDI infrastructures
  •   Simplified configuration for Hyper-V

 

PLEASE NOTE: We are working on these items based on this priority order, but this is NOT a commitment that all of these enhancements will make the next release.  We are working on a number of other smaller features in parallel.   If you have comments or questions on any of these items (e.g. how would it work?) or would like to be included in a preview demo, please let us know!

 

If you don't see what you are looking for here, you can always add your idea(s) and vote on features in our The specified item was not found. forum.

Please join us for a free webinar with Scott Lowe, Founder and Managing Consultant at The 1610 Group, and SolarWinds virtualization expert Brian Radovich. We’ll be discussing “Performance Management and Capacity Planning in VMware® and Hyper-V® environments.”
Implementing a management solution that is designed specifically for VMware and Hyper-V environments is critical to ensure that you are monitoring the metrics and issues unique to virtual environments. In this presentation, we will discuss:

 

  • How virtualization affects each of the 4 traditional hardware resource areas
  • The top areas you should be looking at when choosing a management solution for your virtual environment
  • The reasons why you need to use management solutions that are designed specifically for virtualization.

 

Register now for this special event!

We are currently working on STM version 5.7 and beyond (in parallel).  Some of the items we hope to deliver:

  • Storage Manager Server and Agent health and status overview
  • Product stability improvements
  • Preservation of Agent and Server settings on upgrade
  • Improved graphs
  • User-defined LUN Grouping
  • EMC PowerPath Support
  • Better "Storage Group" Dashboards


Disclaimer:  Comments given in this forum should not be interpreted as a commitment that SolarWinds will deliver any specific feature in any particular time frame. All discussions of future plans or product roadmaps are based on the product teams intentions, but those plans can change at any time.

 

Dan

This week Storage Manager, powered by Profiler 5.2 was released.   For Storage Manager and Storage Profiler customers, this release includes many  of the features you have clamored for, and we think you will be pleased.  The release focused on supporting Dell Compellent, improving support for other arrays, improving the target view and charting, and more integration with Virtualization Manager 5.0.

 

Support for Dell Compellent

With the addition of the Compellent arrays, Storage Manager is the only storage product that supports all of Dell's arrays - Compellent, EqualLogic and the PowerVault MD30/32/36 series.  Features of the Compellent support include:

  • Array discovery and configuration
  • Storage capacity, usage and allocation (including thin provisioning)
  • Asset information
  • Performance data (Array, Disk, LUN, Port)
  • Top Ten LUNs
  • Alerting
  • End-to-End Correlation and Mapping
  • Target View

Here is a fully populated Target View for a Compellent Array:

Improved Support of Arrays

In every release, we generally include improvements to arrays that users have been asking for, and Storage Manager 5.2 is no exception.  Here are the changes in this release

  • HP EVA - RAID group performance reports
  • IBM SVC/V7000 - Performance metrics are now per object, rather than split across nodes.
  • IBM DS 6/8K - Array level metrics

 

Better Charting

The layout of the charts has been improved in several ways to improve visibility and interpretation of the data.  These changes affect the charts generated throughout the product - from the tab menu, the report chart icon, and for charts emailed or published by the report schedules.  Improvements include:

  • Charts are a uniform width, which is especially handy when they are stacked in emails.
  • The number of items charted is defaulted to 5 instead of 10 (user definable)
  • Changed the orientation of the x-axis to be horizontal
  • Moved the legend to the bottom, the filters to the top, and the create report to the top right.

Here is a sample of the new chart, with the changes highlighted:

Improvements to the Target View

The target view provides the single view that shows contention for both array and virtualization.  In Storage Manager 5.2, we made a couple of improvements:

  • Support for NetApp NFS targets, giving you the same great end-to-end view for NFS that we have for iSCSI and Fibre Channel.
  • Populated performance charts for all arrays.

 

Integration with Virtualization Manager

Storage is an integral part of your virtual infrastructure, and SolarWinds award winning Virtualization Manager covers virtualization, but what happens when you  need to look beyond the virtual layer and take a deep dive into  storage?  In STM 5.1, we added the ability to do this with a single click, drilling from  a VMware object in Virtualization Manager to the associated storage target  (LUN) in Storage Manager.  In STM 5.2, this capability is extended for new links in Virtualization Manager 5.0 (not yet released).  Stay tuned for more information once VMan 5.0 is out.

 

Odds and Ends

Additional features and capabilities that made it into this release:

  • Extended alerting to more performance metrics
  • Links from Virtualization Manager 4.1.3/5.0 also work with Storage Profiler 5.2
  • Storage Profiler 5.2 and Backup Profiler 5.2 were also released

 

All in all, this is a great step forward for Storage Manager that improves not only the data available, but also how it is displayed and used. Let us know what you think.

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