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!
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.
The goal of integration was to expand the breadth of virtualization data in SAM & NPM, but maintain a seamless experience in the Orion GUI, with contextual linkages to Virtualization Manager when needed. The focus for the data was around storage (datastores, local volumes, cluster shared volumes) and how it relates to other nodes - mainly hosts, VM's and applications. Here is a quick video showing the kinds of issues you can solve with the integration:
To cover these new capabilities, let's list the different integration points (Views, Resources & Links) and their benefits:
Let's start out with the 6 new views added to SAM and NPM that appear after you install/upgrade and turn on the integration. Under the virtualization tab, you will see the 5 new links (click on the image to brief video). The datastore view is available via links from other views.
|View||Description||Use Cases and Benefits||Image|
High level summary of storage capacity, usage and performance of all the storage in your virtual environment in a single view. Resources Include:
From this view, you can see capacity and performance across the entire virtual environment, generally emphasizing where you have issues:
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:
Resources on this view include:
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.
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:
|Map||Shows 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. .|
|Reporting||Shows the Virtualization Manager reports in the SAM/NPM website.||Allows you to run reports and see the results in a single pane of glass.|
|Dashboards||Shows 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.
If this is enough to convince you, jump to the download and install instructions. But if you want to know more, read on.
Sub-Views appear in tabs on the left of the node you are viewing. When you turn on the integration, a new "Storage" sub-view will appear for all Virtualization Nodes, including the Virtual Center, DataCenter, Cluster, Hosts and VM's. In general, the Storage sub-view has the same resources as the Storage view detailed above but for just that slice of the virtual environment - i.e. if you drill down to a cluster, then click the Storage sub-view, you will see storage, datastores, hosts and VM's that belong to that cluster.
|Sub-View||Description||Use Cases and Benefits||Image|
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:
The cluster and host add these Resources:
This Host also adds this Resource:
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.
Storage Sub-View for:
The Storage sub-view for the VM is different than the others, as it focuses on a single node. Resources include:
For VM's, the Storage sub-view shows how this VM is running and compares that to the overall load of the datastore.
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 Link||Description||Use Cases and Benefits||Video (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.|
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.|
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.|
|Resource: Virtualization Manager Alerts||Shows 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.|
|Link: Datastore to Storage Manager Target||If 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.|
We've improved our Hyper-V coverage by going deep on storage, making local and CSV (cluster shared volumes) equivalent to a datastore object in Virtualization Manager... what does that mean? It means everything that works in Virtualization Manager on datastores (trends, capacity planning, search, alerts, link to Storage Manager, etc.) now works on Hyper-V local storage and CSVs! Yes, including the integration detailed above.
Hyper-V storage data includes:
Note: We've kept the "datastore" nomenclature to represent all storage presented to hosts (at least for now).
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:
|Feature||Description||Use Cases and Benefits||Video (No Sound)|
|Resize Widgets||Resize 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.
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.|
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.|
To see the integration in your environment, you need to install two pieces.
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.
Here is a brief overview of the steps to install and configure, more detailed steps can be found in the Admin Guide.
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 .
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.
SolarWinds solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base in the THWACK® online community. More than 150,000 members are here to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly contribute to our product development process. Learn more today by joining now.