6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 4, 2012 3:11 PM by jonathan.reeve

    Virtual Manager - multi-tennancy and remote management



      Hi forum


      I am a heavy Solarwinds user but i have not really done much in the virtualisation space yet with the Solarwinds toolset.  i generally rely on the basic monitoring capability of VMware plugin to NPM.  However, i need more..  i need capacity, performance and availability, including hardware if possible.  On top of that, I need to be able to monitor multiple remote customers’ VMware environments.  Most of these customers reside at the end of site-to-site VPNs or leased lines.  I of course also want to monitor my own infrastructure from the same toolset.


      In an ideal world, the customers would be able to view their own infrastructure within the NPM console without being able to see any other customers stuff being monitored within the virtual manager module.  So, questions:


      1.    Does the virtual manager product integrate into the Solarwinds NPM console?

      2.    If number 1 is true, then does it integrate to the alerting engine within NPM?

      3.    How does the Virtual Manager application communicate with the VMware components?  (ESX hosts, Virtual Centre)  Is it over 443?  Anything else?

      4.    How many VMware infrastructures can a single application installation connect to?


      I a sure I have more questions, but they generally will be as a result of the above questions


      Hope you can help forum….




        • Re: Virtual Manager - multi-tennancy and remote management

          1.  Virtualization Manager dashboard widgets can be embedded into Orion - you can read about that here Single Pane of Glass – Tying in Storage Manager & Virtualization Manager into Orion Dashboard

          2.  Virtualization Manager does not integrate into the alerting engine, but Virtualization Manager alerts can be forwarded as SNMP traps.

          3.  For VMware data collection, only port 443 should be required.

          4.  Virtualization Manager has a federated deployment model for large environments, where a "Federated Collector" can be located close to the source of data (e.g. at the end of a WAN link)  You can read about that here http://www.solarwinds.com/documentation/vman/docs/html/en-US/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm#href=SVMAG_InstallationFederatedCollectors.htm#9000445



            • Re: Virtual Manager - multi-tennancy and remote management

              brilliant, thank you for the great reply!  so basically:


              - I can deploy a federated collector to each of my customer sites that will pull back all information about their VMware infrastructure.

              - I will deploy a central Virtualisation appliance at my Data center

              - Central Appliance will poll the remote collectors for data  and collect all at the central point for alerting and reporting

              ALL alerting will be done from the central server appliance



              New questions


              -       Can the remote federated collector be deployed on a multi-homed server?  i.e. one with 2 network cards, thus giving access to a VMware LAN, while being able to give the information back out over the core LAN to the central Solarwinds server?

              -       Can the central server deal with communication with federated collectors over a NAT’ed IP address?

              -       how often do the collector and the central Solarwinds servers communicate (transfer performance data)

              -       How is communication done, does the remote Collector push from the remote collector back to the central appliance? Or does central go out and ;poll the remote collectors?

              -       Is All communication between the main Solarwinds  Server and the remote collectors is done over port 443, or just the collector > VMware infrastructure?

              -       Can we get any hardware failure alerting out of this product yet?  Or do we need to configure the Virtual centre to do that ourselves still?

              -       How is this method licensed?  Do I just keep buying more core licenses or is it on the number of Virtual centres or ESX hosts or CPUs?

              -       Do the remote collectors require a database instances? Or just the central one (is it SQL server, and can it be remote)


              Sorry for so many questions, I am looking to make a strategic decision on what product to go for, to take over the VMware monitoring of mine and my customer environments…





                • Re: Virtual Manager - multi-tennancy and remote management

                  - The federated collector is a linux based (VMware) virtual appliance, so should be pretty flexible configuration wise as far as multi-homing

                  - All communication is essentially push (message bus) and occurs over port tcp/61616 (ActiveMQ) between the collectors and the main appliance

                  - NAT is likely possible with some appropriate forwarding rules - the collector needs to be able to reach the main appliance (using above port)

                  - You would need to leverage vCenter for most hardware alerting

                  - The product is licensed based on the number of Powered ON VMs under management

                  - The federated collectors have no database and simply forward data to the main appliance


                  Let me know of you want to talk to a Sales Engineer


                  Best Regards



                    • Re: Virtual Manager - multi-tennancy and remote management

                      this is brilliant, thank you so much for the help. 


                      So my final solution to try and get end to end VMware management would be:


                      1 - deploy SW Virtual manager to get capacity and performance information and alerting about the ESX hosts and the virtual centre using the virtual appliance in the federated model


                      2. upgrade my core Orion to 10.2 to be able to see hardware information about the physical hosts and then point it to the ESX hosts and virtual centre over 443




                      this should eventually give me hardware and software layer monitoring/alerting of the whole infrastructure (assuming the vendor versions of ESX are installed onto the physical servers)


                      final questions:


                      1 - During my demo, it looks impossible within the Victual manger, to identify what VMs and ESX hosts belong to a specific customer (assuming i a monitoring multiple customer VMs from the same central server).  is there anything that can be done, like the custom property editor in NPM?  if not, this would be a major flaw and possibly make it non-feasible for us :-(


                      2. what is the back end database, can i pull information out of it direct, i.e. using reporting services to generate monthly reports for customers?


                      3. if i have tons of development VMs, and i do not want any information about them, how do i stop them affecting the license count for the virtual manager?  is this possible?




                      cheers again

                  • Re: Virtual Manager - multi-tennancy and remote management

                    any more thoughts on this?  will mrk as NOT answer for the time being as i have lots more questions  :-)