Using IT Analytics to analyze Hyper-V Performance

By Ryan Stolte at 6/4/2011 11:10 AM
Filed Under: Hyper-V, IT Analytics, OpsMgr, Private Cloud

This post is the next in my series on using IT Analytics to analyze the performance of our Private Cloud at Bay Dynamics. In previous posts I've focused on analysis of my VMware infrastructure, but now I'll turn my attention to investigating the performance of our Hyper-V hosts.

We start with opening our SCOM Performance Cube and refine the metrics to data coming from System Center Virtual Machine Manager by choosing the MP named "System Center Virtualization Reports 2008". Adding the Entity Count and Sample Count to the pivot table gives me a high level picture of how much data I'm collecting from different objects within that MP. We have lots to choose from, including information on virtualization candidate servers, Hyper-V hosts, VM guests, and VMware ESX servers. See below:

In this case, I only want to look at my Hyper-V hosts, so I'll multi-select those five objects, right click, and filter my results to that selection.

Next I add the actual host name to the mix, and I can see the six Hyper-V hosts I'm collecting performance metrics for with this MP.

Now that I have a good set of metrics and hosts, I want to change my measures to show the actual minimum, average, and maximum values of each.

Now I've got some real numbers to chew on. To make the analysis easier, I'd like to see this as a chart. Choosing the Chart option at the top and adjusting the options to split that into three charts by Counter, I now have a much more visually informative perspective.

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I see that one of the hosts, svsfhypv002, has the most available memory as well as good free space, but also has the highest variance in CPU % total run time. I'd like to drill into that further and see that data over time to help me determine if this host is a good candidate for a new set of VMs I need to provision.

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Hmm, looks like things were stable in April with high available space and low CPU utilization, but there was a big change in May. My next thought is to see that % free space broken down by specific day to see the recent trend. Dragging in the date, I see:

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Clearly there was additional load added to this server in early May. Fortunately I still have over 75% of the disk free and this is still a good candidate to host new Hyper-V VMs.

Once again, by leveraging my IT Analytics SCOM Performance cube, I was able to analyze trends in a fluid way, asking and answering my own questions on the fly in a matter of minutes. No guessing and no waiting, I have the information I need to make good decisions about loading and capacity of my virtual infrastructure!

Using IT Analytics to analyze the performance of your Private Cloud

By Ryan Stolte at 5/19/2011 12:10 PM
Filed Under: Hyper-V, Hyper-V, Private Cloud, Private Cloud, VMware, VMware, OpsMgr, OpsMgr, IT Analytics, IT Analytics

The Cloud - we're all thinking about it. If you're even remotely associated with IT Management, you can't escape the barrage of marketing dedicated to The Cloud these days. Lots of the ideas floating around about The Cloud sound like big shifts from where we are in real world IT today, and the information overload can be tough to parse through and extract meaningful, practical value from. This blog is the first in a series focused on the practical application of IT Analytics to help you analyze performance of your Private Cloud. More specifically, if we break down the pieces of what is referred to as a Private Cloud we find lots of things that are commonly found in IT environments today. We’re all using Hypervisors from VMware or Microsoft to some degree, and making sure we’re getting positive ROI on those investments is high on the list of management concerns as we look to virtualize more and more of our infrastructure.

At Bay Dynamics, we’ve recently made investments in our Private Cloud, and it wasn’t long before somehow we managed to find ourselves out of capacity again. Did we really hit a wall that fast? Are we using this new infrastructure effectively? I need good insight to understand what is happening with my virtual infrastructure to get control of the situation, ensure we’re not being wasteful, and make informed decisions to drive up the ROI on our recent investments. I want to see health, availability, and performance details, and be able to answer questions like:

- What resources do I have available?
- How is my environment using resources?
- Where can I recover performance or space to maximize my ROI?
- Where is my environment performing well and poorly?

The first step was to implement good management tools to collect the information I need to make those decisions, and we chose Microsoft System Center as that foundation. We’re using System Center Operations Manager and System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage our virtual infrastructure, which is a combination of VMware ESX and Hyper-V hosts. In order to collect a rich set of data about our hosts and VMs, we’ll be leveraging a few specific management packs in addition to the core SCOM MPs - two from Microsoft and another from our friends at Veeam for detailed VMware data.  Descriptions of these MPs include:

The System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager 2007 monitors availability of all components of VMM 2008 and the availability, health, and performance of all virtual machines and virtual machine hosts that VMM manages.

The Windows Server Hyper-V Management Pack monitors the availability of Hyper-V components and services. The Hyper-V Management Pack enables two monitoring scenarios: monitoring the host computer that is running Hyper-V and monitoring the virtual machines that are running on the host computer.

The Veeam nworks Management Pack for VMware for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager integrates VMware Virtual Infrastructure performance, event, and configuration data into OpsMgr to provide rich and detailed information on the status of vCenter, the managed ESX hosts, and the Virtual Machines.

With our OpsMgr tuned up and collecting the information we need, now we can focus on turning that raw data into actionable intelligence using IT Analytics for Microsoft System Center!  The following series of posts will highlight real world scenarios that we faced at Bay Dynamics, and how we used IT Analytics to make good decisions and more effectively manage our Private Cloud infrastructure.  Stay tuned!

Advanced Analytics Operations Manager Webinar

By John B at 5/17/2011 4:41 PM
Filed Under: Hyper-V, Private Cloud, VMware, Webinars, OpsMgr, IT Analytics

We held our second in a series of advanced IT Analytics webinars where Ryan discussed and demonstrated how to easily access and manipulate performance data from Operations Manager resulting in the creation of compelling reports. The use-case in this webinar was specifically focused on System Center Virtualization and how to quickly pull data regarding hosts, guests, and other Virtual Machine Manager related information using Management Packs.  With just a few clicks, Ryan was able to view virtual candidate, Hyper-V, and VMWare information on processor utilization and free disk space. Check out the recorded session by clicking here.


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