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!
Tags: IT Analytics, IT Analytics, OpsMgr, OpsMgr, VMM, VMM, Private Cloud, Private Cloud, Hyper-V, Hyper-V, VMware, VMware, Veeam, Veeam, nworks, nworks