When you are running a VMware environment for your private cloud I’ve always recommended customer look seriously at the VMware management tools to get the most value out of their environments. Many customers miss out of critical information that could help their business by not making the investment in tools such as vRealize Operations Suite and vRealize Log Insight (although I think we all agree the name is pretty bad, VMware hasn’t vRealized it yet). Having management packs and content packs available that integrate with these tools makes it easier for customers to get not only more value out of their VMware environment, but more value out of the components that make up their complete private cloud or enterprise cloud ecosystem. There are vRealize Operations and Log Insight management packs or content packs for App Delivery Controllers (F5), Databases (Oracle & SQL), Servers (e.g. Dell, Lenovo and others), and now Nutanix.
In this article we will look at two different management tools from VMware and their respective integration with Nutanix. Firstly VMware vRealize Operations Suite and then vRealize Log Insight. Both of these tools can reduce problem resolution times, and allow operations teams to be far more proactive and responsive to business needs, especially in large VMware environments.
vRealize Operations Management Pack for Nutanix
While I was at VMware I worked with the team at Blue Medora and customers implementing vRealize Operations. Blue Medora created a lot of great management packs that fit into the vRealize Operations Suite, including the Oracle management pack I wrote about here. When I joined Nutanix I started to look at ways we could better integrate into the VMware ecosystem and vRealize Operations was one of those ways. After some early initial discussions and a lot of effort on Blue Medora’s part, I’m pleased to say that the Blue Medora vRealize Operations Management Pack for Nutanix is now available.
The Blue Medora vRealize Operations Management Pack for Nutanix allows you to monitor the health of your hyperconverged systems inside vRealize Operations— alongside the rest of your heterogeneous IT stack. Once installed, you’ll see your Nutanix systems within vRealize Operations Views—giving you a clear and accurate understanding of the relationships between Nutanix and VMware VMs, hosts and datastores. As mentioned above you can additionally add in management packs for F5, Dell, Lenovo, Oracle etc, to further build out dashboards that can correlate real application behaviour and performance across your environment.
Blue Medora has integrated Nutanix specific alerts and configuration practices into the vRealize Operations Management Pack using the Nutanix REST API’s. The above image shows some of the alerts that are included.
Included in the management pack are custom dashboards that include the full integrated environment and detailed metrics. The management pack will work with any Nutanix environment as it uses the REST API’s to collect the metrics. So even if you have a heterogenous environment, you can benefit from the vRealize Operations Management packs if you run Nutanix.
You can even deep dive into the hundreds of metrics that are made available to vRealize Operttions via the Nutanix REST API’s. To find out more about the Blue Medora vRealize Operations Management Pack for Nutanix please visit their web site.
vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Nutanix
If you have VMware and logs then you should have vRealize Log Insight. Log Insight correlates logs across many different systems and has content packs that allow mere mortals to interpret the logs and find trends. VMware has released a content pack for Nutanix that can process all of the Nutanix logs and present them in vRealize Log Insight dashboards. Here is an example of the overview dashboard:
Important to note that Nutanix does not support any agents being installed on the Nutanix Controller VM’s. To avoid needing to do this you should use the rsyslog configuration through NCLI to set up the Nutanix logs to go to a remote host. You can then process the logs on the remote host and have the vRealize Log Insight agent on the central log host. This would be a supported configuration. Adam Baron already found this out and commented on the VMware Blog Article about the content pack for Log Insight:
“Nutanix do not support the installation of the log insight agent in the CVM’s so getting the logs that way is not possible – however there is support to rsyslog configurations on the CVM. The downside to this is that none of the dashboards work because of the way the data is tagged with *product* ‘NUTANIX’ when it is collected by agent. in the end I removed this from the dashboards, added in *appname* of ‘stargate, prism, genesis, cassandr*, acropolis, curator, cerebro, zookeeper, prism_gateway’ and did the same with the custom fields that were associated with the dashboards too.
Now it’s all working as expected, and fully supported by Nutanix”
The VMware vRealize Operations Suite and Log Insight are incredibly useful tools that VMware customers can leverage to get more value from their existing investments. They work in heterogenous environments, so even if you have some physical components, you can plumb solutions together to correlate events and reduce troubleshooting and restoration time, or prevent problems even happening in the first place. If you are going to run these management tools and others you should consider having a management cluster, that is separate from the infrastructure being managed. You should also consider the backup, recovery and DR plans for your management tools, as well as the security of them and how you will review logs if one site has been compromised. It’s always a good idea to have logs mirrored across two sites at least. These two management packs add to the already very tight integration between Nutanix and the VMware ecosystem.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – 2016 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.