Capacity Management in a Virtualized Private Cloud

Capacity Management importance has been on the rise since Virtualization started becoming a main stream. In earlier days in the physical world, Capacity Planning/Management used to end at the time the hardware was purchased. In most cases, the hardware was over-sized to ensure it can handle the workload as well future growth of the application. Though as that over-sized box is dedicated to a single application, it did not matter how you sized that application as long the server has enough resources to run it. Though when virtualizing the story is fundamentally different, as now you have multiple VMs per server. If VMs are over-sized that means your consolidation ratio & other VMs performance can be affected. If Virtual machines are under-sized, then they will not perform well. Idle & unused VMs can be of a huge waste of expensive storage and need to be avoided.

Capacity Management importance has even grown further, when VMware has announced its new vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing module as if you madly over-provision your VMs that will guarantee your cost will not only jump on hardware, but on vSphere licensing as well. I believe after the announcement of vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing the demand for Capacity Management products like VMware vCenter CapacityIQ & vKernel vOPS Capacity Manager.… Read More

VMware vCenter Operations

Most organization today has different complains about their current performance monitoring tools. These problems are put under the magnifier when Virtualization or Private Cloud is implemented. Below are few of the main complains getting heard & VMware is trying to respond to by vCenter Operations Manager:

  • Our Performance Management/Monitoring tools report too many metrics that is hard to make sense of & track.
  • Our Performance Management/Monitoring tools report too many false positive events, which getting to be a nightmare for our admins.
  • Our users are the first to notice performance problem before our admins can use our current Performance Management/Monitoring tools trying to find out the problem source.
  • Our Performance Management/Monitoring tools does not provide problem source analytics, which does not help us avoid the manual work required to find out the source of the problem.
  • Our Performance Management/Monitoring tools does not take Virtualization into account.

To respond to the above, VMware has introduced vCenter Operations. VMware vCenter Operations uses patented analytics and powerful visualizations to automate performance, capacity and configuration management. It collects and analyzes performance data, correlates abnormalities and identifies the root cause of building performance problems which is a big advantage when compared with traditional performance management/monitoring tools that still depend on thresholds.… Read More

Optimize Your VMware Capacity Planning Report

I have noticed many partners lately complaining about their Capacity Planning report having below expected VM per server Density, & has normally been granted access to their Capacity Planning Project to optimize the report. I have decided I will share the info on here on which parameters to change in order to  get a decent VM per Server Density in your CP report. Although I have been using these numbers successfully During my job for a while, and I know that many of my colleagues are following the same I provide no explicit/implicit guarantee of the results nor my employer. If you think your capacity planner report got out of hand on results (Ex 1000 vm per host), then please check what you have done wrong or contact your local VMware SE, or feel free to leave me a comment below. I will repeat use at your own risk, & ensure to use your judgement before submitting the report to customers.

Bumping up CP consolidation ratios Procedures:

1- First Make sure you are using Consolidation Analysis (CA) rather than Consolidation Estimate (CE) before you follow up any of the below procedures, else you will never find out the required tabs. You can always choose to run Consolidation Estimate (CE) when first creating the CP project in VMware Capacity Planning, but what if you already have a project running as Consolidation Estimate (CE) then you can follow the below procedure to convert it to Consolidation Analysis (CA).… Read More

Veeam to add a Free Advanced Capacity Planning Pack to Veeam Reporter

Veeams to add a new free Capacity planning functions to their Veeam Reporter at no additional cost. Below is Veeam announcement in this matter:

Veeam Reporter  has always provided valuable data for capacity planning. With the new Capacity Planning Report Pack, it also does forecasting and modeling for you.

By knowing in advance when additional CPU, memory and storage are needed, you can:

Eliminate service delays
Control costs
Maximize utilization

The Capacity Planning Report Pack is included with Reporter at no additional charge. Download the new version of Reporter  now and get complete visibility of your virtual infrastructure—past, present AND future.

Download Veeam Reporter and the Capacity Planning Report Pack now.

*Also includes support for vSphere 4.1

Veeam Reporter™ has always provided valuable data for capacity planning. With the new Capacity Planning Report Pack, it also does forecasting and modeling for you.

By knowing in advance when additional CPU, memory and storage are needed, you can:

  • Eliminate service delays
  • Control costs
  • Maximize utilization

The Capacity Planning Report Pack is included with Reporter at no additional charge. Download the new version of Reporter* now and get complete visibility of your virtual infrastructure—past, present AND future.

Download

Download Veeam Reporter and the Capacity Planning Report Pack now.

Read More

Veeam Reporter Could not create Windows user token from the credentials specified in the config file. Error from the operating system ‘Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password.

Today, I had a call from one of my enterprise customers complaining that he cannot log into Veeam reporter WebAccess Portal. The main error he was getting is:

“Parser Error Message: Could not create Windows user token from the credentials specified in the config file. Error from the operating system ‘Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password.”

Actually the full exact error message is below:

==================Error Start===================

Server Error in ‘/VeeamWebAccess’ Application.
——————————————————————————–

Configuration Error
Description: An error occurred during the processing of a configuration file required to service this request. Please review the specific error details below and modify your configuration file appropriately.

Parser Error Message: Could not create Windows user token from the credentials specified in the config file. Error from the operating system ‘Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password.
‘Source Error:
Line 117: </assemblies>
Line 118: </compilation>
Line 119: <identity configProtectionProvider=”DataProtectionConfigurationProvider”>
Line 120: <EncryptedData>
Line 121: <CipherData>
Source File: C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\VeeamReporterEnterprise\WebAccess\web.config Line: 119
——————————————————————————–
Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.3603; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.3082

==================Error End===================

After fuzzing out with the product & with Active directory for some time, as the error point out to some authentication problem I have to came to a conclusion its not an active directory authentication problem.… Read More

VKernel news items in association with upcoming Chargeback 2.0 release.

The VKernel Team has just sent me the below news items in regards of their upcoming chargeback 2.0 release & thought I will share it with all of you. Thanks Tina Dussault for the update.

1. This release extends Chargeback support to both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX environments while also adding support for mixed chargeback models (allocation vs. usage).  Chargeback 2.0 is the second product from VKernel to support Microsoft Hyper-V following on the launch of the lastest version of VKernel Capacity Analyzer.

2. VKernel is the chargeback partner for Microsoft’s recently released Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 which was announced at Microsoft’s Worldwide partner conference this week in Washington DC. The self-service portal is a collection of tools and guidance from Microsoft enabling the creation of private, self-service clouds.

Tina has ended her e-mail by the below phrase, that I thought worth sharing as it seems VKernel vision to play a part of the booming cloud market:

“So you can see Chargeback as a key component to cloud strategy.”

If you get to test chargeback for VMware or Hyper-v, I would love to hear your feedback in the comments area below.… Read More

VKernel AppVIEW 1.0 is available immediately for free download

After having a look at VKernel Capacity View few days back, I have decided to give a look at VKernel AppVIEW 1.0. AppView 1.0 is VKernel latest free product. Where VKernel Capacity View looks at hosts, AppVIEW looks at individual application VMs to monitor and diagnose for such things as capacity bottlenecks and resource optimization.

VKernel appview Dashboard

VKernel AppView 1.0 help you monitor how well is your applications are performing on the most important 5 VMs in your Virtual enviornment. Limiting you to monitor the application on 5 VMs might seems limiting, but hey it suppose to be for your most important VMs & remember its a free product so it should have a limitation.

VKernel AppView 1.0 will ensure you can answer the following questions about how your most important VMs are performing:

  • Are VMs having performance problems?
  • Which resources are causing potential performance problems?
  • AppVIEW provides current and thirty day historical visibility to potential CPU, memory, disk and storage I/O bottlenecks for your top five application VMs. As priorities change, you can change to a different application VM and start collecting data immediately.

Although VKernel AppView 1.0 point you out to your VMs performance problems, you will need to combine it with VKernel Optimization Pack and VKernel Capacity Analyzer to be directed on how to resolve these issues.… Read More

VKernel Capacity View

Checking out Vkernel Capacity View has been on my todo list for over a month, as I have been exhausted at work lately. Though now that I have given it a fast try, I think its really worth the effort. Vkernel Capacity View has a great dashboard that give you a laser vision sight of your Virtual enviornment Capacity usage. Vkernel Capacity View Dashboard has been one of the things that had really attracted me to the product. Below you can see an image of the dashboard.

Vkernel Capacity View Dashboard

VKernel Capacity View can provide information in two main areas:

1- Capacity Alerting

Capacity View collects CPU, memory and storage allocations and utilization levels. It then analyzes this data to provide you with desktop Capacity alerts concerning:

  • Virtual machine I/O Latency
  • Under-provisioned memory, CPU, storage
  • Low capacity for new deployments
  • Over-provisioned memory, CPU, storage

2- Deployment Statistics
You get an easily accessible, desktop view to how your virtualization resources are deployed. This valuable information allows you see the efficiency of your environment and how it can be improved and includes:

  • # of VMs, hosts, data stores, clusters, etc.
  • Total available CPU, memory and storage
  • Resources allocated as a % of available capacity

What will surprise you about Vkernel is the cost of it?… Read More

Hyper9 VEO – Hyper9 Virtual Environment Optimization Review

Few days back, I had the chance to evaluate Hyper9 Virtual Environment Optimization known by Hyper9 VEO. Actually as most of our internal testing equipment is currently out of the office, the guys at Hyper9 was kind enough to provide me with a SandBox on their side to test the product. Below is my feedback based on my experience with their sandbox.

There are two main differences between Hyper9 VEO and other Performance Monitoring solution being searchable & being focused on optimization rather than monitoring. Being searchable can make an amazing different, that you would not imagine how powerful it get without trying it. Before I tried the product, their engineer has shown me that they have a search bar & like no others you can search their product for any bit of info you need. At first glance, that did not get my attention neither I was able to make sense of it. After testing the product first hand, I have discovered that make all the difference. Its similar to comparing traditional web directories & Search Engines. Before search engine came up, web directories were the main method of discovering sites on the web. You used to have to click your way through categories, category by category at a time.… Read More

nworks Management Pack for VMware allows VMware Monitoring with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager

In the past few weeks, I was lucky enough to get the chance to look over many third party monitoring solutions for VMware vSphere. I have decided its worth covering few of them on my blog. I will start today with Veeam nworks  MP Microsoft Ops Mgr.

Earlier last year, I had a look at Veeam monitor which I thought of being a very basic performance monitoring tool though I expected that from its price tag (I have not yet tried Veeam Montir 4 & that is on my to do list). Though  Veeam nworks  MP Microsoft Ops Mgr has changed my view of Veeam when it comes to monitoring. Its a 360 degree full VMware monitoring solution & I would definitely rate it as an enterprise ready. I believe Veeam should revamp their Veeam monitor to match Veeam nworks  MP Microsoft Ops Mgr.

Actually Veeam nworks  MP Microsoft Ops Mgr was able to change my view of Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. I have never thought Microsoft System Center Operations Manager will be one of the good candidates to monitor VMware Infrastructure, but Veeam nworks  MP Microsoft Ops Mgr has proven me wrong. I was amazed by the granularity of the product.… Read More

SolarWind Free VM Monitor tool for VMware ESX

SolarWind has released a new VMware ESX Monitoring tool called VM Monitor. The new tool can monitor the status & utilizaiton of your ESX Servers as well your Virtual Machines. SolareWind VM Monitor uses the SNMP Service on VMware ESX to monitor your enviornment. As VMware ESXi does not support SNMP queries,  it’s still not supported by SolarWind VM Monitor. In order for SolarWind to work with your VMware ESX you will have to enable SNMP on your ESX hosts. A good instruction on enabling SNMP on VMware ESX Host can be found at: VMware ESX How to enable SNMP.

Below you will find a good video of the SolarWind VM Monitor in action, please note the video cover a bit of SolarWind Orion product which is not a free product.

SolarWind Free VM Monitor for VMware ESX is nice & quite useful. I would suggest you try it out :).… Read More

VMware Capacity Planner still missing the Intel Nehalem processor

I know many Virtualization Consultants who all are still wondering where is the Intel Nehalem processor in the VMware Capacity Planner. The Nehalem processor has already hit the market more than 6 months back, VMware still has not update their Capacity Planner to include it. We all know that the Nehalem processor is providing a great performance & efficiency enhancement comparing to the prior Intel processors & this change should be taken into the consideration When doing Capacity Planning.

Customers has been as well wondering why the capacity planner report is made with an older processor, as they will be buying the Nehalem one. The only way I had found around this is to build your custom hardware inside the VMware Capacity Planner with a faster CPU frequence, but even this still not too accurate. I am hoping VMware will address this soon. If any one has any updates or VMware plans for this topic & would share it with us. it would be of a great value to everyone.… Read More

VMware Capacity Planner on System without internet

Offline VMware Capacity Planner:

I have mostly done online VMware Capacity Planner as most customers usually don’t mind it, though when I started offering VMware Capacity Planner for Banks & Ministries that’s when Offline VMware Capacity Planner came handy. Many of the companies & ministries mind you sending data online directly, where they are OK with you sending it after they inspect it. As VMware Capacity Planner allow you to queue all your inventory data & performance data on the Capacity Planner system and upload it from another system or at another time that problem can be over come by what I like to call Offline VMware Capacity Planner. Although you will need to use the same methodology if the system running the capacity planner does not have an internet & you want to upload the data at a later time using another machine with internet access. The procedure of Offline VMware Capactiy Planner is below as documented by VMware KB#1896:

Follow these steps:

  1. Register the Database ID from the primary (originating) collector. The secondary (sending) collector does not need to be registered to the Company ID. For more information see: Viewing and Adding Collector Database IDs to a Client Registration (1891) .
Read More

Microsoft denies any delay for its virtualization administration tools (updated)

According to information published by the Microsoft System Center team on their blog, the publisher decided to postpone the launch of Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (originally expected before the end of September) until the fourth quarter. After checking with the publisher, VMM 2008 is expected to be ready very early in October, following the final tests and validations. The blog provides a good news: Giving in to the demand of users, the software should be available as part of SMSE as well as on its own. It also talks a little about the price of these tools.

At the launch of its Windows hypervisor Hyper-V, Microsoft announced the launch of its administration tools for virtual environments within 90 days of Hyper-V. Theoretically, the publisher should have delivered Virtual Machine Manager 2008, equivalent to Hyper-V Virtual Center for VMware ESX Center, before the end of September.

In a post published yesterday on their blog (link here), the System Center team seems to suggest that the arrival of VMM 2008 is slightly delayed because Diane Prescott, a product manager usually in charge of licensing, said that VMM 2008 will be available in the last quarter.

The blog appears to have surprised even Microsoft since, in France, most of the company’s partners are still preparing for a launch and since preparations for the tools’ new training programs are in full swing.… Read More

Microsoft Windows 2008 Hyper-V RTM Installation & Configuraiton step by step (Part 2).

As Hyper-V being the biggest fuzz in the Virtualization solutions today, thanks to the Microsoft marketing forces. They can generate the biggest noise about each product they produce. As a lot of people hearing the fuzz, but did not have the chance to discover Hyper-V, I have decided I will discover it and take every one with me in a Hyper-V Tour with explanation and snapshots. This discovery trip consist of 5 parts & Intro as below:

Intro: Introduction to Microsoft Windows 2008 Hyper-V RTM & Our Discovery Trip.
Part one: Microsoft Windows 2008 Hyper-V RTM Installation
Part Two: MS Hyper-V Virtual Networks Configuration & Hyper-V Server settings.
<==
Part Three: MS Hyper-V Virtual Machine Creation.
Part Four: MS Hyper-V Virtual Machine Settings.
Part Five: Microsoft Hyper-V Snapshots Technology.

Bonus: Install SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 & Component Integration for Linux on Hyper-V

Part Two: MS Hyper-V Virtual Networks Configuration & Hyper-V Server settings:

As in the earlier part I have explained the Installation of Hyper-V RTM on Windows 2008 64-bit. In this part I will cover the configuraiton & Managment of Hyper-V RTM. I will discover most of Hyper-V Menus as well.

The first step after you have installed Hyper-V is to Add Hyper-V manager to your MMC.… Read More