VMware vCenter Operations Standard- Part I: Install and Configure

20/03/2011

Last week the launch of the VMware vSphere Client for iPad received a lot of attention. But VMware also released another interesting product: vCenter Operations.

According to VMware “vCenter Operations Standard is for vCenter administrators who want to better understand the performance of their virtual infrastructure, and to diagnose and correct performance problems easily and quickly.”

A comprehensive overview about the product and its origin can be found here on Virtualization.info.

vCenter Operations provides performance, capacity and configuration analytics for management of highly virtual infrastructures and cloud infrastructures. It does so by analyzing and correlating data across the monitored IT infrastructure in a pretty unique way: for each tracked resource, it can identify the normal behavior of every metric (which implies a dynamic adjustment of thresholds) and then automatically recognize an anomaly.

So it seems VMware is entering a market with a lot of competitors. Not only the big boys, but also with specialists like VKernel and they do not seem to be very happy, according to this post.

Enough said, let’s start. At this time vCenter Operations is available here and comes in two flavors:

  • Standard, the actual VMware vCenter Operations Standard 1.0;
  • Advanced, as Standard plus VMware vCenter CapacityIQ 1.5.1.

After downloading, you also receive a license which entitles you to play around with the products for 60 days. It is also a good idea to download the documentation, most important document is the “VMware vCenter Operations Standard Installation and Administration Guide”.

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How to handle VMware Data Recovery?

06/03/2011

Some time ago, I was asked to investigate a vSphere cluster at a customer location. It is a small sized cluster, consisting of 3 ESX hosts, approximately 20 VM’s and VMware Data Recovery as backup- and restore solution. The backup target is a dedicated NAS with 2.5 TB capacity. During the implementation, Data Recovery version 1.1 was installed. The VMware Data Recovery was configured to run several backup jobs; a daily job and a few weekly jobs for static or less important VM’s. After several months backups failed, snapshots were not removed and locking problems were reported.

First action was; updating the ESX hosts and replacing the VMware Data Recovery with the 1.2 version. During the configuration of the backup target, I noticed a warning telling me that CIFS network shares larger than 500 GB are not a good idea…

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