Agentless monitoring of virtualized resources using HP SiteScope - great new features!

Which type of user are you?


Are you consuming virtual resources available in your IT environment and need to measure performance and/or availability of those resources, because the success of your business service depends on them?  And it really is of no interest to you what host machine those virtualized resources are on?


Or are you a virtualization administrator?  Somebody who provides virtualized resources to other people within your company?  Somebody who is more interested in the host machines and their availability and performance and who really only cares about virtual machines if they impact the host machine?


Regardless of which user you are, you probably are involved in some way or another around ITIL's "Service Operations" phase - where availability and performance impacts of virtualized resources impacts your life on a daily basis ... and you just might be interested in some new features coming with the next release of SiteScope ... features that just might make you consider agentless monitoring of your virtualized resources after all.


Increased complexity of virtualization creates management challenges


Virtualization is one of the most important technologies in your IT infrastructure. Virtualization has huge benefits, but it adds new complexity when it comes to managing the virtualized environment. IT environments that utilize Virtual Machines (VMs) and their host VMware® ESX Servers provide an even greater need for effective performance and availability monitoring.  SiteScope, with some great new features and functionality, might just be the quick way to quickly and effectively monitor those virtualized resources!


Elastic Monitoring - an absolute necessity for dynamic, ever-changing, virtualized environments!


SiteScope simplifies the monitoring of virtual infrastructure changes by automatically adapting the SiteScope configuration accordingly.  New VMware monitors in SiteScope are dynamic monitors on 2 levels - at the VM or virtual machine level and then also at the host level.  And what comes with the dynamic nature of virtual resource changes is automation - automatic updates to your SiteScope configuration if changes happen with those extremely important virtualized resources.


On the VM level, every time a VM migrates to or from a host, the monitor is updated and counters for the VM are removed or added to the monitor - and all of this is done automatically.  Let's look at an example of this. 


Suppose we have a "Labm3pcoedb15" host that has 2 VMS, where SiteScope has 2 counters for every VM in the VMware Host CPU monitor, as shown in the figure below:




Now, when a new VM named "NEWVM" migrates to the "Labm3pcoedb15" host, the VMware Host monitor is automatically updated with new counters for the new VM, as shown in the next figure:




And, as we all know, dynamic behavior can also be seen at the host level.  Some examples include new disks or CPUs being introduced/added into the IT environment.  Like VMs, changes affecting host machines also get automatically updated in SiteScope: monitor counters are added or removed accordingly and automatically.


Using Best Practices for troubleshooting virtualized resources - probably a "good" idea ...


"Problem Management" is a key aspect of any effective implementation of ITIL's "Service Operations" phase. And what better way to be effective than with five (5) new monitors around virtualized resources available in the latest release of SiteScope: CPU, memory, storage, network, and state monitors.  CPU, memory, and state monitors address problems on both VMs as well as host machines.  Storage and network monitors address problems associated with host machines. 



And HP's SiteScope R& D team took this one step further by combining these 5 monitors into an easy-to-use, quickly deployable "solution template".  Further enhancing this solution template is the fact that you also get embedded knowledge, experience, and expertise through the use of VMware "Best Practices".  These "Best Practices" identify applicable metrics and optimized monitoring settings for your virtualized resources and also allow you to monitor only relevant components (counter patterns) in dynamic environments.  In essence, through these "Best Practices", you are (unknowingly) filtering out information that really is not needed for Problem Management of virtualized resources.  And what does ultimately do for you?  Enable you to quickly deal with problems versus culling through reams of data that have no impact on diagnosing the true cause of a problem. THE recommended way to be efficient in quickly identifying issues associated with virtualized resources!   


Here is an example of what you get in the documentation if you purchase this solution template - best practices for troubleshooting:




Smart Counters - get to the information you need ... quickly!

The new VMware monitors that were previously discussed also have "smart counters", which provide useful information around resource configuration and usage. For example, the VMware CPU monitor has 2 smart counters, as follows:


  1. VM CPU reservation: Measures the relation between the CPU usage of a VM and its configured CPU reservation. If this counter is <1 over time, this means the VM isn’t using its reserved CPU and consideration should be given to reducing CPU reservation for the VM.
  2. VM CPU limit: Measures the relation between the CPU usage of a VM and its configured CPU limit. If the value of this counter approaches or exceeds 1 over time, consideration should be given to increasing the CPU limit for the VM.

There are also "memory" smart counters like VM memory reservation, VM memory limit, Host memory usage by VM, and balloon target size - to name a few examples.  Lots of great things that you should be sure to check out!


More to come ... stay tuned!


In the very near future, we will be posting more information on the latest SiteScope release, as well as videos on some of these great new features - so stay tuned!


Thanks to Marina Volchek for the awesome content for this blog post!!!

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About the Author
Sonja is a Product Marketing Manager for the HP Software Operations Center portfolio of products. She has 19 years of product marketing, pro...

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