Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

by Brock Peterson on November 1, 2018

In 2009 EMC and Cisco embarked on a joint venture called VCE, or Virtual Computing Environment. Those involved in this project designed and built converged infrastructure appliances called VBlock. They were comprised of Cisco UCS servers, Cisco networking switches (Nexus and MDS), EMC storage (Symmetrix VMAX, VNX, Clariion, Celerra storage, and Ionix UIM/P), and VMware virtualization software. VBlock was first brought to market in 2011.

Subsequently, VCE offered additional converged appliances called VxBlock, which were basically VBlock with the ability to run VMware NSX. For reference, see Yon Ubago’s detailed article.

In 2015, VCE released its latest converged/hyper-converged appliance called VxRack. VxRack was delivered in two forms: VxRack Flex powered by Dell EMC ScaleIO and VxRack SDDC powered by VMware Cloud Foundation. More detail around VxRack can be found in the Dell EMC Product Overview.

In early 2016, VCE merged into EMC and became the Converged Platform Division (CPD). Later that year, EMC was acquired by Dell and the CPD became the Converged Platform and Solutions Division (CPSD) of Dell EMC. At approximately this same time, Dell EMC released its latest hyper-converged platform called VxRail. More details around VxRail can be found in the Dell EMC Specification Sheet.

As the converged and hyper-converged market has grown, so has the demand for data analytics around it. While converged technology simplifies a lot of things, understanding workload and application dependencies is complex—especially in large heterogeneous environments. Blue Medora specializes in full-stack observability by focusing exclusively on system performance data collection from data center, virtualization, platform, database, application, and hyper-converged technologies, including VxRail. Here’s how it works in VMware vRealize Operations.

Corresponding with the VxRail Architecture, our vROps management pack for VxRail consists of a mashup between our Dell EMC Compute management pack and the VMware vSAN management pack. It manifests as the Dell EMC Compute adapter in the vROps Solutions tab and two groups of dashboards: Dell EMC PowerEdge and Dell EMC VxRail. The Dell EMC Compute adapter will look something like this:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

It is then configured to point at the VxRail PowerEdge iDRAC:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

Once successfully test connected, the adapters (in this case two instances) will look something like this:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

The VMware vSAN management pack should also be configured as part of this solution. For more information on this, visit the VMware Solutions Exchange.

Once both adapters have been configured and are collecting data, the Dell EMC VxRail dashboards will start showing data. They are partitioned into two separate groups: Dell EMC PowerEdge which contains three dashboards, and Dell EMC VxRail which contains two dashboards:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

The Dell EMC PowerEdge dashboards explore the compute layer of the VxRail solution. Specifically, the Dell EMC PowerEdge Overview will give the user insight into their PowerEdge hardware and the ESXi Hosts and VMs running on it. In this case, the PowerEdge Rack Server information is also displayed, but Chassis and Blade information is also available and will be shown when applicable.

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

The Dell EMC PowerEdge Health dashboard gives the user an environment overview in the left pane, allowing the user to map objects to objects. On the right hand side the user will see health, details, and alerts for the selected object:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

The Dell EMC PowerEdge Virtual Machine Workbench dashboard shows ESXi Hosts, VMs, and the PowerEdge servers they are running on:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

We expose the VxRail objects and metrics via the dashboards found in the Dell EMC VxRail dashboards dropdown. The Dell EMC VxRail Overview dashboard shows the ESXi Hosts, VMs, and PowerEdge Rack servers comprising the environment:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

The Dell EMC VxRail Clusters dashboard shows the Cluster Instances, Top Alerts, Alert Volume, Status, PowerEdge servers and their key performance indicators, ESXi Hosts, and the related vSAN Clusters.

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

The Dell EMC VxRail management pack also includes three reports:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

The Dell EMC VxRail management pack also includes 131 Alerts:

Analyzing Dell EMC VxRail performance with vRealize and Blue Medora

To learn exactly what alerts and metrics are supported by the Dell EMC VxRail management pack from Blue Medora, see our documentation. Of course the best way to explore our management packs is to try them. I’d love to hear what you think about our monitoring integrations–connect with me on Twitter or the VMware {code} community.

Get started

Try BindPlane free for 30 days. No credit card required.

Sign up
True Visibility
BindPlane for VMware vRealize Operations

True Visibility allows cloud management teams to use VMware vRealize’s powerful machine learning and capacity planning engine across their entire hybrid cloud environment.

Azure Monitor...everything
BindPlane for Microsoft Azure Monitor

Make Azure Monitor your first-pane-of-glass across your entire multi-cloud, multi-database or hybrid platform environment.

Thank you for contacting us. Your information was received. We'll be in touch shortly.