Over the years, vCenter and understanding vCenter health has gained more and more importance. As a command center to central administration and a focal point for API access to your vSphere environment, vCenter is a cog in your virtualization environment that brings everything to a halt if it’s not performing or unavailable.
In this series, we will take a look at how we can monitor VMware vCenter leveraging vRealize Operations without having to deploy additional agents or code to vCenter or Microsoft SQL Server. Monitoring remotely is ideal because it removes any dependence on agents that have to be deployed and maintained on the target system, thus reducing the complexity of implementing and supporting your monitoring environment.
I will start by pointing out that VMware does provide a solution for monitoring vCenter which can be found in the Solution Exchange. This is an agent-based solution which incorporates a number of Hyperic (now Endpoint Operations, or EP Ops) agents. While this solution does provide a great option for monitoring vCenter, I prefer to perform my monitoring without having to install agents onto my pristine OVA.
In part one of this series, we will start with leveraging the metrics that are provided natively with the vSphere Management Pack along with the Blue Medora’s vRealize Operations Management Pack for PostgreSQL. The vSphere Management Pack will give us some insight into the Virtual Machine, Datastore, and ESXi Host on which the vCenter server resides. With the PostgreSQL Management Pack, we will remotely connect to vCenter’s underlying vPostgres database.
To get started, we’ll need to open up the vPostgres database on the vCenter server to allow connections from our vRealize Operations Manager’s collector and create a user which vRealize Operations will use to gather data. To accomplish this:
Now that we are able to remotely connect to our vCenter’s vPostgres database, we’ll install and license the Blue Medora Management Pack for PostgreSQL, which can be found here. Once the Management Pack is installed by following the simple steps in the Installation Guide, we will configure an adapter instance to connect to our vCenter database.
To add a Blue Medora Management Pack for PostgreSQL vPostgres adapter instance to monitor vCenter:
After waiting 15 or so minutes, we should now have vPostgres performance data from vCenter. Next, let’s create a relationship from our vCenter Server to the vPostgres database so that we can navigate to it in our Inventory Explorer and create dashboards which have a mashup of vCenter data and vPostgres data. To accomplish this:
Next, we’ll import a dashboard which will present some key performance indicators from our vCenter server. This includes CPU, Memory, Datastore and vPostgres performance. First, we will need to create a “Metric Config” which tells our dashboard what metrics to display for our vPostgres performance.
Next, we’ll import our custom dashboard:
Now we have a new dashboard called “Blue Medora vCenter”, which shows us the overall health of our vCenter server – with CPU, Memory, Datastore, and vPostgres performance and trending. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, where we’ll look at how we can remotely monitor our Microsoft SQL database used by vCenter.
This blog post first appeared on VMware Cloud Management Blog. Read the full post here.