Finding the NetApp Storage Noisy Neighbor with VMware vRealize Operations

by bluemedora_editor on May 28, 2015

As much as administrators appreciate specificity in support requests, the input they often receive from end-users is, “everything is slow”.

In a virtual environment this slowness can bubble up from a throttled compute node, precipitate from a poorly designed database table or spill over from a noisy neighbor, and that’s just scraping the surface. VMware’s vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) can be a powerful tool for finding the root cause of any given bout of slowness. This post will show you how to use vROps with Blue Medora’s Management Pack for NetApp Storage to find a noisy neighbor.

So you get that everything-is-slow ticket and  open vROps to take a look at the virtual machine in question, centos_str_d1, in the Environment view.

Let’s start by taking a look at storage, a typical bottleneck in our environment.  The VM on NetApp Troubleshooting dashboard, provided out-of-box with Blue Medora’s Management Pack for NetApp Storage, is one avenue to finding the link between the VM and storage.

 

We see the connected volume is kraken6_performance_lun_vol. Double-clicking the volume icon will bring us back to the environment view where we’ll drill down further. From there we’ll select Troubleshooting All Metrics to dig into some data.

 

We’ll also get a convenient listing of all connected VMs by clicking Virtual Machine under Related Objects. Here we see our centos_str_d1 along with six others.

 

First we determine the volume has completely throttled throughput, except for a few hours earlier today. Then we look at latency on centos_str_d1 and see that it is pretty noisy, but there’s a lull when the throughput drops on the volume. From there we can cycle through the latency on the other VMs on this volume until we notice that straight line with no data points on centos_str_d5. Was it turned off? Bringing up the Powered On metric for centos_str_d5 tells us everything we need to know. When centos_str_d5 is off, our volume purrs, but turn it on and it roars.

Now we’re ready to act on our new knowledge. We can look into that VM for runaway processes, or if it is running as expected, allocate more resources or migrate the VM.

The Management Pack for NetApp and vROps make it possible to identify a problem and find the noisy neighbor on a single pane of glass. Check out the Management Pack for NetApp product page for more information.

 

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