Proactive Monitoring with vROps Alert Notifications and Badges

by bluemedora_editor on September 21, 2016

Alert Notifications and Badges provide a great way to proactively monitor your infrastructure and applications. Read on to see how.

Badges: Identifying Future Problems

Badges are a crucial component of staying ahead of problems in your IT environment. Specifically, the Capacity Remaining, Time Remaining, and Stress badges (which make up the top level “Risk” badge) are key indicators of possible future problems in your environment.


Capacity Remaining measures your remaining resources left. Are you almost out of memory on the VM? Close to reaching storage capacity on a NetApp Volume? Capacity Remaining will let you know.



Figure 1: The Capacity Remaining Badge for a NetApp Volume.


Time Remaining calculates how long until those remaining resources are exhausted or used. This badge uses historical trends of resource usage to provide an estimate. Finally, the Stress badge identifies resource demand compared to resources available over time. For example, if your VM has consistently high memory utilization, the stress badge will let you know that it’s reaching its performance limits.


Alert Notifications: Warning You About Future Problems

Unless you have a very small IT footprint and a lot of free time, you probably can’t go through your environment every day to make sure everything is performing as expected. That’s where Alert Notifications can help. Once you identify the components in your infrastructure that you’re responsible for, it’s easy to set-up Alert Notifications to warn you of potential problems in your environment.


Creating an Alert Notification Walkthrough

The first step to creating an Alert Notification is having an alert that defines the specific conditions you want to be notified about. For this example, we are going to create an alert for a NetApp Volume when the Capacity Remaining badge is less than 10%. Feel free to substitute another resource kind if you’d like to follow along!



Figure 2: Alert Definitions are found in the Content > Alert Definitions menu (red). Click the plus icon (blue) to create a new Alert.


Start off by navigating to Content > Alert Definitions, then clicking the green “plus” icon to begin Alert creation. In step 1 and 2, provide a descriptive title (ex: NetApp Volume Capacity Remaining Low) and select the resource kind (ex: NetApp Volume). Modify the Alert Impact as necessary in step 3.



Figure 3: In step 4, find the desired symptom and drag it into the symptoms box (red). An overview of your settings from steps 1-3 are shown at the top (blue).


In step 4, we need to find the symptom named “Capacity remaining is starting to get low,” which will get triggered at 10% or less capacity remaining. If you have recommendations for how to resolve the problem you are alerting for, you can provide them. Save your settings and you’ve created an alert definition!


Now that we have our badge-based alert defined we need to setup a notification. Navigate to Content > Notifications, then click the green plus to begin. Note that you have to have outbound alert settings defined in Administration > Outbound Alert Settings prior to creating this notification.



Figure 4: Alert Notifications are defined in Content > Notifications (red). Click the plus icon (blue) to start.


In the top half of the popup, provide a title and select your outbound alert method you want to use to deliver the notification. For the email method, you then need to define the recipient, how often the notification is sent out once the alert is triggered, and a few other optional settings.


Next you need to define the scope and notification trigger. We can ignore criticality and advanced settings for this alert. If you have a single resource you want to be alerted on, select “Object” as your scope. Otherwise, use “Object Types” to receive the alert for all of that resource kind. A new field will appear where you select your object or object type.


Finally, we are using “Alert Definition” for the Notification Trigger. Find and select the alert you just created moments ago. Save your alert notification.



Figure 5: A sample configuration for an Alert Notification.


Keep Going!

Create a few more alerts and alert notifications on your mission critical or high priority resources to help you prevent problems before they happen. This could be on your VMware Hosts or VM’s, as well as other resources such as NetApp storage, Microsoft SQL Servers, or Cisco Nexus switches.

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