Blue Medora vROPs Analytics Help Colorado Municipality Monitor and Maintain Services for a Rapidly Growing Community

Blue Medora True Visibility Suite for vRealize Operations gives Town of Castle Rock a Comprehensive View of Performance and Capacity

Executive Summary

The Town of Castle Rock municipality in Colorado provides water, fire, police and development services to more than 53,000 residents, a population that has skyrocketed from its total of 15,000 in 1999. Despite its growth, and the digitalization of public services that has taken place in the last decade, the town’s IT department continues to operate with just two system administrators who maintain hundreds of servers, storage devices and applications monitoring countless VMware and NetApp performance issues across a siloed infrastructure.

Castle Rock turned to the Blue Medora True Visibility Suite for VMware vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) for a comprehensive view across its entire IT infrastructure to both provide better insights of its applications and improve its overall application performance.

Challenges

Castle Rock’s two IT professionals oversee more 180 virtual servers, 100 applications and 70 TB of usable storage from user shares and profiles, video surveillance, in-car camera footage, VMware datastores, Microsoft Exchange email and SQL databases. Using both VMware and NetApp, they struggled with multiple tools and siloed reports of all the separate IT environments.

Castle Rock IT selected the Blue Medora True Visibility Suite for VMware vROps to reduce the time it took to manage these diverse environments and solutions.

“Blue Medora was the only option that provided a unified view of our Netapp and VMWare Infrastructure as well as insight into our future roadmap that supported our additional software solutions. It was a no-brainer. Blue Medora gave us dashboards that we could easily navigate and provided the confidence that there would always be support if needed on software issues.”

Joe Smith II
Senior Systems Administrator
Town of Castle Rock Division of Innovation and Technology
End-to-end visibility to predict and prepare for future IOPs needs

Castle Rock rolled out vROps as a centralized IT operations platform to improve storage management, monitoring and troubleshooting for its customers. However, they realized that they still lacked visibility into their NetApp storage systems.

With the Blue Medora True Visibility Suite, the IT operations team at Castle Rock achieved end-to-end visibility, analytics and capacity planning for workloads running on NetApp storage. Castle Rock’s IT can access automated analysis to expose performance and capacity issues before they become a problem. If a customer introduces a new workload, they’ll quickly know if they need to change their QoS policy to set up more or fewer IOPs.

The True Visibility Suite for vROps allowed Castle Rock’s IT to identify the exact cause of an issue and know which team to contact to resolve it. By moving from a reactive to proactive state, IT staff had more time to devote elsewhere.

“We were constantly in a reactive state of fixing issues after they happened,” Smith said. “Having a dashboard of the current state of storage saves our team 60-90 minutes a day, every day, which has been crucial as we are a small team. The Division of Innovation and Technology has been able to focus our efforts on more pressing tasks, such as implementing Splunk at the end of last year, and upgrading our vCenter platform.”

 

Town of Castle Rock Results

Use a single pane of glass to gauge how VMs will perform with specific workloads, such as Exchange and SQL

Engage VMware’s powerful machine learning and predictive analytics engine to predict future capacity based on actual performance trends

Eliminate bully VMs with relationship mapping that shows critical relationships between VMs and storage LUNs

Streamline the troubleshooting process to save nearly 30 minutes a day with full-stack dashboards that quickly identify the root cause of latency and performance bottlenecks in the data environment and provide instruction on how to take action

Blue Medora helped tackle the bully victim VM scenario

Castle Rock needed a centralized management tool with access to health and performance at a more granular level. VMware vRealize seemed to be an obvious choice for the platform, but they also wanted to collect native-tool like detail from NetApp and have all the information in one single pane of glass.

Castle Rock also had large problems identifying VMs that were bullying others for resources. The bully-victim scenario is a term coined by NetApp when virtual environments share and compete for resources. When a machine becomes stuck on a process where it is running a large report against a database, it hits the hard drives harder than other VMs.

Those smaller VMs with smaller workloads become more affected as they wait for other processes to finish. In this scenario, performance becomes unequally distributed. “Blue Medora helped on the storage side, allowing us to determine which VM was causing issues and get a better understanding of spreading the load,” Smith said.

“Blue Medora is one of the few support companies that cares about understanding what they want to do in the future, and helps you decide right plan of action to future proof your installation,” Smith said.

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