Add The vROps License, Configuring LDAP, and The SMTP For vRealize Operations Manager (vROps)

If you’ve been following my previous posts, I discussed what vRealize Operations Manager is, how to get the appliance deployed, how to get the master replica, data nodes and remote collectors attached to the cluster, and finally how to get data collection started.

Now it’s time to license vRealize Operations Manager.  This can be achieved by logging into the appliance via: < https ://vrops-appliance/ui/login.action >.  Next go into the Administration section, and there you’ll see Licensing.  Click the green plus sign to add the vROps license.

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About seven down from Licensing on the left hand column, you will see Authentication Sources.  This is where you configure LDAP.

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Again click the green plus sign to configure the LDAP source.

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Once the credentials have been added, test the connection and then if everything checks out click OK.

Lastly lets get the SMTP service configured,  about three down from Authentication sources you’ll find outbound settings.  Click the green plus to add a new smtp.

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Once you have the SMTP information added, test the connection, and if everything checks out click save.

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So now you should have a functioning licensed vrops instance.  In future posts I will cover creating object groups, policies, and configuring some alert emails.

Next Post: Configuring VMware vRealize Operations Manager Object Groups

Last Post: Configuring VMware vRealize Operations Manager Adapters For Data Collection

Configuring VMware vRealize Operations Manager Adapters For Data Collection

If you’ve followed my recent blog post on  Installing vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) Appliance, you are now ready to configure the built in vSphere adapter to start data collection.

Depending on how big your environment is, and IF you have remote collectors deployed, you may want to consider configuring collector groups.  A Collector group allows you to group multiple remote collectors within the same data center, and the idea is that this would allow for resiliency for those remote collectors, that way when you have the vROps adapters pointed to the collector group instead of the individual remote collector, if one of the remote collectors went down the other would essentially pick up the slack and continue collecting from that data center, so there would be no data loss.  You can also create a collector group for a single remote collector for ease of expansion later if you want to add that data collection resiliency.

Go ahead and get logged into the appliance using the regular UI <https//vrops-appliance/ui/login.action>.  From here click Administration.  If you just need to configure the vSphere adapter for data collection, you can skip ahead to Section 2.  Otherwise lets continue in section 1, and configure the collector groups.

Section 1

Click on Collector Groups

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You can see that I already have collector groups created for my remote data centers, but if you were to create new, just click the green plus sign

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Give the collector group a name, and then in the lower window select the corresponding remote collector.  Then rinse-wash-and-repeat until you have the collector groups configured.  Click Save when finished.  Now lets move on to Section 2.

Section 2

From the Administration area, click on Solutions

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Now because this is your new deployment, you would only have Operating Systems / Remote Service Monitoring and VMware vSphere.  For the purpose on this post I will only cover configuring the VMware vSphere adapter.  Click it to select it, and then click the gears to the right of the green plus sign.

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Here just fill out the display name, the vCenter Server it will be connecting to, the credentials, and if you click the drop down arrow next to Advanced Settings, you will see the Collectors/Groups drop down menu.  Expand that if you have created the custom collectors in Section 1, and select the desired group.  Otherwise vROps will use the Default collector group, which is fine if you only have one data center,  otherwise I recommend at least selecting a remote collector here if you do not have a collector group configured.  This basically puts the load onto the remote collectors for data collection, and allows the cluster to focus on processing all of that lovely data.  Click Test Connection to verify connectivity, and then click save. Then rinse-wash-and-repeat until you have all vCenters collecting.  Close when finished.

Important to note that vROps by default will collect data every five minutes, and currently that is the lowest setting possible. You can monitor the status of your solutions or adapters here.  Once they start collecting their statuses will change to green.

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If you’d like to add additional solutions otherwise known as “Management PAKs”, head on over to VMware’s Solution Exchange .  I currently work for a cloud provider running NSX, so I also have the NSX and vCloud Director Management PAKs installed.  From the same solutions page, instead of clicking on the gears, click the green plus sign and add the additional solutions to your environment.  This would also be used when you are updating solutions to newer versions.  Currently there is no system to update you when a newer version is available.

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Go to Global Settings on the Administration page, where you can configure the object history, or data retention policy, along with a few other settings.

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Finally, Go back to home by clicking the house icon.  By now the Health Risk and Efficiency badges should all be colored.  Ideally green, but your results may vary.  This is the final indication that vROps is collecting.

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Next Post: Add The vROps License, Configuring LDAP, and The SMTP For vRealize Operations Manager (vROps)

Recent Post: Sizing and Installing The VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Appliance

What Is VMware’s vRealize Operations Manager?

Formally Known as vCenter Operations (vCOps), vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) really has become the center of the vSphere universe.  vROps is an appliance that sits in your environment collecting system metrics from vCenter, virtual servers and ESXi. It acts as the single pane of glass to the virtual environment, allowing the administrator to track and mitigate resource contention, along with performance and capacity constraints.  vROps will also “learn” about the environment, and given a couple of months, the data collection can be used to perform future calculations to determine things like when more capacity is required based on growth and resource consumption, and that’s pretty cool.  Data collection is not just limited to VMware products however, you can also install additional management PAKs from VMware’s Solutions Exchange, and there are always more being added.  Which brings us to the next topic: Sizing your vROps deployment.

Unlike vCOps which consisted of two virtual machines within a vApp, vROps is a single virtual appliance, that can be expanded and clustered for additional compute resources.  A single appliance or node can be deployed and looks like the following in figure 1:

Figure 1 – A single vROps node

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Now the cool thing about vROps is that it has the built in functionality of clustering two appliances together as a Master and Master Replica, giving you resiliency in case of a failure.  You can also add additional nodes to the cluster known as Data nodes, that will allow you to collect and process even more metrics.  It should go without saying, but as you add more Management PAKs from VMware’s solution exchange, keep in mind that you may need to add additional data nodes.  It’s also important to note that the master and master replica servers can also be referred to as data nodes, and that is important because since vRealize Operations Manager 6.x, you can have a total of 16 data nodes in a cluster. That means you can have an HA pair, and 14 additional data nodes.  You can deploy the appliance in several sizing configurations depending on the size of your environment and those are: Extra Small, Small, Medium and Large.

  • Extra Small = 2 vCPUs and 8GBs of memory
  • Small = 4 vCPUs and 16GBs of memory
  • Large= 16 vCPUs and 48GBs of memory

You can also deploy additional appliances known as a Remote Collector, and since vRealize Operations Manager 6.1.x, you can have a total of 50 remote collectors, allowing the collection from 120,000 objects and 30,000,000 individual metrics.  Now that’s a lot of data!  Now these remote collectors come in different size configurations as well.

  • Standard = 2 vCPUs and 4GBs of memory
  • Large = 4 vCPUs and 16GBs of memory

In figure 2, this is what a clustered installation would look like and where remote collectors fit in.

Figure 2 – A vROps cluster

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As you can see, the main cluster or the master, replica and data nodes all share a database and analytics processing engine, but the remote collector does not.  It’s goal is simply to act as a vacuum, to collect and push the metrics collected from those remote data centers back to the main cluster for processing and storage.

All together this makes for a fantastic resource for troubleshooting and metrics data retention for historical data.  I will caution that the vROps appliance requires a lot of CPU and memory depending on your environments configuration, and you should be sure to have ample resources supporting it.  To get the most from this appliance, I’d also recommend at least one dedicated engineer to vROps, as there is a great deal of information to be had, and much to configure and maintain.

A Final Word

As someone who has been responsible for several large deployments, I can tell you this appliance has come a long way from its former days as VMware vCenter Operations Manager, and the developers dedicated to this platform are hard at work making it even better as it becomes the center of the software defined datacenter universe, within the VMware stack.

There are excellent blogs over at VMware that dives deeper into this appliance and it’s capabilities.  For more information visit their site via blogs.vmware.com