Virtual SAN already has a number of features and extensions for performance monitoring and real-time diagnostics and troubleshooting. In particular, there is VSAN Observer, which is included as part of the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC). Another new feature is the Health Check Plugin, which was recently launched for VSAN 6.0. However, a lot of our VSAN customers are already using vRealize Operations Manager, and they have asked if this could be extended to VSAN, allowing them us to use a “single pane of glass” for their infrastructure monitoring. That’s just what we have done, and the beta for the vROps Management Pack for Virtual SAN is now open. You can sign up by clicking here.
New Dashboards for VSAN
When the management pack is installed, there are a selection of new VSAN related dashboards available out of the box. There is a “troubleshooting” dashboard displaying the Virtual SAN topology as well as any VSAN related health issues.. This topology diagram includes the relationship between virtual machines, ESXi hosts, Disk Groups, SSDs, Magnetic Disks, network connections, etc on a VSAN cluster. Here is a sample dashboard taken from my lab:
There is also a “heat map” dashboard which can be used, for instance, to look at the throughput of the VSAN datastore as a whole, the throughput of the storage controllers on each hosts and the throughput of the individual disks across the cluster. This will immediately highlight any “hot-spots” in the deployment.
The “entity usage” dashboard displays just that; metrics such throughput on latency on a per controller, per SSD and per magnetic disk basis. Here is another sample dashboard showing “entity usage” taken from my lab:
The “device insights” dashboard provides information such as Read Cache hit Rate and device errors. When a controller provides SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) metrics, such as wear leveling or reallocated sector count usage, these are also displayed in this dashboard.
The final dashboard is “cluster insights” and provides metrics on the cluster as a whole.
Alerting on VSAN events
Another feature of the VSAN Management Pack is its ability to alert on events occurring on the VSAN cluster. A whole bunch of new alert definitions have been added, some of which are shown here:
Not only do these show up on the health section in the troubleshooting dashboard, but they are also visible on various objects in vCenter server. A sample of events that might appear in the troubleshooting dashboard when there is a failure in the cluster could be as follows:
Similar alerts would also appear in the vCenter Server, such as this example where a failure has meant that a VM object is missing components and it can no longer satisfy it storage policy (so it is now non compliant):
This VSAN Management Pack extension to vROps will offers customers another way of monitoring Virtual SAN. With VSAN Observer and the VSAN Health Check, there are now a variety of ways for customers to track events in their VSAN environment For those customers who are already heavily invested in vROPs, with their own custom dashboards, etc, and who are now looking at Virtual SAN (or who may already have Virtual SAN deployed), I’m sure they will like what they see in this MPSD. For those who want more analytics than what VSAN Observer offers (which only works in real-time and provides no historic data), this might also be an attractive solution. Give is a try – the sign up link is at the beginning of the post.