Chronograf dashboard

Exploring the TICK stack

For those of you that have read my blog you probably know I’ve done a series on performance monitoring infrastructure with the help of InfluxDB.

InfluxDB is a part of the TICK stack delivered by InfluxData. All components are open-sourced and available. The TICK stack consists of, Telegraf, InfluxDB, Chronograf and Kapacitor.

This post will do a quick review and some examples on how I have started exploring them in my Performance monitoring project. ...  continue reading

Firmware update HPE Onboard Administrator

In our environment we have several HPE Blade Chassis systems. The chassis is managed with the Onboard Administrator (OA) which consists of one or two management modules.

Like all other hardware these modules have components that needs firmware to run. And firmware needs to be kept updated to fix bugs, add features, new hardware compatibility and mitigate security risks. It’s also a good thing to keep it pretty close to the iLO version updates on your blades as I suspect HPE might not test newer iLO against a lot of old OA version. However I haven’t found that kind of compatibility matrix.

Normally you need to restart the specific hardware after doing a firmware update. This means downtime, but how can you do this on a blade chassis containing up to 16 blade servers running your production load? ...  continue reading

More DRS group automation

Following up on my last post on Automating DRS Groups with PowerCLI I found that we also need to automatically remove VMs and Hosts from a given DRS Group.

Although I could have included this in the previous script which creates the groups and adds members I wanted to separate them. There could for instance be times when you would like to run such a script on a different interval than the one that adds members as well as other scenarios. I believe it’s also a good practice to build smaller scripts and functions that have more specific tasks. You could argue that the creation script also could be split up into a part that creates groups and a part that adds the members, and even maybe further splitting Hosts from VMs but that would be a future task.

Anyways, the removal of entities like Hosts and VMs from a DRS group is as easy as putting them in. ...  continue reading

Automating DRS groups with PowerCLI

In vCenter we have lot’s of DRS functionalities. I won’t go into all of them here, you’ll probably know about most of them already.

This blog post will talk about the VM/Host affinity functionality, i.e. rules to keep VMs running one or more specific host(s).

There is multiple use-cases for this. You might want to keep some VMs together on the same host to minimize latency, maybe you are doing some port mirroring and so on. In my scenario the use case is keeping some VMs on specific hosts for license compliance. Licensing is a huge topic and are always subject to change so this might not be a use-case in the future. ...  continue reading

vSphere Performance data – Part 8 – Wrap-up and next steps

This is Part 8 and last part (I think…) of my series on vSphere Performance data.

Part 1 discusses the project, Part 2 is about exploring how to retrieve data, Part 3 is about using Get-Stat for the retrieval. Part 4 talked about the database used to store the retrieved data, InfluxDB. Part 5 showed how data is written to the database. Part 6 was about creating dashboards to show off the data. Part 7 added more data to the project. This part will try to wrap up and look at some future steps.

When I started my project I did it with a clear picture on how and what software I would use. Therefore I didn’t look around much for if and how others had done it. After a while I did find that (of course) several others have done similar projects with vSphere performance data, InfluxDB and Grafana. ...  continue reading

vSphere Performance data – Part 7 – More data

This is Part 7 of my series on vSphere Performance data.

Part 1 discusses the project, Part 2 is about exploring how to retrieve data, Part 3 is about using Get-Stat for the retrieval. Part 4 talked about the database used to store the retrieved data, InfluxDB. Part 5 showed how data is written to the database. Part 6 was about creating dashboards to show off the data. This post adds even more data to the project!

One thing I’ve learned by this project is that when you gather data you are always looking out for other data sources to add! Until now we’ve seen how we have retrieved metrics from all VMs in our environment on 20 second intervals. But what about the ESXi hosts running those VMs? And what about the Storage arrays they use? ...  continue reading

vSphere Performance data – Part 6 – The Dashboard(s)

This is Part 6 of my series on vSphere Performance data.

Part 1 discusses the project, Part 2 is about exploring how to retrieve data, Part 3 is about using Get-Stat for the retrieval. Part 4 talked about the database used to store the retrieved data, InfluxDB. Part 5 showed how data is written to the database. This post will show some results of our work!

As I talked about in Part 1 I had decided to go with Grafana as the front-end. Grafana is an open source software for time series analytics which can make use of several datasources, making it the perfect match for the data in my InfluxDB. ...  continue reading

vSphere Performance data – Part 5 – The script

This is Part 5 of my series on vSphere Performance data.

Part 1 discusses the project, Part 2 is about exploring how to retrieve data, Part 3 is about using Get-Stat for the retrieval. Part 4 talked about the database used to store the retrieved data, InfluxDB. This one will do some actual work and will retrieve data from vCenter and write it to the database.

The last post showed how to write some data to the performance database InfluxDB through its API. As Powershell is good at interacting with APIs this is what I will use for writing the data. ...  continue reading