Tools to monitor your virtualization Infrastructure.

It’s been over a month since my last post, I have been involved in a side project that I am very excited about and in the process of developing. However, more to come on the later on.

What’s worse than having a VM, disk, controller, RAM stick or even a host fail?  Well, what about not knowing it has failed???  Have you ever turned up to work, gone and grabbed a coffee on the way through to your desk, sat down and started reading through the emails you received over night to get them out of the way only to have the phone start ringing off the hook.
“I can’t access the company portal.”
“I can’t send any emails”
“I’m getting a weird message about something called a server being offline?”

Straight away you jump into the vSphere client to check what is going on, low and behold, a host has failed and several VMs have not migrated and restarted, as per the cluster HA policy.

How could have you known sooner so that you could get those VMs back up and running before getting your morning coffee?  Enter, RVTools and vCheck.

RVTOOLS – http://robware.net/index.php/5-sectionarticle/category/29-rvtools-home

This is an awesome little program design by Rob De Veij from Amsterdam.  It is full of excellent information for you to oversee your vCenter infrastructure. Started in 2008, the program has evolved to include many features from just your individual VMs with information about their hardware through to whether or not they have a heartbeat. Your datastores and their sizes and the percentage or free storage left.

RVTools is a simple install and simple to use. Once installed, just open the desktop icon and log onto your vCenter, just as you would with the vSphere C# Client, it even allows you to use your Current Logged On User account.

Figure 1.1 – vInfo

In Figure 1.1, you will see the number of tabs that are available to display huge amounts of information, but keep it all quick and simple to view. In vInfo, apart from how many CPUs, and how memory is allocated to the VM, you will also find fault tolerance enable/disable, FT bandwidth and latency, the HA restart priority for each VM and isolation response. There is so much more.

Figure 1.2 – vDisk

Figure 1.3 – vPort

The last tab is vHealth, it is a very handy tab to have as it quite specific on any errors, or non compliance that may be in environment. It will tell you if a host/Vm is unable to be reached, or if a datastore is running out of room and has less than 10% left of storage. 

This is a really handy tool, if you just refresh and look at the vHealth, you should get a substantial amount of information about your infrastructure so you can catch any issues that may have occurred over night.
Please check out RVTool and if you like it, please donate to Rob for his amazing work and kindness of a free tool. http://robware.net/index.php/donate 
vCheck – http://www.virtu-al.net/vcheck-pluginsheaders/vcheck/

vCheck is a new one that I have just recently come across when I found Alan Renouf’s Virtu-al.net, the page for PowerCLI.  I was amazed at how awesome this tool was. Again, a lot of work put into a free little powerful tool. 
I’m not going to get into this one too much as there is a lot of setup questions about your infrastructure to make the report completely customised to suit your requirements. You can check out the video Alan has made taking you through the setup. http://vimeo.com/36411677
The really awesome thing about this tool is the end result. Once you have set up and run vCheck, you will receive an email that is full of information about your environment, it will tell you what is running and what isn’t. This is very handy, and if it is set up as schedule task to run early in the morning, you will know once you receive the email whether or not you have time to tie your shoes. 
The scripts sit up on Github and Alan has left it open for public plug-ins to be added, these are check by Alan before being approved to be inserted into vCheck.  More and more features are being added regularly and making this quite an amazing little tool. 
Check out Alan’s other automation scripts and help share his blog around. http://www.virtu-al.net/