Managing the capacity of your Azure infrastructure

As a Capacity Planner or Azure Technology Specialist, you can use BMC Helix Continuous Optimization to configure, administer, and manage the capacity of your Azure infrastructure.

As the flow diagram illustrates, the data source (Azure API Extractor) collects data from the Azure resources. The collected data is transferred to Continuous Optimization where it is processed, and then displayed on the user interface. You can use the product features to review, analyze, and manage the capacity of your Azure infrastructure.

msazure_use_case

What can you do with BMC Helix Continuous Optimization?

The following sections describe how you can achieve these goals:

Managing the capacity of Azure infrastructure

You can analyze and manage the capacity of your Azure infrastructure elements by using the Azure Virtual Machines view. For the Azure data to be available in the view, the Administrator must first set up the data sources to collect data. 

Task 1. Collect data and install the views

As an Administrator, you can use the Microsoft Azure - Azure API Extractor to collect data from the Azure virtual machines:

  • Configure and run this ETL to collect the required configuration and performance metrics from VMs. You can configure the ETL to collect data from the Azure Resource Manager model.
  • In addition to the required metrics collected using the Azure API ETL, you can enable guest-level monitoring to collect metrics of your guest virtual machines. These metrics are useful for investigating the capacity-related issues that might occur in your Azure environment. When you run the Microsoft Azure API ETL, these metrics are imported into the database. For more information, see Collecting additional metrics using Guest OS diagnostics.

(Optional) You can also use the BMC - TrueSight Capacity Optimization Gateway VIS files parser to collect additional metrics, more accurate memory utilization metrics, and performance metrics at a higher granularity. Before you use this ETL, you must instrument the VMs. The memory utilization value that is collected from an instrumented VM is based on the actual memory of the VM. The Agent collects resource consumption breakdown at process or workload level and helps you to detect specific in-guest OS level resource constraints (for example, in-guest paging due to the physical memory configuration of the VM being too low).

We recommend that you instrument your business-critical VMs to collect OS-level memory usage values. 

To instrument a VM

  1. Install a Continuous Optimization Agent inside the VM from which you want to collect metrics
  2. Configure the Gateway Server and Continuous Optimization Agent to initiate data collection.
    For more information, see Collecting data via Continuous Optimization Agents
  3. Configure and use the out-of-the-box BMC - TrueSight Capacity Optimization Gateway VIS files parser to collect the required metrics from the VM.

After data collection starts, data is loaded daily and Indicators are available in the Workspace tab.

As an Administrator, you must install the Azure views and Business Services view and grant the necessary permissions to Capacity Planners and Azure Technology Specialists to access these views. While creating the service pools, ensure to select Azure domains to view Azure only data.

Task 2. Analyze the collected data

For detailed analysis of the Azure infrastructure elements, use the Azure views.

The following common use cases are described here:

Identify overallocated VMs

Use the Recommendations page in the Azure Virtual Machines view to identify Azure VMs that are overallocated. The page also provides actionable recommendations to help you resolve the issue.

Identify idle or unused VMs

Use the Recommendations page in the Azure Virtual Machines view to identify Azure VMs that are idle. The page also provides actionable recommendations to help you resolve the issue.

The Idle Virtual Machines page in the Azure Virtual Machines view displays a list of all such VMs along with some of their key metric details.

Determine and analyze the available resources and their utilization per virtual machine

Review and analyze the relevant metrics on the Virtual Machines page in the Azure Virtual Machines view to determine the available resources and their utilization per VM. For example, utilization metrics for CPU, Memory, and datastore.

Performing advanced analysis

The earlier sections explained how you can use the out-of-the-box capacity views to manage your environment. These capacity views help you analyze your Azure infrastructure using a predefined set of metrics. To perform advanced analysis on the imported Azure data, such as identifying specific performance issues, trends, and bottlenecks, you can use Analysis.

Here are some use cases for which you can create and use Analyses:

Analyze the global metrics utilization

The following video explains the use of analysis for analyzing the global metrics utilization of an Azure VM over time and understand the trend.

Information

This video describes the functionality of TrueSight Capacity Optimization, but it is valid for BMC Helix Continuous Optimization too.

Analyze the resource (CPU) utilization pattern of Azure VMs

  1. Create an analysis. 
    See sample configuration values: 

  2. Review the analysis results.
    The analysis results are shown in a tabular format. The summary table shows the resource utilization metric values for the virtual machines.

For more examples, see Creating an analysis.

Managing future demand

By using the capacity views and analysis charts, you can analyze the data of your existing capacity. Use Models to predict service performance and obtain forecasts of historical series of metrics, including deep details on the modeling techniques used in forecasts and how to interpret the results of model runs. For more information, see Modeling capacity usage.

This topic describes the following use case:

Predicting the behavior of your resources

Use Models to predict service performance and obtain forecasts of historical series of metrics, including deep details on the modeling techniques used in forecasts and how to interpret the results of model runs.

The following video demonstrates how to create a custom model to forecast trends for the memory and file system utilization metrics.

Information

This video describes the functionality of TrueSight Capacity Optimization, but it is valid for BMC Helix Continuous Optimization too.

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