Managing the capacity of your GCP infrastructure

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

As the flow diagram illustrates, the data source (Google Cloud Platform - GCP API ETL) collects data from the GCP console. 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 GCP infrastructure.

gcp_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 GCP infrastructure

You can analyze and manage the capacity of your GCP infrastructure elements by using the GCP VM Instances view. For the GCP 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 Google Cloud Platform - GCP API Extractor to collect data from the GCP VM instances.

  • Configure and run this ETL to collect the required configuration and performance metrics from the VM instances.

  • In addition to the required metrics collected by using the GCP API Extractor, you can create a Stackdriver account and install the Monitoring agent on each of your virtual machines to collect additional performance metrics from them. These metrics are useful for investigating the capacity-related issues that might occur in your Google Cloud environment. When you run the GCP API ETL, these metrics are imported into the Continuous Optimization database. For more information, see Collecting additional metrics using the Stackdriver monitoring.

(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 GCP views and Business Services view and grant the necessary permissions to Capacity Planners and GCP Technology Specialists to access these views. While creating the service pools, ensure to select GCP domains to view GCP only data.

Task 2. Analyze the collected data

To get a high-level view of the GCP infrastructure usage and health at the business services and service pools level, use the Analyzing business services.

For detailed analysis, use the GCP views.

The following common use cases are described here:

Understand the usage and health of your GCP VM instances

Review and analyze the GCP Data Explorer view to determine the usage and health of your VM instances.

From the VM Instance filter, select the instance that you want to view data for detailed analysis.

Determine and analyze the available resources and their utilization per VM instance

Review and analyze the relevant metrics on the VM Instances page in the GCP VM Instances view to determine the available resources and their utilization per instance. For example, utilization metrics for CPU, Memory, and network.

Identify idle or unused VMs

Use the Recommendations page in the GCP VM Instances view to identify VMs that are idle or the VMs that display a regular usage pattern with a significant idle time. The page also provides actionable recommendations to help you manage the VM and resolve the issue. For example, you can view the recommendations that suggest actions to power-off the VMs during their idle time and power-on them back during their functional time to achieve cost saving.

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 GCP infrastructure using a predefined set of metrics.

To perform advanced analysis on the imported GCP 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 disk activity

The following video explains how to use Analysis to analyze the disk activity of a GCP 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 utilization pattern of GCP VM instances

  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 (disk and network) for the virtual machine. The page shows a table for each virtual machine.

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.

Predict the threshold for the CPU utilization of a resource

The following video explains how to use a custom model to determine when a resource (CPU Utilization) of a Google Cloud VM instance reaches threshold.

Information

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

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