Managing the capacity of your vSphere infrastructure

As a Capacity Planner or vSphere Technology Specialist, you can use BMC Helix Continuous Optimization to configure, administer, and manage the capacity of your vSphere infrastructure. You can collect and manage data for a vSphere environment that has one or multiple vCenters and contains vSphere infrastructure elements such as Providers (clusters, hosts, datastores, resource pools) and Consumers (virtual machines).

As the flow diagram illustrates, the data source (VMware vSphere or Gateway Server) collects data from the vSphere infrastructure elements. 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 vSphere infrastructure providers and consumers.

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What can you do with BMC Helix Continuous Optimization?

Managing the capacity of vSphere infrastructure providers

You can analyze and manage the capacity of your vSphere infrastructure providers by using the vSphere Infrastructure view. For the infrastructure data to be available in the view, the Administrator must first set up the data source to collect data.

Task 1. Collect data and install the views

As an Administrator, configure and use the out-of-the-box VMware vCenter Extractor Service ETL for data collection. 

In the ETL configuration, you can choose to collect data only from the providers or from all the vSphere elements, including consumers.

To collect data only from the providers, select the Data type option - metrics at Cluster, Resource Pool, Host, Datastore level.

To collect data from all the vSphere elements, including consumers, retain the default Data type option (metrics at Cluster, Resource Pool, Host, Datastore, and Virtual Machine level).

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

As an Administrator, you must install the vSphere views and grant the necessary permissions to Capacity Planners and vSphere Technology Specialists to access these views.

Task 2. Analyze the collected data

For detailed analysis, use the vSphere Infrastructure view

The following common use cases are described here:

Understand resource availability, utilization, and utilization trend of your vSphere infrastructure providers

Depending on the provider, review and analyze the resource metrics on the relevant page in the vSphere Infrastructure view. 

For more information, see Clusters page in the vSphere Infrastructure view and Hosts page in the vSphere Infrastructure view.

Evaluate the residual or spare capacity of vSphere clusters

Review the estimate of additional VMs that can be added to a cluster in the Clusters > Capacity page of the vSphere Infrastructure view. This estimate is based on a typical VM configuration, which is automatically computed. Using this estimate, you can identify clusters that have residual or spare capacity.

Identify vSphere infrastructure providers that have exhausted or exhausting resources

Use the Recommendations page in the vSphere Infrastructure view to get a quick view of the vSphere infrastructure providers that have exhausted or exhausting resources (CPU, memory, storage). The page also provides out-of-the-box recommendations to help you take appropriate action on these elements to resolve the issue.

Identify vSphere infrastructure providers that have efficiency issues

Use the Recommendations page in the vSphere Infrastructure view to get a quick view of the vSphere infrastructure providers that have a capacity risk or an efficiency issue. The page also provides actionable recommendations to help you resolve the issue.

Managing the capacity of vSphere infrastructure consumers 

You can analyze and manage the capacity of your vSphere infrastructure consumers (virtual machines) by using the capacity views. For the infrastructure data to be available in the view, the Administrator must first configure data collection.

Task 1. Collect data and install the views

As an Administrator, you can use the following data sources to collect data for your vSphere virtual machines:

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

In the Workspace tab:

  • Virtual machines whose data is collected by the VMware vCenter Extractor Service ETL are represented by the Virtual Machines - VMware system type
  • Instrumented VMs are represented by the Virtual Node - VMware system type
  • If you have configured the ETLs to share the same entity catalog, then these two system types, Virtual Machine - VMware and Virtual Node - VMware, are internally linked and you can view their relationship for each VM.

As an Administrator, you must install the vSphere views and Server views and grant the necessary permissions to Capacity Planners and vSphere Technology Specialists to access these views.

Task 2. Analyze the collected data

Use the capacity views to analyze the imported vSphere virtual machine data. Depending on the data source, you can use the vSphere Virtual Machines view or the Servers Overview view for analysis.

To view and analyze the key capacity metrics and charts for vSphere VMs, use the vSphere Virtual Machines view. It displays metrics collected by the VMware vCenter Extractor Service ETL.

To view and analyze the granular metrics (actual memory utilization value, workload data, and process level data) that are collected from an instrumented VM, use the Servers Overview view. The vSphere Virtual Machines view does not display these metrics. 

The following common use cases are described here. 

Identify overallocated VMs

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

Determine and analyze the available resources and their utilization per VM

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

Identify and analyze VMs with the most and the least utilized resources

Review the details on the Top/Bottom VMs page in the vSphere Virtual Machines view to identify and analyze the virtual machines with the most and the least utilized resources.

Identify vSphere VMs that have exhausting resources

Review the Recommendations page in the vSphere Virtual Machines view to identify vSphere virtual machines that have exhausting resources (CPU, memory, storage). The page also provides actionable recommendations to help you handle them.

Determine the VMs that have resource contention

Use the Watchlist page in the vSphere Virtual Machines view to determine the vSphere virtual machines that have resource contention. You can analyze them further by reviewing their metrics. For example, CPU starved VMs, memory starved VMs, read or write latency issues. You can further drill down into a specific virtual machine for detailed analysis.

Analyze the trend and behavior of the actual (OS-level) memory utilization of vSphere VMs

Use the Server views to review and analyze the trend and behavior of the actual memory utilization of the vSphere virtual machines.

These views display data that is collected from instrumented VMs.

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 vSphere infrastructure using a predefined set of metrics. To perform advanced analysis on the imported vSphere 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 Analysis:

Analyze the CPU utilization

The following video explains how to create an analysis to analyze the trend of CPU utilization of a cluster over time.

Information

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

Identify the growth trend

The following video explains how to create an analysis to identify the growth trend of virtual machines in a cluster over time.

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 vSphere clusters

  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 a cluster. The page shows a table for each cluster.

For more examples, see Creating an analysis.

Managing future demand 

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.

Forecast the saturation of a resource (datastore)

The following video explains how to create a model to predict when a resource (datastore) of a vSphere cluster saturates completely.

Information

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

Predict the impact on the resource (datastore) of a vSphere cluster

The following video explains how to create a model to predict the impact on the resource (datastore) of a vSphere cluster when virtual machines are added to the cluster.

Information

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

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