Guest post by Poshak Maheshwari, Software Developer, HP Virtualization Performance Viewer R&D
Server Virtualization in today’s world has its presence in almost all enterprises – be it small or large. Server Virtualization enables organizations to run relatively more applications on a limited hardware.
But as the amount of hardware within the enterprise increases, it becomes increasingly complex to manage the association/relationship between a hardware and respective virtual infrastructure. The complexity also increases as you need to assess impact of hardware maintenance or failure on crucial business applications.
HP Virtualization Performance Viewer (version 2.20), with its advanced integration with HP OneView, provides a comprehensive view of the three major components of IT environment - Hardware, Virtualization and Business. Not just that, it also enables you to perform quick simulation of the maintenance activities, perform efficient analysis and take proactive measures to mitigate any expected problems.
The “Unified Enclosure View” is a unique and intuitive representation of the virtual infrastructure overlaid on the actual physical layout of the Enclosures and Server Hardware managed by HP OneView. This new capability realized through its integration with HP OneView allows you to achieve end-to-end capacity planning and provisioning.
The “Unified Enclosure View” displays the virtualization clusters and the hypervisor hosts associated with the enclosures in an easy to understand visual format. It helps you to comprehend how the hypervisor hosts of virtualization clusters are distributed across various enclosures enabling you to easily identify unbalanced clusters. More importantly, the view also shows the Days to Capacity (DTC) value of the server hardware or the cluster to which the server hardware belongs to on the respective bay tile. The DTC prediction is an estimate of the number of days in which the utilization of a resource (CPU, memory or storage) would reach the maximum capacity for the server hardware or the cluster. A simple click on a bay tile, will show you the CPU, memory and disk utilization of the specific server hardware or the cluster of the server belongs to one.
The ‘Business Groups’ section smartly lists down all the business applications or services which are hosted on the hardware present in the displayed enclosure. The Business Groups listing also helps you to visualize which all hardware and corresponding clusters accommodate each business group.
To get relevant capacity optimization recommendations and usage forecasts for entities available in the unified view, you can drill down deeper by choosing the various options appearing as Actions against each entity. These Actions are very useful in performing tasks like Capacity Planning, Performance Triage, and Risk Analysis.
Enclosure/Server Hardware Maintenance Modeling
As an enrichment to the capacity modeling feature of vPV, the “Unified Enclosure View” provides you with an interactive interface to simulate various maintenance scenarios and assess the impact before actually carrying out the maintenance activities in reality.
The tool allows you select one or more server hardware which are required to be shut down, specify a maintenance window duration and model the scenario. As the result of the modeling, vPV projects Days to Capacity (DTC) scores for the impacted clusters. This helps you to understand whether the cluster can bear the impact of the maintenance scenario or not. You can drilldown further to analyze details of the modeling and see how and why the cluster would fall short of capacity while performing the server maintenance activity (in case it does).
In the case of a server maintenance simulation resulting in lack of capacity for a cluster, vPV enables you to look for substitute hardware in the existing environment to make up for this shortfall of resources.
The “Find Capacity” capability examines through the entire inventory—even the un-configured server hardware present in the enclosures—and lists out the servers/hosts which can be either moved out of their current cluster or provisioned/configured to the required virtualization technology. They can then be added to the deficit cluster in order to augment it. More importantly, this capability ensures there is no adverse impact on the source clusters due to migration of hosts. You can also opt out of looking for servers/hosts in certain clusters according to your requirement.
Risk Analysis for a cluster
It is imperative that the hosts of a cluster are well-balanced across multiple enclosures. The “Cluster-Enclosure Relationship Report” provides information regarding the footprint of a cluster across multiple enclosures and how well the hosts are distributed. Not just that, it also helps to understand the impact and risk associated to shutting down an entire enclosure on the cluster.
Flexing a cluster
vPV turns out to be very beneficial when you want to flex a cluster when it approaches capacity due to increasing utilization or if you want to expand capacity to accommodate new projects.
The capacity management functionalities of vPV provide comprehensive analysis —not just about the current utilizations—but also it forecasts future trends based on the historical utilization. With this information, you can understand when an entity (say cluster) will get saturated of its resources (and by how much) and will require additional resources to be added in order to function smoothly.
Also, vPV helps you to simulate the impact of ad hoc requirements (say provisioning ten new virtual machines for a new project) on the environment. With the “Capacity Modeling” feature, you can model such scenarios on specific entities and figure out whether the clusters or datacenters can accommodate the load of the new workloads or not. If it cannot accommodate, the modeler informs you as when it will reach its capacity. This projection will help you to make pre-emptive decisions in time for any infrastructure expansion plans. This capability also makes sure the existing workloads are not impacted.
In case such a simulation leads to resources falling short, the “Find Capacity” feature of vPV can be played as a wild card to find servers within the existing environment, resulting in savings in terms of both time and dollars.
HP vPV and HP OneView come together to automate day-to-day management and provisioning tasks. It helps you to proactively respond to business demands as they occur, plan for future capacity needs and resolve potential infrastructure issues before they impact service.