The biggest VMUG UserCon is in two weeks in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. The event itself is highly recommended with around 1000 participants, a lot of sessions and vendors to interact with. You can consult the agenda here.
Blue Medora is a Silver sponsor, we will have a booth and my colleagues and me will be glad if you stop by for a chat or a demo and maybe you win a prize !
I forgot to mention this one, although I am really excited about it! It was written for a big account of mine here in EMEA. When I was still at VMware, I had a customer who tested the first version of this adapter to import NTP time information from linux servers in vCOps. That version used Perl to import RRD-files from Nagios in vCOps with the text file adapter. Things have evolved since then…. At Blue Medora our Nagios management pack connects to the Nagios XI monitoring platform, bringing in Host Groups, Hosts, Service Groups and Services and connecting them to related VMware objects. So you will need the commercial version of Nagios, the reason is that we need a stsable API to connect to…
• 6 comprehensive monitoring dashboards.
• 5 high-level views—and 2 corresponding reports — including right sizing information over the last 30 days for CPU, Disk, and Memory used per host.
• 170+ collected metrics for Nagios resources.
• Key performance metrics such as System Memory, System CPU, System Disk, Host Memory, Host CPU, and Host Disk.
• Detailed alerts and notifications imported from the Nagios API.
• Capacity definitions for vRealize Calculated CPU Capacity, Disk Capacity, and Memory Capacity.
So why would you use this next to your Nagios deployment? Here are some reasons:
Centralize information in easy to use dashboards for the whole enterprise.
capacity calculations !
Automatic relationships to VMware objects.
As always you can consult the product page to get more info and a demo. The management pack is available standalone or in the TVS Suite Enterprise or Manager-of-Managers True Visibility Suite pack. This is a great collection of management packs to connect Oracle Enterprise Manager, MS SCOM, IBM Tivoli, Solarwinds and Nagios to vRealize Operations. Some customers use three of these connectors at the same time !
Last week I was visiting a customer and quickly realized they had an issue that could be solved with custom groups and a dashboard. The customer was starting out with vROps and had no idea. It is sometimes difficult to find resources – outside of the tranings – to get familiar with vROps in your day-to-day job. Since I was also gathering info for a Blue Medora blog post on polcies I am writing, I quickly updated my resource page with these great resources:
VMware feature walkthrough videos: A little known tool that has extensive demos of several recent products. The main page list some topics like NSX and vSAN, but of particular interest to us is the vSOM page. A lot of details, including info on policies. A lot of it is pertinent to vROps advanced and enterprise too.
The book “VMware vRealize Operations Essentials” by Matt Steiner. Matt is a cloud specialist for VMware UK and an overall great guy. Available on Safari Booksonline or Pakt Publishing.
The book “VMware Performance and Capacity Management” – Second Edition (!) by Iwan ‘E1’ Rahabok. Again a great VMware colleague in Singapore this time, who is a master of capacity planning… Available on Safari Booksonline or Pakt Publishing.
Well, I have been quiet on the blog, I will not hide from you that the 3 months following my forced exit from VMware have not been easy on a number of fronts (like my dog dying a month later…), but outplacement training has been a great help to me.
I am therefore more than happy to announce that today is my first workday for Blue Medora ! If you do not know this great company yet – and you should ! – we make all those great management packs that extend VMware vRealize Operations to manage more than your VMware virtualisation layer: NetApp and Nimble storage, Cisco Nexus and UCS platforms, Microsoft SQL Server and SAP HANA,… So it is not only on the hardware level, but also applications. And we also make plugins for Oracle Enterprise Manager and New Relic. Find an overview here.
I will be solutions architect for Europe, working as a contractor, since we are starting up in Europe. But business is booming, especially now that VMware resells some of the management packs and transferred development of some to Blue Medora !
What is especially great for me is that this allows me to continue with VMware vRealize Operations, the platform I know and love, and continue to evangelise it !
VMware terminated my contract this morning without warning. So effective today I no longer work for the company. I plan on taking some time to reflect, but tips and job postings are welcome ! As are offers for lunch if you are buying 😉
So a lot of sorrow for the coming time… I really love the products I worked with and evangelising them. And I worked with some great people here and abroad that I will miss !
Not a great start of the year and the day. Already had a pretty bad start this morning when Jack, my dog would not get up…. Had to help him. He is better now but fingers crossed at 16…
If you want to check out the new vRealize Operations Manager 6.1 or vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) or LogInisght v3.0, come and visit my colleagues and me at the VMware booth in the Solutions Exchange at VMworld Barcelona !
I am here today – Wednesday – till 19h00 and tomorrow morning – Thursday – 10h30 till 13h30.
This blog post explains in detail an example I worked out for the vRealize Orchestrator mini-workshop I have been teaching in the Benelux Summer School. If you did not attend and need an introduction to Orchestrator, have a look at my Orchestrator resources mindmap. I especially recommend the free video course to get you started ! If you do not immediately have an environment to try this out, I recommend you use the Hands-on Labs. HOL-SDC-1421, for example, has a complete Orchestrator environment. Click the Start menu, VMware to find the Orchestrator client.
IFTTT (“If-This-Then-That”) is a simple but very effective programming system for everyone on the web. For free ! You get “channels” to interact with a service, like Instagram or Philips Hue lights, there are tons of possible channels. With a “Do recipe” you can quickly create your own interaction. An “If recipe” runs in the background and automates stuff for you. I have for example a recipe I use all the time: when I see an interesting tweet I want to save (I use Evernote religously) I just favorite it. An If recipe then automatically stores it in Evernote. With content sorted in certain fields.
Admins are always looking to have easy alerting in case of problems on smart phones, pagers,… How cool would it be to interface anything that lives in vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) with IFTTT ? You can send alerts to Android or iOS native notifications, or change your Hue lights to red if you have a performance problem, or… whatever you can come up with.
IFTTT now comes with a channel to basically interface anything that has a REST API interface: Maker channel. It can receive messages on a trigger or send web requests. And did I mention all of this is free ?
So I thought it would be cool for the workshop to build a workflow that sends notifications to my iPhone from vRO. You can enhance this to send any notification, like SNMP alerts using the SNMP module. What we need to do is:
Build an IF recipe in IFTTT that always listens to vRO sending a POST request to the Maker channel API interface.
Register IFTTT as a RESTHost in our Orchestrator inventory.
Register the POST action in Orchestrator as a RESTOperation.
Use the “Invoke REST operation” workflow in your own workflow.
You need to activate the Maker channel in IFTTT to get a personal key and do REST calls.
I am sending events called “vCO” to recognize things coming from vCO, so you need to create a recipe that triggers on those messages and passes them along. I send them to iOS notifications.
Register IFTTT as RESTHost.
As said I registered the Maker channel IFTTT host in Orchestrator as a REST host. There is a workflow to do this called “Add a REST host” in Library/HTTP-REST/configuration. The REST library is installed by default in vRealize Orchestrator, so you just provide the right parameters. In my case I need a proxy to get out on the internet.
Register POST action.
In the same way we added a REST host to vCO, we add a REST operation to that host with the name VCOevent, using the workflow “Add a REST operation”. You recognize the URL template as the url string I have to send to IFTTT with my personal key, “vCO” trigger and one parameter. You can of course use other events and more parameters and change the text.
vCO Workflow for IFTTT.
My worflow now consists of one embedded workflow “Invoke REST operation”. You can download it here, import it in your Orchestrator and adapt it for your own use. The REST operation/host has a default value in attributes as defined previously. I only have to pass a parameter. In Orchestrator an extremely handy tool is visual binding, which helps you see how parameters link from one module to the next.
Now if you run the workflow a message will magically appear on my iPhone ! Note that the Orchestrator client is great for debugging: each time you run a workflow a token is created with logs. You can check that the workflow ran and that the status code for the REST operation is 200 if successful.
And of course on your iphone you get a notification:
Cool hum ? Can you imagine some useful interactions ? Sending vRealize Operations smart alerts to your iPhone ? vCenter errors ? Let me know in the comments if you adapted this for your use. Enjoy !
As promised in the “vRealize Orchestrator mini workshop” I am running in the VMware Benelux and Netherlands Summer schools, I publish here a resource mindmap to learn about vRO. It is a pdf file with clickable links, view below or download here.