In this article I will demonstrate how to build a custom dashboard in vCenter Operations Manager (vCops) allowing you to do some basic monitoring of a NetApp filer. The dashboard I’ve created and which will be discussed throughout this article is displayed in the following screen dump:
The dashboard is composed of three widgets:
- Two “Generic Scoreboard” widgets that display essential performance data of the two NetApp heads;
- One “Custom Relationship” widget which presents information on the health and available capacity of the NetApp system, aggregates, volumes, luns en VMFS datastores.
To create these dashboards I used the following components:
- The NetApp adapter for vCenter Operations Manager;
- Three custom vCops “Super Metrics”. These Super Metrics are used to acquire some additional usage information on NetApp volume, aggregate and system capacity.
- vCops “Resource Tags” to create a subselection of available NetApp objects in the Custom Relationship dashboard.
The aim of this article is not to explain all configuration steps in detail, but to give you some directions on how to configure an adapter, the widgets, super metrics and resource tags. The best way to learn vCops is to create dashboards yourself and start experimenting with all the different options. If you have any questions after reading the article, you can always leave a reply at the bottom of this page!
Installing and configuring the vCops NetApp adapter
Before you can create the dashboard provided, the first step is to connect vCenter Operations Manager to the NetApp SAN/filer. To connect to the filer, we have to use the NetApp adapter for vCops, which is available through the Integrien FTP server at ftp.intergrien.com (Integrien was the original owner/vendor of vCenter Operations Manager). Depending on whether you’re using the vCops vApp (recommended) or the Windows-installable version of vCops, you need to download the .PAK or .TGZ installation file respectively.
The exact procedure for installing and configuring the adapter is explained in the NetApp Adapter Installation and Configuration Guide.
Note that you will need to have NetApp OnCommand up & running, because the NetApp adapter can only connect to OnCommand and not directly to a filer. The Netapp Adapter Installation and Configuration Guide talks about NetApp DFM, which is the old name for NetApp OnCommand. The diagram on the right clarifies which components are involved to let the NetApp adapter work.
After you’ve installed & configured the adapter, specific NetApp objects and metrics become available in vCenter Operations Manager.
Configuration of the Generic Scoreboard widget
After creating a new custom dashboard in vCops you can add widgets to this new dashboard. We will need two instances of the Generic Scoreboard widget.
Configuration of the Generic Scoreboard dashboard is pretty straightforward and only uses default metrics supplied by the NetApp adapter:
Just select the metrics you want to include in the widget and define the Box Label, Measurement Unit and appropriate Yellow, Orange and Red threshold values. Repeat this procedure for the second NetApp filer (if applicable).
Configuration of the Custom Relationship widget
Configuration of the Custom Relationship widget involves some extra steps to make everything work. In this example the widget monitors health and capacity, and shows the relationship between the VMFS datastore, NetApp LUN, NetApp Volume, NetApp Aggregate and NetApp System. In this article I will only show how to configure the capacity monitoring option.
The widget is displayed in the folowing figure:
In this example I have selected the first (yellow) VMFS datastore. After selecting an object, the widget shows which LUN, volume, aggregate and system are related to the selected object. The colors of the objects provide insight on the used capacity for an object.
The following Resource Kinds were added to the dashboard:
Only Health & Capacity are selected values for the widget in this example.
The relationships between the NetApp LUN, Volume, Aggregate and System are available by default and part of the NetApp adapter. For the relationship between a VMFS datastore and LUN you have to create an additional relationship in vCops. Choose Environment->Advanced->Resource Relationship to add the correct VMFS datastore to a specific NetApp LUN. Check page 29 of the VMware vCenter Operations Manager Administration Guide for the exact procedure.
The color of the objects in the Custom Relationship widget depends on the datastore’s usage %. For example: the datastore usage depends on the “Capacity | Workload %” metric:
Unfortunately, the NetApp Adapter doesn’t provide a Workload % metric for the available resource kinds. However, an Available Capacity (MB) and Total Capacity (MB) metric is available for the NetApp Volume, Aggregate and System objects. We can use a vCops “Super Metric” to determine a usage % for the Volume, Aggregate and System objects using the Available Capacity and Total Capacity metrics!
Super Metric configuration is available through the Environment->Super Metrics option. Add a new Super Metric that uses the following formula:
((This Resource: capacity|netappvolume_total_capacity-This Resource: capacity|netappvolume_available_capacity)/This Resource: capacity|netappvolume_total_capacity)*100
In this example the volume usage is calculated: ((Volume Total Capacity – Volume Available Capacity) / Volume Total Capacity) * 100 = 0…100 %. Verify you’re using the $This pointer here so the Super Metric is reusable for the different NetApp objects/resource kinds.
It may take a few minutes before the Super Metric is populated and becomes available in vCops. Create similar Super Metrics for the Aggregate and System objects and add all the Super Metrics to a new “NetApp” package. Link this package to the concerned NetApp objects. This website has a more detailed article available on how to create and link new Super Metrics, worth a read if you have never used Super Metrics before!
Now use the new Super Metric to populate the different Metrics Mappings in the widget:
The value of the Super Metric will now determine the color of the objects in Custom Relationship widget.
The last step in the configuration is to make a selection of the objects to be monitored in the widget. I’m using vCops Resource Tags for this. With Resource Tags you can add a tag to one or more objects in vCops. The next step is make a selection based on this tag.
A new Resource Tag is created in Environment->Environment Overview. Drag the relevant resources to the new tag. You can drag different types of resources to the tag to make things easy. The tag is just a identifier and only used for filtering resources in the widget.
Now choose a Resource Kind in the widget and click “Select Tags” to select the resource tag that represents the resources to be monitored in the widget:
In this example the Datastore resource kind is selected, choose “Select Tags” and select the NetApp VMFS->VMFS tag. This tag contains the appropriate vSphere datastores and NetApp LUNs, volumes, aggregates and system. Repeat this procedure for the other Resource Kinds.
Now your dashboard is ready for use, happy monitoring!