Tag Archives: vrops

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vRealize Operations – Costing Setup and Configuration Deep Dive

In years gone by, costing of your technology platforms was covered in a product called vRealize Business for Cloud. Since the move to the 8.x code based, this product was EOL’d.

The main functions where customers saw value, to provide costings for your datacenter and virtual machines, was wrapped up into vRealize Operations.

This blog post is going to deep dive into the costing capabilities within vRealize Operations across your on-premises datacenters, and what happens when you start to consume VMware on Hyperscaler solutions, such as VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC).

Configure the Global Currency Setting

The first action is setting the global currency for the vRealize Operations instance. There are two important things to note when undertaking this configuration:

  • This can only be set once
  • This setting cannot be changed once it is set

To configure:

  • Click on Administration
  • Click on the Global Settings Tile
  • Click on the Cost/Price heading
  • Click to “Set currency”

vRealize Operations - Costing - Administration - Global Settings - Cost Price - Set Currency

Select your currency from the list and click “Set Currency”.

vRealize Operations - Costing - Administration - Global Settings - Cost Price - Set Currency 2

You will get a dialog to say the configuration has taken place.

vRealize Operations - Costing - Administration - Global Settings - Cost Price - Set Currency - Currency Successfully Set

Now below you can see that this setting is in place and there is no button/clickable option to change it.

vRealize Operations - Costing - Administration - Global Settings - Cost Price - Set Currency - Currency Successfully Set 2

Configuring Cost Settings

Now that the global currency is configured, we can start configuring all the cost settings for our Datacenter platforms.

Financial Account Model

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vRealize Operations Management Pack Builder – Building your first management pack

What is the Management Pack Builder?

Well, it’s exactly as the name suggests, a tool for building your own vRealize Operations Management Pack, to bring data into vROPs whereby there is no existing Management Pack today.

How do I get access to it?

You can sign up for the BETA here. Currently VMware is taking feedback from customers to help shape the future of this product.

You can find documentation and videos on the product on this page.

Note: VMware does not commit to delivering features discussed in this program in any generally available product.
Installing the Appliance
I’m not going to go into detail here, it’s a simple appliance that you deploy as an OVA file and provide the networking configuration as either DHCP or Static IP.
Setup the Management Pack Builder

Log into the appliance using “admin/admin” and you will be prompted to change your password.

You will need to licence the product (using the beta key).

  • Click the little person icon in the top right
  • Select “Licence”
  • Apply the licence

Next, we need to create a connection to our vRealize Operations environment. While this step is not necessary at all to get started. If you want to create relationships for data objects with existing vROPs objects, you need to configure this connection.

  • Select the “vRealize Operations Connections Tab”
  • Click “Add vRealize Operations Connection” button
  • Input your details
    • Click Test
    • Click Save

vRealize Operations Management Pack Builder - vRealize Operations Connector

Creating your first management pack

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vRealize Operations – Monitoring Kubernetes with Prometheus and Telegraf

In this post, I will cover how to deploy Prometheus and the Telegraf exporter and configure so that the data can be collected by vRealize Operations.


Delivers intelligent operations management with application-to-storage visibility across physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures. Using policy-based automation, operations teams automate key processes and improve the IT efficiency.

Is an open-source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit. Prometheus collects and stores its metrics as time series data, i.e. metrics information is stored with the timestamp at which it was recorded, alongside optional key-value pairs called labels.

There are several libraries and servers which help in exporting existing metrics from third-party systems as Prometheus metrics. This is useful for cases where it is not feasible to instrument a given system with Prometheus metrics directly (for example, HAProxy or Linux system stats).

Telegraf is a plugin-driven server agent written by the folks over at InfluxData for collecting & reporting metrics. By using the Telegraf exporter, the following Kubernetes metrics are supported:

Why do it this way with three products?

You can actually achieve this with two products (vROPs and cAdvisor for example). Using vRealize Operations and a metric exporter that the data can be grabbed from in the Kubernetes cluster. By default, Kubernetes offers little in the way of metrics data until you install an appropriate package to do so.

Many customers have now decided upon using Prometheus for their metrics needs in their Modern Applications world due to the flexibility it offers.

Therefore, this integration provides a way for vRealize Operations to collect the data through an existing Prometheus deploy and enrich the data further by providing a context-aware relationship view between your virtualisation platform and the Kubernetes platform which runs on top of it.

vRealize Operations Management Pack for Kubernetes supports a number of Prometheus exporters in which to provide the relevant data. In this blog post we will focus on Telegraf.

You can view sample deployments here for all the supported types. This blog will show you an end-to-end setup and deployment.

  • Administrative access to a vRealize Operations environment
  • Access to a Kubernetes cluster that you want to monitor
  • Install Helm if you have not already got it setup on the machine which has access to your Kubernetes cluster
  • Clone this GitHub repo to your machine to make life easier
git clone https://github.com/saintdle/vrops-prometheus-telegraf.git
vrops - git clone saintdle vrops-prometheus-telegraf.git
Information Gathering

Note down the following information:

  • Cluster API Server information
kubectl cluster-info

vROPs - kubectl cluster-info

  • Access details for the Kubernetes cluster
    • Basic Authentication – Uses HTTP basic authentication to authenticate API requests through authentication plugins.
    • Client Certification Authentication – Uses client certificates to authenticate API requests through authentication plugins.
    • Token Authentication – Uses bearer tokens to authenticate API requests through authentication plugin

In this example I will be using “Client Certification Authentication” using my current authenticated user by running:

kubectl config view --minify --raw

vROPs - kubectl config view --minify --raw

  • Get your node names and IP addresses
kubectl get nodes -o wide

vROPs - kubectl get nodes -o wide

Install the Telegraf Kubernetes Plugin

Continue reading vRealize Operations – Monitoring Kubernetes with Prometheus and Telegraf

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vRealize Operations – Creating interactions between separate dashboards

Whilst reading some of the older vRealize Operations documentation, I stumbled on something I didn’t think was possible.

  • The ability to create interactions between separate dashboards.

At first, I thought could not be correct? I don’t remember seeing this option. But sure enough it’s there. So, I thought I’d write a quick blog about it and share to the world.

  • You can apply sections or context from one dashboard to another. You can connect widgets and views to widgets and views in the same dashboard or to other dashboards to investigate problems or better analyze the provided information.
Configuring Interactions between Dashboards

First, I’ve created two dashboards, which are based on the old troubleshooting dashboards. Both dashboards have an Object Picker List to filter the various related objects on each dashboard.

  • Dashboard-1 – Troubleshoot Cluster
  • Dashboard-2 – Troubleshoot VM

The premise is simple, when I select a Cluster object from Dashboard-1, I want the list of VMs to be filtered in Dashboard-2, to those only in the selected Cluster.

vROPs - Dashboard Interaction - example dashboards Continue reading vRealize Operations – Creating interactions between separate dashboards

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vRealize Operations integration with Tanzu Mission Control for auto cluster discovery

A while ago I wrote about the vRealize Operations Kubernetes Management pack which works for all CNCF conformant Kubernetes platforms.

One of the best features of this management pack is the Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) integration it offers with vRealize Operations (vROPs).

This means when you use TMC to provision Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) clusters, currently on AWS or on vSphere, they will be automatically registered within vROPs as well.

Install the Management Pack
  1. Download the management pack pak file.
  2. Within vROPs go to Administration
  3. Click on Repository
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and select “Add/Upgrade”
  5. Select the pak file for installation and follow the wizard.
Create a CSP API Token

For the vROPs management pack adapter to be able to communicate with TMC, we need an API token.

  1. Log into https://console.cloud.vmware.com
  2. Change to correct organisation that contains your TMC instance
  3. Click your name in the top right hand corner and select “My Account”vROps TMC Integration - creating a CSP Token - Select my account
  4. Select the “API Tokens” tab, and then “Generate a new API Token” button.vROps TMC Integration - creating a CSP Token - API Tokens
  5. Set your API Token name, expiry, and access control as required. Then click the generate button. vROps TMC Integration - creating a CSP Token - Generate a new api token
  6. You will be shown a dialog box with your generated token. Save this in a safe space we will use it later on. vROps TMC Integration - creating a CSP Token - Token Generated
Connect vRealize Operations management pack adapter to Tanzu Mission Control
  1. In vROPs UI go to Administration > Under Solutions, choose “Other Accounts” and click the “Add account” button. vROps TMC Integration - Add Account in vROPs
  2. From the account type list, choose Tanzu Mission Control. vROps TMC Integration - Add Account in vROPs - Account Type Tanzu Mission Control
  3. Fill out the necessary details on the New Account screen.
    1. For the credential click the + symbol, add in a name for the credential, and the CSP token you created earlier.
    2. Select your newly created credential.
  4. Select the validate button.vROps TMC Integration - Add Account in vROPs - New Account
  5. Hopefully you get a successful message. vROps TMC Integration - Add Account in vROPs - New Account - Test Connection Successful
  6. You will see the account object in the Other Accounts view. vROps TMC Integration - Add Account in vROPs - New Account - Newly created account
Auto-Discovering Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Clusters

Now you have your account added, whenever you provision a new cluster using Tanzu Mission Control, cAdvisor will be configured in the Kubernetes cluster and a Kubernetes account type will be created in vROps automatically for you.

Below I’ve created a cluster in AWS, and we can see the object has been created in vROPs.

vROps TMC Integration - Provisioned cluster auto discovered

And finally, here is my cluster showing in the one of the Kubernetes Dashboards. vROps TMC Integration - Kubernetes Dashboard

This is a simple to implement feature but can make a massive difference in your ability to monitor your TKG clusters from the infrastructure view that vROPs provides. As your users create clusters via TMC, they don’t need to interact with the monitoring platform to ensure visibility.