Tag Archives: vrops

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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.



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Check how long a VM is turned off in vSphere using vROPs

Just a quick answer from a query on Reddit /r/VMware Sub.

You can do this in vROPs from the 8.x code and above.

  1. Click home on the vROPs interface

  2. Click on “Reclaim” from the navigation left hand pane

  3. Click the datacenter your interested in

  4. Click Powered off VM’s tab

  5. Look for your VM and it will show how many days the VM is powered off for.

Check how long a VM is turned off in vSphere using vROPs



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How to build a vROPs dashboard for tracking Total VMs deployed and Growth Trend

In this Blog post I am going to detail how I created a vROPs dashboard based on a customer’s request.

Can we track how many VMs have been created in the past week and track if the number increases or decreases in each cluster?

If you want to just get the dashboard, see directly below, if you want to learn how it was created, keep reading further.

Installing Dashboard
  1. Download the files from code.vmware.com sample page.
  2. Import the files appended with “view” under the view’s in vROPs
  3. Import the file appended with “Dashboard” under the dashboard section in vROPs.
Dashboard Breakdown
  • First Item – This is a list which I’ve created to show each cluster, the total VM metric with some expressions attached, the timescale here is fixed by the list view and not affected by the dashboard timeframe. The change is an expression of the count of VMs at the start and end of the timeframe. I’ve added in some basic colouring to alert at thresholds.
    • Why does it say vCPUs? When using expressions, it requires a Unit to be affixed. This doesn’t work if you’re counting something, so in our next release, this issue should be addressed. It’s purely a vanity thing.
  • Second Item – This shows the VMs attached to the cluster you select on the left-hand side, showing you how old that VM is, its uptime and current power state.
  • Third is a Sparkline – Showing an easy view of the changes in total VMs per cluster over a 7-day period (as defined by the dashboards time scale)
  • Forth item is a trend graph, where we are showing date of the changes in the Total VM metric based on the data we have, and the trend/forecast. This trend into the future is set within the item itself. Currently we can set this to show the forecast for the next 366 days in the future.

vROPS - Total VMs Deployed and Growth Trend

vROPs versions

To show the VM creation date, this metric is available in vROPs 8.2 and later. This dashboard/view should work with older versions of vROPs but omit the data for the missing metric.

How was the dashboard created?

First, we need to create three views. Continue reading How to build a vROPs dashboard for tracking Total VMs deployed and Growth Trend