Category: vExpert

Recently Sunny Dua posted internally and on his public accounts (@Sunny_Dua on Twitter) about some new dashboards for vROPs that will show you the performance impacts related to Spectre/Meltdown.  These are very essential that I recommend you also read up about it from the VMware offical blog site.

My homelab is just a small setup consisting of three Intel NUCs Series 7 running the i3 CPUs.  Just something that gives me a chance to run a couple VMs per host and still get that hands on feeling.  I figured there wouldn’t be much to do hardware wise for now but there have been for the VMware bits.  (Some may have been pulled due to reasons that you should reach out to your account team or TAM to get the info.)

If you currently don’t have vROPs, get the trial and check this out!

 First dashboard – CPU Bug – Performance Monitoring

CPU Bug-Performance Monitoring

  • This dashboard will give you a quick glance over your vSphere environment which will come in handy if you’ve already did the hardware patches to see the impact overall.
  • You can also drill down cluster level (I only have the one) but you can see the CPU demand and CPU contention graphed in an easy to read and understand format.
  • Last is per ESXi host in the selected cluster and then it’ll list the VMs with more than 8 vCPUs and their usage of those with 5-8 vCPUs (I have none).  This will come into play after for patching.

Second dashboard – CPU Bug – vSphere Patching

CPU Bug-vSphere Patching

  • This doesn’t show much for my setup since I’ve already deployed the ESXi patches but you will notice the Lab vCenter is showing there is a patch available for it.
  • Your VM Hardware version comes into play when you install patches that require at the least VM HW version 9 to support vMotioning. As you can see I need to upgrade several VMs myself.
  • This will also show which hosts have been patched per VMware’s recommendation.

Third and last dashboard – CPU Bug – VM Patching

CPU Bug-VM Patching

  • This last dashboard will give you the performance per VMs to help you determine which server to do OS level patches.
  • Work on the idle VMs first (unless you don’t have any like I’m showing) and the heavy CPU hitters last.

Side note – I did just patch that vCenter Appliance.  The VAMI is so slick that it was done before I even finished typing this post up.


Monitoring VMs FTW!

Recently I had to help figure out why some customers have been getting slow performance with VMs.  Reservations were used but didn’t help.  What did I do to find the issue?  We are a VMware shop using vCloud Suite Enterprise which gives us vCenter Operations Manager (has a new name but I will always call it vCOPS) and the ability to use custom dashboards.  Sadly I did not have it setup to use LDAP nor shared dashboards.  After getting it going so our Operations staff can login and see the TOP-N graphs as well as the vCloud Director dashboards, I started seeing off the bat several high CPU Ready% VMs.  Wasn’t too long that I was able to see that the VMs were hammering the vCPUs but the default Pay-as-You-Go organization setting in vCD is limiting the vCPU speed to 1GHz.  No wonder right?  The problem is that you have to make that change in the VDC of the organization and then restart the vApp.  Not something you can do just in the middle of the day.

Like below I created a dashboard for our biggest customer so they can see how their environment is doing.


Notice that the top VM is at 31.5% CPU Ready.  The issue is that this VM is in vCloud Director with the vCPU limited at 1GHz.  Changed it to 4GHz but we cannot reboot this VM in the middle of the day so I removed the limit within vCenter.


You cannot tell since I blurred out their VM names but the one that was being limited is now off the list.  This is actually the 2nd VM in the first picture that’s now at the top.


The above is right after I removed the limit.  Notice the spike to just above 3,750MHz for this 2vCPU VM.  Since they have 2vCPU they were able to hit 2000MHz (1GHz x 2vCPU) but the demand was more at this time.  They could have added more vCPU’s but then we could run into other issues of too many vCPUs per host if that was the stance.  Now I’m not saying the high CPU Ready% is always going to be this case, it could be the we need to right size VMs across the board and maxing out the hosts so there’s a CPU wait going on.  So use what you can and monitor it as often as you can if you are providing services to customers.  This is one case where I was able to find a problem before the customer reported it.  That’s a win in my books!




This has been my 6th straight VMworld (Thank you OUHSC for sending me each time!) and following each year we hear about new products or how one product will be replaced with another as the “go to” as in vCD to vCAC movement.  This year was slightly different.  There weren’t really any “new” products but a new suite of existing products, a new way of getting a hyper-convergence from partners with VMware and finally it seems like we can finally say it was the year of EUC (not really just VDI).

I’m still trying to figure this one out.  About 2 years ago, VMware came out with the vCloud Suite that included all of their products needed to make a private cloud.  The following year they came out with a product called Log Insight that was inspired to replace Splunk or other syslog products.  But they didn’t include it in the vCloud Suite which I felt it would have made it an even better sell.  At OU Shared Services, we bought the enterprise edition so we could easily build VMs with vCD (you can see my presentation at VMworld 2013 to find out more) as the ease of per proc license instead of a-la-carte style with per block of VMs.  So where am I going, the vRealize Suite is labeled as “ management platform purpose-built for the hybrid cloud. It provides a comprehensive management stack for IT services on vSphere and other hypervisors, physical infrastructure and external clouds, all with a unified management experience..” Didn’t that sound like vCloud Suite? The catch is that this suite would take the other further into the hybrid-cloud be it off-prem or non-VMware infrastructures.  To which I say “dang you VMware!”  But we have seen VMware make changes before after announcing here so I will hold my breath of frustration until after VMworld Barcelona.

It’s been joked about every year that it was the year of the VDI but it never really seemed to be.  VDI is very hard to get going with some lacking features.  In VMware’s case it was that they didn’t have a good virtual app stance for those that didn’t need full virtual desktops.  VMware Horizon 6 fixed that with RDSH support.  I’ve been playing with this in our lab since release (Thanks vExpert program for licenses!) and really love how easy it is to provision applications in the exact same interface for VDI’s.  During one session they even talked about in the next update they will have printer support that some called out in the weeks leading up to VMworld.  So VMware is definitely engaged in EUC and not playing around.  Air Watch is getting some good looks but I’m not big into the EMM/MDM/whatever they want to be called in the market so I need to follow up more on them.

The biggest announcement, I would say, is EVO: RAIL (and futures RACK).  There was a big burst on Twitter about a picture someone took inside of HQ.  It had the caption “Project Marvin” with a little Android looking bot.  This kicked off speculation on what was going on and many speculated that VMware was getting in the hardware business to attract those looking at Nutanix and Simplivity.  But it’s a half truth.  VMware just made a new product called EVO:RACK that includes the Enterprise Plus license, a vCenter license and VSAN that you buy in 4 node blocks of a 2U “Appliance” from partners like Dell/EMC(what!)Fujitsu/SuperMicro.  I am sure more will come but that’s the initial list.  Still servers but makes it easier for those to deploy a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) in their environment.  Heard two different reports of either VMware is the single point of contact for all problems but then heard you contact the partner support and VMware will be the Tier 3 support.  The big take off is that it only takes 13 minutes to deploy these after racking and stacking due to the new HTML interface that configures and setups everything on the nodes.


Today is the last day, it was great hanging out with the community and I look forward to future announcements!