Introduction to vSAN with vCenter and vROps

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Walkthrough a live vSAN environment, running active workloads. In this product experience vSAN is hosting a combination of TestDrive infrastructure and management VMs, Horizon Desktops, and VMs running HCIBench. Using both vSAN Health and Performance Service and vROps, the live vSAN environment allows you to see and measure the IOPs and latency in real time.


Before you Begin

In order to complete this product walkthrough please make sure you have the following:

  • A valid account in the VMware TestDrive environment, sign up here if you do not have one.

Accessing the vSAN Environment

To login to the vSAN environment, perform the following steps.

First, open a web browser of your choice and navigate to portal.vmtestdrive.com. Select LOGIN.  If you do not already have an account please reference the instructions found here.

Enter your TestDrive Username and Password, then click ENTER.

Next, locate the vSAN product under the Accelerate Cloud Journey tab.


A new tab will open with Workspace ONE.

Enter your TestDrive username and click Next.

Enter your TestDrive password and click Sign in.

Next, go to the Apps section and search for the vSAN desktop. Click the computer icon to open into the desktop either via HTML access or Horizon Client access.

Now you'll be on the vSAN RDSH desktop. At this point you can begin the walkthrough steps listed below.

vCenter Walkthrough of vSAN

Inside the desktop, double click the vSphere Client shortcut icon.

Click on LAUNCH VSPHERE CLIENT (HTML5) then login with credentials listed below.

Username: (listed in text file "vSAN Demo Credentials.txt" on the vSAN Desktop)

Password: (listed in text file "vSAN Demo Credentials.txt" on the vSAN Desktop)

Navigate to the Hosts and Clusters view within the vCenter vdc-vcsa-wl01com > WDC-Workload > and select WDC-WL-Cluster01. Select the Configure tab and then select vSAN > Services.

Note the following from above:

  • vSAN is enabled on the vSphere cluster.
  • Deduplication and Compression are enabled.
  • Performance Service is enabled.

From within the Configure page, click on Disk Management.  Select one of the ESXi hosts then click VIEW DISKS.

By expanding an individual Disk group of a host the details of that disk group are then populated in the lower pane.  On these ESXi hosts, each disk group has a 1.6TB SSD cache tier disk and (3) 3.84TB SSD capacity tier disks.

Select Fault Domains. You will see Fault domain failures to tolerate is 3 and Stretched Cluster is disabled.

Select the Monitor tab, then click on vSAN > Skyline Health

Select and expand Cluster. Notice all of the checks that vSAN performs for each aspect of the cluster. The vSAN Health Service is very helpful for both net-new vSAN installations but also ongoing vSAN production environments.  

In the same window select Capacity. Note the space savings using Deduplication and Compression. The breakdown of the vSAN usage is listed as well.

In the same window select Performance, and then Backend. The VMs on the vSAN cluster are generating IO, the actual IOPs might change from the image below. Within this page the IOPs, Throughput, Latency, Congestion, and Outstanding IO can all be observed. 

Within any of the windows where the Time Range is, please feel free to change it.

Now let's select a VM generating IO. Select a VM from the HCIBench Resource Pool, then click on the Monitor tab, then vSAN > Performance. The VM in the image below is generating over 700 Read IOPs and over 300 Write IOPs. Hover the mouse to the Latency graphs and see what it reports. 

Using the same VM in the same window, select VIRTUAL DISKS. Select a Virtual Disk generating IO. This is great way to determine how a particular VMDK is performing.

In the vSphere Client window, click on Menu > vRealize Operations.

You are now in the vRealize Operations Manager Plugin in vCenter.  Click on the Quick Links button on the right and notice there are 3 vSAN specific dashboards (Overview, Cluster View, and Alerts) that can be accessed through this plugin.

Go through each dashboard and review the different types of vROps info that can be viewed directly from vCenter.

In addition to the 3 dashboards listed above, you can view additional dashboards directly in vROps by going to Quick Links > Open vRealize Operations.

Proceed to the steps below for a walkthrough of vROps vSAN dashboards.

vROps vSAN Dashboards

If you have not already launched the vROps page via vCenter using the steps in the previous section, you can launch the shortcut on the desktop named vRealize Operations Manager.

Select Local Users.
Username: (listed in text file "vSAN Demo Credentials.txt" on the vSAN Desktop)
Password: (listed in text file "vSAN Demo Credentials.txt" on the vSAN Desktop)

Select Visualize > Dashboards, then select Capacity & Utilization > vSAN Capacity Overview. vROps helps admins quickly identify issues within their virtualized environments. The overview dashboard tells us exactly what we need to know; capacity and utilization of the vSAN cluster.

Open the Performance Troubleshooting > Troubleshoot vSAN dashboard. Most of the information that we had to navigate through multiple tabs and pages within vCenter are centrally located on this Dashboard. This is a default Dashboard.

Another great default Dashboard is Capacity & Utilization > Heavy Hitter VMs. This dashboard can instantly tell you what VMs are consuming the most resources.

Here is the summary for Highest IOPs of last week.