Introduction to vSAN with vCenter and vROps

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.

Overview

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 and select ENTER.

Next, locate the vSAN product under the Modernize Data Centers tab.

Click LAUNCH and LAUNCH VIA WORKSPACE ONE.

A new tab will open with Workspace ONE. Enter your same TestDrive Username and Password and then Sign in.

Next, search for the vSAN desktop. Click to open into the desktop either via HTML access or Horizon Client access.

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

 

vCenter Walkthrough of vSAN


Double click the vSphere Web Client icon.

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If presented with a certificate warning, click on Advanced then click on Proceed to vca-1.vmwtd.com (unsafe).

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Launch vSphere Web Client (Flex) then login with credentials listed below.

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Username: vsandemo@vsphere.local
Password: vmwareDemo1!

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Navigate to the Hosts and Clusters view within the vCenter and select TD-Compute. Select the Configure tab and then select General.

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Note the following from above:

  • vSAN is enabled on the vSphere cluster.
  • Deduplication and Compressions are enabled.
  • Unicast networking mode is being used.
  • The vSAN cluster has a total of 40 disks, running version disk format 7.0.

From within the Configure page, select Disk Management. Highlight a disk group from one of the ESXi hosts. 

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By selecting the individual disk group of a host the details of that disk group are then populated in the lower pane. This vSAN cluster has (4) ESXi hosts, each with (2) disk groups. Each disk group has a 750GB SSD cache tier disk and (4) 960GB SSD capacity tier disks.

Under the Configure page, navigate to Health and Performance. The Performance Service is on.

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Select Fault Domains and Stretched Cluster. Stretched Cluster is Disabled.

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Select the Monitor tab, then click on vSAN

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

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

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With the vSAN cluster still selected, click on Monitor, then Performance, and then vSAN 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. 

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

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Now let's select a VM generating IO. Select a VM from the HCIBench Resource Pool, then click on the Monitor tab, then Performance, the vSAN - Virtual Machine Consumption. The VM in the image below is generating over 1300 Read IOPs and over 600 Write IOPs. Hover the mouse to the Latency graphs and see what it reports. 

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Using the same VM in the same window, select vSAN - Virtual Disk. Make sure you select a disk generating IO. This is great way to determine how a particular VMDK is performing.

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At the top upper right of the vCenter window, click on the Launch vSphere Client (HTML5) button.

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A new tab will be opened with the new vSphere Client HTML5.  From this window, click on Menu > vRealize Operations.

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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.

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

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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 open a browser tab and go to https://vrops-1.vmwtd.com

Select Local Users.
Username: vsandemo
Password: vmwareDemo1!

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Select Dashboards, then select 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.

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Open the 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.

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

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Here is the summary for Highest IOPs of last week. 

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