Wednesday, May 31, 2017

vROps & vSphere Tags, Custom Attributes

As many of my customers started to recently customize their vROps and together we are working on various use-cases I find it useful to summarize my notes here and possibly help others during their investigation and customization.

This time I will focus on custom descriptions for the objects in vROps. When you are providing an access to vRealize Operations to your company management, many times they are not familiar with IT naming convention and it is very hard for them to analyze why some object is marked as red and if it is important at all.

We've been thinking this through with David for a bit and there are two very easy alternatives to tackle this use case. vSphere Tags and Custom Attributes in vSphere. In the following lines I will explain step-by-step procedure to use these and tackle possible problems you might hit on the way.

1) Create preferred description in vSphere. For Custom Attributes can be used local (object based) or global definitions - both works fine. At the end of this article you can see how the vSphere Tags and Custom Attributes looks like and what is better to cover your specific use-case.

2) Afterwards switch to vROps and check, if the metric is being propagated to the object. Bear in mind that it might take couple of minutes for metric to be collected.

3) After the metric being available you can start working with it for example in your Views. For this post I've created couple of Tags on my vCenter appliance called APPL_vCenter; therefore selecting Virtual machine as a subject of view creation is logical choice.

4) Now the tricky part I had personally a problem (I would like to thank our great vROps consultant Oleg Ulyanov for helping me out) was that the metric was simply not available in a view. The thing here is that if you have big environment with hundreds of VMs, vROps will randomly chose few (I think the number was 5) and based on those 5 show a merge of available metrics. If you would be lucky as me and APPL_vCenter would not be among them, Tags will not be available. To force vROps to use specific machine, you can use the square next to the Metrics/Properties button.

In newly opened Window you can filter out a VM you want.

5) Afterwards just chose the VM you've created Tag on (in my case again APPL_vCenter) and metric should be now visible.

6) In the final screenshot I would like to compare both solutions - vSphere Tags and Custom Attributes (for some reason in vROps marked as Custom Tag).

vSphere Tags are consoliadted into one Field. I've created Tag "Purpose" and Tag "OS" for the vCenter Appliance. On the other hand Custom Attributes are always separated so doing the same would create two Custom Tags with just a value in it. In case you would need for example filtering or any other logic behind the Tags, Custom Attributes seems to be a better choice.

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