As we know, virtual environments consist of many moving pieces and are generally complex to setup. Typically, IT environments, depending on the size of the organization, can have several hundred VMs down to a handful of VMs. For such virtual infrastructure deployments, it helps to monitor the performance of VM and VM usage. It's also equally important to ensure the health of your virtual appliances are always in check and to immediately know when something goes wrong.
What you really don't want is to have alerts paging you 24/7, especially when they're not critical situations. Alert management can be a subtle, but dangerous activity. Additionally, manually setting alert thresholds can be an extremely time consuming task. Alternatively, using static thresholds that don't reflect real performance problems often result in alert storms, where administrators stop watching alerts carefully. This is where the "dangerous" part comes in and often true critical alerts can be lost in the noise and missed. As a result, intelligent, dynamic alerting can be critical for both staff efficiency and system reliability.
False Alerts: Reasons Why You Get Them and How to Avoid Them
Here are a few examples why your virtual environment may trigger alerts more frequently than normal:
■ Events that frequently occur, such as resource consumption can trigger alerts more often than most other virtual components.
■ You can get "spam" alerts from VMs or hosts that are no longer in use or that have been discharged.
■ Not properly tuning threshold levels can lead to a sudden spike in alerts.
Having intelligent alerting processes help ensure irrelevant alerts are not generated. This gives virtual admins time to look at "real" alerts and fix them. Here's what you can do to avoid alerting errors:
■ Set up alerts for specific VMs that you think are really going to impact your users or your business.
■ Leverage dynamic thresholds based on historical baseline trends whenever possible to set more realistic thresholds for your clusters, hosts, VMs, and datastore.
■ Establish well-defined threshold settings—this way you can optimize the kind of alerts you receive during the day and ensure that you're not bothered after work hours.
■ Set the right dependencies to significantly lower the amount of alerts you receive.
■ Forward specific alerts to the defined teams, since they understand the severity of the alert and can fix it right away.
Determine What to Monitor and Why
Most admins have to monitor hundreds of virtual appliances, which means you're probably dealing with plenty of alerts. Under these circumstances you'll have to determine a few things:
■ Go over each host to see if all VMs under the host must be monitored or if only a few critical VMs need to be monitored for alerts.
■ Talk to your business groups or users and understand what the impact will be. This will give you a sense of how many VMs and datastores have to be setup for alerts. They may have mission critical applications running inside them, which may affect business performance.
Statistical Thresholds: A Better Way to Set Baseline Values for your Virtual Environment
Normally, you would have to monitor the performance of hosts, VMs, and datastores for several weeks in order to know what the ideal or optimum baseline is to set warning and critical thresholds. However, integrated virtualization management tools can automatically calculate performance of clusters, hosts, VMs, and datastores and determine the baseline values.
IStatistical thresholds allow you to look at the following processes:
■ Applying thresholds to clusters, hosts, VMs, and datastores.
■ Understanding baseline statistics using standard deviation calculation for day and night system performance.
■ Gaining statistical insights into performance metrics and how they vary over time. Look at how stats are collected for higher and lower threshold values for individual VMs and hosts.
■ Calculating thresholds from historical performance data saves time in adjusting thresholds and provides more intelligent alerts.
■ Setting the right threshold values using the built-in baseline calculator. This calculates and applies the recommended threshold values for warning and critical stages for clusters, hosts, VMs, and datastores.
While this won't completely eliminate "spam" alerts, it will quickly let you get to a much smaller set for the administrator to deal with. In turn, it will let them spend more time and attention on striking that balance between monitoring your VM usage and hypervisor performance, and setting the right threshold values.
Karthik Ramachandran is Product Marketing Specialist at SolarWinds.
Today 96 percent of organizations have Digital Transformation initiatives on their roadmap and more than half of those initiatives are in process now. However, there is a major disconnect between user expectations and what IT can deliver, and it is hindering innovation, according to a new survey by Veeam ...
While the idea of shifting toward digital business was speculative for most CEOs a few years ago, it has become a reality for many in 2017. 47 percent of CEOs are being challenged by the board of directors to make progress in digital business, and 56 percent said that their digital improvements have already improved profits ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly present in our daily lives, at work, in the home and in the public sphere, making the world a more connected place. In fact, 2020 will see at least 20 billion connected devices across the globe. So, let's take a look at the most common iterations of the IoT at the moment, and what we can expect to see in the IoT landscape over the next 5 years ...
In the spirit of Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22, we recently asked IT professionals for the tips and tricks they're using to help keep their data centers as green as possible. Here are a few ideas inspired by the responses we got ...
A majority of senior IT leaders and decision-making managers of large companies surveyed around the world indicate their organizations have yet to fully embrace the aspects of IT Transformation needed to remain competitive, according to a new study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...
The move to cloud-based solutions like Office 365, Google Apps and others is one of the biggest fundamental changes IT professionals will undertake in the history of computing. The cost savings and productivity enhancements available to organizations are huge. But these savings and benefits can't be reaped without careful planning, network assessment, change management and continuous monitoring. Read on for things that you shouldn't do with your network in preparation for a move to one of these cloud providers ...
One of the most ubiquitous words in the development and DevOps vocabularies is "Agile." It is that shining, valued, and sometimes elusive goal that all enterprises strive for. But how do you get there? How does your organization become truly Agile? With these questions in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts across the industry — including analysts, consultants and vendors — for their opinions on the best way for a development or DevOps team to become more Agile ...
Is composable infrastructure the right choice for your IT environment? The following are 5 key questions that can help you begin to explore the capabilities of composable infrastructure and its applicability within your own IT environment ...