vCenter Operations Management Suite version 5.8 has 4 new features:
- monitor business critical applications
- monitor fiber channel storage
- monitor Hyper-v servers
- monitor Amazon AWS services
Monitor business critical applications
In the 5.8 release application monitoring is limited to Microsoft Exchange Server and SQL Server. vCenter Operations Management Packs for Microsoft applications will be available to get insight into the health of Microsoft applications. A management pack (MP) provides knowledge about an application. The MP will be able to discover application inter-dependencies and services. Also there is knowledge about what metrics to measure, what thresholds to set etc. The management packs for SQL and Exchange will provide health information for clusters. So it shows servers and instances in Database Availability Groups for example. And it shows the status of services like MSSQL Agent, MSSQL Analysis, MSSQL Report and MSSQL database. It also shows when for example the CPU has a high utilization indicating something is wrong.
The 3th pary OS and application management packs are part of the vCenter Operations Management Suite Enterprise edition.
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) also uses Management Packs. However these will go much deeper inside the applications than vCenter Operations. I believe vCenter Operations focusses mainly at the infrastructure level of the application.
Monitor fiber channel storage
Storage Analytics is another new feature of vCOPS. It allows a deep insight into the status of the Host Bus Adapter, Fabric and Storage array. It will answer questions like ‘why is my virtual machine slow?’. In this 5.8 release monitoring is limited to fiber channel storage. iSCSI and NFS support will come soon. The admin will get insight in latency and throughput. Errors like CRC, link loss and timeouts are being monitored and admins gets alerts.
The infrastructure management packs are part of the vCenter Operations Management Suite Advanced & Enterprise edition.
Amazon AWS and Hyper-V support
vCOPS uses vCenter Hyperic and Hyperic Management Pack for monitoring Hyper-V. An Hyperic agent is deployed on the Hyper-V server to get insight. It does monitoring of CPU, memory, disk and network. It is able to show capacity and performance of storage volumes. There are two ways to get information form the Hyper-V servers and VM’s running on it. Either by the Hyperic management pack for vCenter Operations, or by the SCOM management pack for vCenter Operations. The later is usefull for SCOM users. It is a kind of gateway between SCOM and vCenter Operations Manager.
Amazon services like EC2, Elastic Block Store, Elastic Map Reduce, Elastic Load Balancing and Auto Scaling Group can be monitored using the AWS management pack. The MP connects to the Cloudwatch service provided by Amazon. This is a REST API service. vCOPS provides a VM utilization dashboard showing performance statistics like cpu usage, memory usage, disk read etc for Amazon VM’s.