Virtual Machines - Distribution by Hypervisor Report

In large virtualized farms, it is often difficult for administrators to know the VMs configured on the various virtual hosts and the current status of each VM.  The use of VMotion/XenMotion technologies to migrate resource-intensive VMs to hosts that are well-sized, compounds the problem, as tracking the movement of VMs across hosts becomes a herculean task.

The Virtual Machines - Distribution by Hypervisor report is ideal for such farms as it provides administrators with the following:

  • a quick look at the VMs registered with a few/all virtual hosts in the environment;
  • the powered-on status of the VMs;
  • which VMs were VMotioned/XenMotioned to or from chosen virtual hosts in the environment during the configured timeline;

To generate the Virtual Machines - Distribution by Hypervisor report, do the following:

  1. Follow the menu sequence: REPORTS BY FUNCTION -> Domain-specific Reports -> Virtualization -> Virtual machines -> Distribution by Hypervisor in the eG Reporter interface.
  2. Figure 1 then appears. First, indicate the type of report to be generated by selecting either Graph or Data as the Report Type. To generate a graphical report, select the Graph option. To select a data-based report, pick Data as the Report Type.

    Figure 1 : Selecting the criteria for the Virtual machines - VM Distribution report

  3. Next, from the Component Type list, pick the virtualized component type for which the report is to be generated. By default, all managed virtualization platforms will be listed here.
  4. Then, select a criterion for analysis from the Analyze by list box. Using this report, you can analyze the status of VMs that are configured on one/more independent virtualized components, or those that are configured on virtual hosts that are part of a segment, service, or a zone. The options provided by the Analyze by list box are discussed hereunder:

    • Component: Select this option to choose the component(s) from across all the managed virtualized components in the environment. For instance, for a report on the status of VMs on all the managed vSphere/ESX hosts in the environment, select VMware vSphere ESX from the the Component Type list, select Component from the Analyzeby list, and then select all the virtual hosts listed in the Componentslist of Figure 1.
    • Service: Select this option if the components for which a report is to be generated are involved in the delivery of a business service. Then, select a Service.
    • Segment: Choose this option if the virtual hosts to be evaluated are part of a segment. Then, pick a Segment for analysis.
    • Zone: Pick this option for a report on the status of VMs on one/more virtual components that are included in a zone. Then, choose a Zone. Also, indicate whether the virtual hosts present within the sub-zones of the chosen zone are also to be to be considered for report generation, by selecting an option from the Include subzoneslist.
  5. Based on the criterion chosen from the Analyze by list, the Components list will be populated. Select one/more of the listed components to generate a report. If the Components list consists of too many components, then viewing all the components and selecting the ones you need for report generation could require endless scrolling. To avoid this, you can click the icon next to the Components list. The COMPONENTS pop up window will then appear using which you can view almost all the components in a single interface and select the ones for which the report is to be generated.
  6. If the Report Type is Graph, you will have to select the Measure for which the graphical report is to be generated. The Measure list is updated with pre-configured measures. By default, all measures indicating the status of VMs will be available in the Measure list.
  7. The Graph report typically provides a pie chart that depicts the VM distribution across the chosen components, and a bar chart that indicates the number of VMs per chosen component. By selecting an option from the Show list, you can indicate the maximum number of components to be displayed in the bar chart.

    Note:

    The options available in the Show list are configurable. To do so, follow the steps given below:

    • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
    • Specify a number of your choice against the NoOfServersforChart parameter in the [virtual_GUEST_STATUS] section of the file. By default, the value displayed here is 10, indicating that, by default, the Show list will contain the Top-5, Top-10, Last-5,and Last-10 options. If the report is to be generated for a total of 5 components only, then you might want to change the value of the NoOfServersforChart parameter to 5 instead. In such a case therefore, the Show list will contain the Top-3, Top-5, Last-3, and Last-5 options only. This way, based on the number of Components chosen for report generation, you can specify any value against the NoOfServersforChart parameter.
    • Finally, save the eg_report.ini file.
  8. Then, specify the Timeline for the graph. You can either provide a fixed time line such as 1 hour, 2 days, etc., or select the Any option from the list to provide a From and To date/time for report generation.

    Note:

    For every user registered with the eG Enterprise system, the administrator can indicate the maximum timeline for which that user can generate a report. Once the maximum timeline is set for a user, then, whenever that user logs into eG Reporter and attempts to generate a report, the Timeline list box in the report page will display options according to the maximum timeline setting of that user. For instance, if a user can generate a report for a maximum period of 3 days only, then 3 days will be the highest option displayed in the Timeline list - i.e., 3 days will be the last option in the fixed Timeline list. Similarly, if the user chooses the Any option from the Timeline list and proceeds to provide a start date and end date for report generation using the From and To specifications, eG Enterprise will first check if the user's Timeline specification conforms to his/her maximum timeline setting. If not, report generation will fail. For instance, for a user who is allowed to generate reports spanning over a maximum period of 3 days only, the difference between the From and To dates should never be over 3 days. If it is, then, upon clicking the Run Report button a message box will appear, prompting the user to change the From and To specification.

  9. In addition to the settings discussed above, this report comes with a set of default specifications. These settings are hidden by default. If you do not want to disturb these default settings, then you can proceed to generate the report by clicking the Run Report button soon after you pick an option from the Show list. However, if you want to view and then alter these settings (if required), click on the button. The default settings will then appear in the MORE OPTIONS drop down window (see Figure 2). The steps below discuss each of these settings and how they can be customized.

    Figure 2 : The default settings for generating the Virtual Machines – VM Distribution report

  10. The speed with which a report is generated depends primarily on the report Timeline. While a Timeline that varies between a couple of days to a week enables the eG Enterprise system to quickly retrieve the required data, timelines that span multiple weeks/months could slow-down the data retrieval and report generation process to a considerable extent, owing to the volume of data involved. In order to ensure quick and easy access to reports, eG Enterprise provides you the option of enabling data retrieval from the Trend information in the database, instead of the Detailed test information that is used by default for report generation. The Detailed test information based comprises of multiple measurement records for a test - one or more each for every test execution. Whereas, the Trend information includes only hourly, daily, and monthly summary computations for a test performed on a continuous basis. For instance, during a period of 1 hour, a test that runs every 5 minutes inserts atleast 12 records into the Detailed test information base. On the other hand, the Trend information base would consist of only 1 record for the same 1 hour period. Fewer the number of records, query execution becomes much quicker, and data retrieval faster. To use the trend data for report generation, you will have to select the Trend option from the Show Data field in Figure 2. By default, the Detailed option is selected in Figure 2 indicating that the report data is retrieved from the detailed test information in the database. If need be, you can also ensure that all reports always use the Detailed test tables alone by hiding the Show Data field from the reporter interface. To achieve this, do the following: 

    • Login to the eG administrative interface as 'admin'.
    • Select the Manager option from the Settings tile that appears when the button against the Admin tab is clicked.
    • From the GENERAL SETTINGS page that then appears, if you set the Compute average/sum of metrics while trending flag to No, then the Show Data field will not appear in the reporter interface; this denies users access to the Trend option, and thus ensures that reports are always generated using the Detailed tables.

      Note:

      • A Trendreport will not include the data for the current day since trend data is only computed at the end of the day.
      • If the Trend option is chosen, the time period of the report should be greater than 1 day.
      • The usage of Detailed test tables for generating reports, especially those that span weeks, increases the stress on the eG database, thus resulting in undue delays in report generation. In order to ensure that the database is not choked by such voluminous data requests, you can configure eG Enterprise to automatically "force" the use of the Trend option if the Timeline of a report exceeds a pre-configured duration. To specify this time boundary, do the following:

        • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
        • In the [MISC] section of the file, you will find a DetailedTime parameter.
        • Specify the duration (in days) beyond which Detailed reports cannot be generated, against the DetailedTime parameter, and save the eg_services.ini file
        • For instance, to make sure that Detailed reports are disallowed for a Timeline of over 2 weeks, set the DetailedTime parameter to 14 and save the file. 
        • Say, subsequently, you attempt to generate a Detailed report for a FixedTimeline of 3 weeks (which is greater than the 14-day limit set in our example). The instant you select the 3 weeks option from the Fixed list box, the Detailed option gets automatically disabled, and the Trend option gets enabled. Similarly, if you specify an AnyTimeline that runs over 14 days, then, upon clicking the Run Report button to generate the report, a message box appears (see Figure 5.7) informing you that only the Trend option is permitted.
        • To proceed with the Trend report generation, click the ok button in the message box. To terminate Trend report generation, click the Cancel button.   
  11. If the timeline specified for the report needs to exclude the data collected during the Weekends, then set Exclude weekends to Yes. If not, select No.

    Note:

    By default, the weekend constitutes Saturday and Sunday. To override this default setting, do the following:

    • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
    • In the [virtual_GUEST_STATUS] section of the file, the exclude_weekendparameter is set to Saturday,Sunday by default. You can modify this by setting the exclude_weekend parameter to a comma-separated list of other days of the week - say Friday,Saturday.
    • Save the file after making the required changes.
  12. Next, indicate the report Time period.
  13. In large environments, reports generated using months of data can take a long time to complete. Administrators now have the option of generating reports on-line or in the background. When a report is scheduled for background generation, administrators can proceed with their other monitoring, diagnosis, and reporting tasks, while the eG manager is processing the report. This saves the administrator valuable time. To schedule background processing of a report, select the Background Save - PDF option from the Report Generation list. In this case, a Report Name text box will appear, where you would have to provide the name with which the report is to be saved in the background. To process reports in the foreground, select the Foreground Generation - HTML option from this list.

    Note:

    • The Report Generation list will appear only if the EnableBackgroundReport flag in the [BACKGROUND_PROCESS] section of the eg_report.ini file (in the [EG_INSTALL_DIR]\manager\config directory) is set to Yes.
    • The default selection in the Report Generation list will change according to the Timeline specified for the report. If the Timeline set is greater than or equal to the number of days specified against the MinDurationForReport parameter in the [BACKGROUND_PROCESS] section of the eg_report.ini file, then the default selection in the Report Generation list will be Background. On the other hand, if the Timeline set for the report is lesser than the value of the MinDurationForReport parameter, then the default selection in the Report Generation list will be Foreground. This is because, the MinDurationForReport setting governs when reports are to be processed in the background. By default, this parameter is set to 2 weeks - this indicates that by default, reports with a timeline of 2 weeks and above will be processed in the background.
  14. Finally, click the Run Report button. If the Report Type is Graph and the option chosen from the Report Generation list is Foreground Generation - HTML, then, clicking on the Run Report button will invoke Figure 3.

    Figure 3 : A graphical VM Distribution report

  15. Figure 3 comprises of the following:

    • A distribution pie chart that reveals the number of virtual hosts in different distribution ranges (see Figure 3). The distribution ranges are obtained by applying the first of the configured functions on the chosen Measure. For instance, assume that Registered VMs is the chosen Measure. Say that you have configured to display the Avg and Max of this measure in a Data report. Typically, both these configured values will appear only in the Data report. In the case of a Graph report however, the first of the two functions - i.e., Avg of Registered VMs - alone is calculated for every virtual host chosen from the Component list. The resulting pie chart enables administrators to deduce, at a glance, the number of virtual hosts with powered-on VMs. Clicking on a particular slice in the pie chart lists the virtual hosts that fall within the value range represented by that slice (see Figure 4). Against every virtual host, the actual values for each of the configured functions (both Avg and Max, in our example) will be displayed. A zone/component-type-level Summary of the chosen Measure will also be available.  

      Figure 4 : Details of the hosts that fall within the distribution range clicked on

      Note:

      By default, the chart type for distribution is a pie chart. However, you can have a bar graph depict the same data instead of a pie chart, by following the steps given below: 

      • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
      • Change the value of the chartTypeForDist parameter in the [virtual_GUEST_STATUS] section of this file from the default Pie, to Bar.
      • Save the eg_report.ini file.

      By default, the number of value ranges that need to be configured for the distribution chart is 10. To override this default setting, do the following: 

      • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
      • Specify a number of your choice against the nofRangeForDist parameter in the [virtual_guest_status] section of this file. By default, this parameter will hold the value 10.
      • Save the eg_report.ini file.
    • Adjacent to the pie chart, you will find a bar chart that indicates the virtual hosts that have topped/failed in a selected performance realm (i.e., the Measure) during the specified Timeline. For example, for the Registered VMs measure, this bar chart reveals the virtual hosts that have a large number of VMs powered on. Like the pie chart, the values for the bar chart are also calculated by applying the first of the configured functions on the chosen Measure. To zoom into the performance of a particular ESX server, click on its corresponding bar. Figure 5 then appears revealing how that ESX server has performed overall, during the specified Timeline.

      Note:

      You can configure the colors to be used in the distribution chart and the Top <N> Components bar chart in the zone report, by editing the eg_report.ini file in the <eg_install_dir>\manager\config directory. The [VIRTUAL_GUEST_STATUS] section of the file defines the 20 default colors of the distribution and bar charts:

      [VIRTUAL_GUEST]

       

      ChartColor=#8399b0,#ffd95a,#a4ac91,#98d980,#d5b996,#f48848,#8b8cc2,
      #eb4052,#c4b3d0,#b18651,#ebb7ce,#028768,#f5c372,#887c65,#e4c536,
      #b5582c,#f94989,#770d72,#97a067,#89aeb7

       

      distColor=#115fa6,#f25454,#60bd68,#b276b2,#81bef7,#a61120,#ffd13e,
      #770d72,#887c65,#a4ac91

       

      You override the default color settings of the distribution chart by modifying the color-codes specifying against distColor. For changing the colors used by the Top <N> Components chart, alter the codes listed against the ChartColor parameter.

      Note:

      The number of components to be displayed in the Top <N> Components bar chart is configurable. To specify the number, do the following:

      • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
      • Specify a number of your choice against the NoOfServersforChart parameter in the [virtual_GUEST_STATUS] section of the file. By default, the value displayed here is 10, indicating that, by default, the bar chart will be for the Top 10 Components. For example, if you change this value to 5, then a bar chart displaying the Top 5 Components will appear. This is the same parameter that governs the options available in the Show list of Figure 1.
      • Finally, save the eg_report.ini file.

        Figure 5 : A Server Report revealing the overall performance of the ESX server clicked on

  16. Unlike a Graph report, a Data report does not graphically represent the measure data. Instead, the configured details are presented in a tabular format in the report. If you select the Data option from Report Type, then you will not have to select a particular measure for the data report. Instead, you will have to select the column by which the resultant data report is to be sorted from the Sort By list. Also, pick Foreground Generation - HTML from the Report Generation list.
  17. If you then click on the Run Report button, a report depicted by will appear.

    Figure 6 : The VM Distribution Data report

  18. For every component chosen from the Components list, the Data report displays the values computed by applying each of the configured functions on every measure configured for the report. This provides you with an overview of the status of VMs on every virtual host, over the given timeline. By clicking on the Max value of a measure, you can view the detailed diagnosis of that measure revealing the details of VMs that are in the corresponding state - for instance, clicking on the Max value of the Removed Guests measure in will reveal Figure 7 that lists the names of the VMs that were removed during the last measurement period.

    Figure 7 : The detailed diagnosis of the Removed Guests measure

  19. In addition, the report also provides time-of-day graphs for each of the configured measures, using which you can analyze the variations in VM status over time.

    You can configure the measures and functions for which thevm Distribution report is to be generated. To achieve this, follow the steps given below:

    • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
    • By default, the [virtual_guest_status] section of the file includes entries of the following format for the measures and functions applicable to the vm Distribution report: 

      <InternalTestName>#<InternalMeasureName>#<DisplayNameofMeasure>=<Comma-separated list of functions to be applied>

      Refer to the procedure discussed in the Page First, determine the Internal name of the test and measure to be configured. For that, do the following: of this manual to determine the internal name of a test/measure.

    • You can remove one/more of the measure confgurations that pre-exist by deleting or commenting the corresponding entries in the [virtual_guest_status] section. In addition, you can even configure more measures and functions for the report, by simply appending/inserting a line in the above-mentioned format in the [virtual_guest_status] section.

      For instance, to ensure that the report supports the Added guestsmeasure returned by the LDomsGuestsStatustest, and applies both the average and max functions on the measure, your specification should be:

      LdomsStatusTest:Added_guests#Added guests=Avg,Max

    • Finally, save the file.