Virtualization - VM / Host Uptime Analytics Report

Uptime is a key measure of the general health and availability of the critical virtual hosts and VMs in a virtualized infrastructure. Periodic uptime values that the eG agent reports for target hosts/VMs can alert you to unscheduled reboots that occurred recently; however, to effectively assess host/VM availability over time, accurately determine unexpected and prolonged breaks in availability, and accordingly ascertain service level achievements/slippages, a look at the total uptime of a virtual host/VMs and the total number of reboots it experienced over a period of time is necessary. To enable such an analysis for one/more critical components of a virtualized infrastructure, eG Enterprise provides Uptime Reports.

Using the Uptime Reports, you can figure out the following:

  • Which virtual hosts/VMs are the healthiest, in terms of availability?
  • Which hosts/VMs have been down for the longest period of time? How long was each server unavailable during the specified timeline?
  • How many times during the designated period did a host/VM reboot? How many of these were scheduled reboots? How long was the host/VM down before every reboot?

To generate an uptime report, do the following:

  1. Select the Uptime option from the Virtualization node of the REPORTS BY FUNCTION tree.
  2. When appears, first indicate the Report Type to be generated. For viewing the uptime details of components in a table, choose the Data option. For graphically representing the uptime/downtime of chosen components, select the Graph option.

    Figure 1 : Specifying the criteria for Uptime reports

  3. Next, pick an option from the Uptime for list and indicate whether the report to be generated is for Physical Servers or Virtual Machines.
  4. If the Physical Servers option is chosen, then the following steps apply:

    • By default, selecting the Physical Servers option from the Uptime for list will populate the Physical Servers list box in the Uptime Report page with all the managed virtual hosts in the target environment. You would then have to pick and choose the physical servers for which the report is to be generated from the Physical Servers list box.

      This implies that in the case of large virtualized infrastructures characterized by hundreds of physical servers, a large number of virtual hosts will be made available for selection in the Physical Servers list box; selecting the desired elements from this 'endless' list will hence become a painful exercise. To ease the pain involved in choosing the elements for report generation, eG Enterprise provides an Analyze by list; by selecting an option from this list, you can quickly condense the Physical Servers list and then swiftly identify the elements of interest to you. By default, the Component option is chosen from the Analyze by list - this indicates that by default, the Physical Servers list will display all the the managed virtual hosts in the target environment. The other options in the list include:

      • Zone: To generate an uptime report for one/more physical servers that are included in a zone, pick the Zone option. A Zone drop-down list will then appear, from which you would have to select the zone to which the physical servers of interest to you belong. An Include Subzone flag also appears. Indicate whether the virtual hosts present within the sub-zones of the chosen zone are also to be considered for report generation, by setting the Include Subzone flag to Yes.
      • Segment: If you want to generate an uptime report for one/more physical servers that belong to a segment, select the Segment option from Analyze by and then pick the Segment option from the drop-down list that appears.
      • Service: If you want to generate an uptime report for one/more physical servers involved in the delivery of a service, select the Service option from Analyze by and then pick the required Service from the drop-down list that appears.
    • Then, to further filter the components listed in the Physical Servers list box, pick a Component Type - this way, only those virtual hosts that are of the chosen type will be available for selection in the Physical Servers list. By default, the All option is chosen here indicating that all managed physical servers in the target environment will be displayed in the Physical Servers list box, by default.
    • Select the physical servers for which uptime reports are to be generated from the Physical Servers list box. If this list consists of too many Physical Servers, then viewing all the servers and selecting the ones you need for report generation could require endless scrolling. To avoid this, you can click the icon next to the Physical Servers list. The PHYSICAL SERVERS pop up window will then appear using which so that you can view almost all the servers in a single interface and Select the ones for which the report is to be generated.
  5. On the other hand, if the Virtual Machines option is chosen from the Uptime for list, then the following steps apply:

    • By default, selecting the Virtual Machines option from the Uptime for list will populate the Virtual Machines list box that will appear in this case, with all the guest operating systems executing on all the managed physical servers in the environment. You would then have to pick and choose the physical servers for which the report is to be generated from the Physical Servers list box.

      This implies that in the case of large virtualized infrastructures characterized by hundreds of physical servers, each hosting tens of guest operating systems, a large number of virtual machines will be made available for selection in the Virtual Machines list box; selecting the desired elements from this 'endless' list will hence become a painful exercise. To ease the pain involved in choosing the elements for report generation, eG Enterprise provides an Analyze by list; by selecting an option from this list, you can quickly condense the Virtual Machines list and then swiftly identify the elements of interest to you. By default, the Component option is chosen from the Analyze by list - this indicates that by default, the Virtual Machines list will display the complete set of VMs that are executing on all the managed virtual hosts in the target environment. The other options in the list include:

      • Zone: To generate an uptime report for one/more VMs that have been configured on physical servers that are included in a zone, pick the Zone option. A Zone drop-down list will then appear, from which you would have to select the zone to which the physical servers of interest to you belong. An Include Subzone flag also appears. Indicate whether the virtual hosts present within the sub-zones of the chosen zone are also to be considered for report generation, by setting the Include Subzone flag to Yes.
      • Segment: If you want to generate an uptime report for those VMs that are executing on virtual hosts that belong to a segment, select the Segment option from Analyze by and then pick the Segment from the drop-down list that appears.
      • Service: If you want to generate an uptime report for those VMs that are being hosted by the physical servers engaged in service delivery, select the Service option from Analyze by and then pick the required Service from the drop-down list that appears.
    • Then, to further filter the components listed in the Virtual Machines list box, pick a Component Type - this way, only those VMs that are executing on the virtual hosts of the chosen type will be available for selection in the Virtual Machines list. By default, the All option is chosen here indicating that VMs operating on all managed physical servers in the target environment will be displayed in the Virtual Machines list box, by default.
    • Select the VMs for which uptime reports are to be generated from the Virtual Machines list box. If this list consists of too many VMs, then viewing all the VMs and selecting the ones you need for report generation could require endless scrolling. To avoid this, you can click the button next to the Virtual Machines list. The VIRTUAL MACHINES pop up window will then appear using which you can view almost all the VMs in a single interface and select the ones for which the report is to be generated.
  6. 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.

  7. 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 one/more Physical Servers or Virtual Machines (as the case may be). 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 Uptime Reports

  8. By default, the Uptime report ignores all reboots that occur when a 'maintenance policy configuration' is active on a physical server/VM - in other words, such reboots are by default excluded from the count of reboots displayed by the report. This default behavior is governed by the Include Maintenance flag, which is set to No by default. You can however, optionally configure the Uptime report to include reboots that occur during maintenance periods in its count of reboots. For this, set the Include Maintenance flag to Yes.
  9. 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.
  10. If the Report Type is Data, then, a Show Details flag will appear set to No by default. This indicates that, by default, the resulting Data report will not provide reboot details. To view reboot details along with the uptime details, set the Show Details flag to Yes.

    Note:

    You can configure the days of the week that need to be considered as a ‘weekend’ using the Days parameter in the[exclude_weekend] section in the eg_report.ini file (in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory).  The Days parameter is set to Saturday,Sunday by default. To change this weekend specification, enter two other days of the week against the Days parameter.

  11. If the Report Type you have chosen is Graph, then a Chart drop-down list will appear from which you can select how uptime/downtime should be represented in the graph - as a percentage? or in hours?. If the %Uptime/%Downtime option is chosen, then the resulting graph will plot the percentage of time for which the selected components have been up/down. On the other hand, if the Uptime/Downtime option is selected, then the graph will plot the total number of hours for which the chosen components have been up/down.
  12. Next, select the data on the basis of which the report should be sorted. By default, the Downtime option is chosen from the Sort by list.
  13. Since the default Sort by option is Downtime, by default, the report provides the details of only the top-10 components with the maximum downtime. If a different Sort by option, say Reboots, is chosen, then the report, by default, will only pertain to the top-10 components in the environment, on the basis of the number of reboots. You can choose a different top-n / last-n option from the Show list, if need be.

    Note:

    By default, the values displayed in the Show list range from TOP-10 to LAST-10. This is because, the Showtop parameter in the [INFOS] section of the eg_report.ini file (in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory) is set to 10, by default. You can, if required, configure the Show list to display a different range of options. For this, specify a different number against the Showtop parameter, and save the eg_report.ini file.

  14. Next, indicate the report Timeperiod.

    Note:

    By default, the Timeperiod is set to 24 hours. Accordingly, the From and To parameters in the [TIMEFRAME] section of the eg_report.ini file (in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\configdirectory) are set to 00:00 and 24:00 respectively. If need be, you can override this default setting by configuring a different timeframe against the From and/or To parameters.

  15. 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.
  16. Finally, click the Run Report button.
  17. If the Report Type is Graph and the Report Generation mode is Foreground Generation - HTML, then clicking the Run Report button will reveal a bar graph depicting the uptime and downtime of the chosen components (see ). From this graph, you can easily identify the components that have been unavailable during the specified Timeline, and the duration of the unavailability.

    Figure 3 : The Graphical Uptime report

  18. Clicking on the bar corresponding to any of the components displayed in will invoke which will allow you to zoom into the uptime details of that particular component. Besides providing a pie chart that depicts the percentage uptime and downtime of the chosen component, also provides the following useful information:

    • The total duration for which the chosen component was up and running during the specified Timeline;
    • The percentage uptime of the component;
    • The total duration for which the chosen component was down during the specified Timeline;
    • The percentage downtime of the component;
    • The total number of reboots that the component experienced during the specified Timeline;
    • A Reboot Details section that indicates the following for every reboot:

      • When the component was shutdown
      • When the reboot occurred
      • The duration for which the component remained shutdown before being rebooted;

        Figure 4 : Clicking on a bar in the Uptime report

  19. Using , you can figure out how often a component was rebooted, and thus determine whether such reboots were scheduled or unexpected.
  20. If the Report Type is Data and the Report Generation mode is set to Foreground Generation - html, then clicking on the Run Report button will reveal . For every component chosen, the Data report reveals the total uptime, total downtime, percentage uptime, percentage downtime, and number of reboots. Components with high uptime/downtime and those that rebooted frequently can be instantly isolated using this report. Since the Show details flag is set to No by default for the Data report, Uptime data report will not include a separate section providing reboot information. To view the reboot details of a component therefore, you will have to click on the icon under the Details column corresponding to that component.

    Figure 5 : The Physical Servers Uptime report when Data is chosen as Report Type

  21. will then appear providing the reboot information. You can save these details to a PDF file, print the details, or save them as a CSV file using the icons present at the right, top corner of this page.

    Figure 6 : Reboot details

  22. If the Show Details flag had been set to Yes instead, then the reboot details available in will be provided as part of the original report itself.
  23. On the other hand, if the Background Save - PDF option is chosen from the Report Generation list, then clicking on the Run Report button will not generate the report and display it in this page for your benefit. Instead, a message indicating that the report is being processed in the background will appear. This will be accompanied by a link that will lead you to the page that lists all the reports that are being processed in the background, and their current status. If background report generation fails for a report, you can regenerate that report using this page, or can even delete that report if need be. On the other hand, if background processing successfully completes for your report, then, you can view a PDF of the report by clicking on the icon in that page.