vCenter Tasks Test

This test monitors configured VC tasks and reports their current status.

By default, the test monitors a pre-defined set of tasks belonging to pre-configured event categories. You can override this default setting by including/excluding specific tasks from an event category. To achieve this, do the following:

  1. Login to the eG administrative interface.
  2. Follow the menu sequence: Agents -> Settings -> vCenter Tasks. Alternatively, you can also click on the Click here hyperlink that is available above the parameters of this test in the test configuration page.
  3. Either way, vCENTER TASKS page appears.

    vcentertasksconfig1

    Figure 1 : Configuring the tasks to be monitored

  4. Select an Event category to be monitored.

    Note:

    By default, the Event category list in the vCENTER TASKS page displays a pre-configured set of event categories. You can make more event categories available for selection in this list or remove one/more of the pre-defined categories, if need be. To achieve this, follow the steps given below:

    • Edit the eg_tests.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
    • In the [VirtualCenterTasks] section of this file, you will find the default event categories that will populate the Event category list of Figure 26, and the individual events of each category.  The format of these default entries is: 

      VCTaskEvtTest:<EventCategory>=<Comma-separated list of events belonging to this category>

    • To add a new event category to this default list, you just need to append a line to the [VirtualCenterTasks] section in the format mentioned above. For instance, say, you want to include a category named NfcService to the Event category list of Figure 26. In this case, you will have to insert a line in the [VirtualCenterEvents] section for this category, as mentioned below:

      VCTaskEvtTest:NfcService=NfcService.randomAccessOpen,NfcService.randomAccessOpenReadonly, NfcService.getVmFiles,NfcService.putVmFiles,NfcService.fileManagement,NfcService.systemManagement

    • Next, proceed to the [VCTaskFilterTypes] section of the eg_tests.ini file. For every event category that is defined in the [VirtualCenterETasks] section, a corresponding entry should exist in the [VCTaskFilterTypes] section. If not – i.e., if an event category exists only in the [VirtualCenterTasks] section and not in the [VCTaskFilterTypes] section – then, such an event category will not be listed as an option in the ‘Event Category’ list box.
    • Typically, the [VCTaskFilterTypes] section is used to indicate which tasks of a particular category need to be monitored by default, and which are not to be monitored. The entries to this section need to be of the following format:

      VCTaskEvtTest:<EventCategory>=<Comma-separated list of tasks to be included while monitoring>:<Comma-separated list of tasks to be excluded from monitoring>

      To include/exclude all tasks of a particular category, use the keyword all, and to ensure that no events of a certain category is included/excluded, use the keyword none.

    • For instance, to ensure that all the tasks of the Alarms event category, except the alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue task, is to be monitored by default, your specification would be:

      VCTaskEvtTest:Alarms=all:alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue

    • Once entries for the new event category are inserted in both the sections, save the eg_tests.ini file.
  5. Selecting an Event category displays the tasks of the chosen category that are by default included for monitoring in the included tasks list, and those that are by default excluded from monitoring in the excluded tasks list.

    Note:

    • While using the [VCTaskFilterTypes] section to configure specific tasks to be included/excluded by default for an event category, make sure that such tasks are a sub-set of the tasks that have been defined for that category in the [VirtualCenterTasks] section. For instance, say, you do not want to monitor the alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue task of the Alarms category. To ensure this, you will have to include the following line in the  [VCTaskFilterTypes] section:

      VCTaskEvtTest:Alarms=all:alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue

      However, before adding this line to the  [vcTaskFilterTypes] section, verify whether the event, alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue,is available in the list of tasks that have been defined for the Alarms category in the  [VirtualCenterTasks] section.

    • Make sure that entries such as the following are not inserted in the  [VCTaskFilterTypes] section:

      VCTaskEvtTest:<EventCategory>=all:all

      VCTaskEvtTest:<EventCategory>=none:none

    Also, note that the keywords all and/or none should not be part of a comma-separated list.

    Note:

    • Every event category that is defined in the [VirtualCenterTasks] section of the eg_tests.ini file (in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory) is associated with a set of tasks. Typically, to indicate which of these tasks need to be monitored by default, and which are not to be monitored, the [VCTaskFilterTypes] section of the eg_tests.ini file is used.
    • For every event category defined in the [VirtualTaskEvents] section, a corresponding entry should exist in the [VCTaskFilterTypes] section indicating the default set of tasks to be included and/or excluded from monitoring. This entry should be of the following format:

      VCTaskEvtTest:<EventCategory>=<Comma-separated list of tasks to be included while monitoring>:<Comma-separated list of tasks to be excluded from monitoring>

    • To include/exclude all tasks of a particular category, use the keyword all, and to ensure that no tasks of a certain category is included/excluded, use the keyword none.
    • For instance, to ensure that all the tasks of the Alarms event category, except the alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue task, is to be monitored by default, your specification would be:

      VCTaskEvtTest:Alarms=all:alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue

    This makes sure that if the Alarms option is chosen from the Event category list of Figure 26, the excluded tasks list by default displays the task, alarm.Alarm.setCustomValue, and the included tasks list displays all other tasks associated with the Alarms category.

  6. To include any of the tasks that are by default listed in the excluded tasks list, select the task from the list and click the <<  button. Similarly, to exclude any of the tasks that are by default available in the included tasks list, select one/more tasks from the list and click the >> button.
  7. Finally, save the changes by clicking on the Update button.

Target of the test : A VMware vCenter server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every event category that has been configured for monitoring.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed.

Host

The host for which this test is to be configured.

Port

Refers to the port at which the specified host listens to.

VC User and VC Password

To connect to vCenter and extract metrics from it, this test should be configured with the name and password of a user with Administrator or Virtual Machine Administrator privileges to vCenter. However, if, owing to security constraints, you are not able to use the credentials of such users for test configuration, then you can configure this test with the credentials of a user with Read-only rights to vCenter. For this purpose, you can assign the ‘Read-only’ role to a local/domain user to vCenter, and then specify name and password of this user against the VC User and VC Password text boxes. The steps for assigning this role to a user on vCenter have been detailed in the Monitoring VMware Infrastructures chapter

vCenter servers terminate user sessions based on timeout periods. The default timeout period is 30 mins. When you stop an agent, sessions currently in use by the agent will remain open for this timeout period until vCenter times out the session. If the agent is restarted within the timeout period, it will open a new set of sessions. If you want the eG agent to close already existing sessions on vCenter before it opens new sessions, then, instead of the ‘Read-only’ user, you can optionally configure the VC User and VC Password parameters with the credentials of a user with permissions to View and Stop Sessions on vCenter. For this purpose, you can create a special role on vCenter, grant the View and Stop Sessions privilege (prior to vCenter 4.1, this was called the View and Terminate Sessions privilege) to this role, and then assign the new role to a local/domain user to vCenter. The steps for this have been discussed in the Monitoring VMware Infrastructures chapter.

Confirm Password

Confirm the password by retyping it in this text box.

SSL

By default, the vCenter server is SSL-enabled. Accordingly, the SSL flag is set to Yes by default. This indicates that the eG agent will communicate with the vCenter server via HTTPS by default.

ShowAllTasks

By default, this flag is set to Yes. This implies that, by default, this test, in addition to reporting metrics for configured event categories, will also report metrics for an All descriptor. Typically, the measures reported by the All descriptor will be the aggregate of the measures reported by all the other descriptors of this test – i.e., every measure reported by the All descriptor will actually return the sum of the values that all configured tasks have registered for that measure.  This enables administrators to easily assess the overall performance of tasks configured for monitoring on a vCenter server.

Webport

By default, in most virtualized environments, vCenter listens on port 80 (if not SSL-enabeld) or on port 443 (if SSL-enabled) only. This implies that while monitoring vCenter, the eG agent, by default, connects to port 80 or 443, depending upon the SSL-enabled status of vCenter – i.e., if vCenter is not SSL-enabled (i.e., if the SSL flag above is set to No), then the eG agent connects to vCenter using port 80 by default, and if vCenter is SSL-enabled (i.e., if the SSL flag is set to Yes), then the agent-vCenter communication occurs via port 443 by default.  Accordingly, the Webport parameter is set to default by default. 

In some environments however, the default ports 80 or 443 might not apply. In such a case, against the Webport parameter, you can specify the exact port at which vCenter in your environment listens, so that the eG agent communicates with that port for collecting metrics from vCenter.

DD Frequency

Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 1:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every time this test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against DD Frequency.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Started tasks

Indicates the number of tasks started during this measurement period.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the sum of all tasks that started during this measurement period, across all event categories.

Number

 

Completed tasks

Indicates the number of tasks that ended during this measurement period.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the sum of all completed tasks across all event categories, during this measurement period.

Number

 

Successful tasks

Indicates the number of tasks that succeeded during this measurement period.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the total number of successful tasks across all event categories, during this measurement period.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to view the tasks that succeeded.

Failed tasks

Indicates the number of tasks that failed during this measurement period.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the sum of all failed tasks across all event categories, during this measurement period.

Number

Ideally, this value should be low. A high value could warrant an investigation into the reason for the consistent failure of tasks.

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to view the tasks that failed.

Percent of failures

Indicates the percentage of tasks that failed.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the sum of the failed percentages registered by  all configured tasks under all event categories.

Percent

Ideally, this value should be low. A high value could warrant an investigation into the reason for the consistent failure of tasks.

Avg. completion time

Indicates the average time taken by the tasks of this category to complete.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the total time taken by all configured tasks for completion.

Secs

Ideally, this value should be low.

Max completion time

Indicates the maximum time taken by the tasks of this category to complete.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the total maximum time taken by all configured tasks under all event categories to complete.

Secs

 

Outstanding tasks

Indicates the number of outstanding tasks of this category during this measurement period.

For the All descriptor, this measure will report the sum of all outstanding tasks across all event categories during this measurement period.

Number

A large number of outstanding tasks could indicate a bottleneck. Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which are the outstanding tasks.

The detailed diagnosis of the Successful tasks measure reveals the name of the successful tasks, the target of the tasks, the user who initiated the tasks, and start time and end time of the tasks.

VCTaskTestDD

Figure 2 : The detailed diagnosis of the successful tasks measure