Top 10 Virtualization Automation Tips for Infrastructure and Operations Professionals


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Over the past several years, virtualization has emerged as a “priority” IT initiative as deployments yield cost savings through improved operational and business agility in addition to hardware consolidation. Infrastructure and operations administrators drive toward increased cost savings by improving system management efficiency and IT productivity. Often we examine the administrator-to-virtual machine (VM) ratio, which measures the number of VMs each administrator can manage, to access efficiency. Administrators that inject automation into virtual environment management can increase efficiency by reducing time associated with VM configuration and control.

Automation at various points in the virtual machine lifecycle will save time and eliminate manual and repetitive tasks that often introduce errors. However, while the right automation can significantly reduce your administrator to VM ratio, it is important to establish policies and carefully examine your approach to automation to avoid over-utilization or the creation of unnecessary VMs resulting in VM sprawl and more management work.

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  • Today we are going to discuss how Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition can you transform your IT Operations and infrastructure Management.
  • A single pane of glass provides enterprise wide virtual environment visualization. From real-time insight to any-point-in time performance and resource analysis.Our enterprise view provides insight into overall performance and health at a glance. You can view all data centers where ever they are located with a single instance, as Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise edition is scalable to connect to multiple virtual centers, where ever they are located in the world. Easily manage multiple virtual data centers, multiple hypervisors and provide multi-tenant customer-scoped viewsGet real time granular view into your virtual environment, performance of ESX down to the CPU. Role based views that help administrators do their job better.Our historical view allows administrators to go back to any point in time to troubleshoot spikes or issues that occurred during off work hours.
  • With end to “everything” visualization you can assess thousands of performance metrics and available capacity across the entire IT stack. You get a true holistic view into …Host – CPU, memory, clusters and associated virtual machines.VMGuest OSApplication
  • Proactively manage service level agreements through the real-time performance dashboards that allow you to find performance bottlenecks and potential issues across your heterogeneous environment in seconds. Quickly pinpoint the problem and resolve at the click of a button. Prevent future issues with alarms, expert advice, and alerts that help you address issues before they impact applications and end users.
  • Flexible Automation allows you to reduce costs, speed deployments, and simplify complexity. User controlled automation puts you in control and improves your productivety and efficiency.Automate remediation to alarms & common tasks Proactively optimize virtual resourcesPowerful AND easy to use automation. AND IS better!
  • Top 10 Virtualization Automation Tips for Infrastructure and Operations Professionals

    1. 1. Top 10 Virtualization Automation Tips for Infrastructure and Operations Administrators Visualize, Analyze, and Optimize with Foglight for Virtualization
    2. 2. The Rise of the Machines • Legacy – An administrator personally attends to every aspect of the environment – Responds to issues as they arise – Provisions new user accounts – Resets user passwords – Builds new virtual hosts – Individually deploys each and every new virtual machine – Slow – Inefficient – Only scalable by adding bodies 2 Confidential Global Marketing
    3. 3. The Rise of the Machines • Automation – Map processes – Identify opportunities for improvement – Determine automation options – Build! • Outcomes – Staff time focused on the business – Lowered costs – Reduced error rates – More scalable IT 3 Confidential Global Marketing
    4. 4. Tip #1: Understand Your Cost Structure • Understand your cost structure – If you don’t know where expenses lie, you can’t prioritize tasks – Expenses can be hard costs or soft costs – Some organizations choose to ignore the soft costs, which is a mistake – Understand the concept of “opportunity cost” • Perform return on investment calculations for each item to be automated – If the labor and potential expense is worth it, do it – Even if not, there may still be reason to undertake the project 4 Confidential Global Marketing
    5. 5. Tip #2: Change the Definition of Success • What’s better? – The IT staff person that displays visible sweat and tears and that goes to what seems to be Herculean efforts to get each and every job done – The IT staffer that arrives at 9 AM and leaves at 5 PM, but has outcomes that are as good as, if not better than, the other guy • Too often, the first person is rewarded because he’s more “visible” • Make sure you’re not rewarding inputs • Reward based on outputs 5 Confidential Global Marketing
    6. 6. Tip #3: Use Workload Placement and Balancing Tools • Initial virtual machine placement services – Determines most suitable host for a new VM • Ongoing load balancing and availability services – Automatically shuffles VMs around to meet a variety of rules – Affinity, anti-affinity, sensitivity, etc. – Maintenance • Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) – Available in Enterprise and Enterprise Plus • Hyper-V with VMM – Available in all editions 6 Confidential Global Marketing
    7. 7. Tip #4: Implement Automated Monitoring, Alerting, and Remediation Systems • Too many organizations go without any kind of monitoring systems or they fail to tune those systems • These systems are critical even without automation, but become more important as tasks are automated – With less hands on, admins may not notice anomalies without monitoring • Automated remediation opportunities exist in some systems as well – As alerts are raised, the system can attempt to take corrective action 7 Confidential Global Marketing
    8. 8. Tip #5: Learn PowerCLI and PowerShell • PowerShell has become Microsoft’s go-to scripting language and can do practically anything • PowerCLI is VMware’s implementation of PowerShell with its own cmdlets and modules • Some resources – Back to Basics: Connecting to vCenter or a vSphere host – – VMware vSphere PowerCLI video training (11 hours) – 8 Confidential Global Marketing
    9. 9. Tip #6: Investigate the Use of Existing Workflow and Automation Tools • This is where real automation happens • Many tools from which to choose – vCenter Operations Management Suite – System Center Orchestrator – Puppet Labs 9 Confidential Global Marketing
    10. 10. Tip #7: Seek Out Existing Templates and Modules • Even with big systems, don’t take a go it alone approach • Leverage the work of others • There are tons of resources already available – Using Runbooks in System Center 2012 – Orchestrator – – Free eBook: Microsoft System Center – Designing Orchestrator Runbooks – • Puppet Modules – More than 600 ready-to-use community modules – – Document: Provision and configure vSphere VMs with Puppet Enterprise – 10 Confidential Global Marketing
    11. 11. Tip #8: Use Tools Built into the Hypervisor • Auto Deploy • Host Profiles • Update Manager • Templates • WSUS 11 Confidential Global Marketing
    12. 12. Tip #9: Schedule Tasks to Run During Maintenance Windows • vCenter task scheduler – vCenter Orchestrator, too • Windows task scheduler 12 Confidential Global Marketing
    13. 13. Tip #10: Embrace the Emerging Rise of Software • The rise of software is real and isn’t just hype – Software defined servers are here and real and have been for ten years – Software defined networking is becoming a major battlefront – Software defined storage is here and is a growing threat to established players • Automation will be baked into the infrastructure – Get a jump start 13 Confidential Global Marketing
    14. 14. Example of automation within Infrastructure management: Foglight™ for Virtualization Enterprise Edition Visualize. Analyze. Optimize. September 2013
    15. 15. Real-time Visualization • The one solution that does it all – Real-Time and Historical Analysis – Single –pane-of-glass for enterprise wide virtual monitoring – Go from real-time to any-point-in-time performance and resource analysis Enterprise View Real-Time View Historical View 15 Confidential Global Marketing
    16. 16. Visualize End to “Everything” • The one solution that does it all – Increased visibility – Host, VM, Guest OS, Database, Application Host VM Guest OS Database 16 Confidential Global Marketing
    17. 17. Proactive, Actionable Insights • The one solution that does it all – Expert Advice – Find Performance Problems in Seconds – Pinpoint the problem for immediate resolution – Proactively identify potential future problems Exception Alarms + Expert Advice Proactive Insights 17 Confidential Global Marketing
    18. 18. Automation you can Trust • The one solution that does it all – Flexible Automation – Automate remediation to alarms & common tasks – Integration with VMware, Hyper-v – PowerShell scripting for extensive customization Automation Custom Workflows Proactive Optimization 18 Confidential Global Marketing
    19. 19. Beyond performance monitoring Visualize, analyze and optimize your IT infrastructure with Foglight for Virtualizatio Heterogeneous virtualization management delivers operational efficiency • • • • • Visualize virtual infrastructure health with predictive VM performance monitoring Deploy expert optimization techniques across heterogeneous virtualization platforms to reduce Maximize resource utilization with advanced capacity management and CAPEX scenario modeling Control dynamic virtual environments with detailed change audit trails and management Simplify VM configuration tasks with user-controlled, intelligent virtualization automate Download free 30-day trial of Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition: 19 Confidential Global Marketing
    20. 20. Thank you for your participation More conversations on line Michele Ballinger @ballingertweets Visit us on the Web: Join the conversation… Learn More on Foglight Foglight on Facebook Foglight for Virtualization on Twitter @DellVirt The Foglight for Virtualization Community ight 20 Confidential Global Marketing