Workload Placement lets you to optimize virtual machines and storage across clusters to reduce resource contention and maintain optimum system performance.

Where You Find Workload Placement

Select Workload Placement under Optimize in the left menu.

Workload Placement Page Options

In the Workload Optimization page, you see a list of data centers in a carousel, listed under three categories:
  • Critical
  • Normal
  • Unknown

After you select a data center, you see the ALL DATACENTERS button on the upper right. Click ALL DATACENTERS when you want to switch the view to a filtered list of all data centers. Click X to return to a carousel view of data centers.

Table 1. Workload Placement Page Options
Option Description
View: Filter results to include data centers, custom data centers, vRA-managed custom data centers, or all three. (Option appears if you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right.)
Group By: Filter results by criticality (most out of balance data centers/custom data centers listed first) or by the vCenter Server to which each data center belongs. (Option appears if you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right.)
Sort By:

Options (Options appear if you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right):

  • Alarm clock graphic - list data centers/custom data centers by time remaining.
  • Dollar sign - list data centers/custom data centers by potential cost savings with capacity optimization.
  • Scales graphic - Optimized.
Select data center or ADD NEW CUSTOM DATACENTER

Options (Options appear if you select ALL DATACENTERS on the upper right):

  • Select a data center from the carousel across the top of the page. All data following refreshes with information for the selected object.
  • Select ADD NEW CUSTOM DATACENTER to display a screen that enables you to define a custom data center.

Data Center Options

After you select a data center from the carousel, you see the following information and options.
Note: If you point your cursor to the lower right of a data center graphic, a tooltip may appear to let you know that the data center is using automated optimization.

Optimization Status Tab

Appears when you select a data center or custom data center from the top of the screen.

Table 2. The Optimization Recommendation Card
Option Description
  • Optimized - indicates that workloads are optimized based on the settings you entered in the neighboring Operational Intent window, with no tag violations based on the settings you entered in the Business Intent window.
  • Not Optimized - indicates that one of the following conditions is true: workloads are not optimized based on the settings you entered in the neighboring Operational Intent window AND/OR there are tag violations based on the settings you entered in the Business Intent window. In the event of tag violations, the offending tags are listed.

Runs optimizing actions based on the settings you entered in your Operational and Business Intent settings.

SCHEDULE Displays a dialog box enabling you to schedule one or more optimization actions. If schedules are currently set for data center or custom data center optimization, a check mark appears next to the data center or custom data center name.
AUTOMATE Continually seeks optimizing opportunities for data center or custom data center, based on the settings in the neighboring Operational Intent window or Business Intent windows. Scheduled optimizations are turned off while automatic optimization is on. Also, automated alerts are not operational when automatic optimization is on. Once you confirm automation, the system displays message, for example, 1) "Workload Optimization is looking for opportunities to automate," 2) "Your workloads are optimized according to your settings." or 3) "No eligible moves were found within the max number of compatibility checks allowed."
Note: To initiate Automation, you must have privileges for Environment -> Action -> Schedule Optimize Container.
TURN OFF AUTOMATION Stops automatic optimization. Any scheduled optimizations come back online.
Note: Sometimes an optimizing action may be recommended, for example to consolidate two hosts, but when you run the optimization, the generated placement plan does not show any potential consolidation. The seeming inconsistency results from the fact that recommended optimization actions are based on current conditions, whereas the placement plan logic includes forecasting. If forecasting predicts that consolidation can incur stress in the future, then consolidation is not recommended.
Note: Scheduled jobs created from the Workload Placement page will be shown in the Automation Central page. However, these jobs cannot be edited, cloned or previewed, but can only be activated or deactivated.
Table 3. The Operational Intent Card
Option Description
Utilization Objective Indicates the main attribute of your current automation policy settings. Values are moderate, consolidate, or balance.
Edit Displays the Workload Automation Policy Settings, where you can adjust settings for optimization and cluster headroom. For more information, see the topic, Workload Automation Details.
Table 4. The Business Intent Card
Option Description
Intent Allows you to define zones of infrastructure within cluster boundaries.
Edit Displays a workspace where you can select criteria for placement of VMs.
Table 5. Details for Are your clusters meeting your utilization objective?
Option Description
Are your clusters meeting your utilization objective?
Displays a table which presents data in the following columns based on the Demand model or Allocation model:
  • Name
  • CPU Workload
  • Memory Workload
  • DRS Settings
  • Migration Threshold
  • Violated Tags
  • VM Name

To activate the Allocation model, set the overcommit ratios in the active policy. For more information, see the topic, Allocation and Demand Model in Workload Optimization.

Migration thresholds are based on DRS priority levels, and are computed based on the workload imbalance metric for the cluster. The violated tags shows which clusters or host groups are breaching the business intent. The VM Name column shows the name of the VMs and tag value due to which tag violation is happening.

Provides the option to set the DRS automation level for individual objects.
VIEW DRS SUMMARY Select a cluster in the list, then click this link to display a page containing metrics for DRS performance and cluster balance in the selected data center.
SET DRS AUTOMATION Select a cluster in the list, then click this link to set the level of the DRS automation for the cluster. Note that clusters must be fully automated in order for workload optimization alerts to run actions set in the policies.

History Tab

Displays a graphical depiction of executed manual and automated optimizations for clusters in the selected data center or custom data center, based on parameters you provide.

Table 6. Details for History
Option Description
Selected WLP process drop-down The optimization action whose details you want to display.
Time duration drop-down Last n hours - select the time parameter: last 6, 12, 24 hours or last 7 days.
Quick filter choose a cluster name to search on.
Squares graphic toggle between viewing processes in icon or circle form.
Circle Toggle between viewing processes presented in a circle or on a straight line.
Back arrow - reset action. Reset action.

If you point your cursor to a specific cluster as displayed on the screen, the details of the cluster appear in a tool tip. Click the note card icon on the lower right of the tool tip to go to the Details screen for the cluster. When displayed in the circle format, rings in the circle indicate how much CPU and how much memory was used at any given time. For example, if memory usage was higher than recommended based on your policy settings, the memory circle appears red.

Note the timeline across the bottom of the screen. When you choose parameters, for example, WLP process name, time parameter and cluster name, indicators appear along the timeline, showing when processes were initiated.

To zero in on a specific event, choose a process from the drop-down menu. You can also click points on the marker floating above the timeline, which causes a descriptive tool tip to appear, then double-click the 'Double-click to zoom' icon on the lower right.

If the event you choose includes an actual movement of VMs, you see a blue ball containing the number of VMs moved and showing the direction of the move and starting and ending clusters.

Optimization Potential Tab

When you run Workload Optimization, VMware Aria Operations runs compatibility checks and excludes those VMs which have constraints, and only optimizes resources of those VMs which can be moved. If you want to see the total potential of your workload optimization, assuming that all VMs can be moved, click the CALCULATE OPTIMIZATION POTENTIAL button in the Optimization Potential tab. Optimization Potential disregards the underlying constraints and recommends moves before the compatibility checks. You can download the report to see more details. Storage DRS must be set to fully automated.

If you want to see what can be realistically optimized, click OPTIMIZE NOW in the Operation Status tab. After you click OPTIMIZE NOW, you can download a report to review incompatibilities.

The optimization potential report helps you understand the difference between the optimization achievable when you run OPTIMIZE NOW and the total optimization potential.

See also Example: Run Workload Optimization