The Live! Cluster Performance dashboard provides live information on whether the requests of the VMs are met by their underlying compute clusters. This dashboard focuses on CPU, Memory, and the performance of the clusters. Use this dashboard to view if there is any problem in meeting the demands of the VMs and if there is any unbalance within a cluster. The Live! Cluster Performance dashboard is the primary dashboard and it complements the Live! Cluster Performance dashboard which is the secondary dashboard. This secondary dashboard displays if the performance problem is caused by high utilization. The primary dashboard answers the question 'Is our IaaS performing?', while the secondary dashboard answers the question 'Is our IaaS working hard?'.

Design Consideration

The Live! Cluster Performance dashboard displays three heat maps. The heat maps complement each other and must be used together. The location of each cluster and ESXi hosts within those clusters is identical in all heat maps. The fixed positioning allows you to compare if the problem is caused by memory contention, CPU ready, or CPU co-stop.

The sizes of each cluster and ESXi hosts are constant. Variable sizing creates a distraction and can result in small boxes, making it difficult to read.

The focus of the performance is on the population and not on a single VM. This is not a single VM troubleshooting dashboard but a dashboard focusing on infra problem. As the infra counter is mathematically an aggregation of VM counters, you must have a right roll-up strategy. As the goal is to provide an early warning, do not use the average as a roll-up technique. Use the percentage of the population exceeding a threshold. The threshold is set to be stringent to receive an early warning.

How to Use the Dashboard

Review the heat maps, Memory Contention, CPU Ready, and CPU Co-Stop and see if there is any color other than green.
  • Green indicates that almost 100% of the VMs have received the CPU and memory that was requested. The threshold is set such that if the 10% of the VM population does not receive the requested resources, then the heat map turns red.
  • Red indicates an early warning. Stringent thresholds are used to enable proactive attention and remediation operations. The heat map can turn red because of the high standard that is applied even when there is no complaint from the VM owner yet.
  • The light gray indicates that there is no VM running on the host and the metric is not computing.
View if there is any unbalance.
  • There are two types of unbalance, cluster unbalance, and resource type unbalance.
  • The ESXi hosts are grouped by the cluster, so that the unbalance within a cluster can be easily viewed. Cluster unbalance is a real possibility and it is best monitored and not just assumed.
  • If the three heat maps are different, then there is a resource unbalance. For example, if the memory contention is mostly red, but the two CPU heat maps are green, it means you have an unbalance between memory and CPU.
  • If a single ESXi host displays different color across the three heat maps, it indicates that there is an unbalance between the CPU and memory resources in the host.
For NOC Operator, drill-down by selecting one of the VMs on the heat map.
  • The Trends of Selected ESXi Host widget will automatically display the performance counters. To hide any metric, click the name in the legend.

As part of the deployment, configure auto-rotate among the NOC dashboards. If you want to view one dashboard, then you can remove the vRealize Operations menu by using the URL sharing feature. This makes the overall user interface presentable and allows you to focus on the dashboard.

Points to Note

  • You can add Disk Latency if you have the screen real estate. Use the counter 'Percentage of Consumers facing Disk Latency (%)'. It is a part of a datastore object, not a cluster, as a VM in a cluster can have disks across multiple datastores. Organize this storage performance by data center and not by the cluster.