In my previous article about ‘Monitoring a Hyper-V environment we’ve looked at two tools: HyperV_Mon and the Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool. Both tools can be used to monitor the performance of a Hyper-V environment. But as I said earlier a monitoring tool needs to do more than that. I think a monitoring tool needs to do end-to-end monitoring of the whole chain of components which are needed to deliver a service to an end user. Performance statistics are not competent in this situation, configuration errors, product updates/ patches and best practices must also be verified by the monitoring tool. System Center Operations Manager is such a tool.
In this blog we will take a look at the Microsoft Windows Hyper-V management pack and some additional tooling for System Center Operations Manager (OpsMgr). We will not take a look at the PRO management pack for System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
The Microsoft Hyper-V Management Pack
Management packs can be directly downloaded from the OpsMgr console. OpsMgr will connect to the Management Pack Catalog website and from here you can search for the management pack that you would like to install. So let’s search for ‘Hyper-V’…. and the result is:
And yes this is the only result! A Hyper-V 2008 Management pack with a release date of 6/19/2009!!! There is no Hyper-V 2008 R2 management pack available at all in the Management Pack Catalog. A big disappointment as I speak for my self. Come on guys it’s 2011 and we’re already on Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2. Unfortunately this is the only management pack so let’s see what is will bring us.
After downloading the management pack we can import the management pack files to the OpsMgr console. After importing the management packs we need to wait a while so that Hyper-V configurations can be detected on servers with OpsMgr agents. But the result after importing the management pack is even disappointing as the search result:
This is all what the Hyper-V 2008 management pack bring us. The information is displayed correctly but I do not see any added value in this management pack, these are only some views. We need a lot more in this hyper-v management pack and I don’t understand why this management pack is so limited and why it’s not updated with the latest version of Hyper-V features. Let’s hope that there will be a better management pack available soon!
BridgeWays Management Pack
Luckily BridgeWays has a free management pack for Hyper-V and this one looks much better than the Microsoft one. The Management pack can be downloaded from (after a required registration): http://www.bridgeways.ca/downloads.php
So let’s install this Management Pack and take a look at it:
This looks much better! The ‘Server Role Dashboard gives you information about the health of your Hyper-V hosts and their related components:
The several performance dashboards gives you performance statistics about Memory, Network, Processor and Storage. If you’ve deployed OpsMgr agents on your Hyper-V servers the information will automatically appear in this Management Pack. A disadvantage of this management pack is that there is no interpretation or additional information regarding the showed performance statistics. You need to use PAL (which I described in part 1) or TechNet to read these performance statistics.
On TechNet there is a good source which you could consult for Hyper-V performance counters: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff367892.aspx
Unfortunately there are no reports included in this Management Pack which are specific for Hyper-V.
Savision also have a nice tool for real-time performance monitoring and troubleshooting called Vital Signs. This can be used as an extension to OpsMgr. Hyper-V.nu fellow Hans Vredevoort already blogged about this product here.
Beside of this product Savsion also has LiveMaps. LiveMaps is an excellent product that supports you with building clear dashboard views. This will help you to transform your complex virtual infrastructure in a clear overview picture. Dashboards can be created with the authoring console. The authoring console is very straight forwarded and within a couple of clicks you can build your own dashboard. This can look like this:
Behind the ‘Hyper-V environment’ object there is a more detailed view about the Hyper-V environment which you can compose on your own view:
As you can see in this view you can use OpsMgr objects (Application components, Devices, Distributed Applications and Perspectives) to compose your own dashboard. If you’re interested in how these products works you can take a look here.
In the first part of this blog we’ve looked at two performance monitoring tools. In the second part we’ve looked at OpsMgr which should be a more complete tool for monitoring your Hyper-V environment. But the default Microsoft Management Pack was very disappointing. However the Bridgeways management pack is much better. With expansion of tools like Vital Signs or LiveMaps you can make your monitoring of Hyper-V hosts complete. Unfortunately there is no ‘one stop shopping’ tool. I guess there is some work to do for Microsoft…
When you will have complete control and insight information of your whole Hyper-V environment you need all of the tools that I mentioned in these to blogs… Just my 2 cents.