New Video how-to: VDI Environments in Turbonomic

Document created by on Nov 15, 2016Last modified by fran.schwarzmann on Nov 17, 2016
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Managing VDI environments is difficult and unpredictable! Learn how to best set your environment up for success with Turbonomic’s VDI Environments walk-through. Watch this 4-part video series as a whole, or skip around segments to learn the ins & outs on leveraging Turbonomic within VDI-specific environments.


Discover how to optimize your VDI environment in 4 steps:

1. Creating VDI Custom Groups & SLAs:  Learn how to group VDI VMs together and set storage latency SLAs using the Policy Tab



2. Creating VDI Dashboards: Create a custom dashboard using the dashboard editor with specific VDI-focused panels



3. Creating Reservation VMs: Use the deploy tab to create reservation VMs and future reservation VMs



4. Running a Plan with Reserved VMs: Create and run a plan in the Plan tab that accounts for reservation VMs in the environment




Make sure to like the video and comment below your thoughts & suggestions for follow-up Green Circle How-To Knowledge Base Videos!


Video 1-Creating VDI Groups and SLAs


Today we’re going to create a custom group, specifically we’re going to create a custom group that contains all of my VDI VMs.


Starting in the administrator instance, we need to navigate to the policy tab. Once in the policy tab, we’ll go to the category menu on the left side of the screen and click on “group management”.


In “my groups” we’ll see a collection of all the VM, storage, host, and application custom groups that I have created from my Turbonomic instance. Now, we’ll click on the green plus button, which will generate a “new group” in the “my groups” folder. The first thing we want to do is re-name this group by double clicking on it until it is highlighted. I’m going to name this group “Custom VDI Group 11/2016” (say November 2016). Now we will have to find it in our “My Groups” folder.


Take note that every time you press the green button a “new group” will be added to your “my groups folder”, so it’s good practice to clean up any empty groups that you might have created by accident and to properly name all of your groups.

Next, we need to configure the contents of our “Custom VDI Group” meaning we need to add Virtual Machines to our group.


There are two ways to do that: manually selecting entities to group or grouping entities by criteria. If you have a naming convention or another way of matching your VDI VMs, I recommend using a dynamic group, which is done by selecting “grouping entities by criteria” as this will continuously update if new entities are added or removed.


To create a dynamic group, well first click the green plus to “add a filter” and select what entity we’ll be searching for. I’ll be searching for my VDI VMs by name, because in my VM naming convention I denoted all VDI VMs to include “VDI” in their name when I created them, and I’ll then use a regular expression string to find my VDI VMs.


If you are not familiar with regex (regular expression), you can hover over the black question mark to get more information. Then I’ll select “equals” in the pull down menu and type. *VDI.* to find any VMs that have VDI as a substring in their name. Then press “find matches”


On the bottom of the screen we’ll see our “found matches”. This serves as a sanity to make sure that we are adding the VMs that we had in mind to the custom group. Finally, just press “Apply Member Change”


On the left side in the “my groups” folder, we’ll notice that in our new custom group we can now drill down and see all of the VDI VMs that we added to the group. There’s one last thing left to do in the policy tab: setting specific SLAs for our VDIs. To do so, on the category menu we’ll click “analysis” and drill down. Then we’ll select VM, and drill down the “my groups” folder to find the group we just created “Custom VDI Group 11/2016”. By selecting the entire group, we see the operational constraints that we can set to the entire group.


Since we carefully created this group to include only the VDI VMs we wanted, we feel comfortable setting these operational constraints to the custom group. There are a few constraints that I can modify in this specific analysis scope. For my VDI VMs, I am going to set the Storage Latency SLA to 200 milliseconds, so that my VDI meet my specific storage SLAs that I have put on my environment. To do this I’ll click override storage latency SLA Value, change the Value number, and then “apply settings change”. Now I have finished setting my VDI SLAs for my custom VDI group.


Video 2-VDI Dashboards


Now that we have our VDI environment configured, how do we keep track of our VDIs’ behavior and Turbonomic’s autonomic work in keeping our VDI environment in its desired state?


One things we can do, is set a specific VDI dashboard that highlights information, only about our VDI environment that we care about. To create this custom dashboard, we’ll go to the dashboard tab in the menu bar, go to our dashboard menu and click on the green plus sign at the top of our dashboard menu to create a new custom dashboard.


Once in the dashboard editor, we want to browse through the variety of panels Turbonomic offers out of the box and select the panels that are most relevant to our environment. For my VDI dashboard, I care about

  • QoS impact of my critical VDI Applications
  • Risks over time for my VDI specific environment
  • To-do and audit list for my VDI environment


My To-do list allows me to keep track of what actions I have to do, or Turbonomic has to do to keep my environment in its healthiest state. Conversely, the audit log allows me to review the work that Turbonomic or I have done to keep my VDI environment in its healthiest state thus far.


To create the first panel, We’ll simply select the panel we want “QoS impact” on the left side of the screen and drag and drop the panel on to the editing space. When the Panel Editor comes up, we’ll just name and scope our panel. I’m going to name my Panel “QoS Impact-VDI Apps” and scope down to one of the applications that we want to observe. I want to see the QoS levels of my Chrome application, since it is one of the mission critical applications in my VDI environment. Then I’ll just press done and my QoS impact panel will populate. Since I have enough space for my 4 panels, I’m going to expand my QoS impact panel to the right by dragging the bottom right corner out so that it is easier to digest. As we can see in this panel I can look into the Transaction capacity, Response Time, Network Throughput , IOPS, and disk Latency percentages on my Chrome application all together, or I can select an individual metric like Latency for example by unselecting the other metrics if I want to look at the disk Latency of my Chrome application in more detail. I can also use the time slider in the bottom to see disk latency on my Chrome application over a period of time. In the future if I want to look at a difference application in detail, I can just edit the panel to show a different application.


Some of you may be wondering how was I able to pull this application, to make this panel. Well if you haven’t done so, to create this panel, you will have to discover in Turbonomic the application that you are interested in. To discover application, we’ll go back to the policy tab, and on the category menu, drill down “discovery” and click on Application Discovery.

To discover an application running on your VDI instance, you’ll just have to press the green plus sign at the bottom, double click on the “New Signature” in the name column and type the display name you want for the application. Then in the match column type in the process name. As you can see you can also utilize regular expression in the match column to discover your application, if needed. Then just press apply setting change.


Lastly, drill down on “application discovery”, select application credentials and find the Custom Group in the “my groups” folder. Then just type in the username and password that’s associated with the WMI configuration on your specific workloads related to the application you want discovered and press “apply setting change”. Finally, re-discover the environment. Once you do, your desired application will now be discovered, and will populate when you scope your QoS impact panel.

For the second desired panel for our VDI custom dashboard we can just go through the same motions we did for the QoS impact panel. ISelect the “risks over time” panel on the editor menu, drag and drop on to my editing space re-name the panel so that we are always clear on what information we’re looking at, and scope the panel. I’m going to name my panel “Risks Over Time-VDI” and scope down to the custom group we just created “Custom VDI Group 11/2016” and select done. Then expand this panel like I did my first.


For our third and fourth panel “To-do” and “audit log” will follow the exact same process. Just make sure to always name your panel something relevant and descriptive, and to properly scope your panel to show the exact information you are interested in.


The To-do panel will display actions that Turbonomic’s autonomic intelligence recommends we take to continue to drive and maintain our VDI environment within its healthiest state. The actions will show as recommended and selectable “to-dos” for the actions that our set policies allow us to take within Turbonimic. These are the actions that are designated as manual or automated within our Turbonomic instance. The actions can also show as un-selectable “to-dos” if the recommendation falls within “read-only” or “recommend” policies within Turbonomic.


The audit log, in contrast will show what specific actions Turbonomic or I have manually taken within the Turbonomic instance or externally as detailed by the user column in the audit log, for up to 24 months.


Once we are satisfied with our custom VDI dashboard, we’ll just press save, and re-name our dashboard, I’m going to name my dashboard “VDI Dashboard”. Then All that’s left to do is press the green check to save our dashboard


Finally, our custom VDI dashboard will be stored within the “My dashboard group” in the dashboard menu.


Video 3-Reserved VMs


When your VDI environment is constantly growing and you have fluctuating demand, the concept of reservation VMs is important. Turbonomic can manage the future state of your environment with reserved VMs and we’ll go over how you can do it.


You need three things to create reservation VMs: a reservation name, a VM template and a deployment profile.

To create our reservation, we’ll start in the deploy tab on the left side of the page in the “Reservation Setup"


In the Reservation Name field, type the name for the reservation VMs. For this example, let’s call our reservation VMs “Finance VDI Deployment” In the VM count field we’ll have to specify how many VMs we need, let’s say we need 10 Finance VDI VMs, that need to be reserved today, and deployed next week.


For selecting a Virtual Machine Template, we can choose one from the drop down menu. Which shows the VM templates that have been pulled from your vCenter or hypervisor management system. If the drop down menu does not show the VM template you want, it’s not a problem. We can create a VM template from the Turbonomic instance.


To create a VM template just click on the clipboard icon in the reservation setup, and when the editor pops up, press the plus sign at the bottom of the VM template section. You want to give your VM template a name, vendor, a brief description, and describe the specific specs you want for your template.  Then press creates. And close the VM template editor. We’ll be able to then find and select our new VM Template in the drop down menu. I want to use VM Template Win-7-Large for my reservations.  Lastly, we need to select the desired deployment profile.


If our desired deployment profile does not populate in the drop down menu, we can go back to our editor, and create it by pressing the green plus sign at the bottom of the deployment profile section. To create the deployment profile, we’ll just have to name our profile, pick the datacenter, or cluster, that we want for our deployment profile, or manually enter the path of the ovf img/vhd file, and lastly select the related VM template we want our deployment profile to correspond to.   I’ll want my deployment profile to relate to VM Template Win7-Large, since it’s the template I’m currently using. Then just press create, and select your new deployment profile in the drop down menu.


The last thing we want to do to create our reservation VMs is press request. Then the proposed workload placement for my 10 vms will populate at the bottom of the reservation set up panel. we can see where Turbonomic wants to reserve these VMs and then just press reserve. The reservations will then populate in the upper “reservation” panel. Notice that in the status of the reservation we have a green bucket. This means that the resources for this reservation have been filled and the VMs are ready to deploy on the deploy date.


Let’s say that want to create additional Finance VDI Deployments to be reserved in a month from now, and deployed in two. We’ll simply do the same process that we did for the first reservation, but making sure to tweak the name of our reservation since there cannot be two reservations with the same name, regardless of difference in reservation or deployment date.


Our future reservation will be logged in the Future reservations panel in the bottom of the screen and with the status displaying a blue bucket with an F. This simply means that Turbonomic has taken note of the reservation, and will calculate the resource workload availability on the reservation date. When the reservation date comes around, our future reservation will be displayed on the reservation panel, with an updated status. You can always edit the name and deploy date of a reservation and edit the name and reservation or deploy date of a future reservation.


Take note that you can always look at the details of your reservation, which shows the reservation resources and the details of future reservations which tells you what specifics you inputted.


The last thing we’ll do in the deploy tab is take advantage of Turbonomic’s functionality to generate a report from our reservations, or run a plan directly from the deploy tab which estimates the resources required to accommodate the unfulfilled reservations. The plan will populate as a report, when it is finished.


Video 4-Running a Plan with Reservation VMs


Let’s say that we’re interested in running a plan of our VDI environment that accounts for the reserved VDI VMs that we have scheduled to deploy in a future date, but whose resource we have already fulfilled.


The reason one would want to run this kind of plan is to see what the desired state of our current VDI environment is, accounting for the reservation VMs that we have scheduled to be deployed. To achieve this, we want to go to the plan tab in the menu bar and press the green plus to begin a new plan. A planning wizard will populate, but for good practice we are going to manually create this plan, so we’ll close out of the wizard, and direct our attention to the configure panel on the left side of the screen.


We’ll first want to scope our environment. I want to scope my plan to reflect information about my VDI environment, so I’ll press edit in my plan scope and drill down on PM groups, Physical machines by PM Clusters and select PM Hawthorne production, which is where my VDI environment resides in, and then I’ll press okay.


Then, I want to edit my plan demand, and drill down on “add vm(s)”, click on “include reserved VMs”, and check “enable”. By enabling reservation VMs in the plan’s demand you are allowing Turbonomic to account for reserved VMs when calculating the current and desired state of the environment. Then press Done, and click “run” to run the plan.


When the plan is finished running, the current and desired state of our VDI environment will show. We can see that our plan accounts for the 10 additional VMs that have been reserved to deploy in its calculation, to show us the ultimate current and desired state of our VDI environment with Turbonomic autonomic intelligence.

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