DRS related flings – DRS Entitlement Viewer & DRS Lens

 In Software, VMware

Distributed Resource Scheduler is really interesting technology and recently I have written an article regarding DRS as a technology and how it works.

This time, I would like to show you two really interesting flings that might help you to understand DRS behavior and resource management of your environment more deeply.

If you don’t know, VMware have its own labs, where you can find cool flings – small programs or appliances that might be in the future integrated into the vSphere suite but even today, they are really helpful, and they can offer you some additional functionality

I will focus on two of them which are related to DRS

DRS Entitlement Viewer

DRS Entitlement Viewer is powerful tool, that you can use for what-if modeling of resource distribution. This is particularly handy if you use reservation, shares and limits for your virtual machines or resource pools. Especially, once your environment consists of more parent-child resource pools all with different virtual machines with different reservations, shares or limits.

What happen, when you run out of resources and those metrics kicks in for calculation which VM will get what percentage of resources? Well, this tool can answer you without complicated Excel calculations.

Download

https://labs.vmware.com/flings/drs-entitlement-viewer

DRS Entitlement Viewer is installed as a plugin to the vSphere client. It is currently only supported for the HTML5 based vSphere client. Once installed, it gives the hierarchical view of vCenter DRS cluster inventory with entitled CPU and memory resources for each resource pool and VM in the cluster.

Entitled resources can change with VMs’ resource demand and with the VM’s and resource pool’s reservation, limit and shares (RLS) settings. So, customers can get the current entitlements based on the VMs’ current demand and RLS settings of the VMs and resource pools.

Installation

Installation is quite simple, all you need is to upload necessary files to your vCenter Server Appliance and configure two advanced options of your cluster.

From shell of the VCSA

Copy the zip package from your management station (or download it using wget directly to VCSA)

root@vcsa-vsan [ /]# cd /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages
root@vcsa-vsan [ /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages ]# scp administrator @172.16.1.253:c:/DRS.zip ./

Unzip the files

root@vcsa-vsan [ /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages ]# unzip DRS.zip
Archive: DRS.zip
inflating: DRS/plugin-package.xml
creating: DRS/plugins/
inflating: DRS/plugins/gson-2.3.1.jar
inflating: DRS/plugins/rpvisualization-service.jar

And restart web client service

root@vcsa-vsan [ ~ ]# /usr/bin/service-control --stop vsphere-ui
Operation not cancellable. Please wait for it to finish...
Performing stop operation on service vsphere-ui...
Successfully stopped service vsphere-ui
root@vcsa-vsan [ ~ ]# /usr/bin/service-control --start vsphere-ui
Operation not cancellable. Please wait for it to finish...
Performing start operation on service vsphere-ui...
Successfully started service vsphere-ui
root@vcsa-vsan [ ~ ]#

That’s it. Once done all you need is to configure the advanced parameters of the cluster

  • CompressDrmdumpFiles – 0
  • DrmdumpResActions – 1

From now forward, you can see new tab – DRS Entitlements under Monitor tab of your cluster

DRS Lens

DRS Lens is an appliance that is installed into the exiting vSphere environment and using its interface you can monitor what is going on within your cluster. How the VMs are being migrated, how the cluster balance is changing based on the recommendations and much more

DRS Lens provides a simple, yet powerful interface to highlight the value proposition of vSphere DRS. Providing answers to simple questions about DRS will help quell many of the common concerns that users may have. DRS Lens provides different dashboards in the form of tabs for each cluster being monitored

Download

https://labs.vmware.com/flings/drs-lens

Cluster Balance

Provides a graph showing the variations in the cluster balance metric plotted over time with DRS runs. This shows how DRS reacts to and tries to clear cluster imbalance every time it runs.


VM Happiness

This dashboard shows VM happiness for the first time in a UI. There will be a chart showing a summary of total VMs in the cluster that are happy and those that are unhappy. Users can then select individual VMs to view performance metrics related to its happiness, like %CPU ready time, memory swapped, etc.

vMotions

This dashboard provides a summary of vMotions that happened in the cluster over time. For each DRS run period, there will be a breakdown of vMotions as DRS-initiated and user-initiated. This helps users see how actively DRS has been working to resolve cluster imbalance. It also helps to see if there are vMotions outside of DRS control, which may be affecting cluster balance.

Operations

This dashboard tracks different operations (tasks in vCenter Server) that happened in the cluster, over time. Users can correlate information about tasks from this dashboard against DRS load balancing and its effects from the other dashboards.
DRS Lens provides a simple, yet powerful interface to highlight the value proposition of vSphere DRS. Providing answers to simple questions about DRS will help quell many of the common concerns that users may have.

Installation

Installation is really easy, just deploy the OVA template downloaded from vmware labs and after the appliance is up and running you can access the web interface from your web browser

https://ip_address_drs_lens/drs/app

As you can see, those two flings are really powerful, and I would recommend you to at least test them! Also, don’t forget to check other flings as well, you might find something helpful there!

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