UPDATED VM Topology: Pure Storage VM Collector Setup - deep VMware storage analyzes and monitoring

[ NOTE: machine translation with the help of DeepL translator without additional proofreading and spell checking ]


With the release of the new VM Analytics Appliance version 3.0, the article has been updated to summarize the changed system requirements and new features.


Major Feature Enhancements Version 3.0


The main innovation with VM Analytics in V3 is the extended in-guest/VM metrics. It is now possible not only to analyze capacities at datastore/vdisk level, but also to look into the virtual disks down to the guest operating system (partitions) with the help of VMware tools. In my eyes, this is another powerful free extension within the Collector and the Pure Storage Ecosystem.

In addition, it is now also possible with the appliance to upgrade the collector in-place in the future, as is usual with Pure (NDU), without having to redeploy.


Storage analyses or troubleshooting are not necessarily complex and time-consuming. With Pure1 and an appliance "VM Collector", analyses are possible beyond the storage layer deep into the VM/hypervisor layer. Identify bottlenecks in storage, SAN or hypervisor within minutes.

With VM Analytics, IO paths from VMs to FlashArray are visually represented. Means the entire path from: Disk (vDisk), VM, Host, Datastore, Storage Volume up to the Array. Pure Storage manages with "VM Analytics" consolidated storage and hypervisor monitoring* (disk monitoring only) without a 3rd-party monitoring tool. Within VM Topology, for example, you can filter by metrics such as IOPS, bandwidth and latency.


System requirements


To run VM Analytics, a few requirements must be met:

  • the hypervisor for the appliance must be from VMware and at least a vCenter 6.5 U3 or newer. However, metrics can also be collected from vCenter 5.5 onwards

  • the VM Collector must be able to communicate with the vCenter (IP connection)

  • a service account with "read-only rights" (sufficient) is required

  • VMware Tools 10.1 or newer to query the in-guest VM metrics (capacities) (modified with UPDATE). - See also: FlashArray: VM Topology Requirements Checker PowerShell script

  • Phonehome must be enabled (port 443/HTTPS TCP outbound) to 52.40.225.224/27 and *.cloud-support.purestorage.com

It is possible to deploy the VM Collector in two variants:


Variant 1: OVA-Collector (this post)

A VMware OVA is deployed in the virtual environment. This requires manageable resources: 4vCPUs, 8GB RAM (changed with UPDATE) (with version 2 still 2vCPUs, 2GB RAM) and a vDisk with 40GB (also thin possible: after installation approx. 3GB are used directly). These resources are automatically allocated during the OVA import. In addition, experience has shown that it is advisable to place the VM Collector in a port group that has direct access to the management network of the flash arrays.


[NO LONGER] Variant 2: On-Array Collector in Purity Run

INFO: with the release of VM Collector as OVA the old version under the name of "Off-Array Collector" is no longer available for new installations.


There is also a migration option from Off-Array Collector to OVA and taking the existing configuration with you. For this, both collectors (old-new) must be able to reach each other via an IP connection.

One had the choice to run the VM Collector in the KVM stack of the controllers. Here, with the on-array variant, Purity had to be at the software level of at least 4.10.X, 5.1.0. The resources required are also minimal and do not affect system performance at all. Purity Run is already active by default since 5.2.X and therefore does not consume any additional resources. However, there are customers who do not want to keep an additional load on storage. Deployment of the On-Array Collector without the Pure Storage Support is not possible! For this a ticket would have to be opened and the employee would set this up for your system.


The Collector makes system queries to the vCenter every 10 minutes (600 seconds) by default, this interval is enough to query about 8000 VMs (modified with UPDATE). It is estimated that the load on the vCenter is less than 5% (on top CPU). The smallest possible value for the system queries is 5 minutes (300 seconds).

Screenshot Ressourcenbelegung VM Analytics Version 2.0.0

General


The VM Collector is based on Docker container architecture. It is possible to deploy a single collector on multiple vCenters within a network.


Configuration


The latest OVA Collector can be downloaded from the Pure1 portal under Anaytics > VM Topology > "Gear" > "Download OVA Collector v3.0.0". If the vCenter has a prepared internet breakout and can access https pages, you can also just copy the download link and use it to deploy the OVF - if you know OVF templates, you know it's a next-next-finish setup with a few entries:


You can simply copy-paste the download link to the OVA into the setup (see requirements above).

In the further steps, a name for the VM, a datastore, EULA and network information must be assigned. The wizard is self-explanatory.

After that, you can start the deployment of the appliance by clicking "Finish".

After successfully deploying and booting the appliance, final configurations can be made via the VMware remote console or SSH. Finally, the default password must be changed and the vCenter instance must be specified.

The default user for the initial login is as usual:

User: pureuser

Password: pureuser

The password must be changed at the initial login!

The "Authorization Key" can be created with "Create Collector" in Pure1. The name is just an alias, but as always I recommend to keep it unique. It is recommended to use a pattern like: "vCenterName-Collector-ArrayNames".

I have switched to a Putty SSH session in the meantime, since I can simply copy-paste the key here.

The registration of the connection Appliance-Pure1 is then done with the command:

purevmanalytics register Ihr-Authorisation-Key

HINT: Ich bin inzwischen auf eine Putty-SSH-Sitzung umgestiegen, da ich hier den Schlüssel einfach per Copy-Paste einfügen kann.

Die Anmeldung der Verbindung Appliance-Pure1 erfolgt dann mit dem Befehl:

After successful registration it is recommended to test the Pure1 connection via:

purevmanalytics test pinghome 

If, contrary to expectations, problems occur here, you should check whether appropriate proxy settings still need to be set. This can be done via :

purevmanalytics setattr --proxy {HTTP/HTTPS://IP-FQDN:PORT} 

The proxy settings can also be already configured during deployment via the OVA Wizard.


Now the connection to the vCenter must be established (for new setup & no configuration import). This is done with the prepared service account via:

purevmanalytics connect --hostname FQDN-/IP-Adresse-vCenter --username user@domain

The password prompt appears after issuing the command - ENTER.

The latter is the flawless vCenter connection via:

purevmanalytics list 

or to test.

HINT: If you plan to upgrade from an existing collector to V3, deploy a new appliance/VM using the OVA process and then import the vCenter settings from the old collector:

purevmanalytics config import --host FQDN-/IP-Adresse-alter-Collector 
--user pureuser

The registration of the authorization keys must be done as described above.

After the setup you will notice: in Pure1 VM Topology data is not directly available. The collector must first collect and process data after the initial setup. It will be visible after the setup for the first time data after experience 3 hours (also depending on the environment size).


However, you can also trigger a manual phonehome via the CLI:

purevmanalytics phonehome

More commands


Displaying the collector version


To find out which version one currently has installed, use:

purevmanalytics version

Check for new collector updates


To check for existing updates, use:

puresw list

to install new updates:

puresw upgrade start Packagename

Create Support Bundle


If you unexpectedly run into problems with the setup or operation, you can simply create a support bundle:

puresupport bundle

You can then access the Support Bundle via the link.


Pure1: VM Topology - first evaluations


In VM Topology, you can filter at various levels and break down individual components. You can do the coarse filtering as usual according to the VMware vCenter structure on Datacenter or Cluster. Then on the individual layers: Array, Datastore, Host, ...

It is difficult to find meaningful use cases in a test environment. In the following example, I wanted to see what vDisk1 on the VM "Poc-Test-Perf" has for latency on the respective target system. Here, queries such as: Storage is too slow, my database is sluggish! can be handled.

The metrics to be filtered are not limited to latency. All traditionally relevant metrics for storage can be selected.


More info - Links


All officially published setting options in the GUI but also CLI can be read via the "on-board" user guides of the Pure Storage systems.


Click on "Help" in the Purity main menu.


The User Guide is structured like the main menu and can be opened downwards. A search function is also integrated - within here you can also search for keywords.

WEB: Pure Storage (Pure1) support portal - Ticket system and support *(requires registered FlashSystems)

PHONE: Pure Storage phone support: GER - (+49) (0)800 7239467; INTERNATIONAL - (+1) 650 7294088

WEB: Pure Storage community

WEB: Pure Storage OFFICIAL blog

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