At MMS 2013, Rob Doucette showcased their Hyper-V capacity planning in VMM with a very cool free extension. A subset of that presentation is available here. In summary, this is an extremely cool free extension to Virtual Machine Manager 2012 which provides tips for hosts and virtual machines in VMM. After a quick talk with Rob today I realized that I really needed to check this out and try it out in my lab, so here we go!

 

This blog will focus on the installation steps for Savision Cloud Advisor, and it will review what new features are available after this extension to VMM is in place.

 

Installation:

Savision Cloud Advisor is available for downloaded at http://www.savision.com/free-tuning-and-optimization-recommendations. After registration, a zip file is available for download. Resist the urge to extract the zip file as VMM is actually looking for the zip file when you add the console add-in! On the VMM server, on the settings pane use the Import Console Add-in shown below:

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When selecting the add-in, browse to the location where you downloaded the zip file from Savision.

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There is a security warning about unsigned add-ins which will only allow you to click next if you check the Continue installing this add-in anyway option shown below.

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Settings are confirmed and after clicking Finish we can get back into the VMM console.

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Finishing starts the job which we can review and see if it completed successfully as shown below.

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What is new in the VMM console after installing Savision Cloud Advisor?

After adding the Savision Cloud Advisor, a new Tuning Tips option appears on the VMs and Services pane (highlighted below).

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Click the tuning tips and you need to provide database credentials initially which defaulted to the correct hostname, database instance and authentication mode for my lab environment as shown below.

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On to the cool stuff – what tips did we see? The example below shows that 20 tips were found for my environment when I highlight the All Hosts group (the number of tips shown varies depending upon what tips apply to the host group that you highlight).

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Examples of several of the tuning tips are shown below which indicate conditions such as running out of memory on a host, virtual machines which are likely unused, and virtual guest services that are missing.
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You can also change the grouping so that you order by any of the fields at the top such as in the screenshot below where these are grouped by the target.
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The tips identified in my environment include:

  • Dynamic memory is not being used
  • Prediction: All available memory will be consumed
  • Virtual guest services are not installed
  • Virtual machine appears to be unused

The full list of tips currently available include:

  • Does a cluster have enough memory to permit failover?
  • Is dynamic memory enabled for a virtual machine?
  • Does a virtual machine appear inactive (and causing resources to be wasted)?
  • Are virtual guest services installed in a virtual machine?
  • Are cluster shared volumes running low on disk space?
  • Does a virtual machine need another virtual CPU assigned to it due to its current processor usage?
  • Is the starting or minimum RAM assigned to a virtual machine too high (and thus causing resources to be wasted)?
  • Predict when a host will have exhausted all physical RAM based on past history of memory usage and VM creation.
  • Predict when a cluster will have exhausted all physical RAM based on past history of memory usage and VM creation.

In the settings pane, this appears as a console add-in as we would expect (shown below).

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Summary: Savision Cloud Advisor provided an easy to integrate extension to Virtual Machine Manager which provided quick benefits in my lab environment by identifying several items that I needed to address. Since it’s free and easy to integrate, I would highly recommend that users of VMM with Hyper-V check this out!

Next steps: Comparing Cloud Advisor with PRO in Operations Manager

Larry Rayl from Catapult Systems will be following this blog post with his own which will compare the functionality in Savision Cloud Advisor to the PRO functionality in VMM. His blog post will be available at: https://www.catapultsystems.com/lrayl/