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Embotics Cloud Management Blog

How To Get Valuable Insights Into Your Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud Management ReportingvCommander ships with a library of insightful reports. You can easily customize these reports to create unique views of your virtual infrastructure, which you can then send as periodic status updates to organizational stakeholders. In addition to the library of predefined reports, vCommander also provides powerful search capabilities. This empowers users to create, save and schedule highly customized reports.

The reports fall into two main categories:

  1. Virtualization management - The virtualization management reports help you to optimize resources and ensure configuration consistency.
  2. Cloud automation - The cloud automation reports show costs related to consumption and provide insight into the overall service lifecycle from creation to decommissioning.

Let's look at these two reporting categories in more detail.

Virtualization Management

Performance Trending Report

One of the first things you may want to check in your virtualized environment is VM performance. The VM Performance Trending Report allows you to analyze the growth or decline of a VM's resource consumption in the past, as well as analyze the projected growth or decline of that VM's resource consumption in the future. You can run a Trending Report on any VM in the organizational tree to see how it’s behaving. For example, you can check if it’s having a performance problem over time or compare it to a rightsizing recommendation that’s been issued for that system.

In the Performance Trending Report, you’ll see the reporting period and a table of all the different data points that were collected, including:

  • CPU usage
  • Consumed memory
  • Swap in/swap out memory,
  • Memory ballooning, and more.

and the trend column shows whether a resource is trending up or down. A positive number indicates an upward trend in consumption, a negative number indicates a downward trend, and a zero value means resource consumption is not projected to change. VM Performance Trending Report

The data in the report is also presented in graphical form to make it easier for you to visualize the trends and peaks. VM Performance Trending Graph

Cluster Capacity Report

If you think there might be a capacity concern, you can run the Cluster Capacity Report. This report indicates how many more VM workloads can be added to clusters based on CPU, memory and storage resources. This indicates where and how the clusters are constrained for growth, allowing you to see the capacity remaining on a cluster. You’ll also learn if you’re running into any issues where utilization may be coming up against the physical limits of that cluster, and what the trend for that cluster is predicted to be. VM Cluster Capacity Report

This report also provides details about each host contained in a cluster. For each host, the following four charts are displayed:

  • VM Capacity Remaining that displays the remaining capacity for VM workloads
  • CPU Capacity that displays capacity based on CPU constraints, assuming that memory and storage are unlimited
  • Memory Capacity that displays capacity based on memory constraints, assuming that CPU and storage are unlimited
  • Storage Capacity that displays storage constraints, assuming that CPU and memory capacity are unlimited

Each chart (with the exception of VM Capacity Remaining) displays a red line showing the maximum available capacity for each resource and a blue line showing your actual usage. A yellow line indicates the threshold you configured.

The final section of the report for each cluster lists details about the constraining resources for the Compute Capacity and about the available storage.

VM Cluster Capacity Report - Hosts Population Trending Report

Virtualization management is always concerned with growth, and vCommander's VM Population Trending Report provides a critical overview of your environment, summarizing change over time, including VMs, costs, and specific resource consumption. You can run this report against certain areas of your environment, or across multiple areas, and that’s going to show you how you’re consuming resources in terms of raw VM count, storage, memory, CPU, and different Operating Systems. The report also includes a cost analysis to show you how costs for resources, operating systems, support, and any custom costs that may have been assigned are trending as well.  

Pop_trending Report_1 Pop_trending Report_2

Snapshot Summary

One of the areas of virtualization management that can be a difficult task to accomplish, and in some cases is just not done, is that of snapshot management. vCommander’s Snapshot Summary allows you to easily identify VMs with large snapshots. As with many of these predefined reports, this report has advanced filtering capabilities, so for example, you can see snapshots between 18 and 30 days, or all VMs that have greater than two snapshots.

Snapshot Summary Report Generator

Once the report has been generated, you can even determine who created the snapshots, so you know how to follow up.

Snapshot Summary Report

Comparative Economics Report

A key element in performance is determining which VMs require more or less resources, which can often be difficult. vCommander ships with a built-in rightsizing recommendations engine, and by using the Comparative Economics Report, you can see a summary of rightsizing recommendations, including the predicted cost savings and resource allocation. With the filtering set to the last seven days and rightsizing down recommendations only, you can see the before and after weekly cost and savings based on these recommendations.

Comparative Economics Report

By drilling into the details of the report you can also see the VMs to be rightsized, what the new cost would be, and the specific rightsizing recommendations for each VM.

Cloud Automation

If you're in the process of implementing a cloud-based self-service environment, vCommander also provides a number of reports to help you out, so now let’s take a look at a few of those.

We previously looked at the Comparative Economics Report which demonstrated the cost savings when rightsizing your VMs. You can also use this report to demonstrate the cost implications of moving VMs to different compute platforms, hypervisors, or clouds. This example shows a specific vCenter in the data center and an Amazon region (U.S. East) as a projected destination. The resulting report shows a VMware environment and its equivalent Amazon EC2 environment.

 Comparative Economics Report PlacementComparative Economics Report Placement Details

The details show the specific EC2 instant types for each VM and optional rightsizing considerations.

Cost Models and Chargeback Report

If you’re interested in doing showback or chargeback, vCommander ships with default cost models and a fully configurable multi-tenant cost model. This allows you to fully customize the costs to your environment. Billing records are created in the vCommander database, and you can generate a Chargeback Report that highlights an organization, data across multiple organizations, or workloads costs across different departments. Even if your organization isn’t ready for formal chargeback of IT costs, the showback visibility will still provide high value to the various stakeholders.

Using the VM Billing Report, you can demonstrate the consumption by the stakeholders. Below is a weekly report for the VMs in a particular project. In this example you see a report showing the weekly consumption for the overall project along with a summary, as well as a detailed record for each VM in question.

VM Billing Report 

 Service Fulfillment Report

The primary driver for cloud adoption is business agility, which in this case comes down to how fast IT can deliver the services being requested. vCommander lets you track this using the Service Fulfillment Report. You can specify your own corporate service delivery metrics, and the resulting report helps you track the percentage of service requests that are meeting targets, and drill into the ones that are not.

 Service Fulfillment Report - TopService Fulfillment Report - MiddleService Fulfillment Report - Bottom

 Those are just a subset of vCommander’s extensive reporting and insight capabilities with regard to cloud automation, and there are plenty more pre-defined reports that will summarize all aspects of your cloud infrastructure, from lifecycle management, to change and configuration management reports, to chargeback and costing reports. And on top of those, vCommander also has the ability to do ad-hoc reporting by querying hundreds of data points and metadata that are tracked against virtual machines, all of which can be saved for reuse or scheduled for regular delivery via email.

To see more vCommander reports, which provide visibility into your infrastructure, how it’s performing, and how much it’s costing you, check out the reports section of the documentation, or download and install the vCommander trial for free.

vCommander is agentless, so you can start reporting on your infrastructure as soon as you install it, and also pull in historical data to immediately see issues within your infrastructure.

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Topics: Reporting Cost Management Cloud Management