By now, many people have heard about (and sing the praises of) ControlUp and our unique way of bringing IT insights to sysadmins around the world. In version 4.0, we introduced Hypervisor integration to extend our real-time performance monitoring to the virtualization world, starting with VMware ESXi and XenServer. Now, in version 6, we are proud to announce support for Hyper-V hosts as well.
Including support for Hyper-V is a natural progression. Hyper-V’s market share is rising; sysadmins find licensing advantages for running Windows VMs on Hyper-V rather than competing platforms. They also find Microsoft’s natural integration of Windows on Windows attractive and can make end-to-end management easier. This also gives ControlUp an opportunity to show how well we can give full-stack visibility into the environment. MSPs and CSPs are also finding their own unique challenges in their space as VDI and DaaS providers. As they leverage Hyper-V more, there is certainly a case to be made for extending ControlUp to meet this expanding need not just for remote monitoring, but also management, both real needs.
Making it work
With vCenter and XenServer, ControlUp talks directly to the VMware SDK or Xen pool master via an API. Hyper-V, however, requires that we first install the ControlUp agent (which has minimal impact on the host itself) in order to get the hypervisor stats from it. That’s all. SCVMM is not required for integration, (which is a big plus for organizations who do not have SCVMM and are looking for alternatives to monitor and manage Hyper-V) and the Hyper-V hosts can be either stand-alone or in a failover cluster.
How to add your Hyper-V into ControlUp:
When you add the hosts, they will be automatically recognized as clustered or stand-alone and put into the organizational tree accordingly. And like the rest of ControlUp, all of the data shown in the different dashboards is real-time data, something that is missing from SCVMM.
Now we have a dashboard of relevant hypervisor performance data in one window, and we automatically adjust the data according to whether the host is clustered or not. For example, see the “Datastore R/W IOPS” column. The stand-alone hypervisor shows a local logical drive, while the clustered hosts show the relevant Cluster Shared Volume data.
ControlUp 6.0 Hyper-V integration enables real-time performance monitoring and management of the virtualization infrastructure. We have extended the functionality of ControlUp to Hyper-V with the following features:
Let’s review the following use case to illustrate the potential of the Hyper-V integration feature and review some of the Hosts / VM’s available performance metrics (a full list of Host and VM metrics are available on our edocs).
After receiving complaints from some end users regarding slow performance of some servers you know to be Hyper-V virtual machines, the admin launched the ControlUp real-time console to evaluate the current state of the Hyper-V hosts running them:
The admin quickly identified that a single Host (HyperV04) is in a critical stress level due to a high IOPS consumption. Double-clicking the host entry in the data grid allows the admin to drill down and see which guest VMs are currently affected by the I/O bottleneck:
After the admin identified the VM suffering from poor performance and high IOPS usage, s/he can now double-click on the computer to quickly move to the Sessions and Processes view and identify the actual culprit:
By reviewing the Processes view the admin found that a process called Dynamo.exe running on the affected VM is causing the high IOPS consumption. The next step was getting a screenshot of the user session running on CUFS01 to figure out which component is triggering the Dynamo.exe processes. They switched to the Sessions view (image 1) and used one of the ControlUp management actions (image 2) to do so:
That’s it! By using ControlUp ‘Get Session Screenshot’ action the admin found that a rogue sysadmin was running IOMeter to stress test the storage subsystem in the middle of the working day causing high IOPS usage and performance issues for multiple end users.
Hopefully this quick walk-through of our Hyper-V support will give you an idea of how ControlUp is a really great tool for Hyper-V admins to help efficiently and quickly monitor and manage their environments.