So I went to my first VMUG recently and it was great! I met plenty of new people and learned a lot of new things.
I got in a few discussions about monitoring and I mentioned that I was pretty fond of Sexigraf @Sexigraf_fr . I found it interesting that a few people had never heard of this great FREE product.
I mean monitoring is important, whether you want to know what your cluster utilisation is or how your datastore latency is or how your VSAN cluster is doing. Keeping stats for a period of time is also important because you want to be able to monitor trends etc.
There are plenty of products out there that can help you in that regard for example vROPs. We all know vROPS can give you solid details, but it can also get pretty complex, fast.
What I really like about Sexigraf, is that its:
- Easy to deploy
- Easy to Upgrade
- Easy to interpret data
- Keeps stats for up-to 5 years
- Pulls an offline inventory of all VMs periodically
The name can work for and against it, I mean it can be hard explaining to your management how something called Sexigraf would be worthwhile to deploy! I think the funky name adds to the charm 😉
I think the VMware community is awesome, and Sexygraf is made by the community for the community. Yes there are risks that support isn’t great etc, but it has a low footprint and installation/upgrades are detailed and well automated. Also once its running (you dont really need to do much with it!) it is very low maintenance.
If you need some monitoring and stat collection, that is easy to read and you don’t want to pay for something like vROPs, I would highly recommend giving Sexigraf a try.
Lets look at some screenshots I pulled recently:
Cluster Full Stats
As you can see here, there are plenty of details to be had from this screenshot, from VM count to vmnic traffic in the cluster. The stats can be narrowed down to a specific cluster and a specific host if need be.
If you need to see the overall cluster usage at a quick glance, this is perfect. Simple concise and to the point.
You can see traffic for the cluster/host and individual vmnic port on a host.
PCPU to VCPU Ratio
Now this is a new addition, that came in the latest patch/version. Most people don’t worry too much about these ratios anymore (well no where near as much as they used to). But if you ever get asked what the ratio is, and how its changed over time, you can find out easily!
Now this is also a new addition. I recently had a request to pull stats on what the hosts were pulling power wise. Now we could have pulled these from the iDRAC with some snmp traps etc. The previous version did not have this, so I had a look online and realised that a new update had come out and it did indeed now collect Power Stats from vCenter (this is what I would call a synchronicity moment!) as Sexigraf came through with what I needed and the upgrade was simple.
Now Management can easily see what the power draw is of all the hosts/clusters and even a single host at any given time and they can now easily build up a picture over time.
http://www.sexigraf.fr/vsphere-sexipanels/ = Have a look at the various dashboards that come as standard for vSphere.
http://www.sexigraf.fr/vsan-sexipanels/ = Have a look at the various VSAN dashboards that come as standard.
http://www.sexigraf.fr/freenas-sexipanel/ = It has a dashboard for FreeNAS too!
http://www.sexigraf.fr/windows-sexipanel/ = It has a dashboard for Windows too, but this requires the installation of a plugin
I mean at the end of the day you might just want to give it a try. It may fit your needs perfectly and there is really nothing to lose. I know it has come through for me a good few times. If it doesn’t go as in-depth for you want etc then by all means use try one of the various other monitoring options out there such as vROPs , but just skipping over it because its free and/or from the community would be a travesty! 😉
Obviously the requirements and business goals of each business/customer are going to be different, but if this can meet them and doesn’t cost anything…….why wouldn’t you try it?