Updating vROps Instance in vCloud Usage Meter

On new deployments of VMware vCloud Usage Meter, sometimes the wrong vRealize Operations Instance (vROps) is propagated to Usage Meter on initial connection. Today, you cannot change or modify this vROps instance. This is frustrating for new users of Usage Meter.

Why?

Well, Usage Meter relies on the Managed Object Browser (MOB) to correlate to the connected vROps instance. In some cases, a VM Administrator may have a stale or older vROps instance still registered to the vCenter environment. For correct reporting and to remove any errors from Usage Meter, this needs to be resolved. 

How do I resolve this?

Three steps to solving this:

  1. Remove the incorrect vROps instance from the vCenter MOB.
  2. Remove the incorrect vROps instance from the Usage Meter database.
  3. Register the correct vROps instance to vCenter.

Before, any of this is done, I suggest snapshotting your vCenter and Usage Meter appliance. Don’t forget to remove the snaps post-completion!

Step 1 – Remove the incorrect vROps instance from the vCenter MOB.

  1. Open your browser to “https://<vCenter-FQDN>/mob/?moid=ExtensionManager” – this is the direct link to the Extension Manager section. Type in administrative credentials to log in. 
  2. Verify you see the extensionList[“com.vmware.vcops”] extension in the list. Click on it. We are going to verify that we see the incorrect vROps instance before we remove it. 
  3. From here, click on “server.” We are going to verify that the incorrect vROps instance is showing up in the extension.
  4. Verify you see the incorrect vROps instance. 
  5. OK, press the back button twice and back to the original URL. Now we will unregister the incorrect vROps instance.
  6. Click on the UnregisterExtension Method at the bottom – 
  7. Now you’ll get a popup requesting the extension name that we will unregister. Type in “com.vmware.vcops” in the box and press the Invoke Method button. 
  8. This may take a few seconds to run. However, you will see a void message. Close the popup and refresh the main browser tab that has the MOB information. We should see that the vcops extension has been successfully removed. 
  9. Step 1 is complete.

Step 2 – Remove the incorrect vROps instance from the Usage Meter database.

Before you start this, please take a snapshot of the Usage Meter appliance. Don’t forget to remove it after you verified the change was successful! 

  1. Open up the Console (or SSH) to the Usage Meter appliance. Log into the console.
    1. Note – If you attempt to SSH, ensure you utilize the “usgmtr” account as remote root logins are NOT permitted by default.
  2. Run the “sql” command to enter the database. 
  3. Query vCOPS table to verify the record we need to delete – type in select * from “VcopsServer”; We can see I only have one instance here, so it’s ID 1. 
  4. Now we will delete ID 1. Delete entry using ID, replace [ID] with the ID gathered from above statement – so type the following two commands:
    1. delete from “VcVcops” where “vcopsServerId” = [ID]; 
    2. delete from “VcopsServer” where id = [ID];
    3. In my case, I am using
      1. delete from “VcVcops” where “vcopsServerId” = 1;
      2. delete from “VcopsServer” where id = 1;
  5. Now let’s check and make sure the vROps instance is removed from UM. Press the up arrow three times and run the select command again. As we can see, there’s 0 rows for “VcopsServer”
  6. Now type “\q” to quit out of the database.
  7. Going back to the Usage Meter console, we can now see the vROps instance is now removed from Usage Meter. 
  8. Now let’s move to re-adding the right vROps instance to Usage Meter!

Step 3 – Register the correct vROps instance to vCenter.

  1. We are now ready to register the right vROps instance to vCenter.
  2. Log into the vROps web console and navigate to Administration -> Solutions -> select the VMware vSphere name. You might see it collecting, but we need to register the plugin into vCenter. 
  3. Click on the wheel icon right under Solutions to open up the Configuration section. We will now click on Manage Registrations to re-register it to vCenter.
  4. Check the box to “Use collection credentials” and click the Register button. 
  5. This might take a moment to register the plugin inside of vCenter, but a successful message will look like the following – 
  6. Going back to my vCenter MOB tab, I can now see vcops under the ExtensionManager section. 
  7. Almost complete! Hop over to the Usage Meter console and click “Synchronize All vCenter Inventories” button right under the vCenter Server section. Then, click the Rebuild button under vRealize Operations Manager. 
  8. There we go! We now see our vROps instance. Click on Edit to put in the correct credentials. 
  9. Once you put in the credentials, you will see a message stating the credentials are correct. Complete! On the next hourly run, we should see it fully activated and the “Not yet discovered” message will be removed. 

Complete! Now, you’ll be able to monitor your vROps instance and bill based on the usage.

-Daniel

VMware vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.0.1 – End to End Deployment and Configuration (3 of 3)

This is a continuation of VMware vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.0.1 – End to End Deployment and Configuration (2 of 3)

Part 1 here

Part 2 here

Verifying and Configuring vCloud Usage Meter Data Collection

  1. Alright, home stretch!
  2. Click Licenses at the top right corner – let’s verify the connected vCenter licenses are shown as VCPP. By default, they will be imported as VCPP. If you have any Perpetual licenses connected to the monitored vCenter, it is important you classify it as such. Any VCPP MUST be classified as VCPP under the licenses.
  3. Let’s go to the Monitor tab – this shows how many collections have happened – you want to see 24 on a daily basis (1 an hour). If there’s not, there’s an issue. (Ignore my Day 10 – that’s when I changed my time from UTC to EST 🙂 ).
  4. Now we are going to create two new Customers (think tenants) that will be part of my itemized billing. What’s great about Usage Meter is we can provide granular reporting based on tenant usage – a roll-up of how many points a Customer uses on a monthly basis. Usage Meter is not intended for customer-facing chargeback, but more for compliance between the Provider and VMware – this is a nice addition that definitely helps out the provider.
    1. Note – if you are setting up Usage Meter for entire data center collection, Customer setup is optional. By default, Usage Meter will pull the entire environment into the Monthly Reports. The following steps can be skipped.

Customer/Rules Setup and Walkthrough

  1. Click on the Customers link at the top right corner. By default, no customers are added by vCenter connections – however, vCloud Director will import any Orgs and assign them based on their respective org VDC (think Resource Pool) – very nice option! 
  2. I’m going to go ahead and establish a new customer called “Tenant” – click on the Add button and provide the name, Country (note to my fellow US citizens – US is fifteen down from the top, not in alphabetical order), and zip code. If you want to anonymize this customer data, click the box Restricted. 
  3. We can now see Tenant in the Customer list, but no rules or VM’s attached to it. Do you also see how now we have Active VM’s attached to the Public, T1, and T2 Customers? This is because UM detected those Org, assigned the rule, and is collecting data – slick! 
  4. OK – let’s click on Rules now on the top right corner. 
  5. Before we create a rule for Tenant, let’s check out the existing vCD rules that were automatically created. Click on Rules List – 
  6. From here, we can see how the Rule was applied – there’s an exact string applied for each Org/Customer. 
  7. Now let’s check out which VM’s are under Public – click the Customer list at the top and select Public 
  8. You can also see the list has changed – I see the only Public rule applied. From here, I can click Display Mapped Virtual Machines 
  9. Now we can see the mapped VM’s to Public – this is a great way of verifying if you rule is setup the way you want it. 
  10. Okay, back to setting up Tenant for collection. Press Back or Click on Rules at the top and select the Customer drop-down – Tenant. From here, we will be creating a rule that maps to my Management cluster for this demonstration. Remember, you can create rules that are associated with an entire Data Center, Cluster, Resource Pool, Folder, prefix, etc – many options are available.
    1. Note – if you look at my screenshot below, I deployed Usage Meter to my Management Cluster. Where is it? 🙂 We automatically remove Usage Meter from any data collection – you do not pay for any resource usage for the UM appliance.
  11. I selected the RegionA01-MGMT01 object and we can see the Rule Creator it automatically changed the Object Type Cluster and has a specific value. This value matches to how vCenter sees the cluster in the MOB browser. In my example, I have “domain-c71”
  12. When you’re ready to create the rule – click Create on the Rule Creator section. Once it’s created, the Rules List sublink will blink Yellow, and let’s go ahead and click that. 
  13. Excellent, we see our new rule populated. Note – Active VM’s will not show until the next monitoring interval. By default, it runs 5 minutes past the hour. 

Automatic Reporting Tab

Here’s where you can set up automatic monthly reporting to a specific email address outside of your point of contact. Currently, this DOES NOT send your usage results to VMware or the iAsset portal. You still need to input your monthly usage by the 5th of every month.

I configured where I wanted to send this when to send this – pretty straightforward.

Monthly Report Walkthrough

  1. Let’s go ahead and click on Reports in the top right corner.
  2. By default, the monthly reports will be emailed to the point of contact identified in the setup. There are five different reports:
    1. Customer Monthly Usage
    2. Horizon DaaS Tenants
    3. Monthly Usage
    4. Cluster History
    5. Virtual Machine History
  3. Basic functions – you can either Browse or Export the reports. Browse will show on the screen while Export will turn the report into a TSV file for you to download. The latter is the required item for compliance. 
  4. Monthly Usage
    1. This report shows the entire aggregate of what Usage Meter sees. How many points on each bundle Usage Meter has collected, vSAN usage, VM’s by Product Server, and vCD Summary. If we had Horizon DaaS, it would show up here. 
  5. Customer Monthly Usage
    1. This shows what each Customer uses on a monthly basis along with the respective bundle. Since we just started the collection, I don’t have any data here but we can see the Customers inside of the Monthly Usage section.
  6. Virtual Machine History
    1. This is a great report for getting initial estimates of what an environment could utilize in the VCPP program – this is the report that I use to provide estimates.
    2. The VM History report shows the VM state, allocated vRAM, and then Billed vRAM – that’s where sizing estimates come into play. 
  7. Cluster History
    1. This report is used for vSAN – shows usage based on vSAN storage on disk along with any features that may be applied. For example, my COMP01 cluster has DeDuplication turned on. This requires an Enterprise licensed so we see it applied.

Monthly Report Collection

  1. Okay, let’s go ahead and export all of the reports – this is a good example of what you would send to your aggregator for monthly billing.
  2. Click on Reports at the top and then hit the Export button for each report.
  3. From here, we will see the reports under the Download Completed Reports
  4. They are TSV files – so can be opened with Excel or a notepad editor. As you can see, they are all tab separated, so the data can be reviewed as such. 
    1. Note – any changes to this file will change the MD5 hash – DO NOT make any modifications! 

That’s it! I realize this series was lengthy, but it’s good for our existing and up and coming providers to understand Usage Meter setup and what I’ve learned in my time working with it. More to come!

-Daniel

 

VMware vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.0.1 – End to End Deployment and Configuration (2 of 3)

This is a continuation of the VMware vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.0.1 – End to End Deployment and Configuration (1 of 3)

Post 1 of 3 here 

vCloud Usage Meter Web Configuration

  1. Now we are ready to log into the Usage Meter from your browser. Google Chrome is the best choice for Usage Meter.
  2. Point your browser to https://<UM-FQDN>:8433/um 
  3. Accept the self-signed cert and continue to the login page. Type admin as your username and the password you set when we set the webpass password. 
  4. Accept the Terms and Conditions. 
  5. Before we start doing any product configuration, we need to set up the Provider and Email information.
  6. Under the Provider tab, put in the Company/SP Name, contact email address (I usually put in the person who is responsible for UM collection), and your Partner ID and Customer Number. Site ID is for you at this time – we may use for this for future versions on multiple UM instances. Press Save when complete and it should bring you to the Email tab. Note: If you are installing Usage Meter for initial data collection and/or proposal purposes, you can put in “1234567” or “99999” for the Partner ID/Contract Number.
  7. On the Email tab, put in your SMTP server FQDN or IP address. If it’s an open relay, it will not need a username/password. Authentication options are available. 
  8. Now press the Send email button – this will send a test email to VMware along with the individual email address you supplied on the Provider tab. If it is successful, you will receive a successful message along with an email to the specified address. As shown in the 2nd screenshot below, I can see that I received a successful test email. 
  9. Now press the Save button – from here, it will immediately bring you to the Products page. 

vCenter and vRealize Operations Setup

  1. Now we are ready to add our VMware management systems. First, let’s add our vCenter. Click the Add button right below the vCenter Server category. Do you have an external Platform Services Controller? If so, make sure you check the box and input the required info! If you are using SRM, this dropdown will be available once the secondary vCenter site is connected. When finished, press Save
  2. OK, we can now see a message showing UM attempting to log into vCenter. If you get errors on this part, there are two possibilities: 1) wrong credentials or 2) ports are not open.
  3. Great – we can now see a message requesting us to accept the certificates. Press Accept All. 
  4. Alright, vCenter is now showing on our list and now we see vROps was automatically detected. This is done by the MOB extension list inside of vCenter. Press Accept All to accept the certificate. The wrong vROps instance showing here? Here’s how to fix it. 
  5. Now we can see vROps in the list, but we need to update the credentials for it to activate. My vROps instance is not connected to the SSO domain, so I am going to use local admin credentials. Press the Edit button by the vROps instance and put in the credentials.
  6. Now we can see a message stating vROps credentials are correct. Excellent. It will still show Not Yet Discovered until the next hourly collection interval – do not worry. Do check it in an hour to verify the message has been removed. 
  7. We are now complete for vCenter and vROps! If you have any other instances of vCenter, please repeat these steps. vROps cannot be added independently – it must be tied to a vCenter instance.

NSX Manager Setup

  1. Now let’s add the NSX Manager instance. Very straightforward – hit the Add button under the NSX Manager section. Now we need to input our NSX Manager FQDN or IP, username and password (remember, NSX Manager instance credentials!) along with the connected vCenter server. 
  2. A similar message we saw from vCenter additions – accept the certificate and hit Accept All. 
  3. We will see a testing credentials message and once that disappears, NSX Manager will populate in the list. Done! Repeat these steps for any additional NSX Managers.

vCloud Director Setup

  1. Again, very similiar steps for vCD integration – the key difference is you do need sysadmin privileges to access vCD from UM.
  2. Click Add under the vCloud Director section and input the FQDN/IP along with the credentials. 
  3. We will see the message to accept the certificate again – hit Accept All. Once that happens, it will test the credentials and populate into the list. Done! 

Now, we will go ahead and set up and review Usage Meter Reporting.

VMware vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.0.1 – End to End Deployment and Configuration (1 of 3)

At VMware, I get a lot of questions regarding the best way to install vCloud Usage Meter for a successful setup. This post will highlight the key points I’ve learned in my time working with the product. In a future post, I will detail how to use Usage Meter for estimating vRAM / points usage.

This Usage Meter review will be broken out into the following sections – I have split this into three posts.

  1. Key Requirements for Usage Meter
  2. vCloud Usage Meter Initial Configuration
  3. vCloud Usage Meter Web Configuration – Starts on Part 2
    1. vCenter and vROps Setup
    2. NSX Manager Setup
    3. vCloud Director Setup
  4. Verifying and Configuring vCloud Usage Meter Data Collection – Starts on Part 3
    1. Customer/Rules Setup and Walkthrough
    2. Monthly Report Walkthrough
    3. Monthly Report Collection 

Key Requirements for Usage Meter

  1. Ensure the network ports are open! Network/firewall rules are the #1 item that goes awry with a Usage Meter setup.
    1. Key Port: 443 TCP – this is used for Usage Meter -> vCenter/NSX/vCD/vROps – ensure this is open!
    2. 8443 TCP is needed inbound to access Usage Meter
    3. 443 and/or 25 outbound for SMTP emailing is required from Usage Meter
    4. All ports are in more detail here – vCloud Usage Meter TCP Port Configuration
  2. Appliance Size: 2vCPU / 3.6GB Memory / 60GB VMDK
  3. Create a fully qualified domain name and register the IP with your DNS server – just makes things easier.
  4. Have your service accounts created for the products that need to be monitored.
    1. vCenter – global read-only access (created at the top level)
    2. NSX Manager – read-only administrative privileges
    3. vCloud Director – system admin privileges
    4. vRealize Automation – read-only administrative privileges
    5. vROps – automatically discovered
  5. Create a Network Protocol Profile for the OVF deployment. This is a commonly missed step and barks about no network pools available.
    1. To set this up, browse to your Data Center -> Manage -> Network Protocol Profiles
    2. Create a new profile (or reuse one) and name it while setting what network(s) Usage Meter will sit on
    3. Under Configure IPv4 – set your subnet/CIDR, default gateway, and DNS server. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but you do not need to enable the IP Pool for manual/static configurations. I typically do not bother with IPv6. 
    4. Under Set other network configurations, I usually set the DNS domain and search path. 
  6. Deploy Usage Meter where it’s readily accessible to the monitored environments. For Providers, it usually makes sense to deploy this a management cluster that has access to resource vCenters.

vCloud Usage Meter Deployment Steps

  1. Download vCloud Usage Meter – https://my.vmware.com/en/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vcloud_usage_meter/3_6 
  2. OK – before we start to deploy the OVA file, did you remember to establish your Network Protocol Profile??? 
  3. Let’s go ahead and deploy it to my Management Cluster – 
  4. Click Next and ensure we see vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.0.1 – 
  5. Accept the EULA
  6. Provide the VM name and folder location 
  7. Select your datastore 
  8. Network setup – select the network you put in the Network Protocol Profile and select your IP Allocation method. I typically do static since I have a DNS entry established. 
  9. The final step for initial deployment – now we need to provide the root and usgmtr passwords along with the IP address of the Usage Meter appliance. Make sure you remember these passwords! 
  10. Verify everything looks good and press that Finish button…

Excellent! Now we should see vCenter deploying and creating the new Usage Meter appliance.

It will take about five minutes for it to fully initialize and start to be available on the network.

vCloud Usage Meter Initial Configuration

  1. Open up the console and ensure the FQDN/IP is available from your workspace. 
  2. Now let’s hop into the console – we are going to do two things: 1) Set the timezone and 2) set the admin account to log into the web console – this is COMPLETELY separate from the root and usgmtr accounts.
  3. Setting timezone – click into the console and press the arrow down button to select Set Timezone 
  4. Select your appropriate continent, country, and timezone. Then confirm the changes. 
  5. You will then see a message stating timezone settings have been changed and now back to the blue screen. Let’s now login – 
  6. Press enter and type in root and the password that you set at deployment. 
  7. Now type in “webpass” without the quotations. Now type in the password you would like to set for the admin account when we log into the web interface.
  8. OK! One last thing – for some reason, my hostname did not set correctly when deploying. I see localhost when it should be usage361. Let’s use this as a teachable moment when something goes awry on the network side.
  9. Type in “/opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_config_net” – this is a script we use for Usage Meter network changes to this appliance. From here, you can update the IP address, hostname, DNS, etc. DO NOT use traditional Linux commands to update network values – use this script as this updates both the system and Tomcat configurations.
  10. Alright, selecting choice 3 and typing in the correct FQDN. For a hostname change, this does require a reboot – so I’m going to press 1 to exit and reboot Usage Meter.
  11. After the reboot, my hostname is correct. 

Next, we will go over the vCloud Usage Meter Web Configuration.