System Discovery and Archive Analyzer for VMware vCenter

Overview

The VMware vCenter System Discovery and Archive Analyzer collects information about virtual machines for a VMware vCenter. The tool collects information such as virtual machine size, performance metrics, and power off days and status, and collects information that you can submit to create a Commvault Virtual Machine Analytics Report.

The collected information provides the following benefits:

  • VMware vCenter analysis to track usage, distribution, and analytics for virtual machines.
  • Identify virtual machines that can be powered off based on performance metrics.
  • Identify virtual machines for archiving and disk space that can be reclaimed after archiving.

This capability enables you to analyze VM usage, predict the results of using VM archiving, and estimate disk space savings that would be reclaimed by archiving. The tool is a non-intrusive and highly secure external utility that does not  make any changes to your vCenter or SnapProtect configuration.

Note: To ensure that provisioned size, guest size, guest OS, and CPU socket information are reported correctly, install the latest version of this tool with Service Pack 12 or later.

How it Works

Log in to download the VMware vCenter System Discovery and Archive Analyzer. The tool runs a discovery job that analyzes virtual machine data for a vCenter and creates a Zip file that contains the results. The data that is discovered includes the following:

  • Name of each VM
  • Size of each VM (provisioned size, actual size, and guest size)
  • Guest OS
  • Number of days VMs have been powered off
  • Performance metrics  (CPU, network, and disk usage)
  • Number of CPU sockets in use on physical hypervisor servers

After the job is complete, upload the Zip file to Cloud Services. The contents of the Zip file are analyzed and used to generate a Commvault Virtual Machine Analytics Report, which is sent as a Cloud VM Discovery Request e-mail with the report attached.

Note: If necessary, you can request a temporary account for Cloud Services from your Account Representative. The temporary account is active for 30 days from the date of creation.

Collecting Data

Prerequisites

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 or later

Downloading the VM System Discovery Tool

To access the tool:

  1. Create a folder and move the VmSystemDisc.exe file to the folder, then run that file to extract the contents.

    By default, the contents are extracted to a vmsystemdisc folder under the folder where you extract the files. You cannot extract the tool directly to the C: or D: drive.

Running the VM System Discovery Tool

In an environment with multiple vCenters, run this tool to collect metrics for each vCenter and upload a separate zip file for each vCenter.

  1. From the vmsystemdisc folder, run vexplore.exe.

    The SIMPANA vExplore dialog box is displayed.

  2. In the Connect to server dialog box, enter the fully qualified host name or IP address for the vCenter in the Server box, then provide a user name and password with administrative privileges for the vCenter.
  3. Click OK.
  4. From the list at the top left, select a view for browsing the vCenter: Hosts and Clusters, Virtual Machines and Templates, or Datastores and Clusters.
  5. Select any node in the browse tree to expand the node.
  6. Select the vCenter or a datacenter, cluster, ESX host, or resource pool to collect information for the selected object.
  7. From the Action menu, select Load Metrics.

    You can also right-click an entity and select Load Metrics.

  8. In the Resource and Archive Management dialog box, specify the criteria for virtual machine data to be collected. By default, the tool collects the following information:
    • Number of days VMs are powered off
    • Size of each VM
    • CPU usage (percentage) over the last 2 days
    • Maximum disk usage (Kbps) over the last 7 days
    • Maximum network usage (Kbps) over the last 7 days

    Optional: You can select any of the following options and specify different criteria to be collected for each:

    • CPU Usage below __ % for __ days
    • Disk Usage below __ Kbps for __ days
    • Network Usage below __ Kbps for __ days
    • VM powered off (days)
  9. Click OK.

    A progress indicator displays until data collection is complete.

    Note: The Save As and Upload to Cloud options are not enabled until the Load Metrics operation has been performed for a selected entity (vCenter or a datacenter, cluster, ESX host, or resource pool ).

  10. To generate a report locally, select Generate Report from the Action menu, and then select an output folder for the report.

    The format for a locally generated report is slightly different from the format for reports generated through Cloud Services.

  11. To generate a report through Cloud Services, upload the collected data using one of the following methods:
    • Upload directly from vExplore:
      1. From the Action menu, select Upload to Cloud.

        Use the default value for the upload server (cloud.commvault.com).

      2. Enter your user name and password.
      3. In the Company Name box, enter the name of your organization.
      4. Optional: Enter an email address in the Email Id box to specify the recipient for the report.
      5. Click OK.
    • Save the Zip file and upload through Cloud Services:
      1. From the Action menu, select Save As and save the collected data as a Zip file.
      2. Go to the System Discovery and Archive Analyzer for VMware vCenter page.
      3. Under Upload data for analysis, click Upload to upload the Zip file to Cloud Services for analysis and reporting.
      4. In the Company box, enter the name of your organization.
      5. Optional: Enter one or more email addresses in the Also notify box, using commas to separate multiple addresses.
      6. Click Choose file and select the Zip file.
      7. Click Upload Now.

      Only upload Zip files to the cloud site.

      The Zip file contains an Arguments.xml file (contains input values and days specified) and a DiscoverData.xml file (contains the collected VM data).

After the collected data is processed, you will receive an e-mail that includes two reports for your system:

Commvault Virtual Machine Analytics Report

The Commvault Virtual Machine Analytics Report provides the following information:

  • Summary showing the following information:
    • Customer name
    • Total number of VMs
    • Total VM size
    • vCenter host name
    • Criteria selected for analysis (vCenter, datacenter, cluster, ESX host, or resource pool)
  • Pie charts and summary statistics for each of the following:
    • VM Distribution by Power Off Days
    • VM Distribution by CPU Usage
    • VM Distribution by Network Usage
    • VM Distribution by Disk Usage
  • The rules that were selected to generate the report, followed by the number of VMs that can be powered off as a result of those criteria, the total space savings, and the total cost savings based on the rules you selected.
  • VM Archiving Prediction showing the total number of VMs that can be archived, the total space savings, and the total cost savings based on the rules you selected. Click the + control at the bottom left of the summary to display rule details.
  • Physical CPU Socket Information showing the number of CPU sockets in use on physical hypervisor servers. Click the + control at the bottom left of the summary to display archiving prediction details.

The following example shows a sample report:

Rule Details

When you click + to display rule details, the Rules section expands to show additional information for virtual machines that meet the specified rules:

Archiving Prediction Details

When you click + to display rule details, the VM Archiving Prediction section expands to show additional information for virtual machines that would be archived based on the specified rules:

Virtual Machine Details

The Virtual Machine Details report shows detailed information for all of the virtual machines that meet the rules specified for the report.