How to Upgrade to vRealize Operations Manager 8.3

Introduction

Recently I installed vRealize Operations Manager 8.2 in my home lab environment. Less than a week later 8.3 was released – of course it was! The new version has some extra features like 20-second peak metrics and VMware Cloud on AWS objects, but what I’m interested to look at is the new Cloud Management Assessment (CMA). The vSphere Optimisation Assessment (VOA) has been around for a while to show the value of vRealize Operations (vROps) and optimise vSphere environments. The CMA is the next logical step in extending that capability out into VMware Cloud and vRealize Cloud solutions. You can read more in the What’s New in vRealize Operations 8.3 blog. This post walks through the steps required to upgrade vRealize Operations Manager from 8.2 to 8.3.

vRealize Operations Manager 8.3 Upgrade Guide

The upgrade process is really quick and easy for a single node standard deployment. The upgrade may take longer if you have multiple distributed nodes that the software update needs pushing out to, or if you need to clone any custom content. If you are upgrading from vROps 8.1.1 or earlier you will need to upgrade End Point Operations Management agents using the steps detailed here. The agent builds for 8.3 and 8.2 are the same.

Before upgrading vRealize Operations Manager we’ll run the Upgrade Assessment Tool; a non-intrusive read only software package that produces a report showing system validation checks and any removed or discontinued metrics. The latter point is important to make sure you don’t lose any customisation like dashboards or management packs as part of the upgrade. Here are some additional points for the upgrade:

  • Take a snapshot or backup of the existing vRealize Operations Manager before starting
  • Check the existing vRealize Operations Manager is running on ESXi 6.5 U1 and later, and managed by vCenter 6.5 or later
  • Check the existing vRealize Operations Manager is running at least hardware version 11
  • You can upgrade to vROps 8.3 from versions 7.0 and later, check the available upgrade paths here
  • If you are using any other VMware solutions check product interoperability here
  • If you need to backup and restore custom content review the Upgrade, Backup and Restore section of the vRealize Operations 8.3 documentation here

vROps 8.3 Upgrade Checks

First, download the vRealize Operations Manager upgrade files, you’ll need the Virtual Appliance Upgrade for 8.x or 7.x pak file, and the Upgrade Assessment Tool pak file. The vRealize Operations 8.3 release notes can be found here.

Browse to the FQDN or IP address of the vRealize Operations Manager master node /admin, and log in with the admin credentials.

vRealize Operations Manager admin login

From the left-hand navigation pane browse to Software Update. Click Install Software Update and upload the Upgrade Assessment Tool pak file. Follow the steps to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and click Install.

Check the status of the software bundle from the Software Update tab. Once complete, click Support and Support Bundles. Highlight the bundle and click the download icon to obtain a copy of the report.

vRealize Operations Manager support bundle

Extract the downloaded zip file and expand the apuat-data and report folders. Open index.html.

vRealize Operations Manager system validation

System validation checks and impacted components can be viewed. For any impacted components you can drill down into the depreciated metric and view any applicable replacements.

vRealize Operations Manager content validation

vROps 8.3 Upgrade Process

Following system and content validation checks the next step is to run the installer itself. Navigate back to the Software Update tab and click Install Software Update. Upload the vRealize Operations Manager 8.3 upgrade pak file.

vRealize Operations Manager software update

When upload and staging is complete click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager software upload

Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager EULA

Review the update information and click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager update information

Click Install to begin the software update.

vRealize Operations Manager install software update

You can monitor the upgrade process from the Software Update page, however after about 5 minutes you will be logged out.

vRealize Operations Manager update in progress

After logging back in, it takes around a further 15-20 minutes before the update is finalised and the cluster is brought back online. Refresh the System Status and System Update pages when complete.

vRealize Operations Manager update complete

I can now log back into vROps. The Cloud Management Assessment can be accessed from the Quick Start page by expanding View More, selecting Run Assessments and clicking VMware vRealize Cloud Management Assessment.

vRealize Operations Manager Cloud Management Assessments

How to Install vSphere 7.0 – vRealize Operations Manager 8.2

How to Install vSphere 7.0 – vRealize Operations Manager 8.2

Introduction

In this post we take a look at a vRealize Operations (vROps) deployment for vSphere 7; building on the installation of vCenter 7.0 U1 and vSAN 7.0 U1. Shortly after installing vROps 8.2, vRealize Operations 8.3 was released. The install process is similar, you can read what’s new here and see the upgrade process here.

vRealize Operations is an IT operations management tool for monitoring full-stack physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure, along with virtual machine, container, operating system, and application level insights. vROps provides performance and capacity optimisation, monitoring and alerting, troubleshooting and remediation, and dashboards and reporting. vROps also handles private costings, showback, and what-if scenarios for VMware, VMware Cloud, and public cloud workloads. Many of these features have been released with version 8.2, and now work slicker fully integrated into the vROps user interface, rather than a standalone product. Previously vRealize Business would cater for similar costing requirements, but has since been declared end of life.

vRealize Operations can be deployed on-premises to an existing VMware environment, or consumed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). vRealize Operations Cloud has the same functionality, with the ongoing operational overhead of lifecycle management and maintenance taken care of by VMware. Multiple vCenter Servers or cloud accounts can be managed and monitored from a single vROps instance. For more information on vROps see the What is vRealize Operations product page.

vRealize Operations Manager 8.2 Install Guide

The vRealize Operations Manager installation for lone instances is really straight forward, as is applying management packs for monitoring additional environments. Where the installation may get more complex, is if multiple cluster nodes need to be deployed, along with remote collector nodes, and/or multiple instances. If you think this may apply to you review the complexity levels outlined in the vRealize Operations Manager 8.2 Deployment Guide.

The installation steps below walk through the process of installing vROps using the master node. All deployments start out with a master node, which in some cases is sufficient to manage itself and perform all data collection and analysis operations. Optional nodes can be added in the form of; further data nodes for larger deployments, replica nodes for highly available deployments, and remote collector nodes for distributed deployments. Remote collector nodes, for example, can be used to compress and encrypt data collected at another site or another VMware Cloud platform. This could be an architecture where a solution like Azure VMware Solution is in use, with an on-premises installation of vROps. For more information on the different node types and availability setups see the deployment guide linked above.

When considering the deployment size and node design for vROps, review the VMware KB ​vRealize Operations Manager Sizing Guidelines, which is kept up to date with sizing requirements for the latest versions. The compute and storage allocations needed depend on your environment, the type of data collected, the data retention period, and the deployment type.

Installation

Before starting ensure you have a static IP address ready for the master node, or (ideally and) a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) with forward and reverse DNS entries. For larger than single node deployments check the Cluster Requirements section of the deployment guide.

The vRealize Operations Manager appliance can be downloaded in Open Virtualisation Format (OVF) here, and the release note for v8.2.0 here. As with many VMware products a 60 day evaluation period is applied. The vRealize Operations Manager OVF needs to be deployed for each vROps cluster node in the environment. Deployment and configuration of vRealize Operations Manager can also be automated using vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager.

vRealize Operations Manager download

Log into the vSphere client and deploy the OVF (right click the data centre, cluster, or host object and select Deploy OVF Template).

The deployment interface prompts for the usual options like compute, storage, and IP address allocation, as well as the appliance size based on the sizing guidelines above. Do not include an underscore (_) in the hostname. The disk sizes (20 GB, 250 GB, 4 GB) are the same regardless of the appliance size configured. New disks can be added, but extending existing disks is not supported. Also be aware that snapshots can cause performance degradation and should not be used. For this deployment I have selected a small deployment; 4 CPU, 16 GB RAM.

Once deployed browse to the appliance FQDN or IP address to complete the appliance setup. You can double check the IP address from the virtual machine page in vSphere or the remote console. For larger environments and additional settings like custom certificates, high availability, and multiple nodes select New Installation. In this instance since vROps will be managing only a single vCenter with 3 or 4 hosts I select the Express Installation.

vRealize Operations Manager start page

The vRealize Operations Manager appliance will be set as the master node, this configuration can be scaled out later on if needed. Click Next to continue.

vRealize Operations Manager new cluster setup

Set an administrator password at least 8 characters long, with an uppercase and lowercase letter, number, and special character, then click Next. Note that the user name is admin, and not administrator.

vRealize Operations Manager administrator credentials

Click Finish to apply the configuration. A loading bar preparing vRealize Operations Manager for first use will appear. This stage can take up to 15 minutes.

vRealize Operations Manager initial setup

Login with the username admin and the password set earlier.

vRealize Operations Manager login page

There are a few final steps to configure before gaining access to the user interface. Click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager final setup

Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager terms and conditions

Enter the license information and click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager license information

Select or deselect the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) option and click Next. Click Finish to progress to the vROps user interface.

vRealize Operations Manager final setup

Finally we’re into vRealize Operations home page, take a look around, or go straight into Add Cloud Account.

vRealize Operations Manager home page

Select the account type, in this case we’re adding a vCenter.

vRealize Operations Manager account types

Enter a name for the account, and the vCenter Server FQDN or IP address. I’m using the default collector group since we are only monitoring a small lab environment. You can test using Validate Connection, then click Add.

vRealize Operations Manager add vCenter Server

Give the vCenter account a few minutes to sync up, the status should change to OK. A message in the right-hand corner will notify that the vCenter collection is in progress.

vRealize Operations Manager vCenter collection

Back at the home page a prompt is displayed to set the currency; configurable under Administration, Management, Global Settings, Currency. In this case I’ve set GBP(£). For accurate cost comparisons and environment specific optimisations you can also add your own costs for things like hardware, software, facilities, and labour. Cost data can be customised under Administration, Configuration, Cost Settings.

vRealize Operations Manager quick start page

A common next step is to configure access using your corporate Identity Provider, such as Active Directory. Click Administration, Access, Authentication Sources, Add, and configure the relevant settings.

Multiple vCenter Servers can be managed from the vRealize Operations Manager interface. Individual vCenter Servers can also access vROps data from the vSphere client, from the Menu dropdown and vRealize Operations. A number of nested ESXi hosts are shut down in this environment which is generating the critical errors in the screenshot.

vRealize Operations Manager overview page

Featured image by Jonas Svidras on Unsplash