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Our digs here at LogicMonitor are cozy. Being adjacent to sales, I get to hear our sales engineers work with new customers, and it’s not uncommon that a new customer gets a rude awakening when they first install LogicMonitor. Immediately, LogicMonitor starts showing warnings and alerts.  ”Can this be right or is this a monitoring error?!”,  they ask. Delicately, our engineer will respond, “I don’t think that’s a monitoring error. It looks like you have a problem there.”

This happened recently with a customer who wanted to use LogicMonitor to watch their large VMware installation. We make excellent use of the VMware API which provides a rich set of data sources for monitoring. In this instance, LogicMonitor’s default alert settings threw several warnings about an ESX host’s datastore. There were multiple warnings regarding write latency problems on the ESX datastore, and drilling down, we found that a singular VM on that datastore was an ‘I/O hog’ that was grabbing so much disk resource that it was causing disk contention among the other VMs.

Finding the rogue host was easy with LogicMonitor’s clear, easy to read graphs. With the disk I\O of the different VMs plotted on the same graph, it was easy to spot the one whose disk operations were significantly higher than the rest.

Write latency on VMware ESX hostWe’ve seen this particular problem with VMware enough that our founder, Steve Francis, made this short video on how to quickly identify which VM on an ESX host is hogging resources: (Caveat: You must be able to understand Austrailian)

All our monitoring data sources have default alerting levels set that you can tune to fit your needs, but they’re pretty close out of the box as they’re the product of a LOT of monitoring experience.  This customer didn’t have to make any adjustments to our alert levels to find a problem they were unaware of with potential customer-facing impacts. The resolution was easy, they moved the VM to another ESX host with a different datastore, but the detection tool was the key.

If you’re wondering about your VMware infrastructure, sign up for a free trial with LogicMonitor today and see what you’ve been missing.

– This article was contributed by Jeffrey Barteet, TechOps Engineer at LogicMonitor

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Well it actually turns out it was completely full.  When MSPmentor picked up the story about LogicMonitor going to the San Diego VMUG to talk virtualization monitoring, they chose a photo of a surfer riding a giant wave to accompany the article. We thought it was in reference to San Diego, but after attending the VMware User’s Group conference we now realize it could have just as easily been a visual metaphor for the VMUG wave that’s breaking, in nicely-timed sets, across the nation.

We waxed up our Surfliner, paddled south and dropped in. The conference was great for us from a vendor perspective – lots of smart, friendly, interested IT people – and by default they were VMware junkies and so perfect potential LogicMonitor clients. We believe that virtually (pun partially intended) every VMware user that takes a look at LogicMonitor will become a client.  (Monitoring a vCenter – which could control any number of ESX Hosts, which could translate into literally hundreds of virtual machines – counts as one host when it comes to our SaaS charges?  Come on!  We thought about wearing shirts that said “stick it to us” but were afraid of gross (in more ways than one) misinterpretations.)  Our ability to monitor and alert on not only VMware but the entire IT infrastructure surrounding it – from storage to networking gear all the way up to application statistics (Apache, IIS) and databases (MySQL, MS SQL) – all in a single pane of glass makes us a slam dunk.  Add in lightning quick setup, true ease-of-use (we don’t just say it, it’s true) , cool dashboards and graphs, real-time business metrics, etc., and it’s a one-handed 360 slam dunk.

The event was pretty jam packed, and, along with handing out microwave popcorn swag to everyone who walked by (did you know some workplaces actually ban popcorn making at the office! Isn’t that un-American?), we took a very un-scientific survey of the attendees that stopped by the table.  Most of them had great things to say about the event.  Which might explain why there are now more than twenty VMUG events scheduled around the U.S. for the second half of the year.  Shaping up to be a pretty decent sized and tempting looking wave.  Looks like we better stock up on sunscreen.  Oh, and popcorn – bans be damned!

View Photos of the event

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Amongst its many monitoring methods, LogicMonitor supports IPMI.  Many people aren’t aware of IPMI, and don’t think  it’s necessary. And while I’m certainly an advocate of avoiding unnecessary complexity in a data center, sometimes it is good to wear both a belt and suspenders.

A real life example from one of our own data centers conveniently occurred just this morning, when I was looking for fodder to blog about: Read more »

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