How can monitoring HYPER-V Environment with VirtualMetric

Before start my Review i would like to show you a Table of Contents to get you an idea of what will say today

  1. Overview
  2. Prerequisites
  3. How to Install VirtualMetric
  4. Scenario in MyLab
  5. How to Configure VirtualMetric
  6. How can Monitoring VirtualMetric
  7. How to use Graph Reports in VirtualMetric
  8. How to customize Dashboard in VirtualMetric

 

Overview

One of the most difficult task for an IT Pro is to monitoring  virtualization environment. When an IT Pro can monitoring infrastructure of virtualization environment can be protected from downtime, reduce time to find source of any problem and be proactive for future problems, capacity planning and find misconfigurations.

In the market you can find lot of Software's that can monitoring HYPER-V Infrastructure but VirtualMetric impressed for a lot of reasons that will discuss today.

Before start i would like to say few words about VirtualMetric.

VirtualMetric is an agentless realtime monitoring, change tracking and inventory reporting software. This means VirtualMetric does not require agent installation on Server, Hyper-V/VMware Host or Virtual Machine.

VirtualMetric monitoring suite supports Hyper-V, VMware, Windows and Linux Servers, Physical Servers, Microsoft IIS, Storage Spaces Direct and Microsoft SQL Server. 

And it has other capabilities like capacity planning, inventory reporting, change tracking, log analytics and it security. Current features and upcoming features are listed in “Solution Overview”.

You can find below:

 

VirtualMetric uses  WS-Man protocol to connect and monitor Windows/Hyper-V servers, therefore, allowing HTTP/HTTPS ports on firewall is enough to start monitoring. 

VirtualMetric does not need WMI or RPC protocols, these protocols need hundreds of ports to be open.

So i grab a trial , install to my lab and start to test and investigate

Here are the results !!!

 

Prerequisites

 
Hardware Requirements

The minimum requirements to install Virtual Metric are 

  • Dual Core CPU
  • 4096 MB Memory
  • 100 GB Hard Disk Drive
Software Requirements

For the software requirements before install the VirtualMetric must to have Powershell v4 or later , .NET Framework 4.5 or later and Sql Server 2014 any version(Express,Standard,Enterprise) or later.

Firewall Requirements

VirtualMetric use WS-Man protocol to communicate so if you have open http and https ports it's enough to start monitoring after the installation and configuration

 

How to Install the VirtualMetric

If you met all the requirements it's time to start the installation. It's very easy with the default steps that need to do.

So let's start.

  • Request a free Trial to download the setup file from VirtualMeric Trial Page
  • Run the setup file and click Next in Welcome Wizard

 

  • Accept and click Next

 

  • Type Ip Address or FQDN of your Server that will use for VirtualMetric. Click Next

 

  • Type username and password that will use to connect in VirtualMetric

 

  • Decide if you want to enable Active Directory Authentication. Click on Active Directory Authentication to find more details before decide.
  • Click Next when you decide for Active Directory Authentication

 

  • Specify Sql Server details.Click Next

 

That's it!

It's very easy without complexity

 

Scenario in myLab

I use the following resources for Virtual Metric

  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter = HYPER-V Host
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard = Virtual Machine for the VirtualMetric
  • 4 x Windows Server 2012 R2 & 2 x Windows Server 2016 Standard = Monitor by VirtualMetric

When you will login for the first time you will see an empty Dashboard. 

The first thing is to Add a Device and start monitoring. With this way you will understand easier how the VirtualMetric works.

 

How to Configure VirtualMetric

So let's start to add the first Server for monitoring.

Add a device
  • From the top menu click in Settings button
  • From the left side find and click the option Servers

 

  • Click in plus button from the left side 

 

  • Select the Server Type and type the Ip Address or FQDN of the Server.
  • Now it's time to select the authentication method.
  • You can see a check in Active Directory authentication
  • If you uncheck the Active Directory authentication you will use Basic Authentication and must type username/password.
  • Because security it's very important let's give more attention here.
    • Active directory authentication use Powershell remoting to connect in servers and you don't need to fill any password. Powershell Remoting it's use WinRM Service to manage communication and authentication and it's build in WebService of WsMan protocol. The communication between VirtualMetric and Servers is encrypted at the protocol layer. The specific authentication is a solution to some security issues for IT Pro and it's a recommend method.
    • Basic Authentication uses the Advanced encryption standard or AES with a 128-bit key to encrypt your passwords.

 

 

How to use Active Directory Authentication to connect in Servers
  • Go in Users from the left side menu
  • Click in icon with the user.

 

  • Fill the username that must be in type domain\user , the email address and all the other fields. Be sure that Active directory authentication is checked.
  • Select the Role and click Submit

 

  • Go in above paragraph How to Add a Device to enable  the Active Directory Authentication.

 

Specify module to use

Module is a set of counters that contains specific performance and inventory metrics related to server role or feature.

Without adding appropriate module , VirtualMetric monitors just server metrics.

VirtualMetric can use different Modules but in our case will use the HYPER-V module.

  • Click the the Server menu from the left side
  • From the right side Click in Modules in one of the Server that you have add.

 

  • Select the HYPER-V and transfer it in Enable Modules.
  • Click Submit.

 

  • From now on Server will be start to monitoring including Hyper-V Role.
  • All the modules that supported from VirtualMetric you can find it from Menu Collectors- - Module Defaults
  • I will not explain more for Modules in this article because it's not in scope. Just to remember that you must specify the appropriate module per Role to start monitoring

 

You can have the ability to use the following modules:

  • HYPER-V
  • BareMetal
  • Linux
  • Vmware
  • Microsoft Storage Space

 

 

How to Monitoring Servers with VirtualMetric

After the configuration that we have done it's time to start monitoring Servers.

Before start to explain i would like to note that every Report can Exported As Excel,PDF,CSV,PNG,RAW,JSON and Widget.

So let's start

  • Click in Server icon from the top menu
  • As first screen you will see see all the Servers with some details like OS,Model,Serial Number ,when last reboot done and if pending reboot from any Server.

 

The next step is to go through left side menu and see more details of what you can do with VirtualMetric.

I have working a lot in this Section but i prefer to describe the most important from this Menu.

So let's start with the Hardware.

 
What can grab from Menu Hardware

Hardware include very interesting details like Processors,Memory,Volumes,Network Adapters, Chipset , Server Fan If something goes wrong VirtualMetric can alert you via E-Mail, SMS, Microsoft Teams, Slack,Whatsapp etc.

I will not get in depth here  because  all these info it's the most common that can monitoring easy from every software.

Just i would like to give you some printscreens in Real time

  • From the right side you can see all the Reports that included in menu Hardware.

 

  • Let's see Processors Report.
  • You can identify Cores,Logical Processors, Health State for every Server and more.

 

  • What about  Volumes of every Server?

 

Very friendly interface with details without be complex. Are you agree?

 

What can grab  from Menu Security

From the menu Security you bring very important information's that can help you to keep your Servers healthy and prevent suspicious activity.

Let's see what VirtualMetric can do for us

Identify Pending Updates of your Servers.So you can know anytime which servers need updates and how much important are it.

My BCKSERVER has some Critical Updates that must install !!!

 

View all the TCP Connnections of your Servers. You have an eye that can monitoring any tcp connections from & to your Servers. I like it !!!

 

View all User sessions that are connected in your Servers.

You can see username, Port and the Type of the Connection. Very good !!

 

 Security Threads works only with Windows Defender of Windows Server 2012 and later.

Think about that can see all the above from Central location in Security Menu. Let's continue to see what else can monitoring.

The most important after add the Server in VirtualMetric i don't need further configuration.

VirtualMetric has more than 700 predefined performance counters and 121 of them are related to Hyper-v

All these are by default.

 

What can grab  from Menu Inventory

When you select Servers from the top menu the Inventory Menu includes the following reports.

  • Software that are installed in Servers,
  • Processes ,
  • Services ,
  • Hotfixes that are installed
  • Windows Features
  • Network Teaming
  • Software Licenses 
  • System Configuration

If you want to generate different types of reports you should change the top menu and then click on left side menu.

 

Do you want to monitoring or View all the processes from all the Servers? Let's do it with a click.

 

What about Licenses of the software's in all the Servers? Interesting. Let's take a look. I found some notifications for my Licenses that must be check it.

 

What about the Services?

 

As you can see you can find lot of interesting info from a central location.

 

How to use Graph Reports in Virtual Metric

In this menu we have the ability to see Graph Types Reports that represent different Statistics of the Servers. 

One of the most important menu that can monitoring is the Storage Statistics.

Storage Statistics Menu can give us Graph Types reports of IO Usage, Read/Write IO Usage,Disk Read/Write Latency. As you understand it's very easy to identify bottlenecks , latency ,performance issue or maybe misconfigurations with the Storage which is very difficult with other way to identify.

Let me ask you how can measure IOPS in your Virtual Machine if you suspect performance issues of your Storage?

Let's see how can do it with VirtualMetric.

  • Click in the icon from the top menu.

 

  • Select Top IO Usage from Storage Statistics in the left side

 

  • If you need only Read IO click on Top Read IO Usage

 

  • and for the Write IO click on Top Write IO Usage

 

These are some of the Graph Reports from Storage Statistics.

What about Network Statistics? Let's take a quick look here.

Let's see Top Bandwidth always by Server

 

Are you boring? Last one for now

Let's see Top Received Bandwidth

 

Has so many Reports that can't presented all here. It much better to download a trial. Proceed with the installation and configuration base on my help and find all the Monitoring Reports  from VirtualMetric.

Now let's go in the first page that open when login.

It's not empty now but has some beautiful Widgets that can help you to have an overall image of your environment.

 

How can customize Dashboard in VirtualMetric

Let's find out what included here and how can customize base on our requirements.

First of all click from the top menu the icon that like as an eye,

 

Find out different Widgets which show you Different type of connections in the Servers, Processors , Memory and more info that can help you.

The magic here is that can configure the Dashboard base on your requirements of what you would like to see when login.

All these info are Widgets and can transfer it anywhere inside the Dashboard. You can easily export or import dashbords and widgets with one click.

Than you can share it with your colleagues or send an e-mail with safely. Becasue VirtualMetric does not export or import your company data, server information or any other critical information.

Also you can delete specific Widgets from the x icon in the right top of every widget

 

and replace it with more interesting widgets with the button Add Widget.

 

I try to give you an idea of what we can do with VirtualMetric.

Of course these are the basic features of how can monitoring a HYPER-V environment.

It's not to my scope in this article to describe every feature because will be boring without any value.

I will continue to investigate VirtualMetric and one of the next articles or a useful ebook will be how can use LogAnalysis that i believe can prevent lot of errors and fix misconfigurations of your environment.

Hope you found this guide very useful and understand how VirtualMetric can protect you from downtimes and other problems.

Have a nice day !!!

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