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November 03, 2013

Best Practices: Atlantis ILIO Monitoring and Alerting

Dan Senior - Atlantis

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Atlantis ILIO optimises your storage using a unique, software-only approach, which is both hardware and storage agnostic. As such, it is a key virtual resource in your environment that need to be monitored as you would any component within your infrastructure.

A healthy Atlantis infrastructure requires proactive monitoring and alerting which can be achieved through the use of your hypervisor management platform (vCenter, SCCM, etc.), enterprise management toolset via SNMP forwarding, or using Atlantis ILIO Center.

ILIO Center is a virtual machine that helps administrators monitor, manage, and report on one or more Atlantis ILIO instances. ILIO Center can be used as a VMware vCenter plug-in or through a web browser and is a critical part of an In-Memory architecture. Many people may not be aware that ILIO Center can be setup to forward alerts by email and/or SNMP traps to notify an administrator of critical events within the Atlantis ILIO instances that are being managed. Alerts are generated based on the criteria in the following table;

It is strongly recommended that you configure forwarding of these alerts to an email distribution list or central monitoring toolset to ensure that notifications are received and ultimately resolved. The alternative is staring at the ILIO Center console all day… not my idea of fun!

Resolving disk or memory usage is simply a case of migrating a VM to another host. Organic growth of VMs over time is part of managing a VDI infrastructure so your VM/host density will fluctuate. Issues with CPU load are very uncommon so you should log a support ticket if you encounter this scenario.

In addition, ILIO Center can send a weekly report to an email address that you specify as well as send to Atlantis Computing for support analysis. This allows Atlantis Computing to provide proactive reporting and notifications.

If VMware vCenter is your chosen management/monitoring toolset, vCenter alerts can be used to monitor the health of your ILIO appliances since they are just VMs within your infrastructure. The default alerts in vCenter which are relevant for the ILIO appliances are;

  • Virtual machine memory usage
  • Virtual machine CPU usage

These default alerts have slightly different thresholds to the ILIO Center alerts but do not necessarily need to be modified. However, one critical alert that is missed in the default configuration is VM disk usage. This is very relevant for the Replication ILIO since the backing disk, which stores the deduplicated unique data, should never be allowed to run out of disk space. Therefore, it is recommended to add a new alarm to monitor ‘Virtual machine disk usage’ and apply this to your Resource Pool or VM folder where your Replication ILIO is located. Applying this alarm to the entire vCenter hierarchy will not be ideal since many VMs run over 80% disk utilisation in normal operation.

ILIO Center support for Hyper-V and XenServer is currently in development, but in the meantime we support SNMP forwarding to your chosen management platform. Atlantis can provide further details on how to configure SNMP forwarding for your ILIO appliances on request.

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