New fling from VMware Labs: DRS Lens

As VMware vSphere DRS has become more widely adopted now, more and more users are interested in knowing how it works. They need more insights into DRS activity and actions. They want to know the value that DRS provides to their clusters. DRS Lens is an attempt to provide a UI-based solution to help understand DRS better.

DRS Lens provides a simple, yet powerful interface to highlight the value proposition of vSphere DRS. Providing answers to simple questions about DRS will help quell many of the common concerns that users may have. DRS Lens provides different dashboards in the form of tabs for each cluster being monitored:

Cluster Balance

Provides a graph showing the variations in the cluster balance metric plotted over time with DRS runs. This shows how DRS reacts to and tries to clear cluster imbalance every time it runs.

VM Happiness

This dashboard shows VM happiness for the first time in a UI. There will be a chart showing a summary of total VMs in the cluster that are happy and those that are unhappy. Users can then select individual VMs to view performance metrics related to its happiness, like %CPU ready time, memory swapped, etc.

vMotions

This dashboard provides a summary of vMotions that happened in the cluster over time. For each DRS run period, there will be a breakdown of vMotions as DRS-initiated and user-initiated. This helps users see how actively DRS has been working to resolve cluster imbalance. It also helps to see if there are vMotions outside of DRS control, which may be affecting cluster balance.

Operations

This dashboard tracks different operations (tasks in vCenter Server) that happened in the cluster, over time. Users can correlate information about tasks from this dashboard against DRS load balancing and its effects from the other dashboards.

DRS Lens provides a simple, yet powerful interface to highlight the value proposition of vSphere DRS. Providing answers to simple questions about DRS will help quell many of the common concerns that users may have.

Requirements

  1. A VMware ESXi server or VMware Fusion or VMware Workstation that is compatible with Virtual Machine version 8, to host the DRS Lens appliance. Virtual Machine Compatibility Reference
  2. A VMware vCenter server for the DRS Lens appliance to monitor.
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