Getting Started with Solarwinds Virtualization Manager 7
The folks at Solarwinds have been busy enhancing their Virtualization Manager product with some great new features. I’ve done a full review of the new edition here -> Review: Solarwinds Virtualization Manager 7.0 – New Recommendations and Remediations! So how do you get started with Virtualization Manager in your own lab. Here’s how you download, install it, and configure it to monitor your virtual infrastructure.
Getting Started With Virtualization Manager 7
Before you download and deploy VMAN, notice the graphic above where you can see what the result will be, once VMAN is deployed. The Solarwinds Virtualization Manager Dashboard shows the overall status of your virtual infrastructure and any potential issues that you need to deal with. Administrators need to see value quickly out of any tool that they select and Solarwinds has made that “time to value” as quick as possible. If you deploy an evaluation of Virtualization Manager, you’ll be able to see your own dashboard, analyze capacity in your virtual infrastructure, and identify performance bottlenecks. Here’s how…
To get started, Download Virtualization Manager 7 here.
What you’ll download is a ZIP file that extracts out into four files – two readme files and two installation files. With the current revision of VMAN, the installation is in 2 parts.
Installation – Part 1
Part 1 of the installation is to deploy the virtual appliance to the hypervisor that you’ll be monitoring (either VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V). In fact, you can just call that virtual appliance the “monitoring appliance” since that’s its primary role today.
Part 2 of the installation is to deploy the Orion platform with the Virtualization Manager module.
Notice how in Figure 1 below, the two installation files are names “1st” and “2nd” to make it clear on what to install and in what order to install it.
Let’s assume that we’re installation VMAN to monitor VMware vSphere. To do so, you’ll use the vSphere Web Client and choose the option to Deploy OVF Template (shown in Figure 2).
The vSphere Web Client will recognize the VMAN virtual appliance and walk you through the deployment wizard, shown in Figure 3 below.
The virtual appliance deployment only takes a couple of minutes and the result in the vSphere Web Client is the VMAN virtual machine that you see in Figure 4, below.
Configuring the Virtual Appliance
To configure VMAN to talk to your vCenter server (assuming you are monitoring vSphere), you’ll point your web browser to the IP address of the VMAN virtual appliance, shown in Figure 5.
I love how they automatically fill in the default username and password for you (as I often spend time reading the documentation and googling to find the default username / password for other virtual appliances that I download). Then, being security conscious, they put up a big yellow box once you’ve logged in, prompting you to change that default password.
Once logged in, you’re brought to the VMAN configuration wizard (Figure 6). This is also another great idea because, in 7 easy questions, it walks you through the initial configuration of your brand-spanking-new virtualization management tool.
The most important part of this configuration was pointing VMAN to what you will be monitoring. In our case, it was VMware vSphere, via VMware vCenter. With a vCenter hostname (or IP address) and some credentials, VMAN begins downloading information about your virtual infrastructure.
However, before you get too excited, you also need to complete part 2 of the installation.
Installation – Part 2
Next, you’ll double-click on the second file from the installation extract – the Solarwinds-Orion-Install-2nd.exe executable. You’ll execute this on a Windows VM (or physical server) where you want to install the Orion platform. This is a standard Windows application installation that includes MS SQL Server Express, Microsoft IIS Server (unless you already have it), and Solarwinds Orion.
Figure 7 shows the beginning of the Orion framework installation-
Once the installations are completed, you’ll be prompted to launch the Orion web console, shown in Figure 8 below.
This will bring up a web browser window where you will login with the default username and password (admin and blank). Upon logging in, you’ll be brought to the Setup Virtualization Manager Integration window, below (Figure 9).
Once you fill out the hostname, username, and password for the VMAN appliance, you’ll be ready to start using the Orion VMAN Module.
After the integration is complete, you’ll answer a few of questions about your vSphere infrastructure and you’re ready to go!
To learn how Virtualization Manager 7 can help you, what’s new in VAM 7, and read our review of Virtualization Manager 7, click here.
Virtualization Manager Links and Resources
When you start with any new tool, there are always new resources that you need to be aware of, to negate the learning curve. Here are the most critical Virtualization Manager resources: