vCenter Operations Manager – Creating Nested Groups
Using vCOps for monitoring is ridiculously easy and powerful. Even more powerful is the ability to modify the application to better suit your specific environments. Looking at objects at a high level and being able to drill down is great and all but wouldn’t it be easier to lump similar VMs together for a quick overview. For example, a Sharepoint environment might consist of many VMs sprawled out across multiple hosts, datastores, or even clusters, and searching for each member could be difficult in large environments. Creating a group within vCOps allows you to gather pertinent information faster and quickly get to the bottom of an issue. Even better is the ability to create nested (child) groups for similar servers such as web, database, or application underneath the parent group Creating groups within vCOps also allows you to take advantage of them in both interfaces, the normal user interface and the Custom UI.
Looking to create Dynamic Groups? Check out our post here.
Example of a tiered application:
To create this tiered group within vSphere we must start in the normal user interface. This is found by accessing http://<IP Address>/vcops-vsphere. Once logged into the interface you’ll want to select the Groups view within the left pane. See highlighted screenshot below:
Once in the Groups view you’ll notice there are many pre-defined types of groups already configured for you, however, these are completely customizable. You can add new group types, modify current group types, or delete group types that you no longer need. To configure these group types within the user interface, click Configuration in the top right as shown below:
Now that we’ve shown you where to add/modify/delete group types, let’s put them to use. For this example we’re going to be using the “Environment” group type for the application shown above in the tiered application chart. To start, let’s create the top level, SharePoint, which gives us the highest level view into the environment which will ultimately include all tiers as shown above. To create the first group, click the Create new group option under the Actions Menu. Alternatively, you can click the Create new group icon at the bottom left.
Now that we’re in the “New Group” window we can start customizing how we’d like the group to look and feel. Give it a name, such as ours below called “Sharepoint – Dev”, enter a description if you’d like, and select the Group Type you’d like this group to live under. Select the policy, if you’ve created any additional ones, and then select how you’d like vCOps to add members to the group, manually or dynamically based on rules. See below for the selections for our example.
The next page will allow you to manually add members to the group since we selected the Manual membership type. For now we’re going to leave this blank and we’ll populate it shortly with the groups we’ll create in the following steps. Finish the wizard and you’ll be able to view the newly created group under the Environment group type.
Now that we have our top level group we need to create our first tier group. Still following the chart above, let’s start with the Web Tier. Follow the previous steps to create a new group called Web Tier, select the SAME group type (Environment) and add members either manually or configure the dynamic criteria. After this is complete, add the two other groups listed above, the Application Tier and Database Tier and add the resources to the groups as needed.
After you’ve created these additional groups, you should now have a total of 4 groups, the group we’ll designate as the top level (parent) and then the tier groups (child) and shown below:
Now that we have our groups, let’s nest them. To do this we’ll need to edit the top level group (SharePoint – Dev). Click on the group on the left and choose Actions –> Edit Group.
Once inside the “Edit Group” window again we’ll need to edit the membership. Click on the “Define Membership” option on the left. Under filtered objects box, click the Groups icon highlighted below. Expand the Environment group type and select the three tier groups we created above. Click the Add >> button.
Once you’ve completed the wizard above, your groups should now be nested under the top-level “SharePoint – Dev” group as shown below. You can now use this group, and it’s child groups, to keep an eye on it’s Health, Planning, Alerts, and so on. You can also use the newly create groups within the Custom UI as well.