Comtrade Software has developed a management pack, called App Awareness, to import system and performance information from Nutanix into Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager (SCOM).
The management pack lets administrators monitor key Nutanix metrics such as CPU and disk use, VM memory consumption, available storage, and more from SCOM. While Nutanix already provides this information via its Prism interface, the integration may be useful for operations teams that spend a lot of time in SCOM.
Comtrade Software’s App Awareness management pack leverages a REST API to pull information from Nutanix and bring it into SCOM. The company monitors five main areas:
Clusters and Hardware: CPU, RAM, disk, clocks, and other hardware-related issues
Storage: Storage pools, container use, high use, avgerage IO latency, performance
Data Protection: Backup, replication of VMs and data associated with the VMs
Virtual Machines: CPU load, IOPS, IO latency, memory use, controller VM health
Applications: The management pack identifies the applications hosted on the VMs within Nutanix, such as a database, an Exchange server, or an ADC. This information should help administrators prioritize troubleshooting.
System information is provided in a set of dashboards that range from high-level status of overall health to detailed views for any number of metrics.
The management pack can also provide a diagram view that breaks out Nutanix clusters into its component parts, including blocks (the chassis) and individual servers. Each element in the diagram has a simple indicator to provide basic information about the element’s health. Administrators can then drill in to get more details.
An “Active Alerts” view tracks warnings for issues such as peak memory utilization. Administrators can’t make changes to Nutanix directly from SCOM, but they can open tickets and send emails from SCOM.
If you watch the App Awareness presentation, at around the 15-minute mark you’ll see issues raised by the TFD delegates. For instance, while the management pack can indicate that a device’s temperature is high, it doesn’t provide granular detail such fan speed, even though that information is available in Nutanix, and could be exported.
This oversight puts more burden on the operator to figure out exactly why a temperature alert has been triggered.
The Comtrade presenter acknowledged that more work could be done with data collection, as well as correlation, to make the product more valuable.
Should You Care About Comtrade Software?
If you happen to be a Nutanix and Microsoft shop with an investment in SCOM, I think this management pack is worth investigating.
While dedicated Nutanix operators can monitor the platform via its own interface, feeding system data to a more general monitoring system like SCOM means you’ve got more eyes on a critical asset, and you can take advantage of existing integrations with workflows and ticketing systems for maintenance and troubleshooting.
It doesn’t rise to the level of a “single pane of glass,” but then, what does?