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About PRO

Updated: January 22, 2011

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO), a feature of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), ties specific alerts from System Center Operations Manager 2007 to remediation actions in VMM. For example, a customer might perform load-balancing of virtual machines between physical hosts when specific thresholds are exceeded, such as transactions per second, CPU utilization, e-mail message delivery SLA, and so on. Alternatively, a customer might want to migrate virtual machines when a hardware failure is detected (for example, a fan failure).

VMM 2008 requires Operations Manager 2007 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). VMM 2008 R2 requires either Operations Manager 2007 SP1 or Operations Manager 2007 R2. VMM 2008 R2 supports the use of a highly available Operations Manager root management server (RMS) for PRO. Use of a highly available Operations Manager RMS is not supported in VMM 2008.

PRO leverages the management pack infrastructure of Operations Manager. When a PRO monitor in a PRO-enabled management pack identifies an opportunity for optimization, a PRO tip is generated in VMM. The PRO tip can include a remediation script that is to be run in VMM. A VMM administrator can manually approve and implement PRO tips, or the VMM administrator can configure PRO to automatically implement PRO tips.

VMM administrators use the PRO Tips window in the VMM Administrator Console to view active PRO tips for the host groups that they administer. To ensure a consistent monitoring experience, the Operations console for Operations Manager also displays the corresponding alerts.

The VMM 2008 Management Pack, included in the program files for VMM 2008, provides a basic set of PRO monitors that detect situations in which migrating virtual machines or changing a virtual machine configuration can optimize the performance of a host or a virtual machine. The management pack was updated for VMM 2008 R2; customers of VMM 2008 R2 should import the VMM 2008 R2 Management Pack, which is also downloaded with the program files.

noteNote
In references that apply to both the VMM 2008 Management Pack and the VMM 2008 R2 Management Pack, the management pack will be referred to as the VMM management pack.

ImportantImportant
Importing the VMM management pack is one of several tasks that must be completed before you integrate Operations Manager 2007 with VMM. Integrating Operations Manager is a prerequisite for enabling PRO in VMM. To ensure a successful integration, follow the appropriate procedures that are listed in Configuring Operations Manager Integration with VMM (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=144772). If you are migrating from VMM 2008 to VMM 2008 R2, you must perform a limited set of tasks to update your existing Operations Manager integration when you import the new management pack.

What PRO Enables

Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) is implemented through PRO tips. PRO tips recommend remedial actions that can return a host, a virtual machine, or other software or hardware in a virtualized environment to a healthy state based on health conditions reported by monitors in specially designed PRO-enabled management packs for Operations Manager.

PRO-enabled management packs can define three types of PRO tips:

  • PRO tips for hosts—PRO tips for hosts can recommend actions, such as migrating a virtual machine, to return a host to a healthy state based on resource usage or other performance and health measures on the host.

  • PRO tips for virtual machines—PRO tips for virtual machines can recommend actions, such as a configuration update to return a virtual machine to a healthy state, based on resource usage or other performance and health measures in virtual machines.

  • PRO tips for VMM—PRO tips can target Virtual Machine Manager to resolve issues that affect multiple VMM-managed computers throughout your virtualized environment. For example, a PRO tip that targets VMM might define a remediation action for an overheated blade chassis, for an issue with a distributed application, such as Microsoft Exchange, that is deployed on multiple physical computers, or for an issue with a storage array.

Enabling PRO for a specific host group or host cluster enables host and virtual machine PRO tips for each of the hosts and virtual machines within them. PRO tips for Virtual Machine Manager are enabled through VMM PRO settings, which are set in Administration view of the VMM Administrator Console.

PRO tips can be implemented automatically or manually, and you can set the severity level of PRO tips to monitor and the severity level of PRO tips to automatically implement. (Not all PRO tips are designed for auto implementation.) These choices are configured in the properties of individual host groups and host clusters, and for VMM-level PRO tips, in the VMM PRO settings.

You can review detailed information about the issue that produced a PRO tip, and the proposed resolution, in the PRO Tips window of the VMM Administrator Console. The window is opened by clicking PRO Tips on the toolbar. It displays only active PRO tips for the host groups that the current administrator administers. When the issue that caused the PRO tip is resolved, the PRO tip is closed.

The window contains two buttons for managing PRO tips: an Implement button that can be used to implement a recommended remedial action if one is available for the current tip, and a Dismiss button that can be used to close the PRO tip and remove it from the PRO Tips window.

You can view details for any PRO-initiated job in Jobs view of the VMM Administrator Console. A PRO tab in the job details for each PRO-initiated job displays the PRO tip identifier and the status of each job associated with the PRO tip.

PRO Capabilities in the VMM 2008 Management Pack

The following PRO capabilities are provided by the VMM Management Pack, which is downloaded with the VMM product:

  • PRO tips for hosts—The PRO monitors in the VMM management pack recommend virtual machine migration when CPU or memory usage on a host exceeds a specific threshold. The PRO action migrates the virtual machine that has the highest resource usage on the host to the most suitable host in the same host group or host cluster by using automatic placement in VMM. These PRO tips for hosts can be implemented automatically or manually.

    In the VMM 2008 R2 Management Pack, the thresholds for memory and CPU in the host monitors are determined by the host reserves that are in effect in VMM for the host. In VMM, host reserve settings specify the amount of memory, CPU, and other resources that are set aside for the host operating system to use. Default host reserves are set for a host group but can be overridden for individual hosts. Initially, in VMM, the CPU reserve for all hosts is 80 percent of capacity. The CPU threshold for the monitor is calculated by subtracting the reserved CPU percentage from 100 percent. The memory threshold is calculated by subtracting the amount of memory that is reserved on the host from total physical memory on the host. For information about setting host reserves, see How to Modify the Properties of a Host Group and How to Set Host Reserves for a Host (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=162974).

    In the VMM 2008 Management Pack, the default threshold for the CPU is 75 percent of capacity on the host, and the default threshold for memory is 90 percent of capacity. To change a threshold, you must create an override for the monitor in the VMM 2008 Management Pack. For more information, see Customizing PRO.

  • PRO tips for virtual machines—The PRO monitors in the VMM 2008 Management Pack recommend configuration changes to right-size the virtual machine if it is using 90 percent or more of the CPU or memory that is allocated to it. The PRO tips for virtual machines in the VMM 2008 Management Pack are not designed for automatic implementation.

The VMM 2008 Management Pack does not include any VMM-level PRO monitors, so the PRO settings in Administration view will have no immediate effect. As you add new PRO-enabled management packs, be sure to check whether the management pack requires the enabling of VMM-level PRO tips.

noteNote
After using PRO in your environment, you can adjust the rules in PRO-enabled management packs to customize PRO to meet your requirements. For example, in the VMM 2008 Management Pack, you might change the CPU performance threshold for all hosts or for an individual host. (In the VMM 2008 R2 Management Pack, you can adjust the threshold by modifying the CPU host reserves for the All Hosts host group or for the individual host.) For more information, see Customizing PRO.

Downloading Additional PRO-Enabled Management Packs

The VMM product team is working with partners who are developing additional PRO-enabled management packs that extend PRO capabilities to workloads and hardware running in a virtualized environment. As these management packs become available, notifications will be posted on the VMM TechCenter (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=85920).

Planning PRO Participation

When planning your PRO implementation, consider the following factors.

  • Which host groups and host clusters do you want to participate in PRO?

    To get optimal benefit from PRO-initiated migrations, you should place your hosts and virtual machines according to the needs of your organizational units. Plan your host groups and host clusters to support your organization’s needs. Then use delegated administration to filter PRO tips so that your host group administrators see only the PRO tips that they need to attend to.

  • Do you want to automatically implement PRO tips or to review the tips before manually implementing them?

    • What severity level of PRO tips do you want to receive for the host group or cluster: Warning and Critical or Critical only?

    • What severity level of PRO tips do you want to automatically implement: Warning and Critical or Critical only?

    For example, you might choose to receive both Critical and Warning PRO tips, but to automatically implement only Critical PRO tips.

  • Are there virtual machines that you would prefer to exclude from host-level PRO actions, such as quick migrations?

    If you have a mission-critical workload for which you cannot afford any downtime running in a virtual machine, you can prevent migration by excluding the virtual machine from host-level PRO actions. If resource usage on the host exceeds a PRO threshold, another virtual machine will be migrated, even if the anchor workload has the highest resource usage on the host. You still will receive PRO tips with recommendations for right-sizing the virtual machine if it exceeds its own CPU or memory threshold.

    If you enable PRO for the host group or host cluster that contains the virtual machine running the VMM server, exclude that virtual machine from PRO to prevent migration. When the VMM server is running on a virtual machine, it is literally managing itself; therefore any migration, including quick migration, will result in a service interruption. For additional guidance, see Planning for High Availability (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=145068).

    noteNote
    If you have deployed any non-highly available virtual machines on a host cluster that has PRO enabled, you should exclude those virtual machines from host-level PRO actions to enable PRO-initiated migrations to continue to work. If PRO targets a non-highly available virtual machine on a host cluster for migration, the PRO remediation action will fail. Likewise, if you enable PRO for a VMware host group, you should exclude any VMware virtual machines that are not configured with VMotion.

  • Do any of your PRO-enabled management packs contain PRO tips that target Virtual Machine Manager?

    PRO tips that resolve issues that might affect VMM-managed computers throughout your entire virtualized environment are enabled through VMM settings in Administration view. For example, a VMM-level PRO tip might define a remediation action for an overheated blade chassis, for an issue with a distributed application (such as Microsoft Exchange) that is deployed on multiple physical computers, or for an issue with a storage array. The VMM 2008 Management Pack does not include any PRO monitors that target VMM. However, as you add new PRO-enabled management packs, be sure to check whether you need to enable VMM-level PRO tips.

Additional Resources for PRO

The following resources are available for PRO:

  • To take advantage of PRO’s capabilities, you must configure Operations Manager integration with VMM and then enable PRO in Virtual Machine Manager. To simplify Operations Manager integration, a Configure Operations Manager option of the Setup Wizard imports the management pack into Operations Manager and performs other required configuration tasks; use the procedures Configuring Operations Manager Integration with VMM (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=125948) to perform the full configuration.

  • PRO is enabled for individual host groups and host clusters and for VMM-level PRO tips by using actions in the VMM Administrator Console. For procedures for enabling each level of PRO tip, see Enabling PRO in VMM.

  • After using PRO in your environment, you may want to adjust thresholds or make other changes to the PRO monitors that are provided. For more information, see Customizing PRO.

  • For more information about how the VMM 2008 Management Pack implements PRO, see the VMM 2008 R2 Management Pack Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=156761).

  • The VMM product team is working with partners who are developing additional PRO-enabled management packs that extend PRO capabilities to workloads and hardware running in a virtualized environment. As these management packs become available, notifications will be posted on the VMM TechCenter (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=85920).

  • For information about authoring your own PRO-enabled management packs, see the white paper Authoring PRO-Enabled Management Packs (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=162654).

See Also

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