The Business Challenge
The IT infrastructure at Vestas Wind Systems A/S supports the entire lifecycle of a wind turbine: design, development, production, sales, setup and monitoring. The company’s IT department supports 17,000 employees and a large infrastructure.
Vestas uses Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to monitor and manage its physical environment. In the past, the company used a native tool to monitor its virtual environment, but that meant the IT department used two different monitoring frameworks.
“It also meant two different teams in the IT department often tried to resolve the same issue,” said Alan Madsen, Technical Lead for Vestas. “However, sometimes they only solved part of the problem because they couldn’t see deeply enough into the performance details of the VMs or what was going on during a specific point in time. We knew what we needed: a simplified, holistic view of the entire IT infrastructure to see and resolve issues more efficiently plus performance monitoring and capacity planning for the virtual environment.”
The Veeam Solution
The IT team chose Veeam Management Pack™ (MP) for VMware because it extends deep VMware monitoring, management and capacity planning to Microsoft System Center, providing complete visibility of Vestas’ physical and virtual environments and applications—all from one console.
Veeam MP integrates fully with VMware and System Center, enabling all System Center functionality (alerts, diagrams, dashboards, reporting, auditing, notifications, responses and automations) for all VMware components (vCenter Server, clusters, hosts, VMs, storage and hardware).
“Now that we have single view of the entire infrastructure and our physical and virtual alerts are correlated, only one team from IT troubleshoots an issue, which has improved our reaction time and made us more efficient,” Madsen said. “Before we implemented Veeam MP, too many people spent too much time troubleshooting.” Madsen said Veeam MP helps team members find and fix problems they might not have seen before the MP was implemented.
“Our two datacenters are connected by redundant lines. When one of the lines went down, we lost half our network storage path. Without Veeam MP, it would have taken us much longer to find the problem, or we might not have discovered it at all.”
Madsen said another great thing about Veeam MP is performance reporting. The MP includes an extensive library of VMware performance reports available in System Center that the IT team customizes to simplify day-to-day work.
“Veeam’s support team has been great about helping us create customized performance reports for the VMware components we don’t have time to think about,” he explained. “Veeam MP’s reports bring even more value to our investment in System Center because they give us additional insight into our virtual environment, helping us manage it smoothly and completely.”
Madsen said capacity planning reports from Veeam MP are helpful too. They assist the IT department in forecasting potential problems, such as datastores running low, because team members can see storage utilization at different sites. Madsen also likes the built-in thresholds, graphs and reports that provide a detailed health model, including information on memory pressure so IT can avoid over-committed memory in a vSphere cluster. The capacity planning reports in Veeam MP also include what-if modeling to see how changes to the virtual environment will affect performance.
Veeam MP has dashboard views that leverage System Center 2012 Operations Manager dashboard widgets, giving Madsen and his colleagues real-time performance views for their critical vSphere systems. Dashboards include “Top 10 hosts for CPU” per-cluster and “Top 10 VMs for Disk I/o” per datastore.
“The new dashboards are fantastic and really useful because they show the exact information we need to analyze a problem,” Madsen said. “If your goal is to monitor VMware through Microsoft System Center and resolve issues before they become problems, Veeam Management Pack is the most detailed and precise product on the market…from a VMware perspective, we haven’t found one single monitoring limitation with Veeam.”
Extends Microsoft System Center to VMware, eliminating separate monitoring console
Veeam MP enables Vestas to monitor its physical and virtual environments with the System Center Operations Manager console. Bringing VMware monitoring and management to a console that the IT department already knows leverages the investment already made in System Center and also preserves IT policies and practices built on it.
Improves visibility of IT infrastructure and reaction time to issues
Before Veeam MP was implemented, trouble tickets were often issued to more than one team in the IT department; therefore, too many people were spending too much time troubleshooting issues. With Veeam MP, fewer people spend less time resolving issues because the IT department has a single, transparent view of the entire IT infrastructure.
Deep VMware visibility and capacity planning optimize virtual environment
Veeam MP provides hundreds of out-of-the-box rules and monitors, topology diagrams and reports to give Vestas deep visibility into VMware vSphere. For example, capacity planning reports show the IT department how many days remain for CPU, memory and storage for a particular datastore or vSphere cluster. “Veeam MP gives us everything we’ve wanted in a VMware monitoring and management solution and the transparency that we didn’t have before,” Madsen said. “Capacity planning is more efficient now.”