VMware Fling – DRS Dump Insight H5 Plugin

I was recently reading through fellow vExpert Wouter Kurten‘s “The VMware Labs flings monthly for September 2018” post and one of the flings in the post piqued my curiosity.

If you’re not familiar with VMware Flings, then head over to labs.vmware.com and have a look around.

“Flings are apps and tools built by our engineers and community that are intended to be played with and explored.”

The fling in question is the “DRS Dump Insight H5 Plugin”  , so I decide to get it up and running in my Ravello Cloud Lab.

Installation

a.  Head over to https://labs.vmware.com/flings/drs-dump-insight-h5-plugin

b. check out the requirements. Note this is fling is only compatible with VCSA 6.5/6.7 and not the HTML5 Client Fling.

**DRS will need to be enabled on your cluster**

c. The installation instructions are pretty straight forward:-

d. Over on the right-hand side select the relevant version, in my case VCSA 6.7, and ensure you have ticked the agreement box and download the zip file.

e. Extract the contents to your local folder.

 

f. Next, you will need to WinSCP the plugin folder to your VCSA.

In order to allow WinSCP to transfer files onto your VCSA, you will need to follow the instructions in this VMware KB article https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2107727

i. Connect to your VCSA via SSH

ii. Enable the bash shell using shell.set --enable True

iii. Access the bash shell using shell

iiv. Change the default bash shell with chsh -s /bin/bash root

g. Now connect to your VCSA with WinSCP

h. Navigate to /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages/  and upload the folder DRSDumpInsight-67_v1.0 , from your local machine

i. Now log into you vCenter web client and navigate to the cluster object.

j. Go to ‘Configure‘ and in the ‘Services>vSphere DRS‘ section click on Edit

k. Click on the ‘Advanced Options‘ tab, now click ‘Add‘ in the ‘Configuration Parameters‘ section


l. Add the option ‘ CompressDrmdumpFiles‘ with a value of ‘0‘ and click ‘OK’.


m. Back to your SSH session on the VCSA and restart the vsphere-ui service

service-control --stop vsphere-ui

service-control --start vsphere-ui

n.  At this point, you will need to refresh/re-logon into the vCenter web client


o. Once the vSphere-ui is back online, log in and navigate to back to the Cluster object > Monitor. Scroll down and you will now find an entry for DRS Dump Insight.

 

Using the Fling

Now that the fling is installed, it will start to collect/list the DRS dump files in the interface.

Now I am going to induce some load on my 3 out of my 4 Linux VMs, using the command

bash -c 'for (( I=100000000000000000000 ; I>=0 ; I++ )) ; do echo $(( I+I*I )) & echo $(( I*I-I )) & echo $(( I-I*I*I )) & echo $(( I+I*I*I )) ; done' &>/dev/null

 

Now we will see the CPU usage on the VM rise

Back to the DRS Dump Insight section and click on the refresh button

Select the latest dump file and click the ‘Analyze Selected Dumps‘ button

The fling will now analyze the dump file.

Once the analysis has completed you will be present with a summary of recommendations in a new tab.

You can click on the ‘Show‘ button to see more details.

You can also save DRS recommendation reports from the interface, by clicking on the PDF icon.

 

You can choose which information to include in your reports.

Sample from the report

Conclusion

And there you have it, quite a straight forward process with some great potential use cases. I haven’t had a chance to fully explore all the options and information reported, hopefully I can cover these in a future post.

I’d be keen to learn how this has helped you in your environment, by giving you more details about the recommendations made by DRS.