Collecting data from Customer Sites
As a virtualization consultant for the past few decades, I’ve been collecting data from client environments for as long as I can remember. Whether it’s a new client looking for direction or an existing client trying to see performance data for capacity planning, there has always been a need for me to come in, run some tools to collect the data and then produce some sort of report. In the past, I’ve used tools like VMware’s Capacity Planner, EMC’s Mitrend, Robware’s RVTools, VMware Health Check analyzer and sometimes just good old fashion manual data collection. Many of the tools (but not all) listed above are just for consulting partners but almost all of them are valuable to customers and clients regardless. The data that they gather and reports that they spit out (with or without consulting additions and opinions) can provide some great insights into an environment and even spot low hanging issues that can be resolved easily.
I recently have been using a newly rebranded tool called Live Optics from Dell. This is a combination of older tools like DPACK and some of the other tools like MiTrends getting folded into one nice clean web interface.
Above is a high level snapshot of the types of data you can get from Live Optics. You can also drill down into the environment as well and export various pieces as necessary.
The collection process is dead simple. Install and run the collector on a workstation, point it at your servers (vCenter, Hosts, AD or manually entered machines) and data will begin populating into the Live Optics console. I am able to share the data (and the website modeling interface) with the client and colleagues.. I really like this data collection tool for it’s simplicity for both the client and myself. Very much like a Capacity Planner v2.0 for me.
I see myself running this more and more at existing clients to get a nice quarterly snapshot of the environment and it’s resources.