Holy Dashboards, Batman! (PernixData FVP Freedom Edition)

I have had @PernixData  FVP Freedom Edition installed for a month (and a day.) It’s about time I post about it again. Last time I posted on FVP, I did an Install / Configure write-up based on my home lab. This time, we’re going to take a look into the management aspect of FVP Freedom. Now, I have to say, FVP is pretty idiot-proof when it comes to management. Really, I never HAVE to login to the management server console at all. Ever. Do I, though? Yes. Why, you ask? Because I like to look at shiny things. My setup is pretty simple. 2 ESX hosts, and 1 physical FreeNAS box. FreeNAS is baremetal, and connected to the network with 2 x 100meg links in a LAGG (With LACP at the switch). Lets take a look at what happens when you login to the console, and select “FVP” from the top left drop-down:

01 - FVP Dashboard

The first thing we’re presented with is the FVP Clusters menu. This is where you’ll get a list, and brief overview of all of your different FVP clusters. In my case, I really only have 1. If you have a larger installation with different workload clusters, this will be the main hub of drilling down. Not a lot of options here, but a good HUD of current status. Latency (VM average), IOPS, Throughput, and Acceleration Rate (the good stuff). Also shown here is the active warnings and alerts. As you see, I am perfect, and have none. Also, as I don’t have a crazy amount of acceleration resources and active data in my home lab, my acceleration rate is only 1%. Generally, when I have everything running and am working on things, my rate is around 20-30%. I don’t have any hard data on storage performance with and without FVP yet, so I’ll get to that next, hopefully. Let’s click into the cluster and see what we have next:

02 - FVP Cluster Overview

This is the main cluster dashboard. The epicenter of all those sweet sweet analytics. This dashboard contains groups of information on FVP Cluster Status, VM Accelleration Status, Performance, and Insight. This one-stop-shop is really all you need, unless you are trying to root out a problem, or check on more granular stats. One of my favorite things about this is the Insight area. Seeing just how many IO’s and DS bandwidth saved (total) over the life of the  installation. I’d imagine for large elaborate installs, these numbers would skyrocket. But, the other info, such as the VM acceleration status is cool. And knowing the current Performance status is nice, such as current average VM latency. The next stop on our journey, is the Reporting tab:

03 - Reporting - Latency

Reporting on here gives you more data than you can shake a stick at… If you wanted to shake a stick at data… In my environment example here, I don’t have crazy numbers. Not much going on. The first bit of reporting is the Cluster stats. You can check Latency, IOPS, Throughput, Acceleration Rate, and Pupulation vs Eviction, as well as the Audit Log. Population vs Eviction is to show you hot data added to the cache, vs data that went cold and was dropped. The breakdowns you can filter are VM observed, Local Acceleration, Network Acceleration, and Datastore. You can mouse over the graphs at any point to see the exact time and the metric reported. The Virtual Machine Reporting tab lets us get a bit more granular with the VM’s:

04 - Reporting - VM - Detail

Here on the Virtual Machine Reporting tab, we can actually see the Name, Resource Usage, Alerts / Warnings, and Status of the VM’s that live on the accelerated storage. In my example we can see that my vROps and NSX appliances are taking the most resources for hot data. I really like that you can see the individual performance metrics of latency, IOPS, throughput, and acceleration rate on a per-VM basis. You can also see the individual graphs for some of the metrics, as opposed to the total graphs:

05 - Reporting - VM - Latency

The final stop on our journey is the Advanced Configuration tab:

06 - Configuration Advanced

Here, you’ll find the blacklists, network config, and VADP VM’s. This is where you can tell FVP which VM’s are backup VM’s or ones to simply not accelerate. I am skipping the Acceleration Resources and Datastores tab, as I went over this during my install / configure blog.

Well, that ends our little journey into the FVP Freedom Dashboards. At some point, I would really like to get a full-version of the software and point it at some local SSD’s on each host and see what this can really do. Someday. Maybe. Thanks for playing along!


Note: My series on PernixData software is in no way sponsored by PernixData. The posts are all written by me, for knowledge, not compensation.