CloudPhysics: Enhanced Storage Analytics Cards [Part 2] – Snapshots Gone Wild 2

Following up from Part 1 which focused on the Datastore Contention v2 Card, I’ll shift focus to what can sometimes be a Virutalization Admins worst nightmare…Snapshots. Snapshots are not backups (repeat x100) …but backup systems such as Veeam utilize VMware Snapshots to do their thing…and sometimes the process of SnapShot consolidation can fail, leaving unplanned SnapShots in play. Outside of that, the most dangerous Snapshot is the one that is manually created and forgotten.

There are plenty of ways to report on snapshots and most monitoring tools can be used to check, warn and alert on their presence. I still use a combination of reporting methods to ensure that the worst case scenario of a filled up datastore…or worse, corrupt snapshot do not occur.

Before looking at how CloudPhysics does it’s thing, traditionally I would have (and still do) use a simple PowerCli command to search all VMs and report on the age and size of any snapshots in a vCenter.

Pretty basic, but does the job.

CloudPhysics first introduced a SnapShots Gone Wild Card back during VMWorld 2012 and while it’s gone through a few changes and improvements since then it’s core look and feel has remained the same:

CloudPhysics have recently released V2 of the SnapShots Gone Wild Card and much the same as the Datastore Contention V2 Card there are quiet a few enhancements to go along with a more dynamic look and feel.

The one thing that I keep on commenting on in regards to CloudPhysics is that they present the data that matters so it’s right in your face. The new Card defaults to those SnapShots that need attention relative to SnapShot size, age and growth.

The graphics at the top break down DataStore Space Usage across the datastores with SnapShots and also provides a rough Savings Opportunity which is handy for Enterprises looking to put a $$ value on having SnapShots sticking around consuming otherwise useful datastore space. You can modify the price per GB to suit your own storage costs.

From a Service Providers point of view the value of this Card is in the quick visual representation of SnapShots in the CloudPhysics monitored environment…and while not proactive in nature (for that I would strongly suggest monitoring and reporting on the size of the SnapShot vmdk file useing Nagios, OpsView or using the vCenter SnapShot Alarm + Trigger mechanism)  it’s brilliant as a way to keep visual tabs on whats going on under the surface of your VMs.

The one thing I would like to have added to this Card is some form of automated reporting and/or alerting. I know that the guys at CloudPhysics are working on this set of features…this is one Card that would certainly benefit from that!