I’m an ardent user of the Azure Operational Insights (OpInsights) service and I keenly follow the latest developments, from new Intelligence packs to search data syntax improvements, and so I’ve singled out the Capacity Planning intelligence pack for some constructive critiquing as well as to share my experiences using it.
The Capacity Planning intelligence pack is one that garners a lot of attention and enthusiasm during demos. What’s not to love about a tool that gives you greater control over your datacenter capacity, and that enables you to better project and plan for your future compute and storage needs? That’s the sort of insight that makes this service live up to its name.
You get the gist, it’s awesome. That is…unless you fail to see any data, days after adding the intelligence pack to your workspace, or until the Capacity Planning tile stops displaying data. This article will provide some practical tips on how to hit the ground running with the OpInsights Capacity Planning intelligence pack as well as common issues you may encounter in your bid to get this intelligence pack to work.
After you add the Capacity Planning intelligence pack to your workspace in Azure Operational Insights, the common issues you are likely to encounter are of 2 types.
- Getting the Capacity Planning tile to display data in your overview page or dashboard after adding the intelligence pack (Scenario #1)
- Getting the Capacity Planning tile to display data after it stops displaying data (Scenario #2)
NOTE: The steps below will assume that you are using Operational Insights as an Operations Manager service that consist of one or more management groups with agents in your management group(s).
Scenario #1. Where is my Capacity data?
The first thing to do here is to review the steps for configuring the OpsMgr-to-VMM connector, and ensuring that it’s working. This is necessary for data aggregation to succeed. Kevin Holman also wrote a detailed guide on the subject.
The next step is to confirm that the OpsMgr-to-VMM connection is configured and working. In the VMM console, navigate to Settings |System Center settings | right-click Operations Manager Server and select Properties. You will want to see a connection status of “OK.” I will talk more about this later.
After you add the Capacity Planning Intelligence pack in your OpInsights workspace, a couple of things happen under the hood. Several management packs will get installed in your OpsMgr management group. These intelligence packs include
- Microsoft System Center Advisor Capacity Storage Data
- Microsoft System Center Advisor Capacity intelligence pack
- Microsoft System Center Advisor Capacity intelligence pack
Note that although two of the three listed management packs have the same name, they have different internal Ids and all three need to be imported into OpsMgr. These management packs collect operational data for storage analytics, collect operational data for cloud attachment and storage data analysis, and collect operational data for cloud attachment respectively.
Review your management packs to confirm that they got imported into your OpsMgr management group
Very importantly, a couple of object discoveries will run, but you want to pay particular attention to the Microsoft System Center Advisor Windows Server Discovery in the Microsoft System Center Advisor Capacity Intelligence Pack. If you do not see this discovery in OpsMgr under Authoring | Management Pack Objects | Object Discoveries after adding the intelligence pack in OpInsights, it’s usually an indication that one of the Microsoft System Center Advisor Capacity intelligence packs listed above did not get imported. Remove the management packs, and wait for about 10 minutes for the management packs to get imported into OpsMgr again.
The referenced discovery targets your Hyper-V hosts that are managed in VMM, and so it’s worth reiterating that at the time of writing this article, the Capacity Planning intelligence pack requires you to have VMM and to be managing at least 1 Hyper-V host. If you are missing either of these, you will not get any capacity data in OpInsights. Onwards…
After the discovery runs navigate to Monitoring | Discovered Inventory in the OpsMgr console, and set the target type to Microsoft System Center Advisor Windows Server. After about 5/10 minutes, you will start to see the discovered Hyper-V servers in your console.
After the Hyper-V servers get discovered capacity data should get sent up to the OpInsights service. The data will then get aggregated and then displayed in the Capacity Planning tile in your workspace. In my experience it has taken between 24 – 30 hours for capacity planning data to show up in the Capacity Planning tile as seen in Figure A below. It will however take at least 7 days of data to build out projections, after which the tile will be updated to show your future growth projections and capacity growth as seen in Figure B below.
Figure A: Shows the Capacity planning Intelligence pack tile showing capacity planning data
Figure B: Shows the Capacity Planning Intelligence pack tile displaying capacity growth and projection data
Scenario # 2: Capacity Planning Tile is no longer displaying data
While the first scenario focuses on tips for getting started with the Azure Operational Insights Capacity Planning Intelligence Pack, this scenario will focus on suggested remediation steps to take when the Capacity Planning tile stops displaying data.
If you’ve successfully gotten the Capacity Planning tile to display data in your workspace but then after some time it stops displaying data, there are a couple of configurations to double check.
- Check your OpsMgr-to-VMM connection. I’ve found this to be the cause of 90% of the issues that cause the Capacity Planning tile to no longer display data
- Confirm that data is being sent up to the OpInsights service from your management servers
- Check for errors in the Operations Manager event logs on your management servers
Check your OpsMgr-to-VMM Connection
When you look up the System Center Settings in your VMM console under Settings | System Center Settings | Operations Manager Server | Properties, review the connection status.
I’ve seen 3 possible connection status for the Operations Manager Server.
The status below is an error status that indicates that the connection from VMM to OpsMgr has been severed. This could be caused by any number of issues such as:
- incompatible management packs due to a new Update rollup for instance (I wrote an article on this some time ago)
- A change in your Hyper-V/ VMM configuration
I remediated this error by removing the Operations Manager Server: Settings | System Center Settings| Operations Manager Server | right-click and select Remove, and then adding the server again by right-clicking on Operations Manager Server, and selecting properties.
After performing the following step, you should see one of two connection statuses which are acceptable depending on your environment.
A connection status as shown below indicating that the OpsMgr to VMM connection was successful with no errors
A “Warning” connection status, indicates that the error no longer persists, but that some other issue needs to be addressed. Review the error details to learn more about any identified issues affecting the OpsMgr connection to VMM.
If you’ve updated your Hyper-V configuration in VMM such as by adding/removing a Hyper-V cluster etc., confirm that the Hyper-V servers are agent managed, or deploy SCOM agents to the servers, and confirm that the server get discovered in OpsMgr by looking under Monitoring | Discovered Inventory in the OpsMgr console, and setting the target type to Microsoft System Center Advisor Windows Server to display the discovered Hyper-V servers.
After addressing the issues with the OpsMgr-to-VMM connection, It could take up to 24 hours for the Capacity Planning tile in Azure Operational Insights to start displaying data again.
Other Troubleshooting Steps
The Microsoft Operations Manager Team has an excellent article on other Azure Operational Insights troubleshooting Steps. Review procedure 3 and procedure 4 under the section “Verifying if things are working post completing the configuration wizard” for more practical troubleshooting steps.
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