Virtual Machine Management

Overview

Datacenters that support several thousand VMs sometimes require support across multiple clouds. The CloudCenter platform provides a Virtual Machine (VM) management feature for such datacenters in CloudCenter 4.8.0. This feature allows you to import VMs into the CloudCenter platform and manage them directly from the CCM.

The Virtual Machines tab replaces two older reports (the Managed VM Inventory Report and the Unmanaged VM Inventory Report) that were available in earlier CloudCenter versions are deprecated in CloudCenter 4.8 and replaced by the Virtual Machines tab that can be accessed by any CloudCenter user from the CCM UI.

From the CloudCenter perspective, VMs have two categories as described in the following table. Both categories are included in the CCM UI under a new tab called Virtual Machines.

CategoryDescriptionVisibilityPermitted Actions
Managed VMs

Displays VMs that are already managed by the CloudCenter platform. This list includes CloudCenter deployed VMs and imported VMs.

All users
  • Start
  • Stop
  • Terminate
  • Reboot
Unmanaged VMs

Displays VMs that are not yet managed, by the CloudCenter platform. This list includes VMs discovered by the CloudCenter platform.

To manage a VM displayed in this list, you must first import the VM to the CloudCenter platform.

Admin users
  • Import to CloudCenter
  • Terminate

Cloud Nuances

Once you import a VM from the Unmanaged list to the Managed list, VM actions are available based on the underlying cloud. Additional VM actions are available for the following clouds:

  • AWS
  • OpenStack
  • VMware vCenter
  • Azure RM
  • VMware vCD (effective CloudCenter 4.8.1)
  • Google Cloud (effective CloudCenter 4.8.1)

Permissions and Access Control

A CloudCenter user with admin permissions can import a VM listed in the Unmanaged into the Managed category.

Imported VMs do not have any default Access Control Lists (ACLs) permission. Permissions are derived based on the importer's invitations when importing the VM – you may have permission to log into the VM imported to the CloudCenter platform but may not have permission (as a Cisco CloudCenter user) to upgrade the agent for this VM.

Managed VMs

The VMs displayed in this list includes the following VMs:

  • CloudCenter Deployed VMs display 2 logos – the Application logo (if available) and the OS logo.
  • Imported VMs display 1 logo – the  Imported VM icon.

The following screenshots displays a filtered list of CloudCenter Deployed VMs displayed in the Managed category.

  • CloudCenter 4.8.0x


  • CloudCenter 4.8.1

Regardless of the default filter settings, the following information applies to the summary displayed at the top of the Virtual Machines page:

SummaryDescription
Total VMs

The total number of running VMs for the selected time period.

This count depends on the selected filters.

Running VMs

The total number of running (billed) VMs for the entire deployment without any time restriction.

This count includes VMs that display the ERROR / NOT REACHABLE status.

The term Running VMs in this summary differs from the term Running in the status-based filter. To co-relate the Running VMs count in the summary, check Running, Starting, and Error (NODE NOT REACHABLE) Statuses.

Cloud CostThe cost of running the VMs
Est Monthly Cost

The estimated hourly rate of running VMs (based on the VM status)

VM HoursThe total number of running VM hours during the selected time period


The following table identifies various aspects of the Virtual Machines tab:

IdentityImage and Description
Favorite

Mark any VM as a favorite by clicking the star icon next to the VM.

Parent deployment link

Displays the deployment name as a link. Click the link to view details about the parent deployment

VM details link

Displays the VM name as a link. Click the link to view details about the deployment. Depending on the cloud, the information displayed for this link differs:

  • Hostname: The hostName for the VM – if configured. If not configured, then the nodeId is displayed.
  • Display Name: AWS VMs display the user-configured name for this VM – if configured. If not configured, then the nodeId is displayed.
  • VM ID: The nodeId is displayed for all other cases – the vmId is a unique identifier but it is not used for any VM operation, it is only used for the metadata purposes.
High-level status

Color-coded status indicator to identify the high-level status of the VM displayed in the Virtual Machine tab, they do not indicate the status of the deployment.

Displayed StatusDescription
ErrorIdentifies several types of errors as displayed by the VM status. See the Error VMs Status row below for additional context.
StoppingIdentifies a VM that is in the NodeSuspending state.
StoppedIdentifies a VM that is in the NodeSuspended state.
StartingIdentifies a VM that is in the NodeStarting and NodeResuming states.
Running

Identifies a VM that is in the NodeStarted, NodeReady, NodeResumed, NodeRebooted, and NodeReachable states.

TerminatingIdentifies a VM that is in the NodeTerminating state.
TerminatedIdentifies a VM that is in the NodeTerminated and NodeCleaned states.

See Deployment and VM States for a complete list and additional details.

Error VM Status

This information is only provided if a CloudCenter deployed VM is in the Error state – Identifies one of the following types of errors and provides additional details on cause and correction tool tips.

If a VM is not deployed by CloudCenter is in the error state, then Error / Not Found state is displayed.

AgentLite

A lightweight agent, called AgentLite (agentlite or agent-lite), can be installed on VMs that have been imported into CloudCenter. This agent is an alternate option for VMs that do not require the capability to launch applications but do require some basic CloudCenter functionality like performing platform actions. If installed, the Virtual Machines page and the VM Details page displays the icon and version as identified in the following image.

The benefit to installing this agent on an imported VM is that you have additional actions types that become available for this VM.

You can only install this agent on Managed VMs – You can have CloudCenter Deployed VMs or Imported VMs that are managed by the CloudCenter platform but do not have agent installed.

You cannot install this agent on Unmanaged VMs. You must first import the VM to the Managed list and then install the agent on that VM.

AgentLite does not support the use of the Artifactory repository.

SSH

Click to SSH into the VM. See SSH Options for additional details.

VNC

Click to VNC into the VM.

VMs launched from images that:

  • Have VNC installed – you can connect to those VMs by clicking the VNC button for this link.
  • Do not have VNC installed – you will not be able to connect to those VMs using VNC and will see a connection error.

VM Details

When you click the link for a VM in the Virtual Machines tab, you see the server Details page:

  • The Details tab (default) provides exhaustive details for the VM.
  • The Logs tab provides the entire list of VM deployments details.
  • The History tab provides a complete history for all actions (succeeded, failed, occurred) performed on this VM.
  • The Available Actions (in the Actions panel) that you can perform for this VM. See Actions Library for additional context.

VM Errors

VM errors, if any, are displayed at the top of the Virtual Machines page and the VM Details page:

  • Click the X to dismiss the error.
  • Click View Details to access the reason for the error.
  • Click Dismiss to remove it from being listed in the page.

Unmanaged VMs

The VMs displayed in this list include VMs discovered by the CloudCenter platform. These VMs were launched/deployed outside of CloudCenter. When CloudCenter connects to a cloud account, all VMs in that cloud account are displayed in the Unmanaged VMs list. 

This category is only visible to Admin users – the administrator and the cloud account owner to import a VM from this category into the Managed category.

The following screenshot displays a filtered list of ALL VMs displayed in the Unmanaged category.

Import to CloudCenter

A CloudCenter user who is the administrator and who is the cloud account owner can import a VM listed in the Unmanaged into the Managed category. To Import a VM, you must:

  • Be the administrator (only Admin users can create cloud accounts)
  • Be the cloud account owner

You can import unmanaged VMs in one of two ways:

  • Individually: Click the dropdown arrow next to the VM and selecting Import to CloudCenter.


  • Batch: You can also multi-select VMs by clicking the corresponding check boxes next to each VM and then selecting Import to CloudCenter from the Actions menu which displays the number of selected VMs.

    When performing bulk operations, if two instances have the same name then the CloudCenter platform rejects this bulk operation request.

See Actions Library for additional context on types of actions and other details.

Share VMs

Imported VMs do not have any default Access Control Lists (ACLs) permission. Permissions are derived based on the importer's invitations when importing the VM.

Imported VMs

Once imported to the CloudCenter platform, the VM is  considered to be an Imported VM and the following behavior applies to this VM:

  • Only listed in the Managed category
  • CloudCenter licensing and billing begins as soon as the import is successful
  • Available for VM actions (see Actions Library for additional context).
  • Visible in CloudCenter but still does not have an agent installed
  • Eligible to have an Agent image installed

The following screenshot displays a filtered list of Imported VMs displayed in the Managed category and identifies the imported VM icon as well as the icon for an unknown OS:

When you click the Imported VM link to view details about the imported VM:

Install AgentLite

If a VM was launched as part of an application deployment using the CloudCenter platform, then the Java Management Agent may already be be running on it (unless the VM was installed as an Agentless node or a user manually stopped the Agent). Such VM (with the Java Management agent installed as part of deployment) are referred to as CloudCenter Deployed VMs.

The action to Install CloudCenter Agent from the Actions dropdown list is only available for the lightweight, AgentLite agent. Installing AgentLite is an alternate option for VMs that do not require the capability to launch applications but do require some basic CloudCenter functionality like performing platform actions. You can only install the AgentLite agent on imported VMs.

The following image identifies an imported VM without the AgentLite installation

If AgentLite is installed, you see the Agent icon and the version displayed for each Imported VM on the Virtual Machines page:


Use one of the following options to install an agent: 

If the latest version of the agent is already installed on a VM, then the Install CloudCenter Agent action will no longer be available for this VM.

  • Manually: See the Install AgentLite Manually section below for additional details.

To install AgentLite for clouds like VMware and AzureRM, the CloudCenter platform requires the following utilities:

  • Linux VMs: dmidecode
  • Windows VMs: wmic

The Install CloudCenter Agent action installs the lightweight agent and enables Custom actions on this VM. After installing the lightweight agent, the list of allowed custom actions is listed in the Actions dropdown for this VM.

Requirements

To install the CloudCenter agent from the CCM UI, you must meet these requirements:

Use the manual procedure in the following situations:

To download the agent and install it on a VM manually, you must meet the following conditions:

The Node ID Input Parameter

The Node ID input parameter, introduced in CloudCenter 4.8.1, is optional for all other supported clouds, except VMware vCD (required).

 Windows

To provide the Node ID value for Windows, issue the following command:

.\install.ps1 -brokerHost <IP> -brokerPort 5671 -cloudFamily vcd --nodeId 421b7140-eda1-da9e-4fa2-370b00d6bf16
 Linux

To provide the Node ID value for Linux, issue the following command:

./install --brokerHost <IP> --brokerPort 5671 --cloudFamily vcd --nodeId 421b7140-eda1-da9e-4fa2-370b00d6bf16

Download AgentLite Bundle

To install the AgentLite bundle, you must first download one of the following bundle store files:

Download package files:

See Virtual Appliance Overview to understand the required components.

See Phase 4 Overview  to understand the various types of software download files.

  1. SSH into the VM instance designated for this component by using the key pair that you used to launch the VM.

    Along with the key pair, you may need to use your login credentials for sudo or root access based on your environment.

  2. Download the following required files for this component from software.cisco.com:

    • agent-lite-linux-bundle.tar.gz (for Linux-based VMs)
    • agent-lite-windows-bundle.zip (for Windows-based VMs, use RDP access)

Install AgentLite on a Linux VM

Install AgentLite on a Windows VM

  • Process: The process to install AgentLite on a Windows instance differs based on the Windows version.

Set AgentLite Environment Variables

You can set the environment variables to provide easy access to logs and configuration files.

  1. Source the environment vars files:

    source /usr/local/agentlite/bin/vars.sh
  2. Use the following variables to set the values:

    AGENT_HOME  : /usr/local/agentlite
    CONFIG_FILE : /usr/local/agentlite/config/config.json
    LOG_FILE    : /usr/local/agentlite/log/agent.log
    LOG_LEVEL   : DEBUG

Manage AgentLite

Managing the AgentLite file and feature is specific to the OS in use.

Management TaskLinuxWindows
AgentLite Registration by the CloudCenter platformRegistered as a daemon program agentd.Registered as a service, called AgentService.
Start AgentLite

Use one of the following commands:

/etc/init.d/agentd start

#or
service agentd start

#or
/bin/bash /usr/local/agentlite/bin/agent-start.sh
Use the service manager to start the service.
Stop AgentLite

Use one of the following commands:

/etc/init.d/agentd stop

#or
service agentd stop

#or
/bin/bash /usr/local/agentlite/bin/agent-stop.sh
Use the service manager to stop the service.
Restart AgentLite

Use one of the following commands:

/etc/init.d/agentd restart

#or
service agentd restart
Use the service manager to restart the service.
Modify the configuration

To modify the configuration, follow this process:

  1. Modify /usr/local/agentlite/config/config.json
    as required.
  2. Restart the agentd service.

To modify the configuration, follow this process:

  1. Modify C:\opt\agentlite\config\config.json as required.
  2. Stop and start AgentService using service manager.


Uninstall AgentLite

By uninstalling the agent, you are only removing the agent daemon from the Linux server and the agent service from the Windows server – you are not removing the folder/directory.

To uninstall an existing AgentLite instance on a VM and install a new AgentLite version, follow this procedure.

  1. Uninstall the AgentLite file using the following OS-specific command:

    Linux
    /usr/local/agentlite/bin/uninstall.sh
    Windows
    powershell.exe –ExecutionPolicy Bypass –NoProfile –File C:\opt\agentlite\bin\uninstall.ps1
  2. Delete the AgentLite Home folder/directory

    Example:
    Linux: rm -rf /usr/local/agentlite
    Windows: rm -r C:\opt\agentlite
  3. Install AgentLite using one of the options provided in the sections above (from the UI Actions dropdown or Manually).

You can only upgrade agent for a CloudCenter VM if the agent was previously installed and if the VM is using CloudCenter 4.5 or later versions.

If one CloudCenter component uses a particular version of the CloudCenter software, you must use the same version for all other CloudCenter components.

If the latest version of the agent is already installed on a VM, then the Upgrade CloudCenter Agent action will no longer be available for this VM.

In prior CloudCenter releases, you did not have any way to upgrade the agent on a VM. Effective CloudCenter 4.8.0, you can upgrade the agent either from the UI or the API.

Perform VM Actions

You can perform VM operations such as start, stop, and reboot VMs from the Details page or the Virtual Machines list page. Admins can manage CloudCenter VMs and take several actions from the Virtual Machines list page or a VM Details page. See Actions Library for additional details.

Billing

A new billing process calculates the run time and cost usage of imported VMs. This process is similar to existing billing process and runs once an hour. See CloudCenter Cost and Fees for additional details.

The CloudCenter costs are accrued for each child job as well as for the total cost of the deployment.

Additional Functions

  • Filter Favorites: Any time you mark a deployment as a favorite (see Deployments > Favorite Deployments) by clicking the star icon, you can also view a filtered list of favorite deployments.
     
  • Search Strings: Specify strings in the Search icon (see UI Behavior for additional context) field based on strings that identify the following resources:

  •  Time Period Filtering

    The time period filtering options displayed in the top right corner of the Virtual Machines tab enables you to filter VMs based on the VM Run Time (default).

    Time Period Filter

    The available time period filter options are explained in the following table:

    Time Period FilterDescriptionNotes
    MTDMonth to DateThe current month
    YTDYear to dateThe current year
    30D (Default)30 Days

    The current 30 days ending with today

    The data that is displayed in response to a 30-Day time period request only displays data from the 1st of the month, not for the previous 30 days. To work around this issue, use the date Range option and provide the begin and end date for the required period.

    60D60 DaysThe current 60 days ending with today
    90D90 DaysThe current 90 days ending with today
    RangeA custom range specified by the selected month and year

    If using APIs, this is the only available options to display reports for a period of time based on the startDate and endDate attributes

  •  Advance Filtering

    The Hide Filter/Show Filter option enables you to hide or expand advanced filtering options. You can save custom filters just as you would for CloudCenter reports 

    Advanced Filters

    This advanced filtering options helps you directly add short cuts to filtered lists that you can quickly access at a later time. This feature is available for some pages (for example, the  Running VM History Report or the VM Management page). The following images display some of the available filters:

                                         

    Save Filters

    By saving a a filter, you are directly adding short cuts to custom filtered lists that you can quickly access at a later time.

    To save a custom filter, follow this procedure.

    1. Select the required filters in the Filters pane and/or the Columns filter choices.
    2. Click Save (located right above the Filters pane).

      The Save Filter popup displays.
    3. Enter a name for this filter and click Save.
    4. The filter is saved and a status message displays in the page.
    5. You can access and view the saved filters from the dropdown list. 

    Delete Saved Filters

    You can delete saved filters by clicking the Trash icon next to the saved filter live link.

    The Delete Saved Filters popup confirms your intention before deleting the saved filter and displaying the status message at the Application Deployments Report page.