VMware vCenter Operations Manager (Part 2) – Installation

VMware vCenter Operations Manager (Part 2) – Installation

This article shows how to download vCops and how to get it deployed, in your virtual infrastructure, in short order.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

VMware vCenter Operations Manager (Part 1) – Introduction
VMware vCenter Operations Manager (Part 3) – In Use

In my first article of this three part series on VMware vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS), I discussed what vCOPS does and what makes it unique. In this second article of the series, I’ll show you how to download it and how to get it deployed, in your virtual infrastructure, in no short order.

To get started on the process of installing vCOPS, you first need to download it. Fortunately, VMware offers a 60-day evaluation of both vCOPS and vSphere (along with vCenter). You can download it here.


Downloading vCenter Operations Manager

I already had vSphere 5 and vCenter 5 deployed in my vSphere lab. To evaluate vCOPS, all I had to do was see the vCOPS product evaluation center to download it and obtain license keys.
Figure 1: vCOPS Evaluation Center

Once you register for your free account and login, in the eval center, you’ll find your 60 day evaluation keys for vCOPS, vCenter Infrastructure Navigator, and vCenter Chargeback. You’ll also find downloads for each of those products. Note that if you want to evaluate vCenter Configuration Manager, you’ll have to click to contact a sales rep.
Figure 2: Downloading the Evaluation of vCenter Operations Manager

Both vCOPS and vIN are distributed as OVA virtual appliances that require no install. vCenter Chargeback is a Windows installation distributed as a ZIP file.

As I just wanted to eval vCOPS at this time, I downloaded the OVA file for it and noted the license key.

Deploying the vCOPS Virtual Appliance

From here, I needed to deploy vCOPS into my vSphere infrastructure. As it is an OVA virtual appliance, that’s easy. I went into my vSphere client and, under File, I clicked on Deploy OVF Template. Yes, we downloaded an OVA and we chose to import and OVF but, no worries, importing an OVA will work just fine.

Next, I went through the standard virtual appliance deployment process with a few difference, of note below. I started by selecting the OVA download, shown below.
Figure 3: Specifying the OVA Download File

vCenter found the file and recognized it, showing me the version, size, and that I am choosing to deploy a vApp with two virtual machines inside. That’s right; we are deploying 2 virtual machines from a single OVA appliance import (a first for me).
Figure 4: Deploying vCOPS Virtual Appliance

From here, I accepted the license agreements, specified a name for the virtual appliance, told it my vSphere infrastructure was “small”, put the virtual machines on my shared SAN, opted for thin provisioning as the disk format (as this is a lab environment), took the default network, set IP addressing to DHCP, set the timezone, and chose to power the vApp on after deployment. Here is what my “are you sure” screen looked like:
Figure 5: Final Confirmation Before Deploying the vCOPS Appliance

Once I clicked Finish and the deployment started, it took a few minutes and the end result was a new vApp (which I called “vCOPS”) that included two virtual machines – UI VM and Analytics VM.
Figure 6: vCOPS Successfully Deployed

Here are a few things I’d like us to take a second to note about these new vCOPS VMs:

The vApp can be deployed onto a host or onto a cluster however, if you deploy it onto a cluster that cluster must have DRS enabled. If not, you’ll get a very cryptic error, telling you something misleading.
Even though I pre-configured the vApp during deployment for a “small environment”, both of these virtual machines are pre-configured with a ton of resources.
The Analytics VM has 2 x vCPUs and 9GB of RAM
The UI VM has 2 x vCPUs and 7GB of RAM
The VMware tools can’t be installed on either VM (which, for performance, is a shame and I don’t understand)
Both VMs are running Novell SUSE Enterprise 11 64bit
Static IP addressing and Think virtual disk provisioning are what you must use for a production environment
You’ll want to enter DNS host aliases for each of the vCOPS virtual machines that you choose to run which map to the static IP addresses
We are now deployed, what next?

Initial Login to vCenter Operations Manager

Once the vApp is deployed, it isn’t initially obvious what to do next to get “vCOPS working”. If you go to the consoles of the new vCOPS virtual machines, you’ll get an unfriendly-looking Linux-based login prompt and the default username & password of admin/admin won’t work. If you get the IP addresses of the VMs (either the ones that you configured as static or the IP addresses on the summary tab of each VM) and point your web browser to them, you’ll find that only the IP address of the “UI VM” responds to you with a login prompt. Here it is:
Figure 7: Logging into vCenter Operations Manager “UI VM” with Default Credentials

Again, because it is worth repeating, to access the vCOPS interface, do the following:

Get the IP address from the summary tab of the “UI VM”
Point your web browser to it
Accept the security risk of the untrusted connection
Login with the default credentials of admin for the username and admin for the password
Once you click Login, you’ll see the vCOPS initial setup wizard.

Configuring vCOPS with the Initial Setup Wizard

Initial configuration of the vCenter Operations Manager tools are performed with the vCOPS Initial Setup Wizard that appears when you first login to the web interface. It’s simply wizard-driving, step by step process will allow you to configure vCOPS by answering a handful of questions over a few different windows that you are guided through.

The first screen wants to know the IP address (or hostname) and credentials to your vCenter server as well as the IP address of the vCOPS analytics VM.
Figure 8: Configuring vCOPS to Communicate with vCenter

Next, you’ll be promoted to change the web admin password as well as the root password for the Linux console (or SSH login).
Figure 9: Changing vCOPS Passwords

Next, you’ll need to provide information about the vCenter server that you want to monitor. Keep in mind that this could be different from the information you provided at the start of this wizard about vCenter as the vCOPS VM may be running on a different vCenter than what it monitors (but usually, they are the same).
Figure 10: Specifying a vCenter Server

If you have no plugins and no linked vCenter servers, you can just click Next on the next two screens.

Click Finish to complete the setup. Once completed, you should see a screen that looks like this:
Figure 11: vCOPS Setup Completed

As you can see from the graphic, this vCOPS installation is “unlicensed”. We need to do something about that.

Assigning a License Key to vCOPS

To start using vCOPS, once configured, you must assign a license key. This key is going to be the key that you saw in the same VMware web interface where you downloaded vCenter Operations. You’ll want to copy this key into your clipboard, open the vSphere Client, and paste it in a certain place. Here’s how.

Inside your vSphere client, connected to vCenter, go to the Home screen and then to Licensing. It’s here that you’ll click Manage vSphere Licenses and Add your new license key. When you are done, it should look like this:
Figure 12: Licensing vCenter Operations Manager

If you don’t see vCenter Operations as an asset then try opening the vSphere client on the vCenter server.

Now, close and reopen your vSphere Client.

Go into the Home screen and under Solutions and Applications, click on vCenter Operations Manager.
Figure 13: vCenter Operations Manager Solution in the vSphere Client

After accepting the security certificate, you should be rewarded with the vCOPS Dashboard, shown below.
Figure 14: vCOPS Dashboard

For information on using vCenter Operations Manager, see my next article in this series.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

VMware vCenter Operations Manager (Part 1) – Introduction
VMware vCenter Operations Manager (Part 3) – In Use