Managing VM managers

VM managers are pieces of software that create, manage, and monitor virtual machines. You configure connections to VM managers so that BigFix Inventory can gather data that is required to calculate utilization of license metrics in virtual environments.

Collecting information from VM managers

Resources that are available to virtual machines are dynamically allocated based on current needs. When a virtual machine is not performing processor-intensive tasks, processor cores that are allocated to that machine are assigned to other virtual machines that need them to handle their workload. Because of these dynamics, BigFix Inventory cannot scan virtual machines to collect information about processor type and the number of available cores.

To collect this information, BigFix Inventory needs access to VM managers, which control resources that are available to virtual machines. With such access, BigFix Inventory can check the number of cores on the physical computer that hosts the virtual machines and see the allocation and usage of these resources.

You must define connections to VM managers for the following x86 virtualization types:

Lack of information from VM managers

You should configure connections to VM managers within 24 hours, after you run the first successful hardware scan on new virtual machines. Otherwise BigFix Inventory is not able to retrieve information about the virtualization hierarchy and physical processors. Thus, it is not able to properly calculate subcapacity values. In such a case, BigFix Inventory applies default PVU counting on virtual machines which causes that PVU utilization might be over-counted. For more information, see: Default PVU counting on x86 processors.

IBM accepts audit reports that contain PVU values calculated based on the default PVU counting instead of considering the client to be ineligible for subcapacity or liable for full capacity.

When you configure connections to VM managers later on, the reported PVU values are lower than or equal to the values that were reported when the connections were missing. However, peaks that resulted from missing connections remain on the reports that are generated for the period when the peaks occurred.

VM Manager tool

To collect data from VM managers, BigFix Inventory uses the VM Manager tool. The tool connects to VM managers and gathers data about their capacity, focusing on processors, their type, and usage. The data is then imported to BigFix Inventory and utilization of license metrics is calculated. In order to avoid any performance issues it is recommended to keep the number of VM Manager Tool connections below 10 for a single VM Manager Tool.

Approaches to manage VM managers in BigFix Inventory

You can choose between two approaches to manage VM managers: basic (central - below 10 managed VM Manager Tool connections) or advanced (distributed - above 10 managed VM Manager Tool connections). You can also combine these two approaches. The choice depends on the specifics of your environment.