Monitoring Windows Host with VMware Aria Operations for Application

Monitoring Windows Host with VMware Aria Operations for Application

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5 min read

Introduction

VMware Aria Operations for Applications (formerly known as Tanzu Observability by Wavefront) is a high-performance streaming analytics platform that supports observability for metrics, counters, histograms, and traces/spans. In the modern landscape of IT infrastructure management, the ability to monitor and gain insights into the performance of systems is paramount.

With the rise of complex distributed architectures, ensuring the health and efficiency of every component becomes a challenge that demands sophisticated solutions. In this blog, we delve into the world of observability, focusing on how to effectively monitor Windows host machines using two powerful tools: Telegraf and Wavefront Proxy.

Setup

You can send metrics from an infrastructure using two methods:

  • Direct Integration: Utilize Wavefront's built-in integrations with diverse data sources. These integrations are designed to simplify the process of connecting and ingesting data into Wavefront without additional configuration.

  • Custom Integration via Wavefront Proxy: Set up custom integrations using the Wavefront Proxy. This involves configuring the proxy to collect, aggregate, and forward telemetry data from specific sources, offering flexibility and scalability in data ingestion pipelines.

The data flow in this scenario is: The metrics originate with your infrastructure or application. They could come from Telegraf, or a cloud service, or you might collect metrics with a custom metrics pipeline. To monitor hosts, infrastructure, or applications, set up an integration. The integration Setup tab has instructions for getting the data flowing. For many integrations, you set up Telegraf to collect the metrics and create a Wavefront proxy (or select an existing proxy). The proxy forwards metrics from many sources to the Operations for Applications service.

Telegraf, part of the TICK stack developed by InfluxData, emerges as a versatile and lightweight agent for collecting, processing, and sending metrics and data from various sources. Its extensible architecture allows seamless integration with a wide array of systems, including Windows hosts.

At the heart of Wavefront's architecture lies the Wavefront Proxy, a critical component responsible for ingesting, aggregating, and forwarding telemetry data from various sources.

Integrating Telegraf agents with Wavefront Proxy enables seamless ingestion of Windows host metrics into the Wavefront platform. Leveraging Wavefront's intuitive dashboarding capabilities, users can visualize key performance indicators, correlate metrics across distributed systems, and gain actionable insights into the health and behavior of their Windows environments.

Generating API Token

To begin, log in to your Wavefront account using your designated credentials. Once authenticated, proceed to access your profile settings, typically denoted by a profile icon located in the upper-right corner of the Wavefront interface.

Within your profile settings, navigate to the section designated for account management. This could be labeled as "Account Settings" or "My Profile" within a dropdown menu. Locate the option for generating API tokens, often found under the "API Access" or "API Tokens" tab. Click on this option to initiate the token creation process.

Enter a descriptive name for your token and specify the appropriate permissions required for your API interactions. Choose these permissions judiciously based on the intended scope of the token's usage.

Upon configuring the token details, proceed to generate the token. Wavefront will generate a unique API token for you to use. Ensure to securely copy and store the generated token. Treat API tokens with the utmost confidentiality, akin to safeguarding your password.

Configuring Wavefront Proxy

Head on to the “Integrations” tab and search for “Windows Host”.

Click on the “Windows Host” option and begin the configuration by downloading the Wavefront Proxy setup executable provided in the “Windows Hosts” integrations tab. Once downloaded, navigate to the directory containing the installer in your command prompt. Now initially, you’ll be able to see that there is an “i” being shown under “METRICS” and “CONTENT”.

This is because the metrics or contents are not being accessed by Wavefront at the moment. Only after configuring Wavefront Proxy and Telegraf, you'll be able to see check marks instead of “i”.

Next, configure authentication to the Wavefront proxy. Choose between API token or OAuth app authentication. Here we’ll be using an API token (the token that was created in the previous section), ensuring it has the Proxies service role assigned.

Execute the installation command, replacing <CSP_API_TOKEN> with your API token.

cd <Setup file directory>
.\wavefront-proxy-setup.exe /server=https://yosemite.wavefront.com/api/ /cspAPIToken=<CSP_API_TOKEN> /SILENT

The proxy starts automatically, and you can verify the installation in the wavefront.log file within Program Files (x86)\Wavefront (Wavefront Logs: C:\Program Files (x86)\Wavefront\logs)

Setting up Telegraf

Scroll down to see the “Install the Telegraf Agent” section and start by downloading wavefront-telegraf-64-setup.exe (provided in that section), designed specifically for 64-bit Windows environments. Double-click the downloaded file to initiate the setup dialog, your friendly guide through the installation process.

Simply follow the prompts within the setup dialog, seamlessly guiding Telegraf to its rightful place on your system. (Keep in mind that, when it prompts to add the Host IP address, go to your terminal window and find the ip address using the ipconfig command.) You can verify if the Telegraf agent is working properly by examining the logs at C:\Program Files\Telegraf .

Once that is done, refresh the page and you’ll be able to find the green check marks for both “METRICS” and “CONTENT”. This shows that Wavefront is receiving metrics and content data from the Host Windows machine.

Generating Dashboard

After completing the aforementioned steps, in the metrics tab you can see the metrics collected from your host machine. Navigating to the "Dashboards" section within the Windows Host integrations tab, you'll find a pre-generated dashboard ready for your exploration and analysis.

By selecting the "Windows Host Metrics" dashboard, you'll gain access to a comprehensive overview generated from the collected metrics. This dashboard provides a visual representation of pertinent data points, offering insights into system performance and health.

Conclusion

In conclusion, VMware Aria Operations for Applications, formerly Tanzu Observability by Wavefront, revolutionizes IT infrastructure management with its high-performance analytics platform. By integrating Telegraf and Wavefront Proxy, this blog has showcased a robust approach to monitoring Windows hosts, emphasizing ease of configuration and powerful visualization capabilities.

With VMware Aria Operations, administrators gain real-time insights and enable proactive decision-making, driving efficiency and innovation in their IT infrastructure. In a dynamic digital landscape, VMware Aria Operations empowers organizations to stay ahead, delivering actionable insights for a future-ready IT environment.

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