Just Another IT Blog

It's time to share some of my experiences, crazy ideas, tips and tricks !!!

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Ok, it’s time to give you the final piece of architecting Chargeback solutions: 
Chargeback Data Collectors.

We already covered Part 1 and Part 2 of this design series, if you missed it, please, go back and check them before proceed.

Deciding how many Data Collectors you will deploy on your environment will depends on the number of vCenters, vClouds, number of VMs and Hierarchies you need to monitor.

There’s no formal information about it, everything is based on field experiences at this point, but the Using VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager with VMware vCloud Director tech note gives us some maximum configuration of Chargeback.

Again, what I’m providing here is my advise on how to set up a solution like that, use this information wisely.

First question is about resilience.
If your data collector is down for a long time, due to the database rollup data jobs, it will, probably, miss some data. That means you will have no data about the outage period to charge them.
Advise 1: If you cannot afford to miss any data, remember ALWAYS to deploy 2 of them.

Now, if you run a small environment, let’s say up to 2 vCenters and less than 2000 VMs. (no matter how many vClouds systems);
Advise 2: install all Data Collectors on the same system.

Environments bigger than that;
Advise 3: have a data collector only for vCenter and another one only for vCloud.
Advise 4: as a best practice, I always install vShield Data Collector on the same box as vCloud Data Collector.

Environments with more than 5 vCenters;
Advise 5: use 3 Data Collectors, because on the event of one failing the others would be capable of handling all the data.

Don’t forget, a maximum of 10 vCenter servers per Chargeback system, more than that you need to create another Chargeback System environment.

But how the Data Collector behave when there are more than one collector?

When there’s more than one vCenter Data Collector, they are all active and they load balance the tasks between them automatically, in case of a failure the remaining ones will assume the tasks of the failed one.

vCloud Data Collectors on the other hand, when there’s more than one, they will act in an active/passive fashion…the active is collecting all the data until it fails, by then the passive turns into active and restart the collection again.
Which leads us to the final advise,
Advise 6:  don’t install more than 2 vCloud Data Collectors, since there’s no load balance between them and just one will be collecting the data at any time, there’s not point on have more than 2.

vShield Data Collector acts the same as vCloud Data Collectors.

See you next guys….

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