I’ve been reading up on Cloud Physics for the past few months, although I’ve heard about them for quite some time actually. As of lately, I’ve been very interested in some of the management software for vSphere such as vCOPS and now Cloud Physics and so I figured what’s a better way to learn than to actually download the trial and try them out in my lab. For those that are interested, my entire lab is running vSphere 5.5 Update 1 along with shared storage for virtual machines.
From reading about Cloud Physics, it got me really interested and so I figured why not blog about it here! I won’t go into technical detail just yet (coming in part 2), but I will try and cover the product well enough for anyone who’s going to be reading this post. I also would like to point out, that this is post is purely for informative purposes, I am not comparing any products, just reviewing based on my experience alone.
For those of you who have not heard of Cloud Physics, essentially, they provide a platform for collecting data, or as Cloud Physics puts it, Big Data. Now, I am sure many of you heard the term big data many times, or perhaps you might not be very familiar with the term, but in a nutshell, big data is a term often used to describe a collection of large amounts of data that at some point, becomes difficult to mange due to volume and complexity. With that said, one of the biggest questions in the virtualization community is, how do we manage data? what tools can we use to assess our existing infrastructure and provide us with one dashboard to view it all? Well, the answer to that is, Cloud Physics. You see, Cloud Physics, allows for collection of vSphere data through what they call an Observer, in the case of vSphere, the Observer is a virtual machine that you deploy, connect to your vCenter server, let it gather data about your infrastructure, and then upload it to the Cloud Physics Dashboard for your organization to access.
Here’s a video if Irfan, Co-Founder and CTO of Cloud Physics explaining the workings of Cloud Physics
Now that we’ve summerised what Cloud Physics does, let’s look at deploying the Observer virtual machine and then looking at the Cloud Physics Dashboard.
Deploying the Observer Virtual Machine
This is going to be a pretty straightforward deployment as there’s really not much to do. We simply need to register for the free 30-day trial over at Cloud Physics and then we can begin to download the observer appliance and deploy it within our datacenter.
As you can see from the image above, it’s a very basic process to follow:
- Sign up
- Deploy the Observer/s
- Analyze (non-private data will be uploaded to the Cloud Physics Dashboard for you only to access)
So, I went ahead and did just that, created my account and selected OVA as my installation method
Configuring the Observer
So that’s pretty much it for the deployment of the appliance. All we need to do now is just power on the virtual machine and connect it to the Cloud Physics dashboard by using the email address we signed up with
We are now done configuring the Observer. At this point, I let it run for about 30 minutes so that the data can be collected and presented within the Cloud Physics dashboard. In part two, we’ll cover the Dashboard piece.
So far it’s been pretty simple to signup and deploy the appliance, connect it to vCenter, and let it collect the data. A lot of the times, the simplicity of a product could be a big selling point, so simplicity very much matters. With Cloud Physics, it’s been a breeze to get everything up and running which honestly, took no more than 20 minutes.