Runecast – Features Review | Part 2

Following my first article about Installation and Basic Configuration of Runecast Analyzer appliance, it is time to go through all features and how we can use them in our day-to-day operational tasks. I am going to add a separate point for each of the Menus from the Runecast GUI interface.

Dashboard

From the Dashboard you can get an overview of the status of your vSphere environment, including but not limited to Number of issues found on your environment by severity, Configuration items with issues, Top 10 Configuration Items with the highest number of issues and etc.

dashboard

Inventory

From the Inventory menu you can go through the structure of your vSphere environment and choose a particular element which you want to check. They are categorized in four different main categories – Compute, VMs, Storage and Network.

inventory-1

Right after the component you can see the number of the issues found, so you can easy identify which one you want to check in more details. For example I will choose one of my ESXi hosts

inventory-2

Once you get the complete list with all found issues, you can get details information about each of them by clicking on it. There is also powerful filtering mechanism, which you can use to filter out the most important for you issues.

Inventory-3

If there is a reason you want to ignore some of the issues, in case you are aware of it and you don’t want to appear in the reports, you can simply click on Ignore and choose which component to be excluded and ignored on the next scan.

inventory-4

Issue List

From this section you get a complete list with all found Issues on each level from the inventory. There is a new column here which shows how many affected objects are found for each particular issue.

Issuelist

Configuration Analysis

KBs discovered

This is the first menu at Configuration Analysis section. Basically here you can find Only issues which are related to VMware Knowledge based articles.

KBs

Best Practices

Similar to the previous one, but here you will find only list of configurations which are against VMware’s best practices.

BPs

Security Hardening

If you have any configurations which are considered as less secured, you will be notified in this section.

SH

Log Analysis

This is another module from the Runecast Analyzer, which is created to analyze your logs. You can redirect your ESX and VMs logs, so the appliance can look at it and report if there are any found issues.

KBs Discovered

Basically if there is a KB article which describe a problem which could be found in the logs, you will be notified here. As example I was already noticed that there is something wrong in my ESX configuration. If you want to get more information and how you can fix the issue you can just expand the found item.

KBs-2

Verbose Dashboard

You can get nice charts with the errors found in the logs. Another cool thing you can do with these charts is monitor all commands executed on the ESXi shell.

VD

Status

Here you can find information about the appliance and Hosts and VMs log settings. You can see that it recognized that my two hosts are sending logs to it and non of the VMs are doing it. By clicking on any of the VMs you will get instructions how you can configure log redirection manually.  I would like to see it automatically in future releases. I talked to the Runecast team about that – they are releasing a new build later this week that will include automatic log configuration.

Status

Settings

The settings which are available for configurations are vCenter Connection, Automatic Scheduler,  Alerting, Log Settings, Profile, Filter and Licenses.

From the Scheduler setting, you can define how often you want your environment to be analyzed.

schedule

From the Alerting setting, you can setup SMTP host details, so you will be notified is something is being found.

alerting

From the Log Settings you can define the log retention policy. You can use days or size of the logs kept in the appliance.

logs

From Profile you can change the rcuser password. I don’t see AD or LDAP integration, which I hope to see soon.

profile

From Filters you can see all defined filter used for ignoring of issues. You can switch to Off any of them in you need.

filters

The Licenses is the last tab of this section. This is where you need to upload your license file and keep a track on the licensing status of your Runecast Analyzer.

Licenses

My personal opinion is that this tool is a must in any middle to big environments. Simply you can not stay in front of the monitor whole day and doing those kind of analyzing manually. How often do you check your logs for issues and how often do you compare the strange records with the KBs? This tool is doing everything for you while you can put more effort on innovating and adding some extra value on the business. It would be nice to hear from you what do you think – please leave a comment.

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Nikolay Nikolov

VDI Engineer
Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.

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About Nikolay Nikolov

Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.
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