Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

New blog!

I've been doing this blog for almost two years, and Ops Center has changed a lot. With the new Ops Center 2.5 release, we've done five major releases since we started, each one adding features and refining the interface. The product has come a long, long way, and I'm proud to be part of it.

The trick is that we're now simplifying the product's name by dropping the xVM - it's now Sun Ops Center. Normally a name change wouldn't be much of a big deal, except that this blog is called "xVM Central". So, as of now, I'm starting a new blog devoted to all things Ops Center. I'll beef up the content a bit - add some more interviews, walkthroughs, stuff like that - and try to make it look snazzy too. Hope to see you there.

Friday Sep 18, 2009

How expensive are your servers to run?

Mike Barrett, one of the many talented folks who works on Ops Center, recently pointed out a cool thing that you can do beginning with Ops Center 2.1: You can use it to figure out how much it costs to run your servers.

Here's how it works. Select a server from the Navigation panel in Ops Center, you can view charts of the server's power usage over different periods of time. Select the 3-week chart, and the power usage is displayed in 1-hour intervals.

Export the chart data using the button in the upper right, and find the average watts used per hour. Your power bill should tell you what they charge per kWh, so a bit of multiplication will tell you how much the server costs to run per year. It's approximate (cooling isn't included, etc.) but it's still pretty cool.

Tuesday Sep 01, 2009

User Roles in Ops Center

You might have wondered how you can control access to different systems in Ops Center. You need a root user with universal access, but some users might only need access to a subset of your assets, or might only need to monitor assets without provisioning OSes. In Ops Center, this is managed through roles.

You can add users to Ops Center's user list (they have to exist on the OS first), which creates a separate role profile for each new user. You add a user by selecting the Enterprise Controller in the Admin section, clicking Users, and then clicking the Add User icon. Once a user is added, you can assign their roles.

You can tailor roles to specific tasks. There are five roles that can be granted – Admin, Provision, Update, Update Simulate, and Manage.

By selecting the Roles tab and clicking Edit Role, you can give a user a separate set of roles for each group of assets, for all assets, or for the Enterprise Controller. They'll still be able to view all assets, but their roles define what jobs and actions they can launch.

Using a few groups, you can give very specific roles to users, granting or removing access at a fine-grained level as necessary. Pretty handy, I think.

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This blog provides news and insights about Sun's xVM products, including Sun xVM Ops Center and Sun xVM Server.

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