Cloud Hub Overview


This page references the GroundWork Cloud Hub for VMware, OpenStack and Red Hat.

1.0 Overview and Theory of Operation

In order to create advanced functionality for simultaneous monitoring of multiple and heterogeneous virtual server environments subject to fairly rapid changes in configuration, GroundWork created GroundWork Cloud Hub.

1.1 GroundWork "Hubs"

A GroundWork hub is a self-contained monitoring subsystem that performs auto discovery, monitoring configuration by an operator, synchronization between monitoring configuration and target system configurations, and monitoring of multiple and different target environments using only the GroundWork API as its data interface to the main GroundWork Monitor system. Hubs rely upon GroundWork central monitoring services for role based access control, event management, notifications, performance graphing and analysis, reporting, dashboards, status maps, and run time user interfaces.

The first hub GroundWork developed was the Cloud Hub, the second is Log Hub and we have plans for other types for software controlled networking and storage management.

1.2 Monitoring Architecture and the GroundWork Cloud Hub

The Cloud Hub is a complete Java application that is pre-installed on the GroundWork server, and can also be installed on free standing VMs and bare metal machines provided that they have a Java environment installed. Cloud Hub is deployed in either a centralized, distributed, or mixed architecture.

1.2.1 Centralized Mode

In the centralized mode, the single pre-installed Cloud Hub can be interfaced to multiple server virtualization managers as in the case where a customer has more than one Virtualization Management system and also in the case of virtualization managers of different vendors such as VCenter® Server from VMWare®, RHEV-M® from Red Hat®, or the OpenStack© framework.

In addition to API based monitoring of vendor and open source virtualization managers, Cloud Hub can also monitor hypervisors directly if virtualization managers aren’t available. Centralized deployment for Cloud Hub is illustrated in the following figure.

Figure: Centralized Deployment

1.2.2 Decentralized Mode

In decentralized Cloud Hub deployment multiple Cloud Hubs are used to monitor a single virtualization API data source. Mixed deployments that are a combination of centralized and decentralized architectures can also be created. Decentralized deployment of Cloud Hubs is illustrated in the following figure.

Figure: Decentralized Deployment

1.3 Functional Description of GroundWork Cloud Hub

GroundWork Cloud Hub performs the following functions:

1.3.1 GroundWork Virtualization Model

The GroundWork Virtualization Data Model is made visible and actionable in the Tree View portlet that is used in both the Status and Event Console pages of the GroundWork Monitor user interface. A simple example is shown in the figure below.

Figure: GroundWork Virtualization Data Model

1.4 Technical Description of the GroundWork Cloud Hub

The internal modules and interfaces between the GroundWork Cloud Hub and the virtualization managers and hypervisors that it monitors are illustrated in the diagram below.

The functional description of each internal module and interface of the GroundWork Cloud Hub is as follows:

Agent configuration properties files contain the following:

Monitoring profiles contain the following:

The results of auto discovery, manual configuration, synchronization, and monitoring with Cloud Hub flows into the GroundWork Monitoring system where it is written directly to the central database through the REST API. The data is used as follows:

Figure: Cloud Hub Internal Data Flow

2.0 Description of Operation

The following provides detailed instructions for operating Cloud Hub in installation, configuration, and run time modes.

2.1 Install Mode

Cloud Hub is pre-installed in GroundWork Monitor Enterprise that is, in turn, installed by the GroundWork Installer. The cloud Hub is available to Administrators under the GroundWork Administrator menu in the Portal.

Distributed Cloud Hubs are available for installation as stand alone WAR files and can be added to any standalone Application Servers (tomcat, JBoss Server) running Java 7 SDK.

2.2 Configuration Mode

The initial configuration of the Cloud Hub Agent is described in detail in the document [DOC70:Cloud Hub Connectors]. The documentation describes the configuration of the different connector and will be extended when new connector become available.

2.3 Operation Mode

During normal operation, the Cloud Hub keeps itself in synchronization with the virtualized server inventory and delivers monitoring data for hypervisors, vm containers, and network, storage, and other resource pools. Alerts are generated within the Cloud Hub when it is detected that the value of a metric exceeds its threshold. Such alerts are passed to the GroundWork Event Console for further analysis and processing by NOC operators and are also passed to the Notification and Escalation subsystem that applies its rules to notify those contacts that are scheduled to receive the alert at a particular point in time.