Installing the CloudPhysics Observer

The new CloudPhysics Observer allows for additional features that enable customers and partners to enjoy a richer analytics experience, expand supported vCenter configurations, and provide added security to the collection process.

What’s New

In the new CloudPhysics Observer, we have made the following updates:

  1. Improved vCenter 6.5/6.7 Support;
  2. Improved security – The CloudPhysics Observer has several security updates and enhancements that reduce attack surfaces, update legacy software, and require greater levels of authentication between external organizations and CloudPhysics.
  3. Reduced the resource requirements for data collection.
  4. Optional guest process discovery

All of these features are available in the new CloudPhysics Observer.  New detailed installation and configuration instructions are shown below.

Installing the CloudPhysics Observer

It takes just a few minutes to create an account and deploy your CloudPhysics data collector virtual appliance (Observer). Watch the video, or read the step-by-step instructions below to learn how. If you need help, please email us for assistance. 

CloudPhysics supports VMware vCenter Server 4.1 through 6.x.


Register

Registration takes just a couple of minutes and can be accomplished online.

  1. Sign up and create a free account.
  2. You will receive an automated email to the email address you provided.
  3. Click the “Activate Now” in the email you received. Note: Google Chrome is the only supported browser at this time.
  4. Complete the registration and accept the EULA and privacy policy.
  5. Log in with your new CloudPhysics user credentials.


Deploy the Observer Virtual Appliance

Upon logging in to CloudPhysics, you will be prompted to install our Observer. The Observer establishes the metadata connection between your data center and CloudPhysics. The CloudPhysics Observer has the following resource requirements once deployed:

Observer Resource Requirements
– Downlaod Size of OVF/OVA: Approx. 150MB
– Guest OS: Debian Linux 8 64bit
– vCPU: 2
– vRAM: 8192 MB<
– VMXNET3 Network Interfaces: 1
– Size of Deployed Volume: 12 GB
  –  Local vHDD1 System: 4 GB
  –  Local vHDD2 Data: 8 GB

Installation Steps:

  1. Select your preferred installation media for the virtual application (OVF or OVA). To use the OVF, copy the location URL to your clipboard or active memory. To use the OVA, download the OVA file to your local system or a shared storage acessible from vCenter.

    OVF Path / OVA Download

    Copy OVF URL:  https://download.cloudphysics.com/observer/observer.ovf

    Or

    Download OVA:  https://download.cloudphysics.com/observer/observer.ova

  2. Next, deploy the virtual appliance to your VMware vCenter Server
  3. Using vSphere Client, navigate to “File > Deploy OVF Template”. This works for OVA formats also.
  4. Supply OVF URL or browse for downloaded OVA files according to the format you’re using.
  5. Proceed with vSphere Client prompts to complete the installation.
  6. If you wish to use Static IP Addresses, please specify the Static IP Address, Router, and Default Gateway while importing the appliance from within vCenter


Configure the Observer Virtual Appliance

You’re almost done. Post-installation, you need to activate the Observer virtual appliance with a quick configuration.

  1. In vSphere Client inventory, select the Observer virtual appliance and power it on.
  2. Open the virtual appliance console view.
  3. Complete the configuration steps, detailed below. Note the required steps.

 

Activation Data Required? Example
EULA Required Click to accept
vCenter Server, Username, and Password Required E.g. “Vcenter.company.local”.  
“Bjones” – ID used by vCenter by CloudPhysics
“ ******** “
Tip: vCenter should be either a FQDN or a static IP Address reachable from the CloudPhysics Observer. Windows style credentials may requires “domain\user” format.
Guest User and Guest Password Optional E.g. “company.local\guestacct”,  “ ******** ”
Tip: Use the format supported by your environment. “Domain\user”, “user@domain.local”, and simple user are all valid credentials depending on your environment and authentication model. It is also possible to have no local access credentials available, so this section is optional.
CloudPhysics User ID Required jdoe@mycompany.com
This is the email address of your primary account in CloudPhysics. It can be found at the Observer Status page or the Welcome Page. Be sure to use the email address associated with your account.
HTTP Proxy Server Optional as Needed E.g. Proxy: 192.168.00.00
Tip: This is only needed if vCenter Server needs a proxy to reach the Internet.
HTTP Proxy Port Optional as Needed E.g. 8080
HTTP Proxy User, Password and Domain Optional as Needed E.g. Proxy User “bjones”

Proxy User Password “ ******** “

Proxy Domain: “domain.company.com”

Tip: This is only needed if you have a proxy server which requires credentials. E.g. Blue Coat ProxySG.

Application Discovery Settings (Optional)

New options for guest OS application process discovery leverage a guest account and VMware tools.  A guest process list is collected by requesting a list of running processes from the VM through the VMware Tools interface to vSphere. This data collection and analytics is optional for the user.  Process discovery allows for automatic tagging of applications and classification of workloads. This feature will require you to provide a local guest OS account credential. This account does not need to be a vSphere Admin or a domain admin account.  In simply needs local guest access to view running processes. In many cases, this may be a local guest account or a domain account.

vCenter Server Credentials

CloudPhysics recommends the creation and use of a dedicated vCenter Server service account for use with our Observer virtual appliance. For best results, the service account should have administrator-level permissions and be configured to be read-only. In place of this, the vSphere administrator’s credentials will also work.

If there is sensitivity to using an administrator user credential set, a semi-privileged user role can be created for use. This role can be applied to a user credential set with minimal permissions in order to provide the access needed to use CloudPhysics. The resulting user is much less privileged than an administrative user.

 

This user role can be created as follows:

  1. In vSphere Client, go to Roles.
  2. Create a new role, e.g. CloudPhysicsUser.
  3. Edit privileges, and enable (check off) the following. Note: Depending on versions and vSphere Client versions, you may find slight variations on the permission names below
    • Global Service Managers
    • Host CIM Interaction (Host.Cim.CimInteraction)
    • Host Advanced Configuration (Host.Config.AdvancedConfig)
    • Host Configuration Patch (Host.Config.Patch)
    • Datastore Browse (Datastore.Browse)
    • Host Configuration Storage) Host.Config.Storage
    • Permission Defaults (not visible in the vSphere Client user interface). FYI only.
      • System.View
      • System.Read
      • System.Anonymous
  4. Save
  5. Next associate this role to the user to also have the CloudPhysicsUser role
  6. Save

The read-only, non-admin user now has the appropriate privileges needed to use CloudPhysics.


Troubleshooting

Most issues are common misconfigurations which are easily resolved. Refer to the table below for common issues and resolutions. If you still need assistance, please contact support@cloudphysics.com.

Issue Reason Resolution
Data is not appearing in CloudPhysics Have you completed vApp configuration less than 15 minutes ago? Allow 15 minutes for the first upload of data to populate your CloudPhysics account.
The email user ID in your Observer vApp is different than the email address you registered. This creates a data mis-match. Open your Observer VM console and confirm/change your email ID to be equal to the email address you registered with CloudPhysics.
The Observer data payload cannot reach the Internet. Your organization may require a proxy to reach the Internet. View your vApp console to edit and provide a proxy server and port number.
The Observer data payload cannot reach the Internet. If your organization uses a proxy server, this server may require credentials in order to allow access to the Internet. If this is the case, view your vApp console, edit and provide the proxy server credentials and domain as needed.
Data stopped appearing in CloudPhysics Your vCenter Server user credentials have expired or were revoked. Check that the password for the Observer user account is correct. Password expiration policies can be the cause.

Alternately, if a personal user credential was used, and that person no longer works for your company, this credential may have been revoked. Update with a service account or other new credentials.

Observer vApp has been powered-off or suspended. In vSphere Client, power the Observer vApp back on.
An admin for your account chose to exclude this Observer on the Observer Status page. Email support@cloudphysics.com for assistance. Please describe your issue in detail.
Your Observer IP Address is no longer valid. This can occur for static and DHCP addresses if mismanaged. View your vApp console to check settings. Note: To change IP settings, you must first power-off the vApp before you can make changes with ‘Edit Settings > Options > IP Properties’.
Your vCenter Server name may have changed. If so, view your vApp console and edit the vCenter Server name to the new name.
I am unable to log in to CloudPhysics Forgot your password? At https://app.cloudphysics.com, click on ‘I forgot my password’ to request a password reset.
You were removed from this account. Your CloudPhysics admin may have removed you from this account. Please inquire with this person.

For issues or troubleshooting not included above, please contact support@cloudphysics.com