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Abiquo 4.5

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Basic control and scaling concepts

ConceptDescription
AlarmAn alarm activates when a metric passes a certain threshold. If you imagine a dashboard for your metrics, alarms are like red lights that light up when conditions change, for example, when there is a problem. See Manage cloud alarms and Infrastructure Alarms
AlertAn alert enables you to configure notifications or actions from alarms. Alerts are like a worker monitoring a group of alarms; when all the lights for the group are lit up, the alert is activated. Alerts can trigger action plans. See Control View
Action plansA sequence of actions to perform on entities on the platform, such as VMs or scaling groups. An action plan is run by a trigger.
TriggerA trigger is an alert or a schedule that will run the action plan, for example, during times of increased demand. 
Scaling groupFor horizontal autoscaling, create a scaling group for a VM with rules to define how the platform should scale it out. You can then include scaling operations in an action plan.
Vertical scalingVertical scaling means scaling up, adding more resources to an existing VM, for example, boosting your CPU and or RAM capacity.
Horizontal scalingHorizontal scaling means scaling out, deploying more VMs when you need more resources. 



Manage scaling groups

To configure an automatic response to changing demands for resources, you can scale out VMs, which is also called horizontal autoscaling. To scale out, the platform clones the base VM and deploys the clones. To scale in, the platform will delete clone VMs but it will just undeploy the base VM. Scaling operations are subject to all standard platform constraints, such as privileges and allocation limits.

Scaling notes

  • Limitations:
    • The platform does not clone captured VMs, so you will need to create an instance and recreate the VM from the resulting template to use scaling groups
    • VApp specs do not support scaling groups
  • State of base VM: A scaling group with a deployed base VM would be destroyed if the base VM were deleted directly on the hypervisor. In contrast, a scaling group with an undeployed base VM is not vulnerable to interference at the hypervisor level

Privilege: Manage scaling groups, Manage workflow for scaling groups

To use autoscaling do these steps:

  1. Create a base VM, which can be deployed or undeployed
  2. Define a scaling group with rules for scaling the VM
  3. Create an action plan with scaling actions for the VM. Create triggers for the action plan, which are either monitoring alerts for virtual appliances or schedules for planned scaling





Define a scaling group

Before you begin:

  1. Configure the base VM
  2. Ensure that you have enough resources in your virtual datacenter to deploy up to the maximum number of cloned VMs, especially IP addresses

To create a scaling group:

  1. In virtual appliance view, select the VM, and from the menu on the VM icon, select the Create scaling group option
  2. Enter the scaling parameters and rules
  3. Click Save

 

 

FieldDescription
NameName of the scaling group 
Default cooldownPeriod of time to wait from the start of one scaling operation before allowing another scaling operation
Minimum running virtual machines

The minimum running VMs that Abiquo must maintain in the scaling group. The value must be greater than or equal to zero, where zero means that the base machine is not deployed

Maximum running virtual machinessThe maximum running VMs that Abiquo must maintain in the scaling group
Keep virtual machines in the same layerSelect this option to maintain VM anti-affinity layers when autoscaling
Disable workflowAdministrators with the privilege to Manage workflow for scaling groups can use this option to disable workflow or enable it as required.
Create in maintenance modeSelect this option to create the scaling group with maintenance mode ON, for example, to delay the automatic deployment of VMs to meet the minimum size
Scaling rulesScaling rules describe how Abiquo will behave when a scaling event is triggered, for example, by an alert or a schedule.

Scaling rules

FieldDescription
VMsFor a scale out rule, the number of times to clone the base machine and deploy each clone for each scaling step. For a scale in rule, the number of machines to remove from the scaling group (Abiquo will delete clone machines and undeploy the base machine)
CooldownThe cooldown time to wait between scaling operations under this rule
StartDate and time to start the time range when scaling triggers will start a scaling operation under this rule. The time range must be unique and cannot overlap with other rules with the same scaling direction. If there is no time range, then this is a default scaling rule.
EndDate and time that is the end of the time range when scaling triggers will start a scaling operation. The time range must be unique and cannot overlap with other rules with the same scaling direction. If there is no time range, then this is a default scaling rule

When you save the scaling group, Abiquo will mark the VM icon with the scaling group symbol and display the scaling group name. If the minimum number of deployed VMs are not present and the scaling group is not in maintenance, Abiquo will create clones of the base machine and deploy them to reach the minimum size. The number in the bottom right-hand corner of the icon is the number of running VMs in the scaling group, including the base machine.

To open the scaling group and check its parameters, click the scaling group symbol in the top right-hand corner of the VM icon.




Trigger autoscaling

To trigger autoscaling operations, create an action plan with a scaling action for the VM with the scaling group. Then create triggers to run the action plan. See Manage Action Plans. When scaling, the platform will search for a rule that is valid for the specific time range, or for a default rule. It will create or delete/undeploy the number of VMs in the rule, then wait for the cooldown period before accepting another scaling request. 




How the platform scales out a VM

To scale out, the platform does not deploy VMs that are undeployed in the scaling group. To clone the base VM, the platform will do the following:

  1. Create disks using the following:
    1. Copies of content of disks from the VM template
    2. Empty disks or volumes for each additional disk used in the VM
    3. Disk controllers used in the VM
  2. Apply ALL configuration used in the VM, for example:
    1. CPU and RAM
    2. Network connections of the same type (e.g. private network)
    3. Assignment of firewall policies and attachment to load balancers
    4. Chef recipes, backups, cloud-init, variables, and so on
    5. Metrics. The group of metrics from clone machines and the base machine (if it is deployed) can activate alarms in the base machine, even if it is not deployed
    6. Exception – Alarms: the scaling group has only one set of alarms in the base machine

To scale in,  Abiquo currently selects the VMs to delete or undeploy using first in, first out (FIFO). The platform deletes and undeploys VMs without requesting user confirmation when there are disks that are not stored in the Apps library (ISO configuration drive or additional hard disk). 




Perform maintenance on a scaling group

Maintenance mode temporarily disables autoscaling and enables you to make changes to your VMs (deploy, undeploy, delete etc.) and edit the scaling group. Note that you cannot delete the base VM without deleting the scaling group. Also you cannot create alarms for cloned VMs that are part of a scaling group, because the scaling group alarms are in the base VM. When you leave maintenance mode, Abiquo will apply your modifications to the scaling group, e.g. adding new rules. Then Abiquo will adjust the number of VMs in the group to within the minimum and maximum size range.

  • To put the scaling group in maintenance mode, click the "cog" maintenance button or trigger an action plan with the action "Scaling group: start maintenance mode"
  • To leave maintenance mode, click the "cog" maintenance button again or trigger an action plan with the action "Scaling group: end maintenance mode".




Move a scaling group to another virtual appliance in the same virtual datacenter

To move a scaling group in maintenance mode to another virtual appliance in the same virtual datacenter, click the Move VM button and select the new virtual appliance.



Restrict a scaling group

To restrict a scaling group, move the scaling group to a restricted virtual appliance, by selecting the Restrict scaling group checkbox, or by selecting a restricted virtual appliance.



Delete a scaling group

When you delete a scaling group, Abiquo will place all the VMs in the virtual appliance as regular VMs and the scaling group constraints will no longer exist. To delete a scaling group, first put it into maintenance mode, then click the delete button.




Manage scaling groups with the API


API Documentation

For the Abiquo API documentation of this feature, see Abiquo API Resources and the page for this resource ScalingGroupsResource.

Manage alerts


Control and automation in the platform

To help you detect and address changing demand for resources, the platform's control features include monitoring alerts with notifications, action plans for automation, and autoscaling. These features may depend on the configuration of metrics and alarms, so you may like to set these up first (see VM monitoring and metrics and Manage cloud alarms). To use scaling, you should also define scaling groups for the VMs you want to scale, (see Monitoring and scaling VMs). The Control view manages Alerts and Action plans. 


Basic control and scaling concepts

ConceptDescription
AlarmAn alarm activates when a metric passes a certain threshold. If you imagine a dashboard for your metrics, alarms are like red lights that light up when conditions change, for example, when there is a problem. See Manage cloud alarms and Infrastructure Alarms
AlertAn alert enables you to configure notifications or actions from alarms. Alerts are like a worker monitoring a group of alarms; when all the lights for the group are lit up, the alert is activated. Alerts can trigger action plans.
Action plansA sequence of actions to perform on entities on the platform, such as VMs or scaling groups. An action plan is run by a trigger.
TriggerA trigger is an alert or a schedule that will run the action plan, for example, during times of increased demand. 
Scaling groupFor horizontal autoscaling, create a scaling group for a VM with rules to define how the platform should scale it out. You can then include scaling operations in an action plan.
Vertical scalingVertical scaling means scaling up, adding more resources to an existing VM, for example, boosting your CPU and or RAM capacity.
Horizontal scalingHorizontal scaling means scaling out, deploying more VMs when you need more resources. 




Create Alerts and Alarms

Before you begin:

  1. Retrieve VM built-in metrics, by editing VMs and enabling monitoring (see VM monitoring and metrics) or create custom metrics
  2. Optionally create metric alarms (see Manage cloud alarms and Infrastructure Alarms)

To create an alert:

  1. Go to Control → Alerts
  2. Click the + add button
  3. Enter the alert details
  4. Select an existing alarm, or create a new alarm, and assign it to the alert. Repeat for the required alarms

  5. Click Save

If all alarms are activated, the alert will be activated. You can use the alert to trigger actions. See Manage Action Plans.

Privilege: Access alerts section



Field

Description

Name

Name of the alert. The name can contain up to 128 characters

DescriptionDescribe the alert
MutedSelect this checkbox to disable action when the alert is activated
EmailList of emails to notify when the alert activates
Alarms

You must assign at least one alarm to be able to save the alert




Remove alarms from alerts

Privilege: Access alerts section, Manage alarms, Manage alerts

To remove an alarm from an alert:

  1. Click the delete button, and confirm
    The platform will remove it from this alert, but it will remain in all other alerts that it is associated with

To delete alarms, go to Cloud --> Alarms; see Manage cloud alarms


Manage action plans

To enable more control over cloud operations, users can create action plans to run tasks on VMs and scaling groups, and to run general tasks. 

Privilege: Access action plans and triggers, Manage action plans and triggers

Action plans are an important automation functionality on the platform. They can combine tasks for VMs in different providers and have multiple triggers including alerts from custom metrics or built-in metrics. Each VM or scaling group can have multiple action plans.

Create an action plan

Before you create an action plan, you will probably want to create at least one VM.

To create an action plan:

  1. Go to Control view → Action plans, and click the + button 
  2. Enter the action plan details
  3. Add actions: 
    1. click the + Add button
    2. select a general action or select a VM or scaling group and a specific action type from the pulldown list
    3. enter parameters as required 
    Consider the following constraints on actions
    • Maintenance block: You can create one complete maintenance block (start maintenance, action(s), and stop maintenance) and the maintenance block cannot contain any scaling actions
    • Scale in and/or scale out actions: You can only scale in and/or scale out at the end of the action plan but you can create the scaling action(s) in any order (e.g. scale in first, only scale in)
    • Email actions: You can perform an email action at any time, including after scaling actions
    • Platform constraints: For example, to create an instance, the VM must be deployed and powered off 
    • Hypervisor constraints: For example, when using hot reconfigure on ESXi, you cannot decrement CPU or RAM

Put the actions in run order using the arrow buttons. Delete actions as required using the trash can button to the left of the action name.

 Field

Description

Virtual machine

The name of the VM

Name

The name of the action plan

DescriptionA description of the action plan
Actions

See Actions list

Action parameters

See Action parameters table


Action parameters table

ActionParameters
Increase CPUvCPUs
Decrease CPUvCPUs. Not supported by hot-reconfigure. Check OS compatibility
Increase RAM
  • RAM
  • RAM unit of GB or MB
Decrease RAM
  • RAM. Not supported by hot-reconfigure. Check OS compatibility
  • RAM unit of GB or MB 
Resize disk
  • Amount
  • Disk unit of GB or MB
  • Selected disk
Instance
  • Name for Instance (clone) template. The platform will append the date to the name supplied
  • All disks or selected disks
Send email
  • Subject
  • Body
  • To (email addresses). Click the add + button to add an email address
  • Cc (copy to these addresses)
Set hardware profileSelect from the available hardware profiles

Actions list

  • VM
    • Reset
    • Power on
    • Power off
    • Shutdown
    • Deploy
    • Undeploy
    • Increase CPU
    • Decrease CPU
    • Increase RAM
    • Decrease RAM
    • Resize disk
    • Set hardware profile 
    • Instance
  • General:
    • Send email
  • Scaling group:
    • Start maintenance
    • End maintenance
    • Scale out
    • Scale in

 

To run the action plan automatically, go to the Triggers tab and create an alert or schedule trigger. 




Run an action plan now

When you have added some actions and saved the action plan, you can run the action plan immediately to test it. Edit the action plan and click the Execute action plan button, which is beside the + add button to create a new action. 

 Click here to show/hide the screenshot

Abiquo recommends that you run an action plan manually to test it before you create a trigger to run it automatically.




Create a trigger

The platform supports two types of triggers to run action plans: Alerts and Schedules.

To run your action plan based on metrics, you can select an existing alert to trigger an Action plan. Click the + Add button and select the Alert. For details about creating an alert, see #Create Alerts and Alarms

To run your action plan automatically at selected dates and times, create a schedule trigger.

  • To run the action plan at intervals of a fixed number of seconds within a set timeframe:
    1. Select an Interval schedule
    2. Enter the following parameters
      1. Interval seconds: the number of seconds from when the action plan excution starts to when it will start again
      2. Repeat count: the number of times to run the action plan. A value of 0 means repeat forever
      3. Start time: date and time
      4. End time: date and time
  1. After you create an interval schedule, the platform will display the execution count of how many times the action plan has run. If the repeat count is 0, the execution count is null
  • To run an action plan as specified using a Cron-type schedule, select an Advanced schedule and use the calendar selector.




Delete an action plan

If you delete an action plan, Abiquo will also delete the schedule associated with that action plan. 


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