Monday, December 14, 2015

Vastly improve Observium performance with PHP 7

This is a quick guide on how to install PHP 7 in Ubuntu and have it work with Observium to greatly speed things up. Note that this will only be useful if you have a very large Observium-installation and start to notice the web interface slowing down.

PHP 7.0.0 released a couple of weeks ago and promised up to double the performance of PHP 5.
As I run a very large Observium installation with over 1100 devices that are being monitored I had a very slow web interface as a result of that. When I heard about the big performance improvements in PHP7 I decided to try it out.

The result was even better than I expected! Most of the pages in the web UI needed about 5s to render and some even needed over 7s with PHP5. After switching to PHP7 my UI now loads most pages in less than 1.5s and the most heavy pages renders in about 2s.
PHP7 proved to perform 2 to 3 times as fast as PHP5!

Install Observium with PHP 7

To install Observium with PHP7 you need to change a few step from the install guide.
Note that this only works for Observium Pro for now, Observium CE wont work with PHP7 yet!

This is based on the Ubuntu 14-guide and assumes you have a freshly installed Ubuntu 14.
First we need to add the repository for PHP7:
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php-7.0
 The update and install php7
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install php7.0 php7.0-mysql php7.0-mcrypt libapache2-mod-php7.0
And lastly we install the rest of the required observium packages
sudo apt-get install php-pear snmp fping mysql-server mysql-client python-mysqldb rrdtool subversion whois mtr-tiny ipmitool graphviz imagemagick
now we can continue to follow the guide for Observium Pro. The only important thing to look for is that you make sure your config.php contains this option:
$config['db_extension'] = 'mysqli';
before you try to run the update.php-script.

When the installation is complete you can visit the About Observium-page and you will se that Observim runs on PHP7

My Observium is polling slowly, will PHP7 help me?

no, polling is almost only dependent on disk IO and the SNMP response speed of the device you poll, PHP7 will do very little difference to the pollingtime.

Does Observium CE work with PHP7?

no, the current CE does not support PHP7, you need to have Pro.

Is Observium fully compatible with PHP7?

I have tried to test as many of the features in Observium that I could, and so far everything seems to work just fine. I have not tried the billing-module however.
Always try this in a test-install first, as there may be some features that are not fully compatible.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Upgrade vCenter 5.5 to 6.0

This week VMware released vSphere 6.0 and vCenter 6.0 in which one of the big news i a much faster and responsive web client.
The install process of vCenter 6.0 is not completely obvious as its not an OVA-file to deploy so I decided to write this quick guide on how to upgrade vCenter 5.5 to 6.0

1. Download the ISO

go to the vmware download page ( and fetch the ISO file called VMware vCenter Server Appliance and download it to your computer.

2. Mount/Extract the ISO

Next step is to mount the ISO. If you are running Windows 8 you can just right click it and chose "mount" to have it mounted to a virtual cd-drive. Else you can use WinRAR or 7zip to extract the files from the ISO.

3. Upgrade the VMware Client Integration Plugin

On the ISO, find the folder named "vcsa" and inside it you find an installer for upgrading the VMware browser plugin on your computer to 6.0. Remember to close all open browsers first, then run the installer.

4. Start the upgrade

When the browser plugin is upgraded go back to the ISO, in the root you find a file called vcsa-setup.html, open it with your browser and chose "Upgrade".
Accept the EULA and countine.
The first info the installer needs is the target server and credentials. Note that this is the target ESXi-host for where you want to install your vCenter 6.0 VM, NOT your current vcenter server.

5. Source Appliance

The next step is to chose a name for you new vcenter server and then go ahead and enter all the login info for your old vcenter server and the esxi-host that it is currently deployed on.
When you have entered all the login details you will have to chose the size of your vcenter installation (how many hosts and VMs it should be able to manage) and what datastore to put it in.
The last step will be to assign an IP address to the new vcenter installation from which it can reach your old vcenter. Note that this address will only be used temporary, as soon as the install is complete your old vcenter will be deleted and the new install will start using the same address as your old install.

This was the last step, now your upgrade will begin, this process takes a fairly long time, atleast 15min+ so have patience.
As soon as the upgrade is complete you then can go ahead and login to your new vcenter 6.0 via the new fast web client.
Hope you had some help from this guide.