Optimizing Operations: Aria Operations Management Pack for MongoDB

In a previous post (here), I covered how to setup a MongoDB replica set to be monitored by Aria Operations in a vSphere based lab. This article will cover the installation & configuration of the Aria Operations Management Pack for MongoDB. The article will be divided into three sections:

  • Installing the Management Pack – which will cover the Aria Suite Lifecycle Marketplace workflow
  • Configuring a service account – this will be the monitoring user for the MongoDB instances, configured inside Mongo Shell.
  • Adding a MongoDB adapter instance in Aria Operations – configuring Aria Operations to use the new management pack and service account.

Installing the Management Pack

In Aria Suite Lifecycle (formerly known as vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager), I typically stay in the Lifecycle Operations, Locker, or Content Management tiles. In this post we’ll use the Marketplace tile to add a management pack for MongoDB. For details on creating a MongoDB Replica Set cluster, feel free to check out this previous post.

At the top of the Marketplace screen, there is a search box. When I search for Mongo I get three results. Hovering over each, there is one for Aria Operations Management Pack for MongoDB Version 9.0:

After selecting DOWNLOAD in the bottom right of the tile, we are presented the EULA. After reading the document, we check the box and select next. On the last page of this wizard, we enter our name, email address, company name, and country, then click DOWNLOAD.

This will show a Success. Download for VMware Aria Operations Management Pack for MongoDB 9.0 is initiated. For more details visit request page. The request text is a link to show the specific request. It should contain just one stage and complete fairly quick. Here is a screenshot of the expected results of the download task:

Back in the Marketplace, we switch to the ‘Available’ tab, which shows the subset of management packs that we’ve already downloaded. Due to the length of management pack names, it may be helpful to search for mongo in the search bar.

When we select ‘View Details’ a page will appear that provides some details about the selected management pack. If we scroll to the end of the page, there are buttons for INSTALL and DELETE. Since we are installing this for the first time, we’ll select INSTALL.

We must then pick our Datacenter and Environment and finally select the INSTALL button in the lower right.

This will result in a banner stating Installation in progress. Check request status. Request Status is again a link that takes us to the ‘Requests’ page. Again this should be a single stage task, but it’ll likely take longer than the download.

Once this task completes, our management pack will be available in the Aria Operations instance. We’ll just need to give it hostnames and credentials to begin collecting data.

Configuring a service account

From an SSH session to our primary MongoDB node, we’ll open a Mongo Shell with the following command:

mongosh --username root

We’ll enter our root password when prompted. One important thing to note, is that the root password for MongoDB is the root password of the node where we initiated the replica set.

// specify that we want to use the admin database instead of the default test
use admin

// Create our limited access service account for monitoring.  
     user: "svc-ariaopsmp",
     pwd: "VMware1!",
     roles: [ { role: "clusterMonitor", db: "admin" } ]

// Confirm that it worked

When the above command completes, the final JSON object presented to the screen should look like this:

  _id: 'admin.svc-ariaopsmp',
  userId: UUID('2ee886ee-f700-46e7-b022-950fbb36034f'),
  user: 'svc-ariaopsmp',
  db: 'admin',
  roles: [ { role: 'clusterMonitor', db: 'admin' } ],
  mechanisms: [ 'SCRAM-SHA-1', 'SCRAM-SHA-256' ]

Which shows that we have a username ‘svc-ariaopsmp’ that has the ‘clusterMonitor’ role, which is a limited permission set for monitoring operations, just like what we are doing with Aria Operations.

Adding a MongoDB adapter instance in Aria Operations

From Aria Operations, we’ll navigate to the Data Sources > Integrations > Repository and verify we can see our new installed integration. If we click the tile, details come up about the management pack, including the metrics collected and content that is now available. We can select ‘ADD ACCOUNT’ from the top of the screen to create an adapter instance.

When adding an account there are only a few fields required:

The ‘Name’ field is used in some of the dashboards to identify which MongoDB instance that is being described. It is important to include a short descriptive name, in my case I’m going to call this ‘svcs-mongo-replicaset’ to denote that it is deployed in my services network, is running mongo, and is a replica set cluster.

The ‘Description’ field is not shown by default on the MongoDB dashboards added by th management back, but can contain additional details about the adapter instance. If you have various MongoDB instances managed by different teams, this might be a good place to store the contact, for example if your credentials expire or stop working.

The ‘Host’ field is where we enter the hostname of our MongoDB instance. Since we’ve configured a replica set, I’m listing a comma separated list of all the nodes of the MongoDB cluster. This will help ensure we are getting monitoring data even if one node fails.

The Credential allows us to specify whether or not authentication is required and enter username/password details. In my case, I do require username/password, and am only running mongod, not mongos, but I’m going to enter the same account in both fields in case something changes in the future. Here is what my new credential looks like:

Finally, I ‘VALIDATE CONNECTION’ and wait for the ‘Test connection successful’ notice to appear, then click ‘ADD’ at the bottom of the screen.

Additional advanced settings are available, like which service to connect to, specifics around SSL, timeouts, and autodiscovery. Those settings did not need to be tweaked for this simple environment.

After 5-10 minutes, we should have some initial data. Browsing to Visualize > Dashboards we can filter the list of dashboards for Mongo. There are 7 dashboards available from the management pack we installed related to MongoDB. Not all of them will have data, for example we don’t have Mongos deployed. However, if we select MongoDB Replica Set Details we should see some information about our environment.

To make the most of this, we’ll really need some sample data and a way to run queries as needed to have something to monitor. We’ll cover that in the next post (here).

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One Response to Optimizing Operations: Aria Operations Management Pack for MongoDB

  1. Pingback: Creating a MongoDB Replica Set | Enterprise Admins.org

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