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Status Needs more information
Workspace Turbonomic ARM
Categories Action Automation
Created by Guest
Created on Jul 25, 2022

Add an UNDO button for actions

Many times, users approve rightsizing of application VMs based on Turbo recommendations and realize as soon as it is completed that the change causes problems. The immediately request we "put it back" and we need to research the original configuration via logs to find the change that was made in order to schedule the fix.

Idea priority Medium
  • Guest
    Sep 13, 2022

    I would like to add on to this. Our company has a large VM scope of over 5k VMs in IWO (Turbonomic). Understanding the purpose of every VM and the associated apps are impossible. Some VMs may have low usage percentages, but require minimum specs to run their applications. For example, we had an end user that ran InfoSphere DataStage on their VM and didn't have large utilization percentages, but had required specs. We resized their machine not knowing of these spec requirements, just going off of recommendations due to low usage. They could no longer run the application after this resize, and we had to manually resize their VM back to previous size through Azure portal.

    Obviously, we can add an exclusion to this particular machine, but we have several cases each time we perform bulk resizes of VMs. Also, new VMs are spun up often and new applications are always being introduced. Being able to click the "Undo" or "Reverse" button on the actions widget would be extremely helpful in the case in which we'd have to revert multiple VMs back to their original sku.

    A 30 day window would be a sufficient amount of time for that reversal to take place. I think a prompt to add that VM to a blacklist policy would be super helpful as well.

    Another alternative could be creating a setting that auto-blacklist a VM after reversal, which is toggled on and off by the user. In addition to this toggle feature, you could give the user the ability to select which specific policy you want applied to the VM (your select blacklist policy).

  • Guest
    Aug 20, 2022

    I'd be curious to know the most common reasons for wanting to undo an action. Because the more concerning part to me is "why did Turbo give me an action that caused an issue." Perhaps it's a question of Turbo's Policy options being improved so that Turbo doesn't recommend actions you would need to undo.

    My experience is that there are often many existing policies in Turbo that should be used to inject an end-user's tribal knowledge about specific VMs into Turbo so that it recommendations only decisions you would execute/automate.

    Using the example provided in the previous post:

    We get lots of "downsize" actions that are performed on newly created VMs before they go to production

    This sounds like a good use case for adding the "Minimum Observation Period". Which translates to "Don't give me a resize action until it's been running for X number of days."

    There are many other policy settings like "Minimum/Maximum vCPUs/vMem" that also help avoid Turbo taking actions that could potentially cause problems. Wondering if we need to improve/add to those policy options in case there are other scenarios where Turbo gives, what is ultimately determined to be, a bad action.

  • Guest
    Aug 9, 2022

    My thought would be that this could be applied as a group or on an individual entity, but the button itself would be in the "completed actions" pane. Maybe when you click "undo actions", a follow-up screen would open with a list of recent actions and they could be individually selected. From there, it should provide the option for scheduling or performing immediately. Dropping the VM in a blacklist or somehow creating a rule to ignore that particular action in the future or for a specified time period would be neat.

    We get lots of "downsize" actions that are performed on newly created VMs before they go to production, so if we could undo the action and not make the recommendation again for 6 months, that would be neat.

    We really want to work towards a more automated environment and something like this that could be made available to application owners, restricted to their VM group, would increase their comfort level... just knowing they can revert things if needed.

  • Guest
    Jul 29, 2022

    Hello Simon.

    Please, let me give my optin based on other platforms:

    • As Turbo can work with hundreds of thousands of actions, we need to retain some of them on Actions Center a while, after the execution, so the execute button will be changed to reverse action. Customer can choose how many days they will retain the action. Look like that feature that Outlook have to give some seconds in UI do UNDO before you need to search and undo for yourself.

    • If the UNDO execution is triggered, they can happen on same Action Center and this change will be logged on Details tab (among other sizes changes like we have today).

    Thank you,

  • Admin
    Simon Ravenscroft
    Jul 29, 2022

    Interesting idea Robert, thank you. There is an Actions widget today that shows the executed actions which should help avoid the need to go to logs to find out what happened.

    Some clarification on the idea though:

    • Where would you expect to see the Undo button? Perhaps keep the actions around in Action Center and show a Reverse button there, if so, how long would you expect them to be shown for?

    • How would you want to define the reversal action? Perhaps in the existing automation policy as a set of reversal stages (before reversal, action reversal and after reversal stages following the existing execution stages) to allow for triggering of a pre-approved CR?

    • If something is undone, would you also want Turbonomic to drop the VM into a blacklist group for review later and a policy applied to prevent further resize actions from being automated?

    Look forward to hearing more thoughts on this. Thanks.