OperationsWe’ve all been there. Day Zero, your new infrastructure is finally being delivered. You or someone is putting together what you’ve long been waiting for; the solution to all your current operational misery and drama. Your all new, all virtual datacenter. New servers, more RAM, more CPU power, more storage, SSD’s with never seen performance (well, not seen by your users anyway), ten gig networks, you name it. Fast forward 6 months. Remember that feeling you had half a year ago? No? It feels like a century ago. You still have the same issues, only bigger. More apps, more VM’s, someone called today to ask where he can put his new docker based application containers. How did this happen?

No matter what industry you’re in, if you are in IT you want to know. To know what you are running, where you are running it, how it performs, what it costs to run. But the reality is, almost nobody really knows. And it used to be so easy. Before VMware, before virtualisation. Back then you could point at a certain server, tell what it’s function was, probably even have an invoice for the box so you knew the cost and all was good. Nowadays, if we’re honest to ourselves, we have absolutely no clue where our workloads are. And we have no clue what these workloads do, how they perform and how many resources (and money!) they actually consume. And that’s a problem.

It’s not like we want you to go back to the old days and pin workloads to servers. Please don’t do that. But it is important to know where your workloads are if you have more than one datacenter, if you have a hybrid or public cloud (or clouds) resource attached. Then you do want to know where your workloads are because it will result in an invoice at the end of the month. You also will want to know how much resources it consumes. Maybe that huge database cluster should remain in-house. Or maybe you have a “just enough” infrastructure in-house and use a cloud solution to cope with extra workload.

Wouldn’t it be cool if there is a toolbox that can predict that workload and move your workload to a better place before your users start complaining? But there is such a toolbox and it’s called vRealize Suite. It can do all that and more to help you get that visibility you always wanted. To get you that operational control. To get you Intelligent Operations.

Intelligent Operations

So what do you need to get this Intelligent Operations?

  • vRealize Operations v6.6
  • vRealize LogInsight v4.5
  • vRealize Business for Cloud v7.3

The look is totally 2017, revamped and clean. It shows the status of your SDDC at a glance. Instant visibility.

Operations - dashboard

The new UI is fully HTML5. No flash, no client software, it just works in your browser. The new “Getting Started” page gets you quickly to where you want to be. Want to see how you are doing now? Check Operations. Want to know how much air is left in your infrastructure? Check Capacity and Utilization.

Operations - dashboards

Out of the box integration with vSAN, LogInsight, vRealize Business and vRealize Automation is included so no more integration pains.

The best DRS

DRS is no stranger  to us. We’ve been using it for years. It made sure VM’s were distributed over our hosts properly so workloads couldn’t interfere with each other. It had a few drawbacks. Even though DRS got better over the years, it still was difficult to make it work exactly like you want it to. Distribute by RAM usage, CPU usage, both? Or rather network IO, or storage IO? And how about those new VMs? Where do we put them? With vRealize Operations v6.6, DRS got a whole lot smarter. Because vROPS, as we like to call it, has intelligent metrics, it ‘knows’ the workflow in your organization. Not just that, it can respond to it. Combined with vSphere 6.5, vROPS 6.6 can predict your workloads and prepare hosts and VM’s to be in the right place when the workload starts. Remember that logon wave you have every morning, when those Windows AD VM’s go mad? vROPS v6.6 makes sure they will have enough resources to cope with the workload just before it starts. No pain, no waiting, no hassle, no action from you. Predictive DRS, DRS the way you always wanted it to work.

Operations - Predictive DRS

So you have more than one cluster. More than one datacenter. More than one datastore. How do you decide where to put your new workload? Or how to distribute your current workload? Throughout hosts within a cluster, DRS does that. But between clusters and between datacenters? That’s on you! Or is it? vROPS v6.6 works together with DRS to give you the ability to balance workloads across clusters and datastores. With simple controls you can decide how much balance you want based on your business needs. And there is a clear cut dashboard from which you can view and regulate everything related to balance. And it can be done fully automatic if you like.

Operations - Rebalance Clusters

vSAN integration

vSAN is VMware’s storage solution and your solution to fast, safe and cheap datastorage. Managing it with vROPS v6.6 is even easier. Out of the box you get complete vSAN performance management, capacity management, log analytics and configuration and health control. All in one tool. It will cover stretched clusters, deduplication and compression settings and results, visibility on resync traffic so you can be sure you have your storage lined up the way you want. Operations - vSAN

If you are not using vSAN yet, you will want to once you’ve experienced this level of control and predictability.

Show me the money

Cost control. We’re not really good at that, are we? Who really knows what a gigabyte of RAM costs? Or a CPU cycle? Or a Terrabyte of storage? Integrated in Operational Intelligence is vRealize Business for Cloud. Now, vRB wasn’t always the most easy product to install and manage. In general, the standard version gave you not enough info and the advanced version gave you too many questions. We’re IT folks, we’re no financial controller. But you almost needed to be one to configure vRB advanced. But with vRB for Cloud v7.3, this all changed. Because of the integration, it can almost instantly give you financial figures on your current infrastructure and tell you if your cloud is more or less expensive to run on for now or longer. It also can tell you how much money you can save by cleaning up those old VM’s and rightsizing those oversized ones. How’s that for a cost-saver?

Operations - Private Cloud Reclaimation

Wrap Up

I’m sorry if I sound like a second hand car salesman in this article, but I couldn’t be more excited about this release. It really adds true value to your day. It’s not like SCOM, it’s not like VMTurbo, it’s not even like vRealize Operations 6.5. This will truly add that visibility and operational control you need to be sure you do the right thing. If you want to integrate public or hybrid cloud solutions, if you want to show your organization what you do for them and how much it costs,if you need to show your auditor that you really are compliant with PCI or HIPAA, if you need to show your management where the money went.

And they always want to know where the money went.