A couple of weeks ago, VMware released vRealize Operations Manager 8.0 (vROPs). In this post, we’ll talk about the details and interesting features that are part of the release.

With vROPs 8.0, VMware introduces a SaaS version. It means that you can subscribe to vROPs via a Software as a Service offering and pay on a monthly/yearly basis.

This will allow you to monitor and manage not only for on-premises environments but also for cloud systems. From the same piece of software which will be running in the cloud.

vROPs 8.0 has many features to offer but some of them, such as predictive analytics and quick issue identification, really stands out.

The software simply allows admins to create custom dashboards, views, and reports. The admin is able to help keep their environment in a healthy state.

vROPs is extensible via Management Packs. With many 3rd party vendors via management pack can also offer great solution addons for vROPs. This allows to monitor hardware and software.

With vRealize Operations Manager you don’t have to ask users whether they have an accurate performance of their VMs. vROPs will show you this on a regular basis. Additionally, there are also historical data that allows you to monitor systems during a long period and detect regular peeks and spikes or drops in performance. This can be some VM running reporting once a month etc.

Workload Planning

Introduced in the previous release, there were different workload planning scenarios available:

  • Traditional Workload Planning
  • Traditional Infrastructure Planning
  • Public Cloud Migration planning

vROPS 8.0 brings some additions to it:

  • HCI planning – Hyperconverged Workload Planning.
  • New storage policies – Storage Policy Changes. With What-if analysis, you’re able to plan for adding/removing VMs and hosts from vSAN clusters and taking vSAN storage policies into account.
  • Usable Capacity Verification – with capacity buffer settings, you can select Usable capacity after HA and Buffer mode.
  • What if scenarios – Gives you the option to analyze the impact of moving workloads between different datacenters and clusters within private cloud environments.

What If Analysis

What If Analysis

  • Compare Costs – You can also compare the costs of Virtual Machines between private datacenters and decide the best datacenters for running workloads.
  • Remove HCI nodes – The ability to remove HCI nodes to plan for downsizing Hyperconverged Infrastructure scenarios.

Scalability and Look and Feel

vROPS 8.0 supports up to 240,000 monitored resources spread across six extra-large analytics nodes. The size of the analytics nodes goes from 2 vCPU to up to 24 vCPU per node depending on the size of the environment. RAM configuration goes from 8Gb for the extra small to 128Gb for the extra large deployment.

After installation and login, you’ll see a new screen inviting you to create a cloud account if you don’t have one yet.

You can also directly hook-up your vCenter server and start optimizing performance, capacity or troubleshoot existing infrastructure.

vRealize Operations Initial Screen

vRealize Operations Initial Screen

Public cloud monitoring dashboards are available to monitor your workloads running there. You can monitor up to 30 different AWS services, reclaim unused AWS resources and do some savings with recommended EC2 instances.

Amazon Web Services Monitoring

Amazon Web Services Monitoring

vRA 8.0 has a tight integration with vROPs 8.0 by giving you access to alerts, reports, and dashboards. Both products share several constructs. You can create and manage:

  • Cloud Accounts – for AWS, Azure or vCenter
  • Cloud Zones – sets a base infrastructure where you deploy your workloads. To avoid outages, you need to properly manage the capacity of your Cloud Zones.
  • Organizations
  • Users
  • Projects
  • Deployments
  • Blueprints

vROPs can then perform workload optimization for Cloud zones and, at any time, you know how much capacity is left in your cloud zone, what’s the current capacity trend, when you’ll run out of resources or how many VMs can fit into the cloud zone. Precious information indeed.

Workload Optimization

vROPS can optimize workloads for Cloud Zones, and, in conjunction with vRA, it can optimize workloads based on policies set for the Cloud Zone.

Out of the box, there are 4 dashboards, which give you an overview of the environment, prices for projects and deployments. You can also see the resource consumption and the consumption of your top N resources.

The Cost Optimization

vROPS has costing data which are available in two different ways:

  1. When you setup a self-service portal for your customers, those get a pre-deployment cost right in the self-service portal in vRA. Like this, they see how much the service will cost them. It is a daily cost estimate.
  2. You can also use vROPs for tracking the ongoing daily costs. In conjunction with vRA, the costs can be sent into vRA. In this case, you’ll know how much it will cost your customer to deploy a specific workload. The costs are detailed by compute, storage, or any additional costs giving you the possibility to understand all the costing details.

Native Service Discovery

vROps 8.0 has improved its Native Service Discovery, where the system can discover up to 41 different services running, without installing an agent inside of the VMs:

  • Completely Agentless – service discovery is agent-less.
  • 41 Services – out of the box services discoverable via VMware tools with the ability to whitelist more.
  • Application relationships – build automatically and display the UI of the dependencies.
  • Run Time scripts – you can run one-time scripts in Virtual Machines. This information can be used for reporting.
  • Cross-Cluster Optimization – you are able to balance workloads between clusters running in VMware Cloud on AWS. This is new in vROPs 8.0.

vROps and Other New Features:

Compliance – You’ll now be able to comply with standards. Most businesses fall under some sort of compliance and regulatory requirements. The new vROPs 8.0 will deliver compliance and regulatory visibility across vSphere, vSAN, and NSX configurations.

CloudHealth integration – There is a native support for monitoring AWS and Azure. You can also troubleshoot problems as there is a CloudHealth integration.

VSAN from StarWind is software-defined storage (SDS) solution created with restricted budgets and maximum output in mind. It pulls close to 100% of IOPS from existing hardware, ensures high uptime and fault tolerance starting with just two nodes. StarWind VSAN is hypervisor and hardware agnostic, allowing you to forget about hardware restrictions and crazy expensive physical shared storage.

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Final Words

VMware is pushing hard for Hybrid clouds and this latest management solution is a piece of software you’ll need if you’re running hybrid clouds within your environment. vROPS 8.0 added a lot of new functions which makes the platform more aware of different cloud environments providing automating tools and information for admins so they succeed in their daily job.

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Vladan Seget
IT and Virtualization consultant, owner of vladan.fr - ESX Virtualization - one of the top independent virtualization blogs. VCAP5-DCA/DCD, VCP4/5