I was very fortunate to be invited along to a blogger briefing organised by VMware for the vExpert Cloud Management Program. We were given a presentation outlining what will be coming next including a look at the new release of vRealize Operations.

It is clear VMware have been working hard behind the scenes with the next versions of their many products and vRealize Operations and related products are no exception.

I shall cover off the major items and all other changes and improvements that will arrive with vROps 8.0, so let’s take a look at what is next in store.

Sections List

Continuous Availability

Going beyond High Availability – Of all the improvements to land this one really stood out to me. Continuous availability extends the vROps cluster to another data centre. So, for instance you can have a Master Replica node in another data centre. This is something I know many customers have been wanting for a long time and will be very well received.

You can take one site offline and still provide full access to the vROps data and features.

Layer 3 networks are supported (as you would hope and expect) but further details on the network requirements have not yet been finalised.

System Status Screen - Nodes in the vRealize Operations Manager Cluster

vRealize Operations Cloud – SaaS

This is exactly what it sounds like, a hosted vROps that you can consume as any other VMware SaaS offering.

It follows a very familiar vROps architectural model in that you will be required to deploy a Cloud Proxy Appliance (remote collector) in the target network that you want to monitor. Once deployed you connect the target vCenters in your network while logged into the SaaS platform just as you would do with a normal installation of vROps.

This product will be in Tech Preview in Q3 for a full release early 2020.

Troubleshooting Workbench

For the last few years the Cloud Management team have been working really hard on improving the user experience of vROps to make life as easy as possible, to use and get the information you need in vROps without compromising the depth (no easy task to be honest). The addition of the Troubleshooting workbench is no exception.

So, what is it?

Essentially it aids in getting to the root cause of an issue while providing a single view that can easily scale in scope while providing you with all the “evidence” (data) in one place, which you can then pin and compare with other sets of data.

You can even run multiple workbenches at the same time for flexibility.

Here you can see how it is laid out.

vRealize Operations Manager - Troubleshooting Workbench

As ever, the intention is to make it easier to get to the root cause of issues faster and will no doubt evolve and mature, but it is a really great addition to the toolset.

New what-if scenarios

Capacity planning is an important part of vROps and it is constantly improving and being refined. Version 8.0 is no exception, scenarios can now be reflected across cloud platforms and different data centres in your organisation.

You can now do costing by data centres, naturally data centres never share the same costs so this is a welcome addition. Therefore you can compare data centres to find which is best suited for the planned workload/s.

Further changes to the costings have been added such as Deprecation for Hosts which can now be factored in to your scenarios.

A new management pack for VMC on AWS which will also reflect costings.

What-if analysis screen
Cost Settings

Integration with vRealize Automation 8.0

As many of you will already know vRealize Automation 8 is coming and it is a completely new beast, so it is good to know that VMware are on point with offering integrations into their existing products.

So, what will the integration look like and support?

Shared Constructs drive Cloud Management Platform/Product use cases, Cloud Account, Cloud Zones, Projects, Users, Blueprints…

  • Capacity Workload
  • Optimisation – Initial and Day 2
  • Troubleshooting

Understand Deployment Costs

  • Estimated Upfront Costs – Pre-Deployment
  • Ongoing costs – Post Deployment
  • VM, Deployment, Project

New Dashboards that are aligned to operational workflows

vRealize Operations to vRealize Automation integrations

Lots of new out-of-the-box Management Packs

Such as? Well there is a new Amazon Web Services (AWS) Management Pack that comes with lots of new dashboards and supports a great deal of AWS specific features and content.

Amazon Web Services Management Dashboard - AWS Availability - Cloud Formation Stack Topology

An Azure Management Pack, yet again with lots of dashboards which supports many of the Azure features and services.

Azure Management Pack - Azure Availability

Native Service Discovery (Service Discovery Management Pack)

This has been improved and is now baked into vROps. Agentless service discovery which can Discover up to 41 known services through VMtools (minimum version 10.2).

It Intelligently builds application relationships based on discovered services:

  • See what apps are running in the SDDC
  • Find rogue services and applications
  • Update your Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

Agentless Actions for VM troubleshooting (via Service Discovery)

  • One-time script execution
  • Get Top-N Processes
Service Discovery Management Pack

Compliance improvements

This is an area that is rapidly becoming popular with vROps practitioners and will continue to be getting improvements and updates.

  • A new simplified compliance workflow
  • Enhancement to regulatory and SDDC (vSphere, NSX-T, vSAN) compliance content
  • Monitor compliance for virtual machines in VMware Cloud on AWS

This last feature Import/Export of custom compliance standards will be extremely useful and hopefully in the near future we will see a portal available for everyone to share their compliance standards in the same way we that we can with custom dashboards in the sample exchange. (https://vrealize.vmware.com/sample-exchange/)

Closing Thoughts

So as you can see there is a lot of new and improved features in the next major release of vRealize Operations. I will point out I have not included every single line item that has changed, suffice to say the amount of positive changes is absolutely worth your time to go and check out.

I was pleasantly surprised by the SaaS offering and to be honest it was something that I had previously wondered why they had not considered such a service. So that is a good leap forward in their strategic thinking for cloud management.

With vRealize Business going EOL at the close of 2019 there has been some customer nervousness around how vROps will pick up the baton and it is clear it is not a direct replacement rather giving you the tools to achieve what you need in conjunction with VMware’s Cloud Health Tool.

To close, I am excited about the future of vRealize Operations, it is taking an ever more important role in the cloud management product set for VMware and for many businesses it has now become a go to tool therefore these improvements and feature additions will only strengthen and shore up its place has a critical component in any SDDC solution.