Home > Blogs > VMware Cloud Management

Monitoring FlexPod with VMware vRealize Operations

By Chuck Petrie, Blue Medora

With the use of endpoint management packs it is now possible to take advantage of the vRealize Operations Suite to manage a FlexPod environment. Third-party endpoint management packs that are tailored specifically to NetApp Storage, Cisco UCS, and Cisco Nexus provide deep insight into the monitoring of each. These management packs offer the ability to map the relationships from the storage array through the compute and network layers and into the virtual stack to provide a comprehensive view of the entire FlexPod environment. Blue Medora has created a monitoring bundle specifically for FlexPod, which we will investigate here.

Figure1-borderFigure 1 – The FlexPod Overview dashboard

The FlexPod Bundle monitors Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and NetApp Storage. The Bundle consists of standalone management packs for individual FlexPod components, each fully utilizing the vRealize Operations (vROps) engine for alerting, metrics, capacity planning, relationships, and reporting. Issues within the individual components can be collected, tracked and monitored through each management pack, all within the interface of vROps. Continue reading

TRENDING NOW! – VMware NSX and vRealize Automation

by Rich Bourdeau

NSX - vRA Trending NowThe last five customer case studies that I have posted had three trends that we are starting to see more of our customers deploy.

  • Application-centricity – companies are moving beyond just automating infrastructure components (compute, network, storage) and automating the delivery of complete application environments.
  • Expanded network services– network configuration has expanded from assigning a VM an IP address, DNS and attaching it to existing vLANs to dynamically configuring application-centric connectivity through deployment of logical switches, routers and load balancers that ensures access to a highly responsive application.
  • Improved security granularity- security is moving from data center perimeter granularity to securely deploy the applications through intelligent placement of workloads in security groups, protected by firewall rules.

VMware NSX and vRealize Automation are two technologies that are at the forefront of these trends. Continue reading

Introducing vRealize Air Compliance, VMware’s First Cloud Management SaaS solution

Introducing vRealize Air Compliance

We are excited to announce the availability of VMware’s first Cloud Management SaaS solution– vRealize Air Compliance.  As your company moves to the cloud, this exciting new SaaS service brings many new innovations to help you gain greater visibility into the compliance posture of your virtual infrastructure.

vRealize Air Compliance helps you ensure continuous compliance with real-time event-driven compliance checks. The ability to instantly see changes as they happen, including who made the change and how it impacts your compliance posture, letting you identify non-compliant configurations, as soon as they occur.

vRealize Air Compliance

Try vRealize Air Compliance today, simply go to http://www.vmware.com/go/trycompliance.

We’ve made trying this service easy, you can simply experience vRealize Air Compliance in a live demo environment, pre-configured against a lab environment, or in less than 15 minutes you can set up your own free 30 Day trial against your own virtual environment.

Over the past few months we’ve received positive feedback from vRealize Air Compliance beta program customers tasked with complying with regulatory mandates such as HIPAA and PCI along with VMware vSphere Hardening Guidelines. These organizations with  vRealize Air Compliance are now able to minimize compliance risk exposure, while reducing the time the virtual infrastructure is vulnerable or out of compliance.  Because vRealize Air Compliance is quick and easy to setup, ensuring a secure infrastructure in a virtualized environment is simple and fast.

“Before vRealize Air Compliance we had zero visibility into the configuration and compliance of our virtual infrastructure. Now we can detect non-compliant results and who made the change in seconds”New York Presbyterian Hospital


I cannot emphasize how much of a pain point vRealize Air Compliance helps us resolve when it comes to automated hardening checks in our virtual infrastructure”Weill Cornell Medical College

Learn first hand how these customers are benefiting from vRealize Air Compliance by viewing videos interviews with New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.

To learn more visit http://vrealizeair.vmware.com/compliance

Please Note: This service is only available in the USA at this time.

Mobius Partners and VMware Help Rent-A-Center Respond Faster to Business Needs

by Rich BourdeauRAC Logo

Rent-A-Center Gains IT Scalability, Security, and Speed to Deployment with Software Defined Data Center Solution from VMware and Mobius Partners.

Rent-A Center is a large rent to own retailer with over 3,000 stores throughout North America.  This fast growing retailer needed a scalable, secure and easy way to deliver IT services to meet the diverse demands of their business.

The Challenge

Strong growth which resulted in tripling of the IT infrastructure in 18 mounts caused Rent-A-Center to have to deliver IT services quicker and more efficiently to sustain their growth.    One common requirement is that for high degrees of security and compliance with many government standards.

Mobius Partners in collaboration with VMware conducted a vSphere Optimization Assessment and discovered that as a result of their rapidly growing network of stores  Rent-A-Center’s IT department was struggling to meet the demands for thousands of machines.  This demand translated to 6,000 new systems in 2015 alone.  They needed a faster way to deploy new systems quickly, accurately and to be able to audit what they had deployed. Continue reading

Using vRealize Operations Manager to Diagnose SQL Query Slowness

By Troy Bailey, Blue Medora

Slow running SQL queries are one of the most common problems database administrators (DBAs) face. This is usually manifested in a call from the help desk or to the database team saying “my application is running slowly,” or “my database is slow.” This lag can quickly translate to a bad customer experience or even loss of revenue. With VMware vRealize Operations (vROps), the slow behavior can be identified quickly before it becomes a problem for your day-to-day operations. The Management Pack for Microsoft SQL Server both uses VMware vRealize Operations’ patented analytics engine to proactively identify and eliminate slowdowns in your database environments.

Figure 1_SQL Query blog
Figure 1 – Metric graph from a Microsoft SQL Server instance

Metric graphs in vROps are one of the ways that a DBA can visualize the data being collected from the Management Pack for Microsoft SQL Server. The metric in Figure 1 is “High Query Execution” on the SQL Server MSSQL-D1 MSSQLSERVER instance. This metric provides the largest amount of time a single query has been executed since the last compilation. You can also see vRealize Operations’ predictive analytics or dynamic thresholds represented by the darker gray bar behind the metric line.

Using this metric above and vRealize Operations’ analytics, a DBA could define an alert definition that would notify the DBA when query execution time is going up and when it’s not behaving normally.

Alerting in vROps is highly configurable and user-friendly to set up. Alerts are made of symptom(s). You can have a single symptom or multiple symptoms in your alert definition. In this example (Figure 2), we will be using a single symptom to define the alert but you can make them as smart as you would like. We’ll create the symptom based around our “High Query Execution” metric. We are also using the dynamic thresholds that the vROps analytics is calculating.

Figure 2_SQL Query blog
Figure 2 – Symptom using High Query Execution metric and dynamic thresholds

Now that we have our symptom defined, we need to create my alert definition using it. We define a new alert definition using our newly created symptom and give it a criticality. Now our DBA will receive our alert any time our High Query Execution is above normal. Using vRealize Operations, it’s that simple to define and setup intelligent monitoring for your infrastructure.

Figure 3_SQL Query blog
Figure 3 – Alert definition using “Elevated High Query Execution” symptom

Intelligent alerting provides visibility into potential issues before they evolve into incidents and outages. With advanced alerting, you have fewer incidents and resolve incidents faster when they do occur.

For more information on VMware vRealize Operations, visit the product page on the VMware website. Find out more about the Management Pack for Microsoft SQL Server by visiting the product page on Blue Medora’s website and keep up with the VMware Cloud Management blog for more insight into VMware cloud management products.

Video: Forrester Quantifies VRealize Automation Savings

by Rich Bourdeau

Intuitively it makes sense that you will accelerate the delivery of applications by automating.  However, does the cost of an automation project justify the potential savings?   Not only will you improve service delivery times but these efficiency improvements also drives OpEx and CapEx savings that making and investment in a no brainer.


Don’t believe me?  Then take 5 minutes and watch this video from Forrester Research.  Spoiler Alert:  you are going to save a lot more than you think while at the same time  driving better alignment with the business.


Continue reading

SAIC uses NSX and vRealize Automation to Dynamically Configure Security

By Rich Bourdeau

SAIC Logo 2SAIC is a Federal Systems Integration Firm, headquartered in McLean, Virginia.  They service US Public Sector accounts from the Department of Defense to the Intelligence Community to the Federal Civilian Agencies.

As a supplier of services to the US government, security is a paramount concern for SAIC.  To meet the needs of their customers they need to deliver:

  • Dynamic and rapid network reconfiguration capability to respond to the ever changing and violent cyber threats
  • Enforce compliance through standardized services

Continue reading

What’s New with vRealize Automation 7

As announced on October 13th, we will be releasing the latest version of our market leading cloud automation software, vRealize Automation 7 this quarter. To be notified as soon as the download becomes available please register here.

What’s New with vRealize Automation 7.0?

To learn more about the new capabilities of this upcoming release I recommend you read my earlier post vRealize Automation 7.0 – Accelerating Time to Value.  This blog post provides a concise overview of some of the new capabilities.

What are Customer’s Saying?

Continue reading

vRealize Automation 7.0 – vCloud Air Enhancements

By now you’ve probably heard about the upcoming vRealize Automation 7.0 release and gotten an overview of what’s coming. In this post, I’d like to talk briefly about one of the areas we’ve been working on — our integration with vCloud Air.

The theme for this release and this feature area in particular is simplification. We’ve made it easier both to configure the connection to vCloud Air and to create blueprints. Continue reading

VMware NSX and vRealize Automation Help the University of New Mexico Improve Security and Compliance

by Rich Bourdeau

UNM_Logo_1The University of New Mexico is a state run university and research institution with over 35,000 students and 9,100 staff.  For the last two years they have been utilizing VMware’s vRealize Automation to improve the speed, efficiency, and reliability of the IT resources they provide their users.  Their “Lobo Cloud” gives each department  the ability to deploy Windows and Linux systems and applications with the specific amount of resources to meet their needs.

Security in a shared multi-tenant environment

vRealize Automation provided the governance and control that allows each department to see only the services they had been entitled to and consume only the resources that had been allocated for each department.  However, once a system was provisioned into this shared environment there was less security in place that prevented one department from seeing the systems used by another department. Continue reading