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Using vRealize Operations Policies to Disable Alerts on Certain Objects

By: Greg Hohertz, Blue Medora

VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) is a powerful platform that assists enterprise operations teams in proactively identifying and resolving issues. One way it does this is by allowing for policy-driven capacity planning, alerting, and reporting functionality. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how a custom policy can be used to disable alerting on a set of monitored resources. This is useful if you want to disable alerting for a development environment or suppress alerts for a certain resource type or group of resources.

Figure 1_Polices Blog

In this example, we’ll disable alerts for the out-of-the-box Object Down alert for the VDA Machine object using Blue Medora’s Management Pack for Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp. This will stop vRealize Operations from sending an alert when a VDA Machine is offline.

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Figure 1: Navigating to the Policy Library via Administration

1) Go to Administration -> Policies, click on Policy Library tab, and find the Default Policy (see Figure 1).

2) Left-click on the Default Policy and click the edit button (see FIgure 2).

3) On tab 3, Override Analysis Settings, select the object you wish to suppress (in this case, XenDesktop VDA Machine).

4) Click on the Filter button to the right of the select box.

Figure 3_Policies Blog

Figure 2: Editing the Monitoring Policy

5) Click on the Override Alert / Symptom Definitions tab (see Figure 3).

6) Find the Object Down alert under Alert Definitions.

7) Click on the Inherited dropdown, and select the Disabled Local option (the one with the red circle with line through it).

Figure 4_Policies Blog

Figure 3: The Override Alert / Symptom Definitions tab

Now we are suppressing the Object Down alert for all XenDesktop VDA Machine resources. When these resources go offline, we will no longer receive an alert.

For more information on vRealize Operations, visit the product page on VMware’s website. To learn more about management packs for vRealize Operations, visit Blue Medora’s website.

Getting More Out of Your VMware Investments

Did you know that at VMware we have an elite group of talented individuals known as Cloud Management Specialist Systems Engineers who help facilitate your journey to the software-defined data center by optimizing the software in your environment? These are seasoned VMware veterans as well as VCP’s, VCDX’s, and vExperts who thrive on helping our customers succeed.

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How Did Getting More Out Of Get Started?

As we (the Cloud Management Specialist Systems Engineers) work with customers, we get excited by not only helping customers deploy and utilize VMware software and solutions in general, but also by seeing them do cool stuff with our products that helps them drive value to the business through fast IT services delivery leveraging an efficient and secure infrastructure. But since we can’t be everywhere at once, we decided to create a series of online events we call the ‘Getting More Out Of VMware’ webinar series to assist a broader range of customers do just that: get more out of their VMware investments. The Getting More Out of VMware series (referred to simply as GMOo internally) debuted in the summer of 2014 as a science experiment/brainchild of Mike Eisenberg, Staff SE on the Cloud Management team. Mike recruited his fellow SEs to build and run a few small pilot sessions for their direct customers. The presentations of features and functionality, combined with tips, tricks and walk-throughs of vRealize Suite products – plus live Q&A – were an overnight success. Well, maybe not overnight but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. And since happy customers are what we live for, we recruited more experts to help continually create and deliver fresh content.

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Introducing VMware vCloud Suite 7 and vRealize Suite 7

vRealize Suite 7: Cloud Management Platform Reloaded!

VMware is unveiling the new VMware vCloud Suite 7 and vRealize Suite 7 today!  We have revamped the entire Cloud Management Platform (CMP) line up in the past couple of months, and there are a lot of exciting updates in this launch.  This blog will be a bit longer to provide a comprehensive update.  This article will briefly highlight:

  • How CMP Accelerates your Cloud Journey
  • New Packaging: vRealize Suite 7
  • New Packaging: vCloud Suite 7
  • New Licensing: Portable Licensing Unit (PLU)
  • What’s New in vRealize Suite 7 and vCloud Suite 7

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vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite Pricing, Packaging and Licensing Changes: 2016

vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite Pricing, Packaging and Licensing Changes

Q1 2016 vRealize Suite 7.0 and vCloud Suite 7.0 Licensing, Packaging and Pricing Updates

To better serve our customers managing today’s cloud environment, we have vastly simplified the packaging of our cloud management and compute virtualization product portfolio. Our core product lines now consist of vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite.

Whether you are looking at managing a simple vSphere-based on-premises environment, a full software-defined datacenter, or a complex hybrid cloud environment, the new offerings will help you meet your goals easily.

New licensing for managing hybrid clouds and heterogeneous environments

VMware is introducing a new licensing metric, called a Portable License Unit (PLU), for vRealize Suite 7.0 and vCloud Suite 7.0.

A PLU allows you the flexibility to use the same vRealize Suite license type to manage workloads in a vSphere environment or in a non-vSphere environment, such as any VMware supported public cloud (for example AWS, vCloud Air, vCloud Air Network Partners), third-party hypervisor and physical servers.

Specifically, one PLU allows vRealize Suite to manage unlimited virtual machines deployed on one on-premises vSphere CPU or up to 15 Operating System Instances (OSIs) deployed in any non-vSphere environment mentioned above, but not both at the same time.

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Portable License Unit

Portable Licensing delivers the optimum usage of licenses for your current and future needs even when your environments change. Irrespective of where the workloads reside, the same license type can be used to manage them.

For more information on VMware Portable License Unit, refer to this document.

Choose the right management solution based on your requirements

We offer three vRealize Suite editions, each catering to distinct use cases and delivering the capabilities to meet specific technical, environmental, and budgetary requirements.

vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite Pricing

vRealize Suite Lineup

If you are highly virtualized and are looking to improve operational efficiency and application performance and availability, vRealize Suite 7.0 Standard is the right offering for you. It includes full SDDC monitoring, custom dashboards, log analytics, and hybrid cloud comparison and costing features.

Once you are already monitoring your private or hybrid cloud environment, vRealize Suite 7.0 Advanced can enable you to automate delivery and ongoing management of infrastructure services. In addition to all the features in the Standard edition, vRealize Suite 7.0 Advanced includes infrastructure automation and cloud business planning features.

Finally, if you have DevOps initiatives and plan to automate the delivery and management of the full application stack across clouds, choose vRealize Suite 7.0 Enterprise. In addition to all the features in the Advanced edition, vRealize Suite 7.0 Enterprise adds application monitoring and application automation features.

All editions of vRealize Suite 7.0 are licensed as Portable License Units.

Full SDDC management, hybrid cloud management and Portable Licensing is available in vCloud Suite 7.0

The good news doesn’t just end with vRealize Suite. With this launch, vCloud Suite 7.0 now includes all capabilities of vRealize Suite 7.0 and is another way for customers to acquire vRealize Suite, when they want to expand their vSphere infrastructure.

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vCloud Suite Lineup

vCloud Suite 7.0 provides all the goodness of vRealize Suite i.e. SDDC management, portable licensing, and hybrid cloud management and that of vSphere Enterprise Plus. You can use the vRealize Suite component included in vCloud Suite 7.0 to manage any environment – private or public cloud, vSphere or non-vSphere. The choice is yours!

Existing vCloud Suite customers, get all new capabilities in vCloud Suite 7.0 while retaining all functionality in vCloud Suite 6.0

Existing vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite customers, with active Support and Subscription (SnS), retain all the features they already own with vRealize Suite 6 and vCloud Suite 6. They are also entitled to all the new capabilities available in version 7.0, including Portable Licensing.

Additional Resources

 

 

Changes to vRealize Business Pricing and Packaging

VMware vRealize Business delivers the IT Business Management capabilities that allow IT organizations to understand the cost of services, to budget and forecast IT expenses, and to provide line of business counterparts with consumption reporting ranging from simple showback to full bill-of-IT invoicing. Here is a quick summary of changes to vRealize Business Pricing and Packaging, announced on February 10, 2016:

Introducing a new name, vRealize Business for Cloud

The new vRealize Suite 7.0 will include vRealize Business for Cloud, addressing the primary use cases – costing and pricing of private cloud, consumption metering and the ability to compare private cloud costs to those of similar public cloud offerings. vRealize Business for Cloud Standard is included in vRealize Suite 7.0 Standard; vRealize Business for Cloud Advanced is included in vRealize Suite 7.0 Advanced and vRealize Suite 7.0 Enterprise. (As part of this change, vRealize Business Standard has been renamed to vRealize Business for Cloud Advanced.) To learn more, please visit the vRealize Business for Cloud website.

Enterprise IT Financial Management functionality including modeling end to end IT services will now only be available in vRealize Business Enterprise as a standalone purchase. To learn more, please visit the vRealize Business Enterprise website.

Other Changes to vRealize Business

vRealize Business Advanced will no longer be available for sale. Customers who own this edition and are on active SnS (Support and Subscription) will be entitled to vRealize Business Enterprise.

New vRealize Business Packaging

vRealize Business now comes in the following editions:

  • vRealize Business for Cloud Standard: Available as part of vRealize Suite Standard, vRealize Business for Cloud Standard offers costing, pricing, and consumption analysis of private cloud. The Cloud Comparison feature is also included.
  • vRealize Business for Cloud Advanced: Available as part of vRealize Suite Advanced and as a standalone product, vRealize Business for Cloud Advanced offers costing, pricing, and consumptions analysis for both private and public cloud. It also offers Cloud Comparison feature and advanced features including Role-Based Showback and quantifying private cloud reclamation opportunities.
  • vRealize Business Enterprise: Available as a standalone product, vRealize Business Enterprise offers the full Enterprise IT Financial Management capabilities including costing, pricing, planning, budgeting, showback and chargeback for full IT service layers in addition to what vRealize Business for Cloud Advanced offers.

Learn more here.

What’s New in Log Insight 3.3

I am happy to announce Log Insight 3.3! While the download will be available later, you can sign up here to be notified once released. One of the big announcements with this release is that everyone with a vCenter Server license gets a free version of Log Insight! To learn more, be sure to check out this blog post on vCenter for Log Insight. While you cannot do better than free, the Log Insight team wanted to sweeten the deal for everyone by providing even more capabilities — read on to learn more!

Log Insight 3.3

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vRealize Log Insight for vCenter FAQ

Log Insight for vCenter FAQ

Q: What was announced?

A: VMware announced that all users with a vCenter Server License are entitled to use their vCenter Server License to get a 25-OSI pack for vRealize Log Insight for vCenter, at no charge. To be notified when vRealize Log Insight for vCenter is available, sign up here.

Q: What is vRealize Log Insight for vCenter vs. just vRealize Log Insight?

A: vRealize Log Insight for vCenter is limited to Content Packs published by VMware only. Each vCenter Server customer is entitled to receive a 25-OSI pack of vRealize Log Insight for vCenter at no charge. To be notified when vRealize Log Insight for vCenter is available, sign up here.

Q: Which content packs are published by VMware?  

A: As of 01/2016 the following VMware Content Packs are available on VMware’s Solution Exchange:

  • vSphere
  • Virtual SAN
  • vRealize Automation 6.1+
  • vCenter Operations Manager
  • vRealize Operations Manager
  • vCloud Director
  • NSX
  • vCNS
  • Horizon View
  • vCloud Automation Center (vCAC)

Q: How do vCenter Server customers get the 25 OSI pack license?

A: There is no additional license needed. Their existing vCenter license key is the only key needed to install the vRealize Log Insight for vCenter instance. To be notified when vRealize Log Insight for vCenter is available, sign up here.

Q: How do vCenter Server customers use their license to obtain their free 25-OSI pack of vRealize Log Insight for vCenter?

A: Customers need to copy the license key from vCenter Server to the license key field in the administration panel for vRealize Log Insight for vCenter.

Log Insight for vCenter

Q: Can you provide a simple example scenario?

A: Example scenario:

Customer owns 2 vCenter Licenses and manages 10 hosts & 200 VMs
Customer has 5 ESXi hosts per vCenter

OSI License breakdown:

**Their existing vCenter license will be used to activate Log Insight for vCenter

The customer is entitled to 2 25-pack OSI licenses, in order to use both they must deploy 2 LI instances (1 25-pack license per LI)

  • 1 can be used per vCenter (2 used)
  • 1 can be used per ESXi host (10 used)
  • 38 remain for VMs, network devices, other VMware management components like vRealize Automation, NSX, storage devices, etc.

Customers can purchase additional licenses by 25 OSI packs or by CPU

Q: Is this for new vCenter purchase only?

A: No, every existing and new vCenter Server customer is entitled.

Q: Is there a limit to how many 25 OSI packs can be used?

A: No, for each vCenter Server owned a 25 OSI pack can be deployed.

Q: If a customer needs more than 25 OSIs for a vCenter Server can they purchase additional 25 packs?

A: Yes, adding additional licenses essentially upgrades them to full vRealize Log Insight. Any additional OSI license needs will require a new vRealize Log Insight licence key, which will include the original free 25 OSI plus whatever else is purchased.

Q: What additional benefits come with full vRealize Log Insight?

A: Many:

  • Integration with vRealize Suite – Inventory integration, 2-way alert visualization
  • 3rd party and Custom Content Packs (29+ available)
  • Cluster Support
  • HA Support
  • Event Forwarding
  • Archiving

For more information, see the Log Insight product page or ask a question on our community.

Cloud Management Platform: The Why’s and Wherefore’s

Today VMware announced VMware vRealize Suite 7.  vRealize Suite is VMware’s Cloud Management Platform solution (CMP).  While Cloud Management Platform’s have been part of the IT landscape for several years now, with the release of vRealize Suite 7, it’s probably a good time to step back to better understand the need for a Cloud Management Platform and how VMware addresses this need.

Market Context

Every industry is experiencing massive changes in both business and operating models as a result of digitization.  Companies in all industries are responding to new opportunities to innovate in the area of online or connected customer experience by leveraging big data and mobility.  Many more are pursuing new business models and new revenue streams that rely on digitizing and modernizing how business is done.

The phenomenon of digitization along with other structural changes is driving the need to dramatically speed up application delivery.   Being first to market can mean significant competitive advantage.  Being late to market can mean missed opportunity or worse.

The need to get applications to market quickly is generating increased expectations on IT to rapidly provide resources to Development and QA teams and to support the rapid rollout to production of new or updated applications.  The inability of IT teams to meet these expectations is a major reason that the public cloud market has exploded.

While delivering resources quickly is important, speed alone isn’t enough.  Policy-driven governance must be in place to ensure efficient resource utilization. Fined grained application level security is also critical to meet compliance requirements and to mitigate the risk of data breaches.  Resources delivered must be reliable and perform in a manner that meets the quality of service (QOS) expectations. And while the business wants IT to be more responsive, speed at any cost isn’t an option.  Most often, IT teams must address the need for speed within existing budgets and staffing.

Cloud Management Platform

Resource provisioning in many organizations can best be characterized as a combination of automated and manual steps; performed by multiple individuals; and strung together by a series of help desk tickets that move the provisioning process from one small task to the next.  The inefficiency embedded in this approach means that for many organizations, fulfilling a request for resources can take multiple weeks and sometimes even months – a time scale that is increasingly unacceptable to IT’s customers.

The concept of a cloud management platform emerged initially as a response to the requirement that IT be able to provision resources more quickly and efficiently.  By standardizing and automating the delivery of resources, a Cloud Management Platform dramatically speeds up resource delivery.  And while many Cloud Management Platforms will provision resources, a true Enterprise-ready Cloud Management Platform also delivers the ability to manage resources through their entire lifecycle.

For instance, an Enterprise-ready Cloud Management Platform provides the ability to continuously monitor resource utilization along with the ability to scale up or down resources as necessary to meet changing business demands.  Once a service is no longer needed, an Enterprise-ready Cloud Management Platform should also provide the ability to reclaim capacity and to make that capacity available for new requests.  The ability to manage resources across the entire service lifecycle helps to optimize both operational and capital budgets.

VMware’s Cloud Management Platform Vision

VMware is focused on the creation of an “app-aware, self-optimizing” hybrid cloud management platform delivering our customers a competitive edge as a digital business.  In addition to innovating around these core principles, VMware is also committed to delivering an Enterprise-ready Cloud Management Platform capable of addressing a comprehensive set of hybrid cloud management requirements.  The combination of VMware’s vision and its focus of delivering an Enterprise-ready solution distinguishes VMware from other vendors in the Cloud Management Platform marketplace.

Enterprise-ready Cloud Management Platform (CMP)

A Complete Solution: VMware delivers the industry’s most complete CMP solution.  VMware’s CMP gives organizations the ability to provision and manage at scale – compute, storage, network and application services across private and public cloud environments.  The solution is also heterogeneous, providing the ability to manage both vSphere and non-vSphere hypervisors.

Cloud Management Platform

VMware’s CMP allows companies to address cloud management requirements across day one and day two operations.   Day one capabilities support the need to provision resources quickly and efficiently across both private and public clouds.  Embedded policy management gives organizations control over decisions such as “where resources are provisioned” and “who can request resources”.

Day two capabilities start with the ability to intelligently monitor and manage the health and performance of infrastructure and applications across physical, virtual and cloud environments in order to meet business SLAs.  Capacity management combined with companion automation capabilities to right-size, reclaim and retire already provisioned resources, helps organizations achieve the best use of data center resources.  VMware’s CMP also provides day two capabilities that help IT teams understand and manage the costs of both private and public cloud resources.

Being a complete solution also means recognizing that enterprises have a variety of 3rd party and custom built solutions.  Because of this VMware delivers a CMP that is highly extensible.  Well documented APIs; SDKs; prebuilt management packs and plug-ins that provide integration with 3rd party ISV solutions; and other extensibility mechanisms support interoperability across the IT ecosystem.

Best for SDDC: Native integrations across VMware technologies makes VMware’s CMP the best choice for organizations building out a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) based on VMware.  VMware’s CMP solution integrates management capabilities across Operations (VMware vRealize Operations), Automation (VMware vRealize Automation) and Business (VMware vRealize Business).

The integration across these management domains means that VMware can provide a holistic and integrated approach to the management of a SDDC. For example, within VMware’s CMP, operational capabilities that highlight resource inefficiencies within the infrastructure are connected with automation capabilities that can manage the reclamation of unused resources.

VMware’s CMP technologies are also natively integrated with other VMware SDDC solutions.  For instance, VMware NSX constructs such as networking and firewalling are natively available for inclusion in service templates created using VMware’s CMP.  This means that virtual networks, load balancers, and firewalls can be instantiated on demand when provisioning resources.

VMware’s strong focus on integrations across the SDDC is tightly connected to its vision of delivering an app aware and self-optimizing platform.  Through its focus on integrations and the principles of application awareness and self-optimization, VMware is striving to deliver a CMP that can continuously enable  the most efficient initial placement, rebalancing, and reclamation of resources.

A Trusted Market Leader:  VMware is a trusted vendor and a market leader.  VMware virtualization technologies have saved IT organizations large and small billions of dollars in capital expenses.  Through the SDDC, VMware is re-imagining the data center by extending the paradigm of resource abstraction to all infrastructure domains, across both on premise and public cloud environments.

VMware’s Cloud Management Platform is a critical capability within a SDDC architecture and the cloud management capabilities that comprise the Cloud Management Platform have been proven through thousands of deployments across both mission critical and large scale environments.  Customers trust in VMware, along with the technical strength of VMware’s cloud management offerings, have made VMware the leading vendor in both Cloud Systems Management and Cloud Automation.

vRealize Operations 6.2: Intelligent Workload Placement with DRS

Today I want to discuss VMware vRealize Operations Manager v6.2 and specifically its Intelligent Workload Placement feature.  This feature works in conjunction with, and compliments DRS to help VMs get the required resources they need, ensuring better performance of the environment and applications.

Distributed Resource Scheduler also known as DRS is a well-known and proven vSphere feature that moves VMs within a cluster to ensure VMs are always running on a host with adequate resources to support it. vRealize Operations Manager’s moves VMs between clusters to ensure the clusters are balanced in the environment, which in the end helps DRS.

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vRealize Operations Manager’s new Rebalance Container action drives the placement and allows you to balance workloads between the clusters in your Datacenter or Custom Datacenters by providing you move recommendations.  These move recommendations come in the form of a rebalance action plan.  The plan lists move recommendations, includes the Source Cluster –> Destination Cluster mapping and provides a Reason like CPU or Memory imbalance.  Once you review the recommendations, you simply need to click the “Begin Action” button to start the moves.  Simple!

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Next lets look at the new the Current Object Utilization widget, where we can see how well balanced our environment truly is and determine if a rebalance action is called for.  This widget shows the workloads spread across the clusters and hosts in the environment.  The chart is partitioned into three ZONEs based on the workload levels: Underutilized, Optimal and Overutilized.  The objects are placed onto the graph based on the amount of workload demand it is experiencing.

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Let’s look at a very common situation that I like to call the Robin Hood Scenario.  In this example, we have a datacenter with a number of clusters in them.  As you can see from the chart below, some clusters are Overutilized and the VMs might be starving for resources, while some others are Underutilized and have plenty of room for available.  The resolution is to run the Rebalance Container action to move some VMs to the open cluster and “rob from the rich to give to the poor” to better balance out the infrastructure and alleviate potential resource bottlenecks.

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In this next example, we have a datacenter where it looks like everything is Overutilized, but when we run Rebalance Container action and look at the recommendations we find that some of the clusters are struggling with CPU and others with memory.  By simply moving a few VMs between them, we can better balance the load and relieve this stressful situation.

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In either scenario, it will take only a few minutes for the rebalance action to complete. Once its done, we can verify the results in the Current Object Utilization widget. vRealize Operations Manager has successfully rebalanced these clusters and they now have very similar workload levels.

In addition, looking at the host systems below, since we have better distributed the workloads across the clusters, DRS has more resources available to leverage. As a result, DRS has been able to move some VMs within the clusters, due to which, the hosts are also more balanced across the entire datacenter.

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If you would like to see this in action, you can watch the video:

https://youtu.be/itZ_Mz8Kn5A

Thank you!

vRealize Operations 6.2: What’s New

VMware vRealize Operations (a.k.a. vROPS) 6.2 is now GA and available on vmware.com. This has been a long awaited update and covers all major areas of the product including installation, configuration, licensing, alerting, dashboards, reports, and policies.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Enhanced Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) Integration. vRealize Operations now offers enhanced integration with the vCenter Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) when making and executing workload placement recommendations. The vRealize Operations Manager analytics determine cross-cluster placement opportunities, while vCenter Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) determines the best destination within clusters. The enhanced integration uses all DRS rules, constraints, and enterprise-class capabilities.
  • New Workload Utilization Dashboard. The Workload Utilization Dashboard enables you to see the object workload utilization for Cluster, DataCenter, and Custom DataCenter containers. The Rebalance Action resolves contention and enables performance with an easy click to rebalance the data center or custom data center.
  • Ability to Import Single Sign-On Users. As an Administrator, you can now add and authorize new users for vRealize Operations Manager by importing them from a Single Sign-On source.
  • Telemetry Enablement on Upgrade. This release includes a one-time dialog after you upgrade that allows you to participate in the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program. This program collects anonymous product configuration and usage data to enhance future versions of vROps.
  • Portable Licensing. The portable licensing feature adds the ability for customers to license use of the product in VMware vSphere as well as non-vSphere environments.

vRealize Operations v6.2 is available for download now. It can be found here,

vRealize Operations: Intelligent Workload Placement

At VMWorld 2015, VMware vRealize Operations introduced Intelligent Workload Management. In a typical virtualized data center, workloads are often placed sub-optimally, resulting in inefficient usage of clusters. Additionally, the ongoing balancing of resources is a difficult, time-consuming, and non-strategic activity. With vROps, you can visualize how your clusters are loaded with workloads across clusters, vCenters, and data centers. And you can get a Balancing Plan that recommends optimal placement of the workloads and balances the workloads across clusters, saving you time, optimizing capacity and helping you be more productive. To get the latest on vRealize Operations go to http://www.vmware.com/products/vrealize-operations/

vRealize Operations: Workload Placement in vROps

Workload Placement in vROps