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Exploring Management Packs in vRealize Operations

By: Cameron Jones, Blue Medora

VMware’s vRealize Operations (vROps) has allowed VMware administrators the ability to monitor their environments at an entirely new level. Using predictive analytics and dynamic thresholding, vAdmins are able to see not only what is currently wrong in their environment, but what will go wrong in the future. The platform also provides actions to remedy any issues that have been raised. While this alone is impressive, the predictive analysis engine doesn’t stop there. This feature also allows virtual infrastructure admins to run capacity plans on their environments, ensuring that there are always enough resources to run mission critical workloads without stress. To wrap it all together, VMware provides out-of-the-box dashboards and reports to quickly view key predictive analysis features, as well as health and performance metrics. Continue reading

Top 3 Reasons Why you Need Comprehensive Data Center Visibility by David Davis (Post #26)


The virtual infrastructure is no island. If you treat it like that, you shouldn’t be either.

There’s much more in the datacenter world than the virtual infrastructure, it’s called the software defined datacenter (SDDC). The SDDC is more like a powerful and efficient modern city – kind of like “Tomorrow Land” (I haven’t seen the move but it sounds like a nice concept)

When it come to managing the datacenter of the future, you don’t want a solution designed to manage “the virtual infrastructure”. There are numerous data center management “point solutions” available for a long list of use cases. There are solutions across all of the data center silos – servers, OS, applications, storage, and network. Within each silo, there are multiple management applications available, each to solve a different set of problems. There are virtualization efficiency tools, storage management tools, network monitoring tools, application performance tools, and so many more. But again, these are all “point solutions” for to try to solve different datacenter problems. Continue reading

Automated Tests: Part 2, Regaining Stability

In part 1 of this mini-series I talked about the importance of automated test stability. However what do you do if you already have unstable tests and they hinder your continuous integration efforts?

Automated Tests: How to Bring Back Stability

The first and most important step towards fixing unstable tests is to realize that this is a real problem that will likely only get worse over time. You need to communicate and explain this problem to your team. You will need everyone to be on-board for the subsequent steps. Do not try this if you cannot convince your team, this effort will then likely fail.

Failing Tests are Bugs

Once you have the support of your team you can start rolling out the solution, which is based on a simple principle: a failing test is a bug and should be treated just like any other bug in your code base. Why is this so? Simple: when a test fails it may be because the test is badly written but it may be also failing because it triggers a real bug in your product. You cannot know this a priori, the root cause of a failing test can be only found after analyzing each particular failure. Continue reading

vRealize Code Stream @ VMworld Europe 2015

After a very busy and satisfying VMworld US, the Code Stream team is ready to pack their bags again and head over to VMworld Europe. Similar to VMworld US, there is a special track for DevOps  and our experts will present Code Stream and some customer stories. If you want to learn how Code Stream can speed up application delivery and unblock developer productivity, please meet us at these sessions below


Code Stream sessions

  • MGT5495 – Accelerate your DevOps Journey with vRealize Code Stream
  • MGT6401-GD – Group Discussion on DevOps & Continuous Delivery
  • DevOps Day: Application Release Automation Using vRealize Code Stream
  • TAM Lunch – Ask the Expert: Round Table discussion on vRealize Code Stream
  • Roadmap – Self-service Cloud for DevOps, DevOps for IT and Continuous Delivery of Apps

Continue reading

Automated Tests and Stability: Part 1, Why is it Important?

In this blog post I would like to talk about automated tests and specifically the challenges that arise when the automated tests are unstable. I will discuss this in the context of our development of Log Insight, and its agent.

The Log Insight Agent development team has a large automated test suite composed of thousands of small test cases. At some early stage in our team history we faced a situation when not all of the tests were rock solid. A small portion of the tests were failing intermittently. To understand why this can be a problem let us talk a bit about why we need automated tests in the first place. Continue reading

VMware Automation and DevOps Solutions at Columbia Sportswear

by Rich Bourdeau

Columbia Sportsware LogoThe biggest challenge for most companies today is the ability to go faster than the competition.  Competitive advantages that use to last decades can be lost in a matter of years or even months if companies fail to stay ahead of customer needs and what the competition can deliver.     For companies that rely on technology to differentiate their offerings, this means the ability to deliver new applications and services quickly to support the growth of the business.

In this regard Columbia Sportswear is similar to other companies always looking to be more nimble and faster than the competition.  Automating the delivery of infrastructure and applications was critical to accelerating the delivery of new capabilities for their customers as well as expanding their presence to address new markets.  In order to achieve this goal they leveraged vRealize Automation to accelerate delivery of IT Services, thereby empowering their application development teams be more productive. Continue reading

Seamless ingestion during Log Insight upgrade

Software upgrades should be simple and require minimal disruption, but all too often upgrading enterprise software is extremely complicated and requires extensive downtime.

For tools like Log Insight that are used to monitor critical applications and services, downtime during upgrade could mean missing alerts about the health of the monitored systems, losing logs and metrics that should be archived, etc.

Log Insight is designed from the ground up to protect critical functionality during upgrade.  Certain advanced management operations (such as registering new users) may fail.  But critical features — specifically, the ingestion of incoming events, and analytic queries from the user interface —- operate seamlessly.

The following data demonstrate seamless event ingestion in the Log Insight upgrade of six-node cluster. Continue reading

Manage Hostnames with vRealize Automation – Part 1: Understand your options!

There are multiple options for how vRealize Automation (vRA) can manage the hostnames of its provisioned machines.  When you’re trying to figure out which one makes the most sense for your organization, understanding the 5 most common options is a great place to start.  In this article, I’ll help you put these options into context by identifying the specific scenarios and challenges that each option is best suited to solve. We’ll also walk through their setups, so that you can try them out and get a good feel for each one. Continue reading

Manage Hostnames with vRealize Automation – Part 2: Use a small vRO workflow

In Part 1 of this series, we compared and contrasted the 5 most common options for how vRealize Automation (vRA) can assign hostnames to its provisioned machines.  In this article, we’re taking a deeper-dive into setting up one of those options: creating your own vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) hostnaming workflow.

Continue reading

Log Insight 3.0 Now Available

vRealize Log Insight continues to make great strides not only in supporting large environments, but also in great user experience.  With respect to our super-simple administration, I had a customer tell me once that we should “wear it as a badge”.

The most recent release of vRealize Log Insight, version 3.0 which is now available for download, is Faster (we’ve doubled the ingestion rate), Bigger (a cluster of 12 nodes can process over 2.5TB of data per day), and Better (I’ve got a long list of exciting new features!).

Since you’re not paying on a per-Megabyte basis with Log Insight, send in as many logs as you can to recognize the full value of the analytics engine. Having data from every point in your infrastructure gives you a great view to correlate log data and take advantage of all the great new Log Insight 3.0 features:

Powerful Analytics Engine

  • Multi-Function Charts
    Compare different aggregation functions within the same chart using the multi-function chart. Chart multiple functions, such as MIN, MAX, and AVG.
  • Interactive Analytics Snapshots
    Visualize your log browsing history for an improved workflow using the snapshots feature. Compare two or more queries or save multiple snapshots to create new dashboards.
  • URL Shortener
    Share shortened URLs with your colleagues when directing them to Interactive Analytics.
  • Event Types Highlighter
    Identify individual events quickly by highlighting an Event Type. Event Types show summarized event data. All messages with a similar structure are grouped together and treated as a single Event Type.
  • Event Trends
    Set custom time periods as baselines when comparing event trends.

Low Touch Administration

  • High Availability Through a Leader-Based Architecture
    If a master node is removed from service temporarily, another node assumes the role, enabling high availability for Query, Alerting, and Configuration processes.
  • Hands-Free Rolling Upgrades
    Upgrade a cluster of vRealize Log Insight nodes at the click of a button. Each node is removed from service gracefully, and upgraded without the need for an external load balancer.
  • Event Forwarding with UDP Support
    The vRealize Log Insight Event Forwarder now supports syslog over UDP in addition to TCP.
  • Hadoop Archiving Endpoint
    Archive data directly to a Hadoop Distributed Filesystem (HDFS).

Lightweight Agent for Data Collection

  • Agent Group Configuration
    Apply agent configurations to a group of agents from the vRealize Log Insight user interface, enabling classful centralized mass-configuration.
  • Client-Side Parsers
    Achieve faultless event parsing by providing a list of fields within the agent configuration file. Key-value pairs (KVP), comma-separated values (CSV), Apache Common Log Format (CLF), and flexible timestamps are supported.
  • vRealize Log Insight Agents Support Communication Over SSL
    In addition to support for securely sending data over CFAPI SSL, vRealize Log Insight 3.0 now supports sending events over syslog with SSL.

For more information on the features, see the vRealize Log Insight User’s Guide and vRealize Log Insight Administration Guide.  Please make sure that you’ve opted “in” to the Customer Experience Improvement Program. The anonymized data that we collect helps us to understand which features are the most popular & how often errors may be happening in real-world usage. (Check your LI admin screens.)

If you’re not already a member of the Log Insight Community, please sign up. You’ll get to hear how other members are using Log Insight & vote on feature suggestions.


(ed. note: you can also try the Hands on Lab #1426 below.)

Log Insight Hands On Lab