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vRealize Automation Improvements in NSX Security and Network Management

VMware’s vRealize Automation (vRA – formerly known as vCloud Automation Center) 6.1 enhances its integration with VMware’s NSX 6.1 to provide even more virtual networking and security capabilities. Thus enabling IT to deliver business services on-demand with the appropriate network connectivity, availability and security automatically configured. With these new capabilities of the 6.1 release, VMware leads the charge in cloud automation and virtual networking and security for your software-defined datacenter (SDDC).

To create secure, high performing and scalable applications you frequently need to configure network and security services in the context of the application being deployed.

vRA and NSX

In this release, vRealize Automation enhances the integration with NSX in the following ways:

Connectivity

Proper network connectivity is fundamental to any business service. vRealize Automation simplifies the network configuration by allowing multiple applications to share the same NSX virtual distributed router for optimal resource utilization and simplified management. This distributed router provides high performance east to west routing at line rate across 100s of virtual machines. In addition, multicast free virtual networks, dynamic routing protocols and DHCP relay to an external DHCP server are supported. Hence organizations can guarantee that their services are deployed with the right connectivity automatically.

 

Security

Ensuring appropriate security policies are applied, is one of, if not the most critical step to deliver and manage your applications and data. Now business services can be deployed with on-demand security. The appropriate security policies, like firewall rules, intrusion detection, and anti-virus can be defined at each application tier to allow unique security for each tier. When the business service is provisioned, dynamic security groups are configured with the defined policies to safeguard the service from day one. These services can also be tagged with a security label, for example DB servers, PCI, HIPPA that enforces policies dynamically based on the tags (e.g. type of application) throughout their lifecycle. Finally, application isolation for these business services can also defined to fence the service from the rest of the network entirely or to deny all traffic to the service expect for what is defined in the applied security policies. Therefore organizations can enforce security policies while still enabling self-service requests for app infrastructure.

 

Availability

vRealize Automation’s rounds out it’s networking support by enhancing availability for business services. Whether applications needs to be added to an existing load balancer pool or needs it’s own dedicated load balancer this can be achieved through vRA’s NSX integration.  Delivers the ability to add applications to an existing NSX or 3rd party load balancer.  Further, an application can be provisioned with an on-demand dedicated NSX load balancer in a one-armed model. Thus providing organizations with more availability options for their applications.

 

Learn more about vRealize Automation and how automating cloud service delivery can cut cost while accelerating access to IT applications and resources.

Need help deploying your private cloud infrastructure or developing your business justification? Contact us and our experts can help your team build the business case and the solution that will maximize your IT productivity.

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X-IO Technologies Releases their vCenter Operations Management Pack

The newest Management Pack  for vCenter Operations Manager is from X-IO technologies in support of their ISE storage systems.  The plugin, called “X-IO ISE Management Pack for VMware vCenter Operations” allows you to see ISE specific performance metrics via several included dashboards.  You can also see the relationships between individual ISE storage systems and Datastores and Virtual Machines.

The ISE (Intelligent Storage Element) is a 3U, self-contained, self-healing enterprise-class storage system.  Each system has two storage processors, two power supplies, two super-capacitors, and in normal configurations it has two disk array enclosures.  On this you create volumes and can then use these to house your datastores.

ISEMetricsDashboard

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David Davis on vCenter Operations – Post #16 – Storage Throughput Analysis

In my last post, I covered how to perform Storage Capacity Analysis using vCenter Operations Manager. In this post, I’ll cover a similar, but different topic – analyzing storage throughput.

Some of the other posts I’ve created around capacity analysis with vCenter Operations Manager are:

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Too many technology people just think about storage capacity when they think about storage. In many cases, it was only when they consolidated their servers with virtualization and put all their virtual machines on a single SAN or NAS (and in many cases, a single SAN LUN) that they realized that the importance of throughput. Unfortunately, too many admins realized the importance of throughput only when they didn’t have enough throughput to keep their critical applications running at acceptable performance. In other words, when they suffered and found that they had plenty of CPU and memory but not enough storage throughput – that was when they began to keep an eye on storage throughput.

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Enhanced Puppet Integration in vCloud Automation Center 6.1

When you think about cloud management and automation solution, what are some of key asks come to your mind? I bet, there are many – provisioning, policies, lifecycle management to name a few. Today we are going to talk more in detail about asks around OS / middleware configuration, application services management, and drift remediation. Yes, you guessed it right! We are going to talk about vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) and Puppet integration. As we all know, vCAC provides a variety of different mechanisms to build, deploy, and configure applications over various private and public clouds. Puppet is quite popular in the realm of configuration management tools, which excel in area of OS/middleware configuration. We started integrating vCAC and Puppet together couple of years back with vCAC version 6.0 and we are taking it further with our latest release 6.1.

As you may already know, in vCAC 6.0, we have Puppet integration at blueprint creation level as well as at the orchestration level. You can drag and drop different Puppet modules when you are creating application blueprints in vCAC blueprint designer which is shown in the image below. For example, you want to use Puppet module to configure your MySQL server, what you have to do is just drag and drop a Puppet MySQL module on a database server component in blueprint designer. When you are done modeling and deploy that blueprint, vCAC automatically does runtime orchestration between other components and Puppet modules.

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Webcast – IT Automation for the Cloud

See how VMware vRealize Automation (formerly vCloud Automation Center) and Avnet Services’ BMC Remedy ITSM and Atrium CMDB Plug-ins accelerate the delivery of Enterprise IT services.

A cloud management platform for the hybrid cloud, VMware vRealize Automation empowers IT to accelerate the delivery of personalized, business-relevant IT services, while maintaining IT control. When used with vRealize Orchestrator plug-
ins, vRealize Automation can be used with your existing IT tools.

Avnet Services has developed a vRealize Orchestrator plug-in to directly manipulate BMC Remedy ITSM tickets and CMDB CIs. This bridges the gap between your VMware-based virtualization layer and IT Service Management by enabling enterprise operational process automation and data integration with BMC Remedy ITSM servers to improve process efficiency and reduce manual labor.

Date: Monday, September 29, 2014
Time: 10am PDT (1pm EDT / 7pm CET)
Presenters:
Anuj Tuli, Program Manager of Automation Solutions, Avnet Services
Vijay Dwivedi, Product Marketing Manager, VMware

Register Now

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Stock Analysis in vCenter Operations

What about literally  correlating business data with IT metrics? For example adding some stock quota to vCenter Operations? Not an everyday use case, but at least imaginable: how the stock of your enterprise relates to the market and to your IT or possibly even production numbers?

While presenting vCenter Operations and explaining the concept of dynamic thresholds and anomalies some popular analogies are used. For example the comparison to the heartbeat: healthy heart rate depends on your age and on the context: heart rate of 120 is high if you just sit but may be fine if you are running or attending your own wedding ceremony. This example shows why hard thresholds do not help and self-learning analytics engine is required to monitor complex systems.

We also explain, that vCenter Operations analyzes every metric, no matter if it comes from vCenter, operating system or any other source. Getting biometrical data collected and transferred to computer readable format would require additional gadgets (which are becoming more and more popular), but what about some other data, for example –  stock quotes? (your stock portfolio may be related to your heart rate  too, if you are heavily invested). So before adding biometrical data, lets start with stocks.

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Kemp Technologies releases their Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) application load balancer Management Pack for vCenter Operations

KEMP Technologies recently announced the general availability of its new Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) application load balancer management pack for vCenter Operations Manager.  We are excited as this Management Pack is the second example vCenter Operations consuming, correlating and displaying load balencer data (the first was our NSX Management Pack).

Many organizations use KEMP’s LoadMaster application load balancer to provide high availability and traffic optimization for a variety of deployed workloads. An overwhelming number of these customers are opting to deploy KEMP’s VMware Ready VLM to complement their VMware-powered infrastructures and are also using vCenter Operations Manager to gain increased operational insight about their environment.

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Log Insight and vCenter Operations – Better Together with vRealize Operations Insight

This post is authored by Jon Herlocker, CTO, Cloud Operations Management Products, Cloud Management Business Unit, VMware.

vRealize Operations Insight

At VMware, we are personally dedicated to making IT Operations a better place. What does that mean? To me that means providing software and automation that detects and mitigates most issues before they impact your customers, rapidly detects and resolves issues that do impact your customers, reduces the total cost of purchasing and maintaining your infrastructure, frees up time for innovation, and generally makes IT operators look good and lets them sleep better at night.

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Achieving operational insights into NetApp Storage using vCenter Operations

We are pleased to announce that today one of our vCenter Operations Manager partners, Blue Medora, has released a major update to the what VMware had previously called the vCenter Operations Adapter for NetApp – turning it into a full-blown Management Pack with significant upgrades and out of the box dashboards for improved ease of use.

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Automating your vCloud Automation Center with vCAC APIs

vCloud Automation Center (now vRealize Automation) has always provided a rich set of capabilities for extending the product’s out-of-the-box functionality. The flip side of these flexible call-outs to integrate with third-party systems during the provisioning and management life cycle is the ability to enable external systems to initiate actions in vCloud Automation Center programmatically rather than through the vCAC portal UI.

With the 6.1 release of vCloud Automation Center, we now have a generally available RESTful API that covers all the service catalog capabilities of vCAC 6. Continue reading