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Virtualization Woes? VMware Go Pro Can Help!

By: Matt Sarrel

Virtual environments need to be managed in much the same way that physical environments do.  Most IT departments have established procedures and controls for creating and running virtual machines, although installing and spinning up virtual machines is so easy these days that it’s quite possible that not every VM is being managed up to corporate standards for security controls and patch management.

This is of particular importance to IT departments at SMBs that may or may not already have management procedures in place.  Many of these businesses are in the process of evaluating and rolling out virtualization platforms and need an easy way to speed adoption and start managing VMs.  VMware Go makes this especially easy because you can use it to manage existing devices, hypervisors, and software as well as deploy new vSphere instances.

Taking control of your virtual environment should begin with a full audit of physical and virtual environments.  It’s the old “you need to know what you have before you can manage it” thing.  VMware Go is a great tool to inventory, manage, and enhance your virtual resources. 

I recently got started with VMware Go and all went smoothly.  Here’s what to expect:

After launching VMware Go I was presented with the IT Advisor offering to scan my environment.  I clicked the big green start button.

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I got an informative pop-up explaining what was about to happen so the IT Advisor could run and then clicked Install Now.

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From there I just followed the instructions and everything went smoothly.  It’s comforting to see that the setup files were securely downloaded via https.

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After the short download of the setup application, I downloaded the 10 MB client files.

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The software asked me which browser I use, something I always like to see because I enjoy browser freedom.

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Firefox installed the VMware OpsCloud Assistant.  So far this installation has been effortless.

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IT Advisor opened in my browser:

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I could see that a scan was running in the header at the top of the page. I’m about to toggle to another window and select which network to scan and inventory.  I get status reports so I know my network information is being harvested properly. 

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After three or four minutes I got a pop up telling me the scan was complete:

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This time when I log into VMware Go I see recommendations.  In my case, it’s clear that I need to patch my systems.  I can tell this by the big red “patch” button under Recommendations, plus my patch pro score is lacking, not to mention that patch advisor over on the right tells me that I’m behind by about twice as many patches as my peers.

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Now that I’ve gone through the installation and run my first complete scan I can schedule patch scans to take place on a schedule.  VMware Go will scan my network once a week looking for missing patches and then automatically deploy them.

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