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A large part of the software-defined datacenter is policy-based management (heard of SPBM?) so how do you manage policies in vRealize Operations and how do you create your own custom policies? Let’s find out!

Understanding Policies in vRealize Operations 6

Before you start creating custom policies in vRealize Operations 6.x, you should first understand how policies work. You need to know if you even need a custom policy (they aren’t required) and you need to make sure that you don’t mess up other existing policies when you create a new one. Since I wrote my article #10 on this blog – David Davis on vCenter Operations – Post #10 – Configuring Policies and Groups – the policy screens have changed significantly but the concepts and understanding of policies remains the same. Let’s summarize how policies work:

  • Policies are used to customize the badge settings, capacity/time remaining, configuration thresholds, alerts, and VM forecasts and trends
  • Policies are applied to a vROps group (which usually contains multiple VMs)
  • There is a default policy already applied
  • You can clone (copy) that policy, modify it, and reapply it (or start fresh with a new policy)
  • Where there are multiple policies that might apply to an object, the policy with the highest priority will take precedence. The default policy has the lowest priority.

A couple of excellent resources to help you understand policies and create custom policies are the two free VMware videos at the bottom of this blog post. The first video starts off with VMware Engineer Justin Smith providing an excellent definition of a vROps policy that says…

A policy is a mechanism used to analyze objects and display information about them. A policy includes a set of rules the vROps uses to analyze the objects in your environment, trigger alerts, collect data from objects being monitored, and display that information in dashboards.

While the default policy will work for most companies, initially, once they get into vROps and really start using it, it’s likely that, because of the uniqueness of their virtual infrastructure, there will be a reason/reasons to justify the creation of one or multiple custom policies.

How to Create a Custom Policy in vRealize Operations

vRealize Operations has a policy library of pre-configured policies that you can use as the template (or base policy) for your policy.

There are 6 steps in the process of creating a custom policy:
1. Go to Administration -> Policies and click on the Policy Library tab. Click the + sign to create a new policy. Give the policy a name and description then specify if you want the policy to inherit settings from the a base policy.

vrops-6-custom-policies-1

2. Select any other base policies that this policy will inherit settings from

vrops-6-custom-policies-2 3. Override analysis settings from base policies, if needed

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4. Override attribute settings from base policies, if needed

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5. Override alert settings from base policies, if needed

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6. Apply the policy to a group

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vRealize Operations Policy Resources

Hopefully you’ve learned a lot here about vROps and custom policies but what if you want to learn more and try some of this for yourself? Here are some resources to help out:

Part 1 – what policies are, what they do, and examples of how to use policies
 

Part 2 – how to customize a policy and apply that policy to specific object groups