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Now it’s time to come clean and admit it… I’ve never been much of a fan of the traditional vCenter Operations / vRealize Operations user interface (there, I said it for all the world to hear). BUT, let me also say this – I LOVE THE NEW vROPS 6.6 INTERFACE. You see, being a visual learner, I’m a fan of well-created, thought-out user interfaces. For products that are inviting and intuitive, I want to use them and dig deeper into every possible feature. For products that aren’t intuitive, aren’t pretty, and aren’t fun to use, I tire quickly of using them – and I don’t. Yesterday, I installed the new vRealize Operations 6.6 and I was already getting exciting during the installation because, even that, has hints of the new user interface. Once it was installed, I was impressed with the awesome new UI !

Since then, I’ve learned that the new vROps has a HTML5 interface and that it’s based on what is called the Clarity Design System. The Clarity Design System contains “UX guidelines, HTML/CSS framework, and Angular components working together to craft exceptional experiences”. Clarity is opensource and, as far as I can tell, was contributed and is maintained by VMware for the world to create applications with beautiful interfaces (I wish everyone would use it!)

Wait! Why Do I Need vROps 6.6 ?

If you don’t have vROps at all, let me step back for a moment and explain why it is that you need it (or a tool like it). The modern datacenter is complex and getting more complex every day. We do more and more in software (which is smart) but that also means that you are less able to view the different hardware and software resource silos that make up the modern datacenter. You may have heard of the “IO Blender”, well the modern datacenters are like a “software blender”, in some ways. With resource (except commodity servers) turned into software, you need some really smart software to monitor performance, plan capacity, and prevent downtime, and troubleshoot problems when the unexpected happens.

vRealize Operations isn’t on its own island. vRealize Operations is one of the three critical pieces of the vRealize Suite that provides Intelligent Operations for the software-defined datacenter (SDDC). The latest vRealize Suite is made up of vRealize Operations 6.6, vRealize Log Insight 4.5, and vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 (all of which you’ll see accessible from the new vROps 6.6 interface, below).

Besides the cool new user interface that I’m talking about in this post, the new vROps also offers a new getting started page, out of the box integration with vSAN, Log Insight, vRealize Business and vRealize Automation, predictive DRS (which makes DRS even better), and VSAN integration.

VMware has a vROps 6.6 video playlist on YouTube made up of 26 videos that walk you through everything from getting started with 6.6, to using dashboards, capacity planning, performance monitoring of different resources, VSAN performance, and troubleshooting vSphere performance. It’s a great way to learn how to maximize the new 6.6 interfaces and features.

The New Beautifully Designed Console

When it comes to using the new vROps 6.6, Hicham (he-sham) Mourad detailed the usability improvements in the new vROps interface in his post vRealize Operations 6.6: “I’m too sexy for my skin!”. I looked for the improvements that he pointed out when I first installed vROps 6.6 into my lab environment.

Here are a few things that I really appreciated in the new UI…

The initial deployment was easy since vROps is deployed as a vApp and the initial configuration wizards (shown below) are as easy as ever (the new fonts are better on my old eyes too).

 

Once deployed, there are new wizards (shown below) that pop up to tell you what you need to configure to get started. Specifically, in this case, the connection between vROps and vCenter.

I like the new quick single-click access to common dashboards, frequently used dashboards, and other solutions (like vRLI and Business Management) that make up the vRealize Suite.

As you can see below, the new Getting Started Dashboard list is VERY useful (thank you VMware!)

Once configured and once a few minutes of data gathering has passed, I really like the look of the new Operations Overview (shown below).

Similarly, the new Capacity Overview Dashboard (shown below) is equally beautiful to use.

Typically when a company introduces a “point release” to any new product, there are a handful of new features – not a completely redesigned user interface. I wanted to write this post to share that beautiful, completely redesigned interface of vRealize Operations 6.6.

You can download a free 60 day trial of the new vRealize Operations 6.6 and try it in your own lab, OR try vROps 6.6 in the VMware Hands-On-Labs. Like I was, I think you’ll be impressed!

More vRealize Operations 6.6 Resources

You can find a lot more resources on the new vROps 6.6 here, on the VMware Cloud Management blog, other blogs, and the video playlist that I linked to above. Here are some of those resources: