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Public cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Everyone in the IT world is familiar with (or may be using) the big public clouds as the media coverage is so strong that it pulls you in, like a black hole. And why not? When you consider what the public cloud can offer to businesses: absolutely staggering scale, geographic diversity, cost accounting and chargeback, cost insights and capacity planning, lower maintenance costs, non-perimeter security, workload isolation. The list goes on. There are many similarities with on-premises data centers, to be sure, but there are some benefits that have been challenging to duplicate, until now.

Art imitates life, and life, in turn, imitates art. In the same way, VMware has recognized and addressed many of the disparities in features between the public clouds and private, on-premises clouds and data centers. VMware vRealize Operations allows customers to run private cloud infrastructure more like a public cloud, all while reducing costs and waste through optimum densification and proactive capacity management and planning. This is certainly an advancement in the toolsets we’ve had available for our data centers up until now, and it’s worth exploring how vRealize Operations works its magic.

Right-Sizing Machines and Workloads

One of the challenges in managing a large-scale virtual infrastructure is what we will call the right-sizing of machines and workloads. In other words, not only deciding how much memory, storage, and processing power to dedicate to things on inception, but also how to manage those resources in an appropriate manner as conditions change. It’s often the case that what you thought a workload needed is initially incorrect, or has changed over time, and you may need to scale certain aspects of a workload up or down throughout its lifetime. Traditionally, this has been a highly manual process, and one which, due to the size of modern data centers, has been difficult to keep pace with.

The advanced capacity analytics capability of vRealize Operations allows, for the first time, proactive identification and remediation of capacity risks related to virtual machine (VM) and workload utilization. The system can reclaim and right-size VMs that may be over-provisioned, have orphaned VMDKs, or idle capacity. It can also increase the density of workload placement on storage and compute tiers that may be under-utilized. And because public and private clouds are now so tightly coupled, public cloud migration planning is also available. Many of these tools have been available already, but are now unified and given intelligence to make autonomous or semi-autonomous decisions to remediate problems as or before they occur.

The Importance of Cost Containment and Analysis

Managing a data center efficiently isn’t just something technical, either. Cost containment and analysis is just as important as a smoothly running technical domain. And the reality is that different storage and compute platforms within your data center have very real operational cost differences, just as much as they’re technically different. Providing those cost insights to business leadership, and enabling you to make tiering and other placement decisions based on those metrics, are key components of vRealize Operations. Fine-grained savings opportunities can be baked into how the system makes its decisions, all with the help of customizable cost drivers that matter to you.

From the smallest data centers to the largest, nothing is ever static and unchanging. Capacity planning is an ongoing component of good management, and taking the guesswork out of purchasing decisions creates opportunities for cost savings. Minimizing knee-jerk and last-minute budget hits should make everyone breathe a little easier. vRealize Operations helps with this by providing proactive insights into usage and growth patterns, but can also help to model multiple scenarios and stack these together to help you understand the cumulative impact. It’s no secret that businesses aren’t only diversifying workloads between public and private clouds, but also between public cloud providers themselves. Single cloud strategies are no longer the norm, with multi-cloud becoming the de-facto standard in public cloud deployments. vRealize Operations can model all of these for you, from AWS and Azure, to GCP, Oracle, IBM, or various VMware VCPP partners and custom clouds.

Efficiency in capacity management is an often overlooked but critical part of effective data center management, and VMware provides the tools to give you the insights you need. Worry less about where your workloads live and what they’re costing you because the system has your back.

Want to try vRealize Operations for yourself? Download a free evaluation or checkout the vRealize Operations Hands-On Lab!