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Troubleshooting … has been a part of the human condition probably since there were humans. Data centers are no great exception, of course, and are becoming complex to the point of requiring better and more intelligent tools to use in the process. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” and that has never been more true than today.

Tens of thousands of virtual machines (VMs), often more, as well as the various storage and other network and compute hardware required to support a modern data center, quickly obviates our ability to stare at a bank of screens in a NOC and react quickly enough to make useful decisions. Software-defined data centers (SDDCs) have become the new normal, adding another layer of abstraction to the mix, and what we pick up in automation and orchestration we tend to lose in visibility and troubleshooting ability, until now.

VMware vRealize Operations comes with monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities to help predict, prevent, and even remediate issues across the SDDC and across multiple public and private clouds, helping to break down functional silos and unifying operations across environments at the same time. All of this through the full stack—from applications to infrastructure—and without human intervention in the process of routine troubleshooting. Integrating with vRealize Orchestrator provides a level of automation in troubleshooting allowing for faster triage during anomalous event investigation. Troubleshooting can be made even easier by using workflows to remediate and eliminate configuration drift as a source of contention, improving compliance posture and reducing overall risk.

Visibility – You Can Only Fix What You Can See

One of the greatest challenges in working through system outages or service degradations of any kind is gaining enough visibility into all systems. You can only fix what you can see, and too many times we find ourselves relying on disparate toolsets, all reporting different information in often unintuitive formats. Yet, we still find ourselves with blind spots and conflicting information. Full-stack visibility across silos and across all workloads no matter where they live—public, private, or custom clouds—has been the Holy Grail of data center visibility tools. The combination of tools from VMware brings all of that together, adding artificial intelligence (AI) to assist us in finding and fixing the source of any problems. vRealize Operations easily and automatically discovers VMs and applications and provisions the required operating system and application remote collectors to grab the metrics for full-stack visibility and troubleshooting, as one example.

While gaining full visibility into the data center is absolutely key for a variety of reasons, that does present us with another challenge: making sense of all that information. Certainly, the AI capabilities help us here, fixing many of the more routine problems for us, likely before we’re even aware of them. However, there will still be challenges big enough to require skilled engineers to fix, and the first step will be to sift through mountains of data now available to us.

Correlation – A More Intelligent and Modern Approach to Systems Stewardship

vRealize Operations works together with vRealize Log Insight to take structured and unstructured data and present it to us in a useful manner. Correlation of data, logs and metrics side by side in a unified view, creation of super metrics, and integration with common ticketing systems such as Service Now help speed us down the road to quick service restoration. Fully customizable dashboards, reports, and views, as well as the ability to create unique workflows, all available across multiple infrastructure, operations, and applications teams help drive additional efficiencies into the process. Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time troubleshooting a system-wide outage knows that capabilities like these are not what we’ve had in the past. Once you’ve worked with this level of visibility, going back won’t be an option.

Monitoring and management dashboards and tools all too often go one of two ways: They either sit on the shelf because of perceived deployment barriers, or they get deployed but only provide visibility into one small domain within the larger organization. This toolset monitors that box, and the other toolset monitors these wires, and it carries on. This continues to enable silos to flourish, and is a serious impediment to good visibility and troubleshooting. The integration points within the VMware suite of data center products eliminates your blind spots and collapses your silos, allowing for a more intelligent and modern approach to systems stewardship.

Integration – Get a More Holistic View of Your Network Operations

Better integration of your disparate toolsets ultimately provides new levels of efficiency. VMware SDDC components like vCenter, vSAN, and VMware Cloud Foundation can be operationalized and scaled, with native integrations and a unified view into SDDC health. You can leverage native vSAN support for monitoring and troubleshooting, capacity management, and centralized management of multi-site and stretched clusters.

These and many more integration points allow for multiple facets of the VMware management suite to work together to provide a holistic view of network operations within modern, stretched multi-cloud software-defined data centers in a way that hasn’t previously been possible. With this level of intelligent monitoring and remediation, troubleshooting need no longer be an exercise in just trying to gain visibility into the problem. Now, you can skip right to fixing the problem and get your business back on track sooner.

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