The vRealize team has always driven a “better together” solution between vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Operations (vROps), and with the 8.0 releases of these products we have hit a new high. Together they become the cornerstone of any Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) and provide a pairing not seen since peanut butter and jelly first came together.
For starters, we have introduced a shared taxonomy between the two and are bringing over a number of the vRA object types into vROps like Cloud Zones, Projects, Blueprints and Deployments. This allows you to run some of the core vROps functions in the context of your vRA business plans. This includes capacity, cost, workload optimization, and troubleshooting to name a few.
The Cloud Zone is new and important object type introduced in vRA 8.0. It provides the base infrastructure into which you can deploy your workloads. In order to avoid outages, you need to properly manage the capacity of your Cloud Zones. Fortunately for you, vROps brings in the Cloud Zones and instantiates them as top-level objects. This allows it to run its capacity analytics against the underlying infrastructure. This means you can quickly answer question like:
- How much capacity is left in my Cloud Zone?
- What are the current capacity trends in my Cloud Zone?
- When will I run out of resources in my Cloud Zone?
- How many more VMs can I fit into my Cloud Zone?
Being able to answer these questions is critical to guaranteeing your Cloud Zone never runs out of resources, your customers can deploy new workloads when needed, and your business applications continue to perform well by ensuring they have the resources they need. This is base Cloud Administrator kind of stuff!
Speaking of workloads getting the resources they need, lets discuss workload optimization for a moment. Maybe your Cloud Zone has plenty of available resources, but what if one or more of the clusters are short on resources? What if the workloads in those clusters are performing poorly because of lack of resources? Now imagine if there are other clusters in this Cloud Zone that have plenty of resources available. Wouldn’t you want to intelligently and automatically move these workloads to a cluster with available free resources? Of course, you would, slow applications mean unhappy customers which means more work for you. vROps Workload Optimization does just that for you. It leverages the business intent you laid out for your Projects and Deployments in vRA and the operational intent in vROps to ensure applications are always able to get to the resources they need. This self-driving optimization allows you to run the Cloud Zone hands off, and hassle free. Who wouldn’t want that…more time for golf!
Probably the most exciting advancement between vRA and vROps is how they share costing details between them. As you recall, vROps has integrated costing into its analytics over the last several release and in this release that costing data is made available to vRA in two major ways. First, your customers can get a pre-deployment cost right in the self-service portal in vRA. This allows them to determine if they wish to request the deployments based on the estimated daily cost. Of course, once they ARE deployed you can use vROps to track the ongoing costs. These costs are also sent into vRA so you can see how much a specific deployment is costing you or the requestor. The costs are even broken down by compute, storage, and any additional charges, so you can understand the costing details.
Or course vROps has a myriad of ways to configure your cost drivers should you wish to customize your solution beyond the out of the box settings. Watch for a blog from Brandon Gordon on that topic in the coming weeks. If you are lucky enough to be at VMworld Europe you can also check out his session called, “Mr. CFO, IT Is Expensive — Understand Why with vRealize Operations [HBO1138BE]”.
To summarize, in vRealize Automation you can view the costs of the individual workloads, you can view the costs of the individual deployments, and you can view the total costs of the defined projects. Get the full picture!
vROps also provides several out of the box dashboards that help when managing your private cloud and I have highlighted a couple of them below.
The Environment Overview Dashboard lets you review your entire vRA managed private cloud including: Cloud Zones, Projects, Blueprints, Deployments and VMs.
The new Resource Consumption Dashboard, this is your one-stop-shop for capacity. It lets you drill into the Cloud Accounts, Cloud Zones, Projects and Clusters and view the capacity remaining, trends and overall utilization of these constructs.
Lastly, the application owners can view the performance of their deployments within vRA. vROps shares the CPU, memory, IOPS and network metrics of each VM in a deployment. You will find these in vRA in the Deployments >> Monitor Tab, and by selecting the virtual machine(s) to see its performance metrics.