Today marks general availability of vRealize Operations 8.0. I’m excited to tell you about the amazing features available in this release. Grab a coffee or tea and sit back because this is another huge release with lots of exciting new features.
Improved Initial Onboarding
To start things off, we’ve improved initial onboarding. For new deployments, you’ll be greeted with a new initial onboarding page with some guided tours and great big suggestion to create your first Cloud Account.
Did I hear you ask what is a Cloud Account? One of the themes with this release is common constructs between vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation. A Cloud Account in vRealize Automation is the same thing as a Cloud Account in vRealize Operations. When you create a Cloud Account in vRealize Operations 8.0, you will get prompted to choose vCenter, AWS, or Azure accounts. Don’t forget that VMware Cloud on AWS is just another vCenter to vRealize Operations.
The first feature I want to mention in the Intelligent Remediation pillar is the new Troubleshooting Workbench. The Troubleshooting Workbench lets you use AI/ML technologies to quickly find the root cause of problems. These can be initiated from an alert or ad hoc by starting with a specific object. Objects you can troubleshoot with the workbench can be any object from any management pack.
Events displays major events and metrics that have breached the usual behavior within the selected scope and time.
Properties displays important configuration changes that occurred within the selected scope and time. Both single and multiple property changes are displayed. For multiple property changes, you can view the latest and previous changes.
Anomalous Metrics have shown drastic changes within the selected scope and time. Ranks the results based on the degree of change. The most recent anomalous metric based on a time-sliced comparison in the current time range is given the highest weightage.
Service Discovery is now native in vRealize Operations. It comes with 41 known services by default and you can add your own services to discover even more. You get all of this with only VMware Tools, no agent is needed.
You can use Service Discovery to automatically build applications
The most exciting features that are available after you enable Service Discovery is the ability to execute scripts in the guest OS and the ability to list the top processes consuming resources inside the guest OS. Both of these are going to simplify the troubleshooting process by making it so you don’t need to login to a server to start triaging what’s happening inside the guest OS.
Application Monitoring now supports 20 packaged applications, with NTPD, Java, and Websphere as the newcomers. OS monitoring support has been extended to include Photon OS and Ubuntu.
If you have a need to extend application monitoring, you can now create custom script monitor to monitor anything you want using a script. The scripts are executed every 5 minutes and the result is added as a metric on the object.
Intent-Driven Continuous Performance Optimization
To discuss the new features in our first pillar of self-driving operations of Intent-Driven Continuous Performance Optimization, I need to tell you a bit more about common constructs. We now have even more common constructs with vRealize Automation 8.0, which covers Cloud Zone, Organization, User, Project, Deployment, and Blueprints.
vRealize Operations can perform workload optimization for Cloud Zones. Cloud Zones are created in vRealize Automation and the management pack creates a comparable Cloud Zone object in vRealize Operations. When integrated, vRealize Operations will be responsible for Operational Intent and vRealize Automation will be responsible for Business Intent based on policies defined on the Cloud Zone.
To round out the vRealize Automation integration, there are 4 dashboards included out of the box. These dashboards give you an overview of the environment, prices for projects and deployments, resource consumption, and top N resources.
I know I’ve been talking about vRealize Automation 8.0, but don’t fear, the integration with vRealize Automation 7.x hasn’t changed, so you can integrate either version or both versions at the same time. Stay tuned for a more in-depth blog post about the integration between vRealize Operations 8.0 and vRealize Automation 8.0.
Efficient Capacity Management
The second pillar of self-driving operations is Efficient Capacity Management. The first new feature I wanted to mention is Capacity Buffer. Capacity Buffer is for customers that want to reserve capacity for capacity planning beyond what’s already reserved by admission control settings for HA. This feature adds new metrics named “Usable Capacity after HA and Buffer”, which has a self-explanatory name, but you can see how it relates to other capacity metrics in the diagram below.
What-If Analysis has many new features of note. We now have options to plan for adding and removing VMs and hosts from vSAN clusters, which includes awareness of vSAN Storage Policies.
When modelling the addition of VMs to a vSAN cluster, you can specify swap space, host failures to tolerate, fault tolerance method, and expected deduplication ratio. The projections take advantage of the vSAN sizer to determine if the VMs will fit. Since the projections are based on vSAN sizer, you can expect the same recommendations from vRealize Operations now.
When you’re looking to deploy new VMs, have you ever wondered which datacenter would be the best option from a cost perspective? Well, now you can with the new Datacenter Comparison scenario. With this scenario, you can now see how much VMs would cost running in multiple datacenters. If the system determines that the VMs won’t fit in your desired datacenter, there is a quick link to Add Workload scenario to help you dig into the details of why the VMs won’t fit.
Cost management is a critical component for managing capacity. To help improve cost reporting, you’ll now be able to specify different costs per datacenter in the Storage, License, Maintenance, Labor, Network, and Facilities cost drivers. Other cost driver improvements are support for 25, 40 and 100 GB NICs and the ability to add additional costs based on custom properties assigned to VMs in vRealize Automation 8.0.
The Cluster Base Rate calculation method is how you tell vRealize Operations to divide up cluster costs across the VMs within the cluster. What was previously known as Expected Utilization is now linked to the previously mentioned Capacity Buffer setting. If you set a Capacity Buffer on the cluster, that same setting can be used to determine the cost per GHz of CPU and GB of RAM if you select Usable Capacity after HA and Buffer mode.
We have 2 new dashboards for cost management. The first is Datacenter Cost Drivers, which helps you drill down into the costs per cost driver per datacenter to get a better understanding what drives the cost of each datacenter.
The other new dashboard is called Showback, which is intended to help you show the cost of VMs based on Custom Groups, Applications, Cloud Zones, Projects, and many more.
Last, but not least is integration with vRealize Automation 8.0 to show cost estimates at request time for on-premises vSphere VMs as well as the ongoing cost of on-premises vSphere VMs in a deployment.
For the Integrated Compliance pillar, we now have support for monitoring compliance for vSAN and NSX-T out of the box. Compliance even supports VMware Cloud on AWS, which includes vSAN and NSX-T as well.
Do you have a need to stretch a vRealize Operations cluster across 2 fault domains? If so, I’ve got great news for you. That’s now supported with Continuous Availability. You can now stretch a cluster across 2 fault domains with a tertiary site hosting a witness node. With this new deployment model, you deploy nodes in pairs, one per fault domain. Once Continuous Availability is enabled, your cluster will be able to survive the loss of an entire fault domain.
A great way to learn more is to download a trial of vRealize Operations and try it in your own environment! You can find more demos and videos on vrealize.vmware.com. Be sure to stay tuned here as we will have even more blogs about vRealize Operations 8.0 coming soon.