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It is exciting that today VMware is announcing another new release for VMware vRealize Network Insight and vRealize Network Insight Cloud.

VMware vRealize Network Insight will be excellent for gaining a very clear picture of exactly what is happening in your network infrastructure.  VMware vRealize Network Insight Cloud will become smarter with new machine learning capabilities.  Machine learning for Flow Based Application Discovery will automatically group VMs into applications and tiers for a better understanding of what is occurring on the infrastructure.  vRealize Network Insight 5.2 has new end-to-end visibility of the network path from VM through to VMware Cloud on AWS including the AWS Direct Connect section.  For VMware SD-WAN users, there will be additional visibility into SD-WAN application and business policy support.

Managing uptime is critical to IT professionals.  Having visibility of what is happening is key to understanding and resolving problems before they become business continuity problems.   This release of vRealize Network Insight will offer new capabilities as the end-to-end network visibility and analytics platform for VMware customers for their virtual and physical IT infrastructure.  Visibility across infrastructure such as VMware NSX, VMware SD-WAN, VMware Cloud on AWS, Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, VMware Enterprise PKS, Kubernetes, and Red Hat OpenShift managed Container environments will now be supported and enhanced.

vRealize Network Insight 5.2 will further improve integration with the VMware Virtual Cloud Network which is built upon NSX.  The new dashboards designed for NSX-T users will speed troubleshooting and monitoring.  vRealize Network Insight will also be a great tool for users, enabling them to understand application dependencies as they migrate workloads to the cloud and view comprehensive end-to-end network visibility.

 

New Highlights vRealize Network Insight 5.2 and vRealize Network Insight Cloud

Flow Based Application Discovery

VMware Cloud Visibility Support for AWS Direct Connect

New NSX-T 3.0 Dashboards & Events

VMware SD-WAN Business Policy Visibility and Tunnel Metrics & Status

Integrations with vRealize Operations and other ecosystem solutions

 

Machine Learning for Flow Based Application Discovery

Application boundaries are always very hard for IT professionals to determine.  vRealize Network Insight Cloud will introduce Flow Based Application Discovery using machine learning to better understand and discover applications across multiple VMware platforms for categorization by application and by tier.  With the applications discovered, if an application is slowing down in the branch or if various tiers are degrading, action can be taken to resolve these issues.  Traffic is a source of truth so users will be able to rely on this traffic analysis to reveal where the application issues are.

vRealize Network Insight Cloud users will see applications automatically discovered within minutes.  Users will be able to perform zero clicks to map out applications.  Application Discovery will also be so much easier without the usual manual work required.  The machine learning algorithm will look at the flows and various other dimensions to then determine which VMs are part of an application.  This capability will be very useful for NSX admins because once they know the grouping and boundaries, they can better secure the applications and troubleshoot from a network standpoint.  Firewall rules will be able to easily be made to intrinsically secure the infrastructure.  As users will know which VMs are part of which application, business initiatives like moving workloads to the cloud will be much easier so that nothing gets left behind in future cloud migration projects.  This new functionality will be available to on-premises users in a following release.

 

Figure 1 shows Machine Learning at work with Application Based Flow Discovery

 

VMware Cloud on AWS Visibility with AWS Direct Connect Support

Monitoring the entire path from virtual machines to VMware Cloud connections that use AWS Direct Connect will be possible.  Users will see how traffic is reaching both overlay and underlay to monitor the AWS Direct Connect link as well as virtual interfaces for metrics, routes, and other analytics.  From the co-lo router, all packets transmitted, and flow record statistics will be visible.  This will give users the ability to measure application performance and response times across the entire infrastructure without gaps in visibility.

 

VMware SD-WAN Application and Business Policy Statistics

A common customer question is “how is my ISP SLA doing?”  How is my SLA to end users performing?  vRealize Network Insight 5.2 will be able to validate ISP SLAs with link level and path level custom alerts that are available across various metrics of overlay tunnel or link level statistics.  Users will be able to prove and correlate SD-WAN metrics across various sites.  Multiple metric correlation for SLAs across Data Center, public cloud, to SD-WAN from overlay tunnels, underlay, and Edge metrics will be available.

New capabilities to leverage application and business policy statistics with VMware SD-WAN Edges will allow users to isolate issues more easily to maximize uptime.  Is the problem in the data center, in the remote WAN, or in the LAN in the data center?  Is the problem in the overlay or underlay?   These questions will be answered.  End-to-end troubleshooting will be available because WAN layer overlay tunnel metrics between the components as well as visibility of RTP Packets, retransmitted, and other traffic statistics will be seen across sites.

Users will be able to determine which applications are going over which link even when equal cost multi-path is being used.  Application troubleshooting will be enhanced to figure out if the problem was in the SD-WAN or the LAN or Data Center.  vRealize Network Insight will map which application is going through which business policy.

 

NSX-T 3.0 Troubleshooting and Day 2 Operations

NSX-T 3.0 users will see support for over 35+ new events and alerts.  For better visibility there will be new NSX-T Host, Edge, and Management Node dashboards.  The new NSX-T dashboards will show flow, NAT statistics, routes, latency, and packet drops, and other key data for NSX users.  Application response times and latency measurement across the infrastructure will be visible.  An application’s latency budget spent across LAN, WAN, and data center is critical to see if applications are performing well.

 

Figure 2.  NSX-T Host Transport Node dashboards will be completely new and will help NSX-T users to monitor latency, system metrics, flows, and other critical information

 

Integrations

New integrations with VMware vRealize Operations 8.1 will now be available.   vRealize Network Insight will provide vRealize Operations with network information, alerts, and events.  This will provide a view of vRealize Network Insight alerts and events within vRealize Operations.  vRealize Operations 8.1 users will be able to launch vRealize Network Insight in context for more detailed information.

This integration will improve the workflow for any customer who has both vRealize Operations and vRealize Network Insight by enabling the better hand-off of information between different IT groups.  The way it will work is an alert appears in vRealize Network Insight and because of the integration, a user using vRealize Operations will be able to view this issue as well.  The cross-launch takes the vRealize Operations user directly to the correct vRealize Network Insight dashboard for precise troubleshooting and not just the vRealize Network Insight home page.  This will be especially useful because sometimes the vRealize Operations user is not the network person so at least they will have a starting point to alert the network engineer who is versed with vRealize Network Insight and will have context to start investigating.

Another integration will be a new capability for vRealize Network Insight Cloud customers. This new capability will allow a customer to migrate their existing configuration from their on-premises vRealize Network Insight to their instance of vRealize Network Insight Cloud (note that data will be not migrated).  This will make it easier for customers to trial vRealize Network Insight Cloud and utilize their existing configuration.  Customers will be able to work with VMware to request this configuration update to their vRealize Network Insight Cloud instance.

For greater security, this release will also support integration with NAT rules for Checkpoint Firewalls.  Before this release only Fortinet Firewall NAT rules were supported.

IT teams need many different role-based access control capabilities and vRealize Network Insight 5.2 will give that flexibility with a new read-only role which adds to the existing administrator and member roles.   Users with read-only access (e.g. NOC users) will have different read-only access to dashboards versus network admins/architects.   Network Admins or Architects who need to make vRealize Network Insight configuration changes will continue to create the pinboards that a read-only users will not have access to change.

As you can see, the new vRealize Network Insight 5.2 and vRealize Network Insight Cloud release will give users more end-to end visibility.  With the new functionality, a user will know which applications are running well, so they can focus on analyzing the poorly performing applications.  With the improved dashboards and knowledge, users will be enabled to better scale as their business needs dictate.  Also, with better application visibility, there will be knowledge especially important in cloud architectures which applications will no longer be needed so it will be the right time to turn off VMs and devices to reduce cloud costs.   All these improvements will improve recommendations to optimize and make a large difference to users of VMware vRealize Network Insight.  Try these new capabilities by upgrading to VMware vRealize Network Insight 5.2 or trial VMware vRealize Network Insight Cloud

Both vRealize Network Insight 5.2 and NSX-T 3.0 were announced today.  For more details on NSX-T 3.0 read the blog here.