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We are extremely excited to announce the upcoming release of vRealize Operations 8.2 and vRealize Operations Cloud. And although vRealize Operations has been around for almost a decade, it’s pretty unbelievable to see how far we’ve come.

 

Today, we are proud to be a holistic self-driving IT operations management platform for private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments. Not only does vRealize Operations offer a unified monitoring platform for everything on-premises and off, it also provides a single monitoring console for all your VM- and container-based workloads.

 

It’s with that vision in mind that the latest release in vRealize Operations – both on-prem and SaaS editions – will forge ahead with four primary release themes:

  • Application-aware troubleshooting
  • Kubernetes
  • Extensibility
  • Ease of use

This is an exciting list, so let’s dive right in to the big highlights in each of these areas:

 

Application-Aware Troubleshooting

 

APM Integrations in vRealize Operations Cloud

 

A HUGE integration that we will be bringing into vRealize Operations Cloud this quarter is Application Performance Management (APM) management packs. So customers using the most popular APM tools on the market will be able to hook those tools up to vRealize Operations and discover the apps being monitored by those tools, then pull in data from those applications to vRealize Operations.

To state the obvious – app teams are typically the primary users for APM tools, whereas vRealize Operations is typically best suited for infra teams. HOWEVER, in a world where everything hinges on the application, infra and ops admins can do their jobs better if they have full line of sight visibility into the applications their infrastructure is supporting. Marrying infrastructure data with application data is massively useful and will help our infrastructure users communicate better with their app owner colleagues.

 

App Discovery in vRealize Network Insight

 

Another way we will be making applications a first-class citizen within vRealize Operations is by continuing to build out our application discovery story.

Infrastructure admins are always going to be more effective if they know what apps their infrastructure is supporting. And as we continue building out integrations between vRealize Operations and vRealize Network Insight, pulling apps discovered by vRealize Network Insight into vRealize Operations is a natural progression.

While vRealize Operations is very good at discovering “packaged” apps running in an environment, vRealize Network Insight is able to map network dependencies and determine what constitutes an application. Users who have both vRealize Operations and vRealize Network Insight will now be able to pull those constructs and discoveries into the vRealize Operations UI for a more holistic “map” of the applications running in their environment.

 

Near Real-Time Monitoring in vRealize Operations Cloud

 

The other huge update for vRealize Operations Cloud that will allow more granular, precise troubleshooting than ever is that of near real-time monitoring. Customers will now have the option to turn this feature on for 15x more regular data collection.

 

Kubernetes

There are a couple big updates around Kubernetes monitoring in vRealize Operations in the 8.2 release.

First, vRealize Operations will now have auto-discovery for Tanzu Kubernetes guest clusters (in addition to its current monitoring capabilities).

 

Prometheus Support in vRealize Operations 8.2

 

Second, vRealize Operations will integrate with Prometheus via an adapter. This adapter will simply take the data being sent to it and forward it to vRealize Operations. This integration will be useful because Prometheus is a common tool of choice for developers – so it’s very widely deployed. And because it’s an open source tool, it can collect a wide variety of different metrics from a dynamic array of sources, which is of course useful for the open source technology of Kubernetes it’s monitoring.

 

Finally, we will be rebranding the Management Pack for Container Monitoring to the “Management Pack for Kubernetes” – same great monitoring for all your Kubernetes clusters, just with a brand new name!

 

Extensibility

In addition to the deepened integrations with vRealize Network Insight, we will also have some pretty big extensibility updates around management packs in this release.

 

Management Pack Updates

 

On the free standalone management pack side, there will be some updates to existing management packs, as well as a couple new management packs.

First, the Management Pack for AWS will include capacity analytics for EC2, so vRealize Operations users can evaluate what sort of capacity utilization they’re getting out of the AWS resources they’re paying for.

Among the Management Pack updates for VxRail will be 140 new alerts (from 65 in the last release to 205 in this one).

There will also be several updates to the management packs for SNMP, NSX-T, and Skyline.

We are also introducing a new management pack for Flowgate, which is very cool. In enterprise data centers, IT infrastructure and facility are generally managed separately, which leads to information gaps. Collaboration between facility and IT infrastructure systems are limited or manual. The goal of Flowgate, then, is to bring facility awareness into IT management systems and better inform IT operations management on high availability, cost savings and improved sustainability, with more information on power, cooling, environment (e.g. humidity, temperature) and security.

Additionally, you’ll notice that we will have a vRealize Operations management pack for Horizon, which at least for now is going to be for vRealize Operations Cloud only.

 

vRealize True Visibility Suite

 

Then, of course, we acquired True Visibility Suite from Blue Medora and are now calling it vRealize True Visibility Suite. So although this isn’t necessarily a specific 8.2 product development for vRealize Operations, it’s big news for our extensibility story in general. Stay tuned for more details on how this will be packaged and sold moving forward.

 

Ease of Use

There will be multiple ease of use improvements in vRealize Operations 8.2.

 

Integrated Policy Workflows

 

One ease-of-use area that will be reconstructed in 8.2 is that of policy management, which will be better integrated into existing workflows. So from an object summary page – for example, the datastore shown here – you will be able to go to the different functions, like alerts/metrics/capacity, and launch straight into (1) viewing and/or editing the policy – if any – associated with that object, or (2) assigning a new policy – all in context of the specific object page you’re viewing.

Then, once you DO decide to create or update a policy, there will be simplified workflows in place for that process. The new approach will add a streamlined organization and flow to policy management.

So in the new workflow, you would first decide the use case area you want to create/edit a policy for; then you would set the specific policy; then you could assign it to particular custom groups, like your production objects, or your test objects.

 

New Dashboard Getting Started Page

 

The Dashboard Getting Started page will also be completely redesigned to (1) better show relationships, and (2) have a clearer use case-based flow.

The reason for this is to provide easier, more intuitive navigation and better show relationships between objects and workflows. So, you can see below how this idea of “relationships” will be manifested if you were to click on the “Troubleshooting” workflow. From here, dashboards will be organized around the specific type of troubleshooting (availability, contention, utilization, config), and type of object.

 

New Dashboard Organization Workflow

 

Other Goods

The highlights previewed above are far from comprehensive – as with most vRealize Operations releases these days, 8.2 will have a gargantuan payload. Below is just a sampling of the best of the rest:

  • vRealize Automation integration (Cloud and 8.2)
  • Workload optimization potential (see what sort of optimization you could achieve across multiple clusters by running workload placement actions)
  • Downloadable workload optimization reports
  • Pricing support for ALL workloads (not just vRealize Automation workloads!) with customizable rate cards
  • Daily VM costing granularity to match existing methodology for pricing
  • Improvements in the pricing and costing engine
  • AWS CloudWatch API guest OS metrics
  • Expanded scope of metric correlation
  • New object summary pages for vSAN
  • Simplified content and configuration, including importable/exportable content (alert definitions, custom groups, dashboards, policies, super metrics, etc)
  • Custom compliance templates in vRealize Operations Cloud
  • Cloud Director Service support in vRealize Operations Cloud
  • Geo expansion (new Sydney region) for vRealize Operations Cloud
  • vRealize Operations Cloud now on VMware Cloud Provider Hub

 

Last Words

As always, stay tuned for the technical deep dive blogs in the coming weeks, and be sure to join us at VMworld for a variety of vRealize Cloud Management sessions (blog)!

Additionally, be sure to check out the 50% promo we are running for vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite Standard for a limited time.

There is LOTS going on in ops-world these days, so follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for ongoing news and updates.