This blog was co-authored with the help of Dave Overbeek and Brandon Gordon.
Just four months after the release of vRealize Operations 8.2, VMware is back with a brand-new release and vRealize Operations 8.3 has something for everyone. We’ve focused on getting you more value right out of the gate and beyond with brand new assessments and metrics to give you even greater detail on what’s happening in your environment. Identify transient issues causing spikes in resource contention, comply with US Federal cryptography standards, check your VMware Cloud on AWS usage, or assess your whole SDDC all from a single management tool.
Cloud Management Assessment
The Cloud Management Assessment (CMA) is the next logical stage of the vSphere Optimization Assessment (VOA) in vRealize Operations. While the VOA was extremely popular and helped VMware customers/partners see the value of vROps within a matter of minutes across all the different aspects of cloud management (capacity, cost, troubleshooting, etc.). The CMA expands this assessment from being focused on just vSphere (like the VOA) to broader business use cases like:
- Preparing for a move to VMware Cloud on AWS
- Managing VMware Cloud on AWS
- Preparing for a move to VMware Cloud Foundation
- Managing VMware Cloud on Foundation
- Leveraging vRealize Cloud Universal
- Managing Public Cloud (AWS, Azure, etc.)
- Horizon management
The CMA is out-of-the-box and easy to use, providing simple instructions, discussion points with links for more information, and a specific set of dashboards for each use case. Simply install vROps 8.3, click on “+View More” from the QuickStart page, and chose the VMware vRealize Cloud Management Assessment to start learning about all the things vROps can do for you.
Just chose the use case and the subcategory you are interested in and it will give you the details and a link to view your data in a CMC dashboard.
The CMA dashboards are easy to use and understand. They provide pre-requisites for getting the data into the dashboard, a quick overview of the dashboard, and a description of each of the widgets therein. Oh, and of course, your cloud environments are shown to you in a way you may not have seen before. Pretty cool!
Tying closely into the Cloud Management Assessment is a new way to learn more about cloud management with vRealize…Pathfinder. Pathfinder is a FREE collection of educational material from VMware. In Pathfinder you’ll find use-case driven level 100 overviews, all the way to deep technical content including hands-on training. If you’re looking for more information on VMware’s vRealize Suite and more then mosey on over to https://pathfinder.vmware.com.
Plus Pathfinder is linked directly from the CMA (as shown above) making the combination of the two your one-stop-shop for cloud management assessment and enablement. Check it out today.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a set of strict standards regarding cryptographic modules used in hardware and software. The Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2 (FIPS 140-2) defines the security requirements that must be met by these modules. United States Federal Government customers, or research institutions, universities, defense contractors, or those with access to government data are required to adhere to these standards to protect sensitive and confidential data.
In this release, we are pleased to introduce FIPS mode. FIPS mode allows you to run vRealize Operations in compliance with the FIPS 140-2 standard and can be enabled upon deployment or through the Administration UI. This will re-configure vRealize Operations to use the FIPS compliant versions of its cryptographic modules that are certified by NIST. Native management packs included with vRealize Operations are supported in FIPS mode. It’s worth noting, however, that enabling FIPS mode is a one-way process and cannot be undone once enabled. It’s important to have reliable backups and to review your organization’s security requirements before enabling FIPS mode.
20-Second Peak Metrics
By default, vRealize Operations collects metrics every five minutes. For most situations, this is a good balance between collecting data that is useful and collecting too much data which puts more burden on storage and computation cycles. However, we also understand that five minutes is a long time in the world of computing and just collecting the latest data point every five minutes isn’t necessarily indicative of what happened during that time. Instead, we collect data points at 20-second cycles and take an average of those values over five minutes. See KB 67792 for a complete explanation of vROps collection cycles.
So, what about spikes that happen during that five-minute window? Don’t they get averaged out? Potentially, yes. And vRealize Operations has two options to address this concern. Firstly, if you’re running vRealize Operations Cloud then you have the option to enable near real-time metric collection for each of your vCenters. This will collect metrics at up to 20-second granularity with three-day retention. You can learn more about near real-time metric collection in the video below.
The second option is if you are running vRealize Operations on-premises or Cloud, then you can leverage 20-second peak metrics. This new feature will show you the peak value observed during that five-minute window for VM’s and Pods. This is useful in identifying contention and latency issues as averaged values are often lower than peak. For example, in the screenshot at the top of this section, the averaged disk latency shows a value of 3.7ms whereas the peak value within that five-minute window hit as high as 36ms.
VMware Cloud on AWS
New inventory trees have been added for VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) to help you view your VMC SDDCs from compute, storage, and network perspectives. These improvements start with a new “VMC World” object, followed by “VMC Organization”, then “SDDC”. These views unify vCenter, vSAN, and NSX-T in the context of your VMC Organizations and SDDCs. Creating VMC specific dashboards are now even easier.
We’ve received feedback from customers needing to monitor their usage of VMC towards the published VMC Configuration Maximums. VMC configuration maximums come in two flavors. The first are hard limits, which are limits that cannot be exceeded. The other is soft limits, which can be increased with the help of a VMware Cloud on AWS Site Reliability Engineer (SRE).
The new VMC Configuration Maximums dashboard allows you to view both the published hard and soft limits for VMC Organizations, SDDCs, clusters, vSAN, and hosts. Any active configuration maximum alerts are listed along with color-coded limits showing which limits require attention.
There are 23 alerts included out of the box to help you stay on top of configuration maximums.
Lastly, there is a report included which can be shared with others in your organization that have an interest in VMware Cloud on AWS. The format of the report shows similar data to the dashboard to help present a consistent experience.
Many of these configuration maximums are retrieved via VMC APIs, but there are a few that are not available via APIs. If you do get a limit changed with the help of an SRE, you may need to modify the metric configuration to the new limit. You can make these changes at Administration / Configuration / Configuration Files / SolutionConfig / vmc_config_limits then restart the VMC Cloud Account. More details are available at https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/81810.
vRealize Operations Cloud
Since the last release of vRealize Operations, vRealize Operations Cloud became available in Frankfurt, Germany.
vRealize Operations Cloud is now SOC 2, SOC 3, and ISO 27001/17/18 certified. You can get more information on these certifications at https://cloud.vmware.com/trust-center/compliance/soc and https://cloud.vmware.com/trust-center/compliance/iso.
If you need help identifying which objects are metered, a new dashboard called vRealize Operations Billing Usage was created to show metered objects. Please note that the dashboard requires some modifications to add additional metered object types if you’ve installed any management packs from the in-product marketplace.
For full details on this exciting new release, be sure to check out the release notes. Again, if you want to learn more about how vRealize Operations can help you and your organization then head over to VMware Pathfinder and of course, check out the product pages for vRealize Operations and vRealize Operations Cloud.