VMware Cloud Foundation vRealize Operations vRealize Operations Cloud

Managing VCF with vRealize Operations and the SDDC Health Management Pack

vRealize Operations is VMware’s leading cloud management system for the SDDC and beyond. It helps customers maximize their performance and efficiency and increased return on investment through advanced capacity and cost management. Whether you are running a complete VMware Cloud Foundation or just a few components of VMware’s SDDC and the vRealize Suite then you should be leveraging the SDDC Health Monitoring Solution for vRealize Operations.

The SDDC Health Monitoring Solution comes packaged as a free Management Pack for vRealize Operations. Yes, I said free! As in no charge. As in you’d be silly not to download and install it right now. This solution enables you to monitor the availability of critical SDDC services and more for:

  • VMware vCenter
  • VMware vSAN
  • VMware NSX for vSphere and NSX-T
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager
  • VMware Identity Manager
  • vRealize Automation
  • vRealize Log Insight
  • vRealize Operations
  • vRealize Orchestrator

In the 8.4 release of the SDDC Health Monitoring Solution, we’ve included 12 new dashboards just for VMware Cloud Foundation. These dashboards cover everything from capacity, performance, inventory, as well as monitoring your SDDC managers. Whether you’re running a single VCF environment or if you have deployments across multiple data centers, vRealize Operations provides a single point of management for all of these.

At the heart of every VMware Cloud Foundation deployment is the SDDC Manager. It’s responsible for upgrading your SDDC, creating new workload domains, and commissioning new hardware. The SDDC Manager is an important part of what makes VCF, well, VCF. vRealize Operations gives you a great level of detail of how your SDDC manager is running all within one convenient dashboard. You can see how your SDDC manager is performing all the way down to ensuring that your volumes aren’t filling up. Of course, you can also leverage vRealize Operations’ outstanding alerting capabilities to ensure you don’t miss anything and avoid potentially calamitous failures.

Being able to manage your VCF environments separately from the rest of your vSphere SDDC’s is important because of the differences in how each are licensed, architected, and maintained. For example, VCF is comprised of two domains. A management domain where the supporting infrastructure runs such as your NSX managers, SDDC Manager, the vCenters, and the vRealize suite. This is separate from the workload domain where your business services run. By separating these two domains, customers can more easily guarantee resources to critical infrastructure and triage performance issues faster. The SDDC Health Monitoring Solution understands these domains and provides dashboards specific to each. For example, you can monitor the health of your VCF management hosts in a separate dashboard from your workload hosts.

The VCF Inventory Dashboard lets you know what’s running in your VCF environments in terms of both traditional vSphere objects as well as Kubernetes pods, namespaces, and clusters. You’ll get a breakdown for each VCF domain as far as hosts, VM’s, and datastores along with their configurations and capacity.

vRealize Operations is a powerhouse when it comes to capacity management. Not only can it tell you what your point in time capacity demands are, but it can also look ahead and project how much time you have left given your current demands and deployment rates. All this information is available for VMware Cloud Foundation. You’ll be able to quickly identify any capacity shortfalls across all your domains. For example, in the screenshot above we can see that our management domain is beginning to run low on memory. With vRealize Operations we can either reclaim resources or right-size our VM’s to eliminate waste, or we can model what the cluster would look like if we were to add more hosts. No guess work needed!

The SDDC Health Monitoring Solution also introduces a new inventory construct called VCF World. Unlike the vSphere world that shows all the vSphere environments that are monitored by vRealize Operations, the VCF world just shows VMware Cloud Foundation environments. In the screenshot above we can see how the VCF world is broken down further into management and workload domains.

How does vRealize Operations know the difference between VCF’s Workload and Management domains? The SDDC Health Monitoring Solution includes new VCF specific properties that are collected from vCenter. This includes version information and the domain type (workload or management). These properties are used in the various dashboards and can be leveraged in views and reports.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, vRealize Operations is also a great tool for managing your SDDC components such as vCenters, NSX, vSAN, and even the vRealize Suite. If you decide to run TKGs/vSphere with Tanzu on your VCF workload domains, vRealize Operations can provide great insights into your pods, namespaces, and even Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters. vRealize Operations is a must have if you want to effectively manage your VMware Cloud Foundation SDDCs. If you don’t have vRealize Operations today, you can download a free 60-day evaluation. If you’re interested in a maintenance free option, vRealize Operations Cloud is a great SaaS choice and you can sign up for a free 30-day evaluation. With these evaluations, you can install the SDDC Health Monitoring Solution and try it for yourself. If you want to go deeper into vRealize Operations, you can also check out VMware Pathfinder. Here, you’ll find all sort of great information and hands on labs to help you discover the full capabilities of vRealize Operations.

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