vRealize Operations Cloud

Feature Walkthrough: vRealize Operations Cloud – July 2022 Update

This blog was authored by Tim George.

The next iteration of vRealize Operations Cloud is LIVE!  This release is a massive update packed full of features that will make using vRealize Operations Cloud even easier.  We have added synthetic monitoring capabilities, enhanced the Automation Central feature, created new application discovery methods, strengthened the public cloud monitoring experience, and made significant improvements to Cloud Proxies just to name a few.  This post will go into a few of these feature upgrades, but check out the latest release notes for the full set of enhancements. To find out where you can talk to the experts this fall, make sure to check out the VMware Cloud Management Conference Guide to VMware Explore 2022 US.

Synthetic Monitoring

Synthetic Monitoring is something we have been looking forward to for quite some time!  There is a lot to uncover here, and we will be going into this topic in a stand-alone blog, so I won’t get too far into the weeds here.  Synthetic Monitoring mimics the pathway users might take when engaging with an application.  It provides invaluable information as to the status of our critical public facing applications and better serves as a guide to where we might need to focus our efforts.  Once synthetic monitoring has been configured with URL’s and authentication using basic auth, OAuth, or a bearer token, we can launch into the summary page for a business application.

Figure 1: VMware vRealize Operations – Synthetic Monitoring summary page.

From the custom summary page for a specific Business Application, we are presented with a considerable amount of information about our business application.  We can see details around business criticality, environment, and description.  We also get the Business Application KPI in the center of the screen.  This number, represented as an availability percentage, tells us the total availability of all application API calls averaged month to date.  In the advanced relationship widget, we get a view of the tiers in our business application along with some of the components that make up the application allowing us to learn what might be affected should the application have any errors.

If we use the synthetic monitoring tab, we can gather even more information about the business application.  Response time is critical when understanding the experience our users have when utilizing our application.  This tab shows us what the response time has been for our selected time period and goes further into a particular request.

Figure 2: VMware vRealize Operations – Synthetic Monitoring specific page response metrics.
Figure 3: VMware vRealize Operations – Synthetic Monitoring API call performance.

Check out the expanded synthetic monitoring blog for more info.

Automation Central

Automations Central now has the ability to add monthly schedules and at five minute intervals.  We can schedule jobs at specific dates and at certain times during the month (first Sunday of each month, first and last day of December, etc.…).  We have also added improvements to the design and functionality of these schedule screens and end date selection screens to make scheduling jobs much simpler.

Figure 4: VMware vRealize Operations – Automation Central

NSX-T

vRealize Operations can now integrate with NSX-T endpoints using an IPv6 address.  Object relationships have also been improved to extend the edge transport node to the virtual machine on which it was provisioned.

Rule-Based Application Discovery

With a single rule, we can now create a simple, easy way to discover multiple applications running in our infrastructure.  We can discover these applications using tags, properties, or object names.  We can also control the scope of application discovery or import/export the application definition and assignments.

Figure 5: VMware vRealize Operations – Rule-Based Application Discovery
Figure 6: VMware vRealize Operations – Rule-Based Application Discovery

New Metrics

There are several new metrics that have been added to vRealize Operations.  The first is “IOPS per GB”.  This metric is designed to help identify virtual disks that are close to or exceeding the performance based on storage tiers.  We can show vmdk’s that exceed that threshold making it much easier to move those vmdks to faster storage tiers.  The reverse is also true, vmdks using low IOPS can be moved to slower tiers.

The next new metric is Peak Network Packet per Second.  This metric is needed when utilizing the twenty second peak collection feature.  This calculates the highest VM packets per second rate and is measured as the peak of any twenty second average during the collection interval.  This metric helps if we have set any sort of limit on packets per second.

The final new metric that has been added is Peak Guest OS Page-out rate.  This is the highest memory page-out rate reported by the Guest OS and is measured as the peak of any twenty second average during the collection cycle.

There have also been a few new properties added in this release.  These properties are added to VM’s, hosts, clusters, datastores, datastore clusters, distributed port groups and distributed switches.  Check the official release notes for more details.

Super Metrics

The creation of Super Metrics has been revamped to allow a more intuitive workflow and sequence of actions.  This new experience greatly simplifies the process for typing out formulas.  There is built-in validation along with generation of auto preview.  All pop-ups have now been replaced with a workflow-based widget that allows us to craft super metrics in a faster and friction free manner.

Figure 7: VMware vRealize Operations – Super Metric Creation

VMware Cloud FoundationTM

Much effort has gone into redesigning onboarding for VMware Cloud Foundation, as well as the overall content.  There have been a number of changes in the latest release to enable faster time to value.  For starters, there is a brand new VMware Cloud Foundation specific traversal spec, custom summary pages, and config maximums.  We have also added twelve new out-of-the-box dashboards specifically for VMware Cloud Foundation monitoring.  To make onboarding much simpler, we can now configure a VMware Cloud Foundation cloud account to auto-discover domains and underlying adapters along with their credentials.

Figure 8: VMware Cloud Foundation – configuration

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

Those who use VMC on Dell will now be able to configure with a simplified and dedicated cloud account in the integrations pane.  We can also discover VMware clod on Dell SDDC’s and configure adapters to monitor vCenter, vSAN, and NSX-T.  We could also traverse out objects, view custom summary pages, config maximums, and get alerts on these config maximums.  We now have the ability to plan workload migrations using what-if scenarios to migrate workloads onto VMC on Dell, along with compliance analysis, review rate card based costing, and rightsize any workloads.

Figure 9: VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

Enhanced Certificate Management for Cloud Proxy

  • The focus is on availability, security and setup of the cloud proxy with this improvement.
  • Ability to add certificate groups during deployment of proxy
  • vApp options allows addition of properties mentioning the class ID making it easy to manage the certificates
  • New command line instruction making troubleshooting easier
  • Certs will now be stored in the trust store and not on file thereby improving the security
  • Command line option to troubleshoot is now available to allow the administrator to investigate the certificate status.
Figure 10: Enhanced Certificate Management for Cloud Proxy

Diagnostic Tool for Cloud Proxy

  • Observation was that 50% issues were configuration issues.
  • Intent is to make the setup more self-serviceable for the consumer.
  • Command line command to diagnose issues cprc-cli -d
Figure 11: Diagnostic Tool for Cloud Proxy

Cloud Proxy Data Persistence

  • All the metric data, retrieved from vCenter by the CP, will be persisted, during the communication down period. Persisted data will be pushed to vROps objects after the recovery and the data gaps will be filled by persisted data on all vROps object metrics including super metrics.

Cloud Proxy Sequential Upgrades

  • If there are more than 10 Cloud Proxies in an environment, upgrade will start with 10 Cloud Proxies concurrently at a time in order to avoid high network bandwidth requirements and to avoid collection downtime.

Native Public Cloud

There has been much improvement to the ability to monitor public clouds with this release.  For AWS, we have added enhanced visibility into metrics and service dependencies with support for Storage Analytics, Network and Database services.  On Azure and GCP, we now have support for all collected services with metrics and relationships.  Many dashboards have been revamped to better serve as a one-stop guide to all your public cloud objects.  We have also added the ability to perform actions on certain public cloud objects!  We can now start, stop, or reboot AWS EC2 instances, Azure VMs, and GCP CE instances either individually or in bulk from inventory.

Figure 12: Native Public Cloud

Another huge change for public clouds is that for Azure and AWS, we can now use the Open Source Telegraf agent and deploy cloud proxies directly into these hyperscalers to directly track OS and application metrics, processes, and services.  The relationships between Azure or AWS objects and the metrics collected will be automatically created if the corresponding objects exist in vROps Cloud.  The cloud proxy configuration user interface has been overhauled to provide instructions for how to deploy into Azure or AWS.

What-if Scenarios

Enhancements to what-if scenarios has made this feature even more comprehensive for planning the future of your environment.  We have added support for the allocation model.  Allocation model awareness allows modeling what-if scenarios on clusters with allocation model enabled.

Whereas the demand model is based on actual utilization, the allocation model is only based on the allocation ratios.

We also can now use the commit function to reserve capacity for future workloads.  We can mark stages of commits as complete to remove the impact on future capacity projections, change start dates for committed changes, or set an optional end date for temporary changes.  We can then view our capacity projections with or without the committed changes in one consolidated view.

Figure 13: VMware vRealize Operations – what-if capacity scenarios

Looking for more?

For full details on this exciting new release, be sure to check out the release notes. If you want to learn more about how vRealize Operations can help you and your organization then head over to VMware Pathfinder. Request a trial of vRealize Operations Cloud, engage in a vRealize Operations Cloud hands on lab, or request a conversation with one of our experts today.

See you all at VMware Explore!

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