Intelligent Operations

Intelligent Operations Sessions at VMworld 2017 Las Vegas

Get excited about VMworld 2017 Las Vegas! With over 500 sessions across all categories, it may be overwhelming to understand which ones can help your organization with an intelligent operations solution – across physical, virtual and cloud environments. I would like to help you highlight the sessions that will help you plan, manage, and scale your SDDC and cloud deployments with intelligent operations. These cover the following products: vRealize Suite Standard, vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight, and vRealize Business for Cloud

Sunday, Aug 27

When, type Session ID Description
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. [ELW180102U] vRealize Suite Standard - Automated and Proactive Management Workshop

vRealize Operations works in conjunction with vSphere to automatically balance workloads between hosts both within and across clusters to alleviate existing or predicted resource contention. Come learn about the vRealize Operations action functionality that allows alert-driven automated remediation of problems.

1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m

 

[MGT2653QU] Case Study: VMware vRealize Operations Provides Single-Pane View of Global Data Centers to Meet Performance and Uptime Requirements

Experience how a leading global gaming software company chose VMware vRealize Operations to proactively manage its global data center so it could focus on successfully launching its high-quality blockbuster games worldwide. Rupesh will dive into business/technical requirements, challenges, architectural design, and implementation of a global vRealize cluster. He will demo key vRealize features that helped proactively solve operations issues, and show how to manage capacity planning with vRealize.

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

[MGT1260QU] Help Customers Make Informed Infrastructure Spending Decisions with Hybrid Cloud Assessment

Hybrid Cloud Assessment answers your cloud cost questions in less than 3 hours. HCA is a great candidate to initiate cloud journey conversations with your customers. It helps to understand existing private cloud costs, compares public and private cloud costs, and enables IT teams to confidently share information on actual costs with their lines of business.

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

[ELW180101U]vRealize Suite Standard - Cloud Planning and Optimization Workshop

You can gain insights into your infrastructure and compare the costs of running workloads in your private cloud versus select public clouds. You can also optimize compute resource utilization and improve planning and forecasting. vRealize Operations and vRealize Business for Cloud improve operational efficiency by increasing capacity utilization and resource reclamation.

— Monday, Aug 28 —

When, type Session ID Description
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

[MGT2008BU] Break Your Logjam by Leveraging the Power of vRealize Log Insight

Are you and your organizations getting buried in logs? The scale of machine-generated data is increasing exponentially, and it&#rsquo;s become overly complicated to make any sense of it. Break through the logjam with VMware vRealize Log Insight. Log Insight provides the ability to make sense of all the log data.

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

[MGT2185BU] 360-Degree Troubleshooting and Remediation

How can you troubleshoot issues quickly to get to the root of problems in your environment and resolve them rapidly? The answer is by leveraging the power of VMware vRealize Operations and VMware vRealize Log Insight together with the VMware software-designed data center products. To illustrate this, we will cover how to achieve the best level of integration between the solutions, then show you how to dig into the data and get to the root of a problem.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

[MGT1758BU] Effectively Operating an Automated Cloud

While VMware vRealize Automation provisions and manages apps across the hybrid cloud, VMware vRealize Operations provides a holistic view of all infra and apps. Together, vRealize Automation and VMware vRealize Operations deliver a comprehensive cloud management platform. Join this technical session to gain a deeper understanding of the VMware Cloud Management Platform in action.

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

[MGT2855BU] Operationalize Your World: Moving Your Operations Closer to Your Architectures

We all know that technology is just one wheel of the cart. People and processes have an equal role to play. It is important to break the shackles of the primitive processes and people mindset to operate the new architectures you have built to obtain the agility and ROI for which you adopted cloud in the first place. During this session, we will give you the mantra to success and help bring your outdated operations closure to your innovative architectures.

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

[MGT1999BU] It’s the Apps: Fully Loaded Application Monitoring with vRealize Operations

In an era in which software is consuming the world, applications are what drive your business. Applications are the ultimate reason for the infrastructure to exist. Even though the infrastructure might seem healthy, your application servers might be bringing the business to a halt. In this session, we will use VMware vRealize Operations, extended with endpoint operations agents and management packs, to look at all the aspects of the production application servers.

 

— Tuesday, Aug 29 —

When, type Session ID Description
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

[ELW180601U] vRealize Suite - Getting Started Workshop

Walk through the integration points of the vRealize Suite, including vRealize Operations, vRealize Automation, vRealize Business for Cloud, and Log Insight. The vRealize Code Stream Management Pack demonstrates how to keep multiple environments synchronized. These powerful individual components work even better together, with less time, cost, and effort.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

[MGT1733BU] Scaling and Extending vROps for the Enterprise

In the first half of this two-part session, John Yaralian will focus on understanding the new VMware vRealize Operations scale capabilities and discuss best practices of deploying and maintaining vRealize Operations in your largest environments. In the second half, Rob Frohnapfel will discuss how to extend the services and features of your highly-scalable vRops deployment to deliver tangible business results.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

[MGT2426BU] Alliant Credit Union Cashes in on True Database Visibility in vRealize Operations

When there is a problem with your application or your production database, where does the blame fall? Do your VMs need more memory? What about CPU? Many teams spend too much time trying to figure out if the virtual infrastructure is the real problem or not. See how Alliant Credit Union uses vRealize Operations to immediately identify the true bottleneck of any critical database issues.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

[ELW180102U] vRealize Suite Standard - Automated and Proactive Management Workshop

vRealize Operations works in conjunction with vSphere to automatically balance workloads between hosts both within and across clusters to alleviate existing or predicted resource contention. Also learn about the vRealize Operations action functionality that allows alert-driven automated remediation of problems.

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

[MGT2323GU] Experience the Value of vRealize Log Insight Content Packs

Hear from VMware product management, R&D, systems engineers, and existing customers to discuss the purpose of content packs for vRealize Log Insight. We will share best practices, success stories, benefits, use cases, and opportunities to create new content packs and/or to refresh existing ones.

 

 

— Wednesday, Aug 30 —

When, type Session ID Description
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

[MGT1568BU] Case Study: Altisource and VMware—v (We) Realize Business for Cloud Together!

Sumanth Kumar G from Altisource and Jeevan Prabhu from VMware collectively believe it is only when a profound customer such as Altisource brings forward its enterprise-level key business use cases that we get an opportunity to level up the credence by several notches for the solution we provide and “engineer” customer delight!

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

[MGT2508BU] Achieve Troubleshooting Mastery with vRealize Suite (or intelligent operations)

VMware vRealize Operations Manager can now help you more quickly determine the root cause of the problem. In this talk, we will walk you through a few common problems that our customers see constantly. You will also learn how they pinpoint and investigate those problems using the new vRealize Operations Manager intuitive user interface.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

[MGT1218PU]Real World IT Gurus Share Their Perspective on Operations Management for the Multicloud Era

As organizations adopt software-defined data center and multicloud strategies, they need to rethink how to manage data centers. Progressive IT organizations become like service providers, striving to accelerate service delivery while maintaining control and reducing costs. Join this interactive discussion as four VMware customers present their experiences, discuss tools and processes they&#rsquo;ve implemented, and share results.

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

[MGT1217BU] Intelligent Operations Management from Infra to Applications and Across the Software-Defined Data Center

Learn what’s new with emphasis on vRealize Operations. Learn about the latest innovations in performance management, capacity planning and optimization, workload balancing and predictive DRS, log data analysis, and cost transparency. Join this session to see how vRealize Suite Standard can empower you to manage infrastructure and applications across any cloud.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

[MGT2231BU] How VMware implemented the Self-healing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline using vRealize Suite

In this session we will explain the implementation of the self-healing CI/CD pipeline and automation using vRealize Suite products. This solution leverages vRealize Code Stream to orchestrate the pipeline, vRealize Automation to deploy the test beds, vRealize Operations to monitor the test beds and vRealize Log Insight(vRLI) to analyze the pipeline failures. The session will focus on detection of pipeline failures and automated remediation through the self-healing solution.

 

— Thursday, Aug 31 —

When, type Session ID Description
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

[ELW180102U] vRealize Suite Standard - Automated and Proactive Management Workshop

vRealize Operations works in conjunction with vSphere to automatically balance workloads between hosts both within and across clusters to alleviate existing or predicted resource contention. Also learn about the vRealize Operations action functionality that allows alert-driven automated remediation of problems.

10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

[MTE4743U]Trend Everything in vRealize Log Insight with Jim McMahon II

Join Jim for a roundtable discussion using VMware vRealize Log Insight to identify Service Delivery trends empowering Enterprises to focus resources where their needed such as additional development on vRealize Automation catalog items or proactively identifying missed SLAs in vSphere Replication. It&#rsquo;s not just for capturing errors anymore.

12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

[MTE4735U] Data-driven capacity planning across clouds with vRealize Business for Cloud

Understand the cost and consumption or utilization of clouds, communicate the data with the consumers through showback, helping them operate within the budget, and plan hardware procurement and public cloud spend better. Also, learn how, through “what-if analysis”, you can identify which applications are good candidates to move to VMware Cloud on AWS.

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

[MGT2338BU] The Happy Nomadic VM: A vRealize Story

This session will follow the happy nomadic life of a virtual machine (VM) hosting a business-critical application. We will watch as VMware vRealize helps bring the VM into the virtual world, and it is given a safe home. We will discuss how it is automatically moved around the software-defined data center to different hosts, clusters, and datastores.

 

 

 

So, go ahead and register in advance!

 

 

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August 16th Webinar: Upgrading to vRealize Operations 6.6

Are you ready to upgrade to vRealize Operations 6.6? There is a lot of excitement around the new HTML5 interface, Workload Placement improvements, new dashboard content, integration with Log Insight and vRealize Business for Cloud and much more. vRealize Operations 6.6 is one of our biggest and most exciting upgrades and you do not want to miss out.

On August 16th, we will be hosting another &#rsquo;Getting More out of VMware vRealize&#rdquo; webinar. The session builds on our previous sessions around intelligent operations, and will specifically guide you through all the issues around upgrading to vRealize Operations 6.6.

Register here, or read for more details!

Learn How-To&#rsquo;s, Need-to-Know&#rsquo;s and How Things Work

The best part of upgrading is how fast and easy it is to perform the upgrade. If you are unsure about upgrading, come learn how the process has been improved and simplified.

Upgrading is a great start. But, to take advantage of all the new capabilities with vRealize Operations 6.6 you will want to know the details on using new and improved features. So, in addition to covering upgrade details, in this &#rsquo;Getting More&#rdquo; session you will learn about:

  • Configuring Workload Placement
  • Integrated vSAN Management
  • vRB and LI Integration with vIDM
  • Deploying the SDDC Management Pack
  • Setting up Compliance for vSphere, PCI, HIPAA

 

Even if you are a new customer of vRealize Operations, these topics will be of interest to help you &#rsquo;Get More&#rdquo; out of vRealize Operations 6.6 in your environment.

Also, learn about our new vRealize Operations Certification Badge and how you can earn this badge to show off your &#rsquo;vROps Ninja&#rdquo; skills.

 

Live Q&A in the End: Bring your Questions!

The webinar will conclude with an open live Q&A with our specialists who will be on hand to answer your questions through chat.

The post August 16th Webinar: Upgrading to vRealize Operations 6.6 appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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PCI-DSS & HIPAA compliance with vRealize Operations

Hardening and Compliance for vSphere

For some time now vRealize Operations has been able to check the vSphere environment against VMware&#rsquo;s vSphere Hardening Guidelines – vRealize Operations vSphere Hardening.

 

More and more organizations have the need to meet certain regulatory requirements, namely PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and others. With the recent release of vRealize Operations 6.6 VMware has also introduced PCI-DSS and HIPAA compliance for vSphere. This is available to clients with vRealize Operations Advanced edition and higher.

 

 

Download and Install the Management Packs for PCI-DSS and HIPAA

Lets start by where you need to go to get this content. Simply go to VMware&#rsquo;s MarketPlace (also known as VMware Solution Exchange) https://marketplace.vmware.com. A simple search on PCI-DSS or HIPAA will get you to the vRealize Operations Management Packs.

 

Install the Management Pack(s) you desire. This is done in the ADMINISTRATION page under SOLUTIONS

 

Enable PCI-DSS and HIPAA compliance for vSphere

Now that the solution management packs are installed simply make sure they are turned on. This is done in the policy by enabling the alerts. Go to step 6 in the policy, and do two searches, the first for PCI DSS and the second for HIPAA

Change the STATE column from &#rsquo;Inherited Blocked&#rdquo; to &#rsquo;Local Enabled&#rdquo; to enable the alerts (essentially enabling the compliance checking)

 

Leveraging the vSphere Hardening Compliance dashboard you will now be able to see any alerts related to PCI DSS and HIPAA in addition to the already available (if turned on) vSphere compliance alerts.

 

 

Object Level View

From here you can also drill into an object check on it’s compliance posture!

 

 

Reports

After installing these solutions Management Packs you will notice that each has installed a compliance report. One for PCI-DSS and the second for HIPAA. This is a great way to check on your compliance posture and make sure that you are trending upwards with time (getting to PCI and HIPAA compliance doesn&#rsquo;t happen over night). Here’s a report snippet below.

 

 

 

vRealize Operations Current Standards Coverage

  • vSphere Hardening Guidelines for 5.5
  • vSphere Hardening Guidelines for 6.0
  • PCI DSS 3.2 for vSphere (as of July 2017 – download the management pack)
  • HIPAA for vSphere (as of July 2017 – download the management pack)
  • vSphere Hardening Guidelines for 6.5 (Management Pack is Planned, but I can’t provide any dates - sorry)

 

 

Summary

Want to harden your vSphere environment? Do you need to adhere to PCI-DSS or HIPAA regulatory requirements for your vSphere environment? Visit the VMware market place today! https://marketplace.vmware.com

 

 

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Manage Capacity and Utilization with vRealize Operations 6.6 Dashboards

I hope you enjoyed my last post around running production operations with out of the box dashboards with vRealize Operations Manager 6.6. While that post was focused on providing you a visibility into your environments, with this post we will drill down into the specific topic of Capacity Management in a Cloud Environment.

While I have worked with most of the roles within an IT organization, I believe the most trivial role is of person managing Capacity of a virtual environment. This role requires one to be on their feet at all the times to ensure they are able to get answers to complex problems that revolve around capacity managment. I tend to divide these complex problems into 5 simple categories:

 

1- How much Capacity do I have?

2- How is it being utilized?

3- How much Capacity is left?

4- When will I run out of Capacity?, and

5- When do I need to trigger the next purchase?

 

While the above questions sound simple, when you apply them to a Software Defined Datacenter, they become extremely complex. The complexity is primarily due to the fact that you are sharing physical resources using the hypervisor between multiple operating systems and applications riding on top of virtual machines. While the focus seems to be capacity, another major dimension which one needs to tak care of is Performance. The above mentioned role is also responsible for ensuring that all the virtual machines which are running in this environment are being Served Well. It is essential that the Capacity owner strikes a balance between Performance and Capacity which makes this problem harder to solve.

WithvRealize Operations 6.6we try to answer these questions with the use of out-of-the box dashboards. It was important that all this valuable IP was easily accessible through a centralized console which acts as an anchor for user of vRealize Operations Manager. In order to achieve this, we introuduced a“Getting Started”dashboard which would step you through some useful categories and use cases.

 

Today we will have a look at the second category which is calledCapacity and Utilization. Here is how this categoryshows up on the Getting Started Page:

As mentioned before, Capacity and Utilization category caters to the teams responsible for tracking the utilization of the provisioned capacity in there virtual infrastructure. The dashboards within this category allow you to take capacity procurement decisions, reduce wastage through reclamation, and track usage trends to avoid performance problems due to capacity shortfalls.

Key questions these dashboards help you answer are :

  • How much capacity I have, how much is used and what are the usage trends for a specific vCenter, datacenter or cluster?
  • How much Disk, vCPU or Memory I can reclaim from large VMs in my environment to reduce wastage & improve performance?
  • Which clusters have the highest resource demands?
  • Which hosts are being heavily utilized and why?
  • Which datastores are running out of disk space and who are the top consumers?
  • How is the storage capacity & utilization of my vSAN environment along with savings achieved by enabling deduplication and compression?

 

Let us look at each of these dashboard and I will provide a summary of what these dashboards can do for you along with a quick view of the dashboard:

 

Capacity Overview

The Capacity Overview Dashboard provides you a summary of the total physical capacity available across all your environments being monitored by vRealize Operations Manager. The dashboard provides a summary of CPU, Memory and Storage Capacity provisioned along with the resource reclamation opportunities available in those environments.

Since capacity decisions are mostly tied to logical resource groups, this dashboard allow you to assess Capacity and Utilization at each resource group level such as vCenter, Datacenter, Custom Datacenter or vSphere Cluster. You can quickly select an object and view it’s total capacity and used capacity to understand the current capacity situation. Capacity planning requires you to have visibility into the historical trends and future forecasts, hence the trend views within the dashboard provide you this information to predict how soon you will run out of capacity.

If you plan to report the current capacity situation to others within your organization, you can simply expand the Cluster Capacity Details view on this dashboard and export this as a report for sharing purposes.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

Capacity Reclaimable

The Capacity Reclaimable Dashboard provides you a quick view of resource reclamation opportunities within your virtual infrastructure. This dashboard is focused on improving the efficiency of your environment by reducing the wastage of resources. While this wastage is usually caused by idle or powered off virtual machines another biggest contributor to this wastage is oversized virtual machines.

This dashboard allows you to select an environment and quickly view the amount of capacity which can be reclaimed from the environment in form of reclaimable CPU, Memory and Disk Space.

You can start with the view which lists down all the virtual machines running on old snapshots or are powered off. These VMs provide you the opportunity of reclaiming storage by deleting the old snapshots on them or by deleting the unwanted virtual machines. You can take these action right from this view by using the actions framework available within vRealize Operations Manager.

The dashboard provides you recommended best practices around reclaiming CPU and Memory from large virtual machines in your environment. Since large and oversized virtual machines can increase contention between VMs, you can use the phased approach of using aggressive or conservative reclamation techniques to right size your virtual machines.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

vSAN Capacity Overview

The vSAN Capacity Overview dashboard provides an overview of vSAN storage capacity along with savings achieved by enabling dedupe and compression across all your vSAN clusters.

The dashboard allows you to answer key questions around capacity management such as total provisioned capacity, current and historical utilization trends and future procurement requirements. You can view things like capacity remaining, time remaining and storage reclamation opportunities to take effective capacity management decisions.

The dashboard also focuses on how vSAN is using the disk capacity by showing you a distribution of utilization amongst vSAN disks. You can view these details either as an aggregate or at individual cluster level.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

Datastore Utilization

The Datastore Utilization dashboard is a quick and easy way to identify storage provisioning and utilization patterns in a virtual infrastructure. It is a best practice to have standard datastore sizes to ensure you can easily manage storage in your virtual environments. The heatmap on this dashboard plots each and every datastore monitored by vRealize Operations Manager and groups them by clusters.

The utilization pattern of these datastores is depicted by colors, where grey represent an underutilized datastore, red represents a datastore running out of disk space and green represents an optimally used datastore.

By selecting a datastore, you can see the past utilization trend and forecasted usage. The view within the dashboard will list all the virtual machines running on the selected datastore and provide you with the opportunity to reclaim storage used by large virtual machines snapshots or powered off VMs.

You can use the vRealize Operations Manager action framework to quickly reclaim resources by deleting the snapshots or unwanted powered off VMs.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

Cluster Utilization

The Cluster Utilization dashboard allows you to identify the vSphere clusters that are being heavily consumed from a CPU, memory, disk, and network perspective. High or unexpected resource usage on clusters may result in performance bottlenecks. Using this dashboard you can quickly identify the clusters which are struggling to keep up with the virtual machine demand.

On selecting a cluster with high CPU, Memory, Disk or Network demand, the dashboard provides you with the list of ESXi hosts that are participating in the given cluster. If you notice imbalance between how the hosts within the selected clusters are being used, you might have an opportunity to balance the hosts by moving virtual machines within the cluster.

In situations where the cluster demand has been historically chronic virtual machines should be moved out of these clusters to avoid potential performance issues using Workload Balance. If such patterns are observed on all the clusters in a given environment, it indicates that new capacity might be required to cater to the increase in demand.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

Heavy Hitter VMs

The Heavy Hitter VMs dashboard helps you identify virtual machines which are consistently consuming high amount of resources from your virtual infrastructure. In heavily overprovisioned environments, this might create resource bottlenecks resulting in potential performance issues.

With the use of this dashboard you can easily identify the resource utilization trends of each of your vSphere clusters. Along with the utilization trends, you are also provided with a list of Virtual Machines within those clusters based on their resource demands from CPU, Memory, Disk and Network within your environment. The views also analyze the workload pattern of these VMs over the past week to identify heavy hitter VMs which might be running a sustained heavy workload (measured over a day), or bursty workloads (measure using peak demand).

You can export the list of offenders using these views and take appropriate actions to distribute this demand and reduce potential bottlenecks.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

Host Utilization

The Host Utilization dashboard allows you to identify the hosts that are being heavily consumed from a CPU, memory, disk, and network perspective. High or unexpected resource usage on hosts may result in performance bottlenecks. Using this dashboard you can quickly identify the hosts which are struggling to keep up with the virtual machine demand. The dashboard also provides you with the list of top 10 virtual machines to easily identify the source of this unexpected demand and take appropriate actions.

Since the demand of resources fluctuates over a period of time, the dashboard allows you to look at demand patterns over the last 24 hours to identify hosts which might have a chronic history of high demand. If such cases virtual machines should be moved out of these hosts to avoid potential performance issues. If such patterns are observed on all the hosts of a given cluster, it indicates that new capacity might be required to cater to the increase in demand.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

VM Utilization

The VM Utilization Dashboard helps the VI Administrator to capture the utilization trends of any virtual machine in their environment. The primary use case is to list down the key properties of a virtual machine and the resource utilization trends for a specific time period and share the same with the VM/Application owners.

The VM/Application owners often want to look at the resource utilization trends at specific time periods where they are expecting high load on applications. Activities like, batch jobs, backup schedules, load testing etc. could be a few examples. The application owners want to ensure that VMs are not consuming 100% of the provisioned resources during these periods as that could lead to resource contention within applications causing performance issues.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

Hope this post will give you insights on how each of these dashboards can help you manage capacity and performance and ensure that you have answer to those difficult questions at the back of you hand. Stay tuned for more information on other categories.

 

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Introducing “Operations” Dashboards in vRealize Operations 6.6

Now that you have a sneak preview of the launch of vRealize Operations 6.6, it is time that we unwrap the goodies and take you through the new features in detail. One of my favorite areas of vRealize Operations Manager is Dashboards. A dashboard for me is like an empty canvas which allows you to paint the picture of what is most important to you, when it comes to managing day to day IT operations. Whether you are a help desk engineer, or a CIO, to be successful in your role, you need quick access to meaningful information. While their are numerous tools which will provide you data, the art of filtering down that data into information is what matters when it comes to decision making.

Dashboards being an empty slate, allows you to do so in a quick and efficient manner. This enhanced capability allowed us to create multiple out of the box categories matching the various persona of users in an IT organization. This resulted in a set of out-of-the-box dashboards which will help provide you a jump start into running product operations from Day 1. These dashboards are battle tested in large IT organizations and now are a part of vRealize Operations Manager 6.6.

It was important that all this valuable IP was easily accessible through a centralized console which acts as an anchor for user of vRealize Operations Manager. In order to achieve this, we introuduced a “Getting Started” dashboard which would step you through some useful categories and use cases.

 

Today we will have a look at the first category which is called Operations. Here is how operations shows up on the Getting Started Page:

 

The Operations category is most suitable for roles within an organization who require a summary of important data points to take quick decisions. This could be a member of a NOC team who wants to quickly identify issues and take actions, or executives who want a quick overview of their environments to keep a track of important KPIs.

 

Key questions these dashboards help you answer are :

  • What does the infrastructure inventory look like?
  • What is the alert volume trend in the environment?
  • Are virtual machines being served well?
  • Are there hot-spots in the datacenter I need to worry about?
  • What does the vSAN environment look like and are their optimization opportunities by migrating VMs to vSAN?

 

Let us look at each of these dashboard and I will provide a summary of what these dashboards can do for you along with a quick view of the dashboard.

Datastore Usage Overview

The Datastore Usage Dashboard is suitable for a NOC environment. The dashboard provides a quick glimpse of all the virtual machines in your environment using a heatmap. Each virtual machine is represented by a box on the heatmap. Using this dashboard, a NOC administrator can quickly identify virtual machines which are generating high IOPS since the boxes representing the virtual machine are sized by the number of IOPS they are generating.

Along with the storage demand, the color of the boxes represents the latency experienced by these virtual machines from the underlying storage. A NOC administrator can take the next steps in his investigation to find the root cause of this latency and resolve it to avoid potential performance issues.

To see this dashboard in action click here

 

Host Usage Overview

The Host Usage Dashboard is suitable for a NOC environment. The dashboard provides a quick glimpse of all the ESXi hosts in your environment using a heatmap. Using this dashboard the NOC administrator can easily find resource bottlenecks in your environment created due to high Memory Demand, Memory Consumption or CPU Demand.

Since the hosts in the heatmap are grouped by clusters, you can easily find out if you have clusters with high CPU or Memory Load. It can also help you to identify if you have ESXi hosts with the clusters which are not evenly utilized and hence an admin can trigger activities such as workload balance or enable DRS to ensure that hotspots are eliminated.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

Operations Overview

The Operations Overview dashboard provides a high level view of objects which make up you virtual environment. It provides you an aggregate view of virtual machine growth trends across your different datacenters being monitored by vRealize Operations Manager.

The dashboard also provides a list of all your datacenters along with inventory information about how many clusters, hosts and virtual machines you are running in each of your datacenters. By selecting a particular datacenter you can zoom into the areas of availability and performance. The dashboard provides a trend of known issues in each of your datacenters based on the alerts which have triggered in the past.

Along with the overall health of your environment, the dashboard also allows you to zoom in at the Virtual Machine level and list out the top 15 virtual machines in the selected datacenter which might be contending for resources.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here



Optimize vSAN Deployments

The Optimize vSAN deployments dashboard is an easy way to device a migration strategy to move virtual machines from your existing storage to your newly deployed vSAN storage. The dashboard provides you with an ability to select your non vSAN datastores which might be struggling to serve the virtual machine IO demand. By selecting the VMs on a given datastore, you can easily identify the historical IO demand and latency trends of a given virtual machine.

You can then find a suitable vSAN datastore which has the space and the performance characteristics to serve the demand of this VM. With a simple move operation within vRealize Operations Manager, you can move the virtual machine from the existing non vSAN datastore to the vSAN datastore.

Once the VM is moved, you can continue to watch the utilization patterns to see how the VM is being served by vSAN.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here


vSAN Operations Overview

The vSAN Operations Overview Dashboard provides an aggregated view of health and performance of your vSAN clusters. While you can get a holistic view of your vSAN environment and what components make up that environment, you can also see the growth trend of virtual machines which are being served by vSAN.

The goal of this dashboard is to help understand the utilization and performance patterns for each of your vSAN clusters by simply selecting one from the provided list. VSAN properties such as Hybrid or All Flash, Dedupe & Compression or a Stretched vSAN cluster can be easily tracked through this dashboard.

Along with the current state, the dashboard also provides you a historic view of performance, utilization, growth trends and events related to vSAN.

To see this dashboard in actionclick here

 

Hope this post will give you insights on how each of these dashboards can help you run smoother operations and ensure that you have answer to those difficult questions at the back of you hand. Stay tuned for more information on other categories.

 

The post Introducing “Operations” Dashboards in vRealize Operations 6.6 appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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July 19th: Getting More Out of vRealize to Monitor Multiple Clouds

Be the multiple clouds hero and manage your entire IT infrastructure proactively. We are continuing our “Getting More Out of VMware vRealize” series with this special webinar on July 19th!

How often does your team run into storage issues, slow applications, network latency or growing multi-clouds? To ensure that your infrastructure platform is available when developers need it, join this special webinar on July 19 and learn how to manage operations across physical, virtual, and multiple cloudsenvironments so you can respond quickly to performance and management issues.

Why Should You Attend?

  • You want to do your job well, which is serving your end-users. Your goal is to ensure the IaaS platform delivers the SLA levels of performance and availability that you promise
  • You need to troubleshoot fast, and see problems before they become serious
  • If you cannot troubleshoot the root cause, at least you need to prove that it is not caused by your IaaS platform
  • Your IaaS platform is healthy, your storage, network, server, hypervisors are all doing well. However, storage is not working and it is impacting your CEO desktop. You want to see all. How each IT resource performs, and how is related to one another.

Join this specialwebinar “Get More Out of VMware: Improve Your Skills From Monitoring Virtual Machines to Multi-Clouds. Be the Hero!”

Date: July 19th 2017

Duration: 90 minutes

Time: 9:30 am PST

Audience: IT Admins, Operations and Capacity teams

What Will You Learn?

  • Proactive performance monitoring, alert management and predictive analytics
  • Cross-cloud visibility spanning heterogeneous on-premises and public cloud resource consumption
  • Accurate, timely cloud cost and capacity management, modeling, and forecasting
  • Automated workload balancing to proactively optimize application and infrastructure performance
  • Native operations management for hyper-converge infrastructure solutions powered by VMware VSAN
  • Moreover, learn best practices to upgrade your existing vSphere licenses as well as getting ready to manage multi-clouds

Be the hero for multi-clouds and present these new capabilities to your team. Our subject matter experts will be on hand to answer your questions during the webinar. Look forward to speaking with you soon!

The post July 19th: Getting More Out of vRealize to Monitor Multiple Clouds appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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How to configure Auto-Scaling for Private Cloud

Purpose:

Have you checked the auto-scaling feature provided in public cloud solutions like AWS and Azure and wished to get the same feature in your private cloud environment? Do you have an existing private cloud environment or building a new one and want to make it auto-scale enabled? This post covers this exact topic. It details what auto-scaling is and provides step by step guide on how you can build one using various VMware products.

Introduction:

In recent months, during my interactions with customers, one requirement came up pretty often than others. That is of auto-scaling. Seems majority of customers who deploy Private Cloud require auto-scaling in some or other formats. Since out of the box vRealize Automation provides “Scale-Out” and “Scale-In” functions (albeit manual), these can be used in conjunction with other products to provide auto-scaling functionality. I had to configure this feature for multiple customers, so thought of writing a blog post detailing the steps. Readers can follow the blog to do it themselves. Also, auto-scaling is very dynamic in nature. Typically auto-scaling parameter requirement changes from environment to environment. Keeping that mind I have explained the steps involved so that you can customize it as per your need.

Required prior knowledge:

Though you can simply import the package in vRealize Orchestrator and follow the guide to configure other products, having a knowledge of the following will help you further configure it.

  • Working knowledge of vRealize Orchestrator
  • If you want to customize the workflows, then you need to know a bit of JavaScript
  • For configuration of Webhook Shims, basic knowledge of Linux will help (though not strictly required, John Dias did an amazing job providing step by step guide).
  • Familiarity with vRealize Operations Manager will help
  • Working knowledge of vRealize Automation is required
  • If you want to replicate my example of multi-tier application with application installation at runtime. Then you need to know NSX usage and advanced configuration of blueprints in vRealize Automation.

If you are using vRealize Automation 7.2 and prior, then this blog post on NSX integration with vRA will help. Integration method has changed in 7.3 and it is simplified a lot. Check the VMware documentation on how it is done in vRA 7.3.

On how to configure Software components you can check my earlier blog post here.

Acknowledgement:

Before I start writing this blog I need to say thanks to few people. Though I demonstrated this feature (with PowerCLI and vCenter) 2 years back to a customer, it was never a true auto-scaling solution. So, here it goes:

  • First and loudest thanks toCarsten Schaefer for com.vmware.pso.cemea.autoscaling package. It had the main “Scale Up Blueprint Layer based on VM MOID” and “Scale Down Blueprint Layer based on VM MOID”. All my other works are based on these two core workflows. These two workflows do the actual task. So thanks a lot mate for your hard work and help.
  • Thanks to Vishal Jain, Diwan Chandrabose, Ajay Kalla and team for the Load balancer handling script. Normally when an alert is fired, it is based on a VM. But when network load comes from Load-Balancer and it fires an alert, we get the load balancer name. The script co-relating the load balancer to the corresponding virtual machine is written by the team. They showed how we can use NSX and vROps integration to handle load balancer parameters. Thanks a lot guys for this.
  • Last but not least Vinith Menon, I was wondering how I would put a load on the test website. I was thinking of using JMeter. But it was too much to just put HTTP requests on a web page. Your one liner is absolutely fantastic and time saver for me. Thanks a lot brother for that.

My friend Vinith Menon also have written a blog post on auto-scaling. You can check it here.

Where to get the package for auto-scaling?

I have created a single vRealize Orchestrator package containing all the workflows, SNMP Policy and Action items. Download the package from the GitHub repository(https://github.com/sajaldebnath/auto-scaling-vra) and import it into vRealize Orchestrator server. Rest of the details are provided in the rest of the blog post.

What is included in the package?

The following workflows are included in the package:

  • Scale Down Blueprint Layer based on VM MOID
  • Scale Up Blueprint Layer based on VM MOID
  • Scale Down vRA Deployment based on LB Load - SNMP
  • Scale Up vRA Deployment based on LB Load - SNMP
  • Scale Down vRA Deployment based on CPU-Mem Load - vROps REST Notification
  • Scale Up vRA Deployment based on CPU-Mem Load - vROps REST Notification
  • Scale Down vRA Deployment based on LB Load - vROps REST Notification
  • Scale Up vRA Deployment based on LB Load - vROps REST Notification

The helper workflows are:

  • Count VMs in Layer
  • Get VM Name from vROps REST Notification
  • JSON Invoke a REST operation
  • Submitto vRA

The action items are:

  • getCatalogResourceForIaasVmEntity
  • findObjectById
  • getVirtualMachineProperties

The included SNMP policy is:

  • vROPS SNMP Trap for NSX

Note, the first two workflows are core workflows (written by Carsten) all other workflows depends on these two to get the work done. If you are not using Webhook Shims, then you do not need to configure workflows which endds with “vROps REST Notification”. Also, for SNMP, you do not need to configure “Get VM Name from vROps REST Notification” and “JSON Invoke a REST operation” workflows. Alternately, if you are not going to use SNMP traps, then you do not need to configure the SNMP policy.

Pre-Requisites:

Before you can run everything you need to have the environment ready. I used the following versions:

  • vRealize Automation 7.3
  • vCenter & vSphere 6.5
  • vRealize Operations 6.5
  • vRealize Orchestrator 7.3 (internal to vRA)
  • NSX 6.3
  • Webhook Shims

The workflows should work with other versions as well. You need to have these products installed, configured and integrated to follow the example end to end.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

You can use the steps detailed in the video to configure auto-scaling in your environment. This is an amazing feature. It will be a real help if you can test it out and let me know the outcome. Also, any further suggestions are welcome. I hope this helps you as it helped me. Do provide me feedbacks on this. Also, let me know if I missed something or you need further clarification.

 

The post How to configure Auto-Scaling for Private Cloud appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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vRealize Operations 6.6: “I’m too sexy for my skin!”

vRealize Operations 6.6 gets sleeker and sexier in it’s new skin!

On June 13, many of the vRealize Suite components (namely vRealize Operations (vR Ops), vRealize Log Insight (vRLI), and vRealize Business for Cloud (vRBC) had an update GA release. With this latest release of vR Ops a big focus has been on “simplifying the user experience” and “quicker time to value”. We really want to simplify the lives of “Anita” the VI Admin, “Brian” the Infrastructure and Operations Admin, “Ethan” the Fire Fighter.

The slick new HTML 5 UI is based on the Clarity Design System. Upon login to vR Ops you will see the following screen. You will notice that in the left-hand pane we have single-click links to commonly used environment overview dashboards, including Workload Balancing, as well as bringing Log Analytics, and Business and Cost Insights all into one place - vR Ops.

 

 

See the FULL picture!

While we’re here let us first take a quick peek at bringing together Log Analytics with vR Ops. We commonly refer to this as “360 degree troubleshooting” as you are able to troubleshoot across structured and unstructured data in one place.

 

See the BIG picture!

Secondly, take a look at how Cloud Costing and vR Ops come together. Imagine being able to do things like capacity management or forecasting and being able to see the cost associated with these activities, or looking at reclaiming capacity and being able to associate a dollar figure to the potential cost (and resource) savings.

 

BALANCE your life, yes you “Anita”, “Brian” and “Ethan”!

WOW, how about the enhanced Workload Balancing? Validate and modify DRS settings; Rebalance unbalanced Data Centers or Custom Data Centers, and Automate!

 

Persona-Based Content

Let’s head over to the DASHBOARD page. Start with the “Getting Started” dashboard. This is a Persona-Based dashboard that allows the user to look at five different categories of dashboards and very quick open any of them from there. These categories are: Operations, Capacity & Utilization, Performance Troubleshooting, Workload Balance, and Configuration & Compliance. Included in there are also vSAN dashboards as well as vRealize Automation (vRA) dashboards. In this release both vSAN and vRA are natively supported, so anyone using vSAN or vRA can quickly take advantage of this native support.

 

Resolve Issues Faster

What about Alerting? You can now slice-and-dice alerts any which way you want to help you accelerate resolving alerts and fixing issues faster.

 

Secure the Software Defined Data Center

So what about securing the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)? Well, that’s really important! You can now install - out of band - PCI DSS and HIPAA compliance content for the vSphere environment. This helps organizations with regulatory requirements improve their compliance posture.

 

Summary

vRealize Operations 6.6 has made some incredible improvements inspired by many of you out there that continue to challenge VMware and the Cloud Management Business Unit to do better! Thank you! Simplification; quicker time to value; persona-based dashboards and troubleshooting flows; enhanced fully automatable workload balancing; improved alerting to resolve issues quicker, and better securing the SDDC, are just scratching the surface of what vRealize Operations and vRealize Suite can help you with. I hope you enjoy this release!

 

Download and Try vRealize Operations 6.6 here!

The post vRealize Operations 6.6: “I’m too sexy for my skin!” appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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VMware vRealize Updates Bring Opportunities

VMware&#rsquo;s recent product updates make it easier to accelerate your customers&#rsquo; digital transformation by modernizing their existing data center environment and simplifying management of heterogeneous, multi-vendor cloud environments. Theupdated VMwarevRealize® Cloud Management Platform brings opportunity by enabling customers to manage and provision at scale – with compute, network, storage and application services across multi cloud environments.

What&#rsquo;s improved with vRealize Cloud Management for customers and partners?

  • Faster time-to-implementation and lower total cost of ownership of cloud
  • Partners are eligible for the front-end discounts up to 30%, plus a 5% back-end rebate

How can I engage my customers?

IDC predicts that by 2018, 98% of Enterprises will be operating both private and public clouds. This would accelerate an increasing need for a multi cloud management solution. Start the conversation around the following three common customer use cases and illustrating key updates:

Intelligent Operations

  • Automated, Proactive Performance Management for workload balancing across clusters and data stores based on business needs
  • 360 Troubleshooting for faster root-cause analysis
  • Enhanced Insights to improve forecasting and accelerate cloud planning
  • Increased Support for VMware vSAN™ Operations, Ease of Use Enhancements, Improved Cross Cloud Networking and Security Management, and much more

Automate IT

  • Increased support for VMware NSX® Day Two Actions for load balancing, networking and security functions
  • Automated, Proactive Workload Placement to improve placement decision making for provisioning new virtual machines

DevOps-Ready IT

  • Container Management Enhancements including support for vSphere Integrated ContainersTM and Docker
  • Configuration Management Framework for integration with tools such as Puppet, Chef, Salt, and Ansible
  • DBaaS Enhancements to easily clone server databases and make them catalog items
  • Enhanced Microsoft Azure support to enable deployment and management of application and middleware services

For more details on what is new and improved with vRealize, listen to the “Learn about the new vRealize releases in Q2” vmLIVE session. You will hear from VMware Cloud Management leaders and subject matter experts on strategy updates, new releases, and to see demos of the new functionality.

Also, be sure to visit the Launch Resource Center for more information on product updates, partner benefits and incentives on growing your cloud management practice

The post VMware vRealize Updates Bring Opportunities appeared first on Power of Partnership.

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Automated Workload Balance

Welcome to your lights-out datacenter! With vRealize Operation 6.6 automated workload balance is easier and more controllable than ever. This latest release of vRealize Operation gives you the ability to balance workloads across clusters and datastores, simple controls to govern how much balance you want based on your business needs, three ways to activate it (automated, scheduled or manual), and a powerful dashboard from which you can view and regulate everything related to balance.

Why is workload balance so important?

Workload balance ensures all clusters have enough resources to avoid future contention. Contention is the bane of any VI/Cloud administrator, because it means applications and users are adversely affected. Do these questions sound like something you have faced in the past?

  • I don&#rsquo;t want to have a contention issue with my business critical applications. How do I ensure that clusters don&#rsquo;t get filled up beyond a target utilization level that will ensure there are enough resources for all?
  • If clusters and datastores get full, how can my team build confidence to move VMs around that will guarantee that the VMs and the applications get the resources they want?
  • Budget cuts are happening, I must ensure Windows and Oracle license costs are contained. Can I limit their movement to a few set of clusters that I pay for?

Workload balance attempts to prevent hot spots by intelligently spreading VMs across clusters and datastores. If a cluster is filled to the brim with VMs, any resource spike will cause contention in the cluster. However, if we balance the VMs across clusters, giving each cluster has a little bit of wiggle room, they can better handle with any sudden resource needs. Think of workload balance as an insurance policy against resource contention. Automating this process is KEY because it allows the system to automatically adjust when balance is needed, which means healthier applications, which means more time for you to concentrate on more strategic work and not application babysitting.

Wait a minute doesn&#rsquo;t DRS do that?

Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Storage DRS work to ensure balance and fight contention at the host level where as vRealize Operations workload balance does this at the cluster level. You can think of it like this, DRS is the best solution to automatically mitigate contention WITHIN the cluster and vRealize Operations is the best solution to automatically mitigate contention BETWEEN clusters. Together these create one tightly integrated cohesive solution working together to ensure your applications are always getting the resources they need.

How do other niche product move VMs?

Other products that claim to deal with contention will FIGHT with DRS causing a &#rsquo;ping-pong&#rdquo; affect. This happens when their product moves a VM into a host, but DRS quickly determines its not the RIGHT host for the workload and then moves it to an appropriate host. This causes the VM to be moved multiple times before it is properly placed. This is a waste of overhead and if the ping-ponging gets bad enough can actually CAUSE contention. To resolve this, these products have you turn off DRS all together leaving you without the benefits of DRS like host maintenancemode or affinity and anti-affinityrules or many others. Its like someone giving you a new pair of gloves and then asking you to cut your hands off. It just doesn’t make sense.

So how does automated workload balancework?

vRealize Operations workload balance runs at the datacenter level watches the CPU, memory and disk space across the different clusters therein. When it determines clusters are out of balance it steps in to provide its recommended balance plan highlighting which VMs should be moved to which clusters. It also provides a view of the resource utilization before and after the balance occurs so you can visualize the benefits. Again, this entire process can be automated and scheduled as we will see later to make it hands-free.

Once you accept the balance plan, vRealize Operations workload balance begins moving the VMs to their new cluster and allows DRS/SDRS to determine the proper host/datastore within the cluster in which to place the VMs. This mean no &#rsquo;ping-pong&#rdquo; affect. We also get the added benefit of leveraging the DRS processes that ensure VMs are running on the right hosts (e.g. HW Compatibility checks, HA & Admission control policies, Reservations, Shares and Limits).

How do you control balance?

vRealize Operations workload balance complete control over how evenly you want to spread your workloads across clusters. It provides two simple to use &#rsquo;knobs&#rdquo; that regulate how the balance process.

The first is the Balance Workloads slider which simply states how aggressively I want to pursue balance for a given datacenter. A setting of CONSERVATIVE means not worry about balance until one of the clusters starts to get too busy to handle the load. This might be something you would use in a very dynamic environment. On the other hand, the AGGRESSIVE setting tries to keep things as closely balanced as possible. Obviously, this later means more VMs will move, but will also mean the clusters will be better equipped to deal with any recourse spikes (remember this is an insurance policy again contention).

 

The Cluster Headroom setting allows you to control &#rsquo;how full is full&#rdquo; for the clusters and datastores. This allows you to set a percentage of free space you want kept available and ensures clusters have a resource buffer for CPU, memory and disk space for which you are comfortable. When a cluster breaches that Cluster Headroom barrier it is a good indicator that a rebalance may be needed.

When does workload balance take action?

There are three ways to engage the workload balance process and begin moving VMs manual, automated and scheduled.

The manual method can be run directly from one of the rebalance alerts which indicate a workload balance is needed based on your control settings for Balance Workloads and Cluster Headroom above. It can also be run from the Workload Balance dashboard which gives you a quick view of the current workload of each cluster so you can determine if a rebalance is desired.

Either way it&#rsquo;s simply click the REBALANCE button, review the balance plan and hit START to run it. Easy!

But running this process manually is old-school and in today&#rsquo;s datacenters we need to automate as much as possible. Workload balance in vRealize Operations can be automated on a datacenter basis by simply switching the Automate flag to &#rsquo;yes&#rdquo; in the policy. This means you can automate it in your test datacenter and not in production or visa-versa. This means the next time a rebalance alert is generated instead of you having to deal with it it&#rsquo;s sent to the automation framework of vRealize Operations and automatically remediated.

The third option is the best one yet in my opinion. Instead of manually inspecting your datacenter balance or waiting for an alert to fire and automatically fixing it (which could happen in the middle of a work day) why not create an ongoing rebalance schedule? vRealize Operations allows you to ensure balance across your clusters using a schedules process that can be run during your standard maintenance windows, which is when these types of actions should be taken. In a very dynamic datacenter you may want to do this once a week or once a month in a more static environment. You should of course still use the automated method as a backup in case its needed, but with the scheduled rebalance hopefully it never will be.

Everything in one place

Finally, vRealize Operations 6.6 provides you one place to go and do everything associated with balance. The new Workload Balance dashboard gives you the ability to view current cluster balance in each datacenter, access to the workload balance settings, the ability to set up a rebalance schedule, and the ability to run a rebalance action at any time. It&#rsquo;s your one-stop-shop for automated workload balance!

 

Try vRealize Operations 6.6 today and experience how automated workload balance can change your environment to a contention free lights-out datacenter! Stop babysitting your applications and free yourself up to start thinking about bigger more strategic activities in the workplace…or maybe take a well deserved vacation.

If you want to see it all working you can watch this Automated Workload Balance video.

The post Automated Workload Balance appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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