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Automate IT Sessions at VMworld 2017 Las Vegas

VMworld 2017 Las Vegasis only one week ahead! August 27-31 is going to be crazy in Las Vegas. The week will hold a lot of exciting news, a great number of new features and a slew of great talks and sessions. We are all geared up for “Automate IT” related events and activities. Here is the list you can’t missif you are keen to learn how to improve IT agility through Automate IT. It is time to register and mark your calendar in advance!

Monday, Aug 28

When,
Session ID
Description
11:00-12:00 [MMC3110PU] How IT Can Enable Businesses to Build Apps on AWS, Azure, and VMware Without Compromising on Costs and Security
Businesses today rely on IT organizations to deliver applications more quickly than ever. Learn how customersare balancing the need to help their lines of business build apps in the cloud while ensuring end-to-end visibility over public and private cloud infrastructure, costs, and security.
11:30-12:30 [MGT1761BU] Swisscom Modernizes Its Cloud for Enterprises with VMware
Four years ago, Swisscom started its cloud journey. As Switzerland&#rsquo;s largest service provider, it is dedicated to delivering it customers the latest technologies for their business. In 2016, this led to the decision to start the second-generation cloud solution based on the VMware vRealize Automation platform.
12:15-1:00

[MTE4731U] vRealize Cloud Automation with Naomi Sullivan
Ask Naomi Sullivan, Director of Product Management, about VMware cloud automation technologies. Discuss how vRealize Automation can help you streamline and standardize your infrastructure and applications provisioning, build a self-service IaaS portal, and ultimately increase the agility and shorten time-to-market.
2:30-3:30 [MGT3038GU] Get the Most Out of vRealize Automation: Embracing the vRealize Automation Ecosystem
The VMware vRealize Automation platform is designed with flexible architecture that enables customization and extensibility. Join the group discussion to learn about the latest plug-ins you can leverage. More excitingly, let us know what we should build next to expedite your infrastructure and application stack design.
5:30-6:30 [MGT2751PU] vRealize Automation Experts Panel: How to Win over App Developers and End Shadow IT
Learn how customersdeliver legacy and modern applications alike across distributed infrastructures and leverage some of the latest vRealize Automation capabilities to radically change how IT delivers these services.
5:30-6:30 [MGT3168GU] From Developer Laptop to Production: Managing Containers with vRealize Suite
Containers are all the rage for development teams. However, many IT teams are struggling to figure out the best way to move containers from developer laptop to production. This group discussion will look at how VMware vRealize Automation plus VMware vRealize Admiral can be used to solve this dilemma.

Tuesday, Aug 29

When, Session ID Description
11:30-12:30

[MGT3137SU]Multicloud is Eating the World. Join the Party!
The IT world of tomorrow will be multicloud, we know that much. But how do you automate, secure, and analyze your IT in that new world? In this roadmap-level deep technical session, VMware Cloud Management product teams will share their existing technology and near-term vision for the management solutions for the multi-cloud world! In an &#rsquo;American Idol&#rdquo; contest style, they will present several solutions covering a number of pain points and use cases
12:15-1:00

[MTE4731U] vRealize Cloud Automation with Naomi Sullivan
Ask Naomi Sullivan, Director of Product Management, about VMware cloud automation technologies. Discuss how vRealize Automation can help you streamline and standardize your infrastructure and applications provisioning, build a self-service IaaS portal, and ultimately increase the agility and shorten time-to-market.
1:00-2:00 [MGT2875BU]Manage, Govern, and Extend VMware Cloud on AWS with vRealize Automation
Join this breakout to discover how VMware vRealize Automation adds service authoring and delivery, governance, lifecycle management, and enterprise extensibility to your VMware Cloud on AWS service.

Wednesday, Aug 30

When,
Session ID
Description
9:15-10:00

[MTE4731U] vRealize Cloud Automation with Naomi Sullivan
Ask Naomi Sullivan, Director of Product Management, about VMware cloud automation technologies. Discuss how vRealize Automation can help you streamline and standardize your infrastructure and applications provisioning, build a self-service IaaS portal, and ultimately increase the agility and shorten time-to-market.
10:00-11:00 [MGT1776BU]vRealize Automation Solves the Container Onboarding Conundrum
Customers looking for a strategy for on-boarding Gen-3 apps (containers) without abandoning critical business processes finally have a solution to do so. Join this session to dig into this exciting new feature delivered by vRealize Automation and gain insight into the technical details of its integrated container management.
1:00-2:00 [MGT1799BU]Full-Stack Automation: Streamlining, Delivering, and Managing App-Centric IT
Executing on the SDDC is not limited to simply delivering best-in-class compute, network, and storage virtualization technologies, but also about execution of the vision. That vision—where dynamic infrastructure is wrapped around the unique requirements of every application—comes to life through the primary interface of the SDDC: the cloud management stack.
1:00-2:00 [MGT3166BU]A Simplified Approach to Lifecycle Management for vRealize Suite
Hear from some of our major customers&#rsquo; CIOs about the challenges they met, and the solutions they have put in place. Learn about VMware’s usage of our own DevOps to drive efficiencies into its own organization while improving products for our customers.
3:30-4:30 [LDT2590BU]Speed is now a Core Competency for Enterprises: VMware IT Framework to Leverage Emerging Tech and CNA Platforms to Accelerate Delivery Speed
Waves of technology advances are hitting enterprises faster than ever before. In this session, VMware IT shares a framework that they use to leverage new technologies to drive digital transformation.
4:00-5:00 [MGT2231BU]How VMware implemented the Self-healing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline using vRealize Suite
This session is all about how VMware devised a mechanism to detect CI/CD pipeline failures and automated remediation through a self-healing solution.

Thursday, Aug 31

When,
Session ID
Description
12:00-1:00 [MGT1847BU]What’s New with vRealize Automation 7.3
The newly released vRealize Automation 7.3 continues to enhance the integration with VMware software-defined data center and introduces increased support for containers and configuration management solutions to ease moving applications from dev-test to production. Join the session to learn more.
12:00-1:00 [PBO1437BU]Infrastructure Automation in VMware Cloud Foundation Using vRealize Automation
VMware Cloud Foundation offers the easiest way to deploy an SDDC. Adding vRealize Automation on top of Cloud Foundation allows customers to immediately derive the benefits of its day 2 operations automation. This session goes into details of vRealize Automation deployment and its integration with VMware Cloud Foundation workload domains.
12:00-1:00 [MGT1311BU]Deep Dive: VMware vRealize Automation and ServiceNow
VMware vRealize Automation and ServiceNow are commonplace in most enterprise data centers today. In this session, you’ll learn the differences between the common integrations and how they work together to unify your daily IT automations.

Again, please go ahead toregister now!Looking forward to seeing you all there, soon!

The post Automate IT Sessions at VMworld 2017 Las Vegas appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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Leveraging the Platform you Know, Realizing the Benefits of the Self-Healing Data Center

That pinnacle of IT operational perfection—the self-healing data center—may seema nearly unobtainable goal, but it&#rsquo;s more a reality today than ever. If we were to package the SHDC, you could say that in 2017 VMware released its next-gen version, with complete cloud management and operational intelligence now available for all software-defined infrastructure from a single, easy to use platform. But, of course, there&#rsquo;s more work to be done. Today our vRealize Operations 6.6 management platform delivers state of the art in what can be done, with solid platform extensibility for what still lies ahead.

Despite amazing advances throughout the industry in the past few years, IT shops still struggle with the sheer magnitude of administrative tasks demanded of them. And many enterprises still have at least a portion of their critical applications running on-premises; the data center is now a hub for all applications, whether the workloads are managed there all the time or not.

The self-healing data center promises a new day for the IT admin, finally freeing them to focus entirely on innovation, customer service and delivering amazing customer experiences. Automated remediation delivers fixes to most routine issues and shuffles workloads where there is outage to ensure business continuity. As Forrester recently stated, thanks to innovations from VMware, workload placement—once a major hit to IT&#rsquo;s time—is nearly a thing of the past.

Why does it matter? Because IT shops are still struggling greatly with administrative overload. While innovations from the software-defined data center to cloud have greatly streamlined enterprise operations, the enterprise itself continues to grow and continually add new apps to the mix. Witness containers, which were barely on the horizon less than 10 years ago: while it was once thought they might replace VM&#rsquo;s, it turns out VM&#rsquo;s are the most efficient way to deliver containers—which sometimes live for just minutes or hours—safely and reliably.

The foundation of any self-healing data center is the management control plane

This platform manages workload placement, automation and remediation based on policies rather than rules. vRealize Operations 6.X brought automated remediation and predictive distributed resource scheduling (pDRS), among other key functions, into the mix for today&#rsquo;s dynamic workloads. vRealize Operations today delivers all the ingredients for a self-healing data center in one platform: automation, lifecycle management, proactive alerting, predictive scheduling and a single but extensible point of control.

Ultimately, the fully automated, self-healing data center ought to be able to run even more efficiently than one run manually, but today that remains elusive, especially for shops running an amalgam of tools for data center, cloud and a variety of applications. In fact, a recent Forrester reportshows that IT still fights a lot of fires in capacity management. Yet interviews with VMware cloud management platform users show a 20% improvement in overall efficiency, a 75% reduction in unplanned downtime, and a 10% reduction in hardware costs.

Cloud Management - The Control Plane of the SDDC

Workload placement and optimization is a big factor in IT admin overhead

It&#rsquo;s easy to see why even smaller shops opt for solutions that automate that never-ending task. But without intelligent workload management—using a solution such as VMware that applies cost-benefit analysis to every workload based on policies set by IT—most solutions scurry workloads about without much thought as to benefit. Clearly a workload moved to run at less efficiency is not the goal, but without policy management workloads can move for a marginal upside that becomes less operationally efficient than keeping it where it is (see related post here).

With predictive DRS (distributed resource scheduler), workload placement is a step closer to fully automation. vRealize Operations 6.6 learns the behavior of apps to easily identify—and eventually anticipate—what is an anomaly, what is a problem, and what is normal for that app. To the extent that the admin is involved, what that means is incredible decision support—like having an assistant just bubble up the &#rsquo;net-net&#rdquo; in cases where intervention is required.

With an increasingly dynamic environment, platform extensibility ofanalytics and management to the broader datacenterinfrastructure and common enterprise applications arekey to performance and of course to offer customers the flexibility they expect. Our relationship with Blue Medora delivers great value here: their extensibility packs for vRealize Operations deliver functionality you can&#rsquo;t get from any other vendor.

And with vRealize Business for Cloud you gain cloud cost visibility, which helps determine which workloads could exist beneficially in public cloud infrastructure. Again a single platform is key here: any time third party add-ons are used there could be conflict and/or efficiency lost to tool alignment rather than ecosystem management.

That holy grail—a full night&#rsquo;s sleep thanks to a data center that runs itself—may still be in the future. VMware has the most mature offering out there and on-track to get you there sooner than anyone.

 

The post Leveraging the Platform you Know, Realizing the Benefits of the Self-Healing Data Center appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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Come and Participate in VMworld Design Studio!

Dear vRealize Operations Customers,

 

Would you like to help define the next generation of vRealize Operations? We invite you to participateintheVMware Design StudioatVMworld 2017 US.

 

What Kind of Study Is This?

In the VMware Design Studio, we will show a few key product directions and design prototypes. This is a unique opportunity to get your voice heard and interact in a small group or 1:1 session with the product teams.

 

This year there will be three topics for vROps: 1) vRealize Operations – New and Improved Capacity Management; 2) vRealize Operations – Exploring New Ways for Application Management; 3) vRealize Lifecycle Management. Customers can sign up for one or more sessions based on their time availability or interests.

 

What&#rsquo;s in it for YOU?

Upon completion of the session, we will offer you very cool &#rsquo;VMware Design Partner&#rdquo; swag!

 

Where and when is Design Studio?

The sessions will be held in in Mandalay Bay Convention Center – 3rd Floor – room Palm H from Monday 8/28 thru Thursday 8/31

 

To schedule a session, contact Ashley . Or go to this link to signup:www.bit.do/vrops2017

 

Plus if you want to learn about other VMware products, please check out other cool sessions here:https://uxresearchers.github.io/lv17-blog/

 

Please act quickly as we will be able to work with just a small set of customers – thank you for your time and your interest in improving VMware products!

 

Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Ashley Pan ()

User Experience Researcher @VMware

The post Come and Participate in VMworld Design Studio! appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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Recent Updates to the VMware Operations Management Portfolio

VMware announced upcoming releases for its portfolio of operations management products – vRealize Operations 6.6, vRealize Log Insight 4.5, vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 and vRealize Network Insight 3.4.

vRealize Operations 6.6

This release delivers several game-changing innovations, redesigned user experience, and greater/deeper integration across software-defined data center technologies and multiple public clouds. VMware vRealize Operations 6.6 delivers core capabilities around:

  • Application-aware SDDC and multi-cloud monitoringto help customers accelerate adoption of SDDC and integrate public clouds.
  • Automated and proactive performance managementhelps customers simplify operations, avoid disruption and free up time for more strategic tasks.
  • Cloud Planning, capacity optimization and compliancethrough atight integration with vRealize Business for Cloud, which appears as &#rsquo;Business Management&#rdquo; tab within the vRealize Operations UI.

For more information on vRealize Operations 6.6, please visit the Cloud Management Blog.

vRealize Log Insight 4.5

VMware vRealize Log lnsight delivers heterogeneous and highly scalable log management with intuitive, actionable dashboards, sophisticated analytics, and broad third-party extensibility. With this new release, you’ll experience:

  • Full Integration in-context withinvRealize Operationsprovides directlaunch into Log Insight Dashboard and Log Insight Interactive Analytics mode, and object and vRealize Operations Alerts auto-initiated log management
  • New Server Capabilitiesincluding vUpdated Log Insight RESTful APIs and vComprehensive SSO support
  • Improved agent capabilities through vAgent multi-destination

Other new features and capabilities of vRealize Log Insight 4.5 can be found here.

vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3

The new release of vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 continues to improve the ease-of-access and ease-of-use for private cloud cost management and delivers more visibilityinto public cloud spending. This new release allows you to:

  • Easier cost management with improvements to navigation, decision making tools, insight tools, and IT service pricing
  • More visibility to optimize cloud management with enhancements to usage and cost visibility

Details about the vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 announcement can be found on the Cloud Management blog.

vRealize Network Insight 3.4

vRealize Network Insight 3.4 allows you to plan micro-segmentation, troubleshoot across virtual and physical infrastructure and manage and scale NSX deployments. Other capabilities of this new release include:

  • Manage public cloud security with visibility into your AWS infrastructure
  • Troubleshoot across the virtual and physical infrastructureby providing layer 2 network visibility in the VM to VM path and enhanced traffic and security analytics
  • Customize for maximum deployment flexibility by integrating with log management products

Full description of new features and capabilities of vRealize Network Insight 3.4 can be found here.

The post Recent Updates to the VMware Operations Management Portfolio appeared first on VMware Tech Alliances (TAP) Blog.

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I AM…all about modernizing data centers

VMworld 2017 Europe is getting closer (11-14 September). So start preparing your trip and go quickly to the content catalog to make a selection of program components that interest you the most! In some previous blogs, we have already made suggestions about transforming security, and digitizing the workspace, but also when looking for information about modernizing data centers, there are some interesting sessions.

Modernizing data centers
Technological developments are fast-pacing each other. So to remain competitive, organizations must invest in the digital transformation of all business processes. This transformation begins with the infrastructure, with data centers being crucial.

Cloud Management
Want to know more about modernizing data centers and cloud management? Don&#rsquo;t miss the following program components:

  • Break-out session: Case Study: How a Leading Health Insurance Provider Uses vRealize Business to Transform Its Cloud Initiative into a Cloud Business Management Practice [MGT1816BE]
  • Break-out session: Configuring a Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation: A Technical Deep Dive [PBO1757BE]

VRealize
From cloud to cloud management tools? Then you need to follow the sessions on the vRealize Suite and vRealize Automation:

  • Hands-on Lab: Automate IT - Make Private Cloud Easy [SPL180602E]
  • Break-out session: Case Study: VMware Cloud Foundation-Powered Private Cloud, Including Hands-On Labs [PBO2864BE]
  • Break-out session: Cloud Management Platform: Can I Get There From Here? [MGT2231BE]
  • Breakout session: Effectively Operating an Automated Cloud [MGT1758BE]

Cloud Management discussion
Are you looking for other IT experts to exchange ideas about cloud management and modernization of data centers? Then join the different group discussions:

  • Intelligent Operations Jam Session: SDDC Performance and Availability, Unified Management [MGT2588GE]
  • Modernizing Your Data Center with VMware Cloud Foundation: Group Discussion [PBO1224GE]
  • Using vRealize to Manage AWS as Part of Hybrid Cloud [MGT3169GE]
Register now and discover everything about modernizing data centers!
Book your ticket for VMworld 2017 Europe here!

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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

 

 

The post PCI-DSS & HIPAA compliance with vRealize Operations appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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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.

 

The post Manage Capacity and Utilization with vRealize Operations 6.6 Dashboards appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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How VMware Cloud Management Helps You Get the Most out of Your ServiceNow Investment

First, a hat tip where it&#rsquo;s due: ServiceNow is a leader in the ITSSM space, claiming the #1 spot in the much-coveted magic quadrant in Gartner&#rsquo;s ITSSM Magic Quadrant (Gartner: 24 August 2016 G00291752), and with an easy to use GUI and out of the box integrations for popular vendors including VMware, it&#rsquo;s no wonder ServiceNow is so popular for self-service cataloging in the IT service delivery space. Indeed, many of our customers enjoy a complementary relationship between ServiceNow and VMware, using the former for ITSSM and VMware&#rsquo;s cross-cloud management platform to automate and orchestrate their fully integrated software-defined journey.

ServiceNow recently made a spate of announcements including a Cloud User Portal, apparently aimed at expanding their footprint beyond ITSSM. To recap briefly, ServiceNow last month announced a roll-up dashboard of cloud services, costs and health information under its catalog hierarchy. It&#rsquo;s Cloud Services Catalog now includes additional governance over certain cloud resources and supports VMware-based clouds as well as others.

This is a good moment to reexamine the depth and breadth of VMware&#rsquo;s platform for complete cloud management, which I&#rsquo;ll expand on below.

For what it&#rsquo;s worth, in the same report that Gartner gave such high marks to ServiceNow for ITSSM leadership, the analysts wondered aloud whether the company wasn&#rsquo;t getting somewhat defocused away from its core competencies.

Briefly, here are 3 ways VMware&#rsquo;s Cloud Management remains the most compelling complement to ServiceNow&#rsquo;s deep catalog expertise for cloud manmagement:

  1. VMware offers a fully integrated Software-Defined Data Center
  2. VMware features sophisticated automation and policy-based orchestration
  3. VMware Cloud Management avoids added risk of using third party tools at enterprise scale

Fully integrated Software-Defined Data Center

Introducing any ServiceNow cloud management abilities into a customer&#rsquo;s SDDC could degrade the benefits of software-defined initiatives by introducing custom work streams with added complexity and cost. Moreover, any attempt to work around vRealize Automation can negate the value of the SDDC, especially in areas such as policy automation, control and blueprints.

NSX Blueprint in vRealize Automation

To realize the vision of the self-healing data center requires a management control plane that delivers accurate and actionable data; only a policy-based approach, rather than a rules-based approach, can properly discern what is really critical.

Sophisticated automation and policy-based orchestration

vRealize Operations provides full polling, analysis, alerting and reporting for monitoring of vSphere and surrounding infrastructure. vRealize Operations includes machine learning and dynamic thresholding out of the box, capacity analysis including reclaimable space, and automated remediation. vRealize Operations can push discovered objects and attributes to ServiceNow APIs and can push Alerts and updates to ServiceNow APIs for incidents, including a URL for launch in context back to vRealize Operations for more information. Learn more on GitHub.

Minimize risk of third party tools at enterprise scale

As an enterprise evolves in its software-defined journey, the risk in using third party tools actually grows; this is because a fully virtualized stack, with storage, networking and compute, is a lot more complicated than just server virtualization. Orchestration and policy-based automation become critical and we&#rsquo;ve seen time and again that third party tools that work okay as you scale up—don&#rsquo;t work well as you scale out to the order of tens of thousands of VMs.

The only way to ensure the high levels of certainty needed for business-critical applications is with an automated control plane that&#rsquo;s natively integrated with your stack. In short, VMware and ServiceNow are a great combination, with VMware doing the heavy lifting for cloud management and offering deep integrations for the ServiceNow catalog.

As the undisputed leader in datacenter automation—IDC recently named VMware as the market share leader with 28 percent of a $2.3 billion market (June 2017, IDC #US41372217)—I offer a note of caution for enterprises considering using any third party tool, especially unproven ones, along with their cloud management platform.

ServiceNow + vRealize Automation Integration

For our part, VMware&#rsquo;s isn&#rsquo;t holding still either, by the way. Our recently-announced integration for ServiceNow in vRealize Automation delivers that much-coveted &#rsquo;single pane of glass&#rdquo; with best-of-breed prebuilt integrations.

I would share a lesson learned from the hard experiences of some less-than-lucky enterprises: it&#rsquo;s good to be cautious of depending on third party tools, especially unproven ones, for a cloud management platform.

The post How VMware Cloud Management Helps You Get the Most out of Your ServiceNow Investment appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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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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Private vs Public Cloud Costs: Surprising 451 Research Results

Some amazing news coming out of a new study by 451 Research around Private vs Public Cloud Costs. This just published study found that 41% of IT Decision makers feel that their Private Cloud implementation is cheaper than that of a &#rsquo;like for like&#rdquo; Public Cloud environment. Another 24% of respondents indicated that they were paying no more than a 10%premium for their Private Cloud over the cost of a comparable Public Cloud. A companion study captured the stories of fiveenterprises that were achieving TCO for their Private Clouds that are on par with what could be achieved from a cost perspective using the Public Cloud.

 

Exploding a Well Worn Myth Around Private vs Public Cloud Costs

The results of the study fly in the face of what I believe most people would naturally assume. I think that if I were to ask 100 people who have anything to do with IT infrastructure, IT operations or application development: &#rsquo;Can a Private Cloud be as cost effective as a Public Cloud&#rdquo;; a clear majority would respond with a resounding &#rsquo;noway&#rdquo;. The prevailing mythology that Public Cloud is always cheaper is very powerful.

While the primary driver for adopting a cloud strategy, whether Private, Public or Hybrid, generally isn&#rsquo;t cost reduction, the ability to achieve the best possible cost outcome without compromising objectives of agility is still important to most enterprises. To this point, the 451 Research study found that the primary motivators for a Private Cloud were data protection, asset ownership and business process integration. However, the study also found that achieving cost efficiencies, while not the top motivator for building a Private Cloud was still an important factor in deciding on an overall cloud strategy direction.

Believe it or not, it&#rsquo;s hard to find much in the way of data around Private Cloud vs Public Cloud Costs. Because our customers are always asking us for information on this topic, VMware asked 451 Research, a top analyst research firm to carry out a study on Private versus Public Cloud costs. We picked 451 Research because of their well-respected work on their Cloud Pricing Index program.

The Cloud Pricing Index program that 451 Research conducts has been around for many years now. Through it, 451 Research continuously looks at the cost of various Public Cloud offerings. As part of that same research they also have developed guidelines on what they call &#rsquo;golden ratios&#rdquo;. These golden ratios provide guidance on the maximum number of administrators an organization can have relative to the number of VMs they run and still be as cost effective as a comparable Public Cloud offering. The 451-team&#rsquo;s long history of successfully analyzing Public Cloud costs and their understanding of what it takes to run a Private Cloud at similar cost efficiencies gave us a high degree of confidence that they had the right stuff to help answer the question of whether Private Clouds can ever be as cost effective as Public Clouds.

Driving Lower Private Cloud Costs Relies On Capacity Planning, Automation and Costing

Last year I wrote a blog titled &#rsquo;Extreme Automation also the Key to Successful Private Clouds.” The main idea behind that blog was that Public Cloud providers are cost effective because they are masters of using automation to reduce the cost of IT operations for the environments they rent out. An extension of that point was that builders of Private Clouds could be effective at achieving TCOs comparable to Public Cloud if they embraced Automation with the same zeal as did Public Cloud providers.

This most recent 451 Research study validated this idea. The study found that capacity planning (a form of automation) and more general IT process automation technologies were two of the strongest contributors to the outcome of achieving a Private Cloud that had a TCO on a per unit cost basis that was as good or better than that of comparable Public Cloud offerings. Rounding out the top four contributors to successful outcomes were the effective use of cost/budgetary tools (also a form of automation) and the ability to achieve favorable license terms from technology vendors.

The second 451 Research paper adds depth to the findings of the first paper by capturing key parts of the stories of five companies who have implemented Private Cloud and are achieving solid cost efficiencies as part of their efforts. Their experiences highlight specific benefits they have achieved through the use various automation technologies. For instance, one company indicated that they were able to reduce the FTE cost associated with the delivery of IT services by as much as 80% while simultaneously increasing overall staff productivity by as much 25%.

Your Company Can Achieve Similar Results

As already pointed out, from a technology standpoint, the core capabilities cited by 451 Research as being necessary to achieve a highly cost efficient Private Cloud were capabilities in the areas of capacity planning, automation and costing. These three areas are addressed by core capabilities delivered through the VMware vRealize Suite (part of the VMware SDDC).

vRealize Suite is designed to work hand in hand with VMware Cloud Foundation to provide a common approach to building and running an enterprise-grade hybrid cloud. Hybrid clouds based on the VMware Software-Defined Data Center provide high levels of agility, efficiency and control across both traditional and cloud native, container-based applications. VMware-based clouds also give IT organizations the ability to provide choice to their application development teams by supporting multiple models for requesting services and giving developers the freedom to use the tools of their choice.

Our experience as a leading provider of cloud solutions is that most organizations are headed in the direction of Hybrid Cloud. However, given that the majority of all the world&#rsquo;s workloads still reside in on-premise data centers, it makes sense for organizations to embrace an approach to their Private Cloud that results in achieving both high levels of agility and cost efficiency. Organizations shouldn&#rsquo;t have to sacrifice one for the other. Also, if IT teams are going to be credible with line of business around their ability to effectively manage a Hybrid Cloud they will first need to prove that they can master their own Private Cloud environments.

Building and running a Private Cloud that is as cost effective as a Public Cloud is not easy. If it were, all organizations would be doing it. But the fact that 41% of companies surveyed were able to build and run a Private Cloud at cost efficiencies that were better than Public Cloud alternatives shows that it can be done. This 41% also points the way to the “How” of achieving greater cost efficiencies. A willingness to invest in capacity planning, automation and costing technologies was fundamental to their success. If you are in the 41% group, congratulations and keep up the good work. If you are not there yet, take heart. It definitely is achievable. In the end, there may be many reasons that you decide to move workloads to the Public Cloud, but cost doesn&#rsquo;t have to be one of them.

Learn more

  • 451 Research Paper:Can private cloud be cheaper than public cloud?41% said yes, and the survey reveals how (Free download)
  • 451 Research Paper:Can private cloud be cheaper than public cloud?Real stories about how companies run their private cloud cheaper (Free download)
  • Visit VMware vRealize product page
  • Try our Automate IT Hands-on Labs
  • Try our Intelligent Operations Hands-on Labs

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