VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

Flexible reporting, with a choice of KPIs, helps the company understand capacity and see future needs


What is our primary use case?

I work for a Post Office service and we use this solution to monitor business core assets which help to deliver packages. There are many applications we need to monitor as part of our service and to see their availability. We also use it to analyze and to forecast. Finally, we use it for business reports for sharing the status of memory, CPU, and data storage. The solution is very big in terms of how many variables you can extract.

How has it helped my organization?

There are many clusters that are displayed, each solution and its specific application. For example, for our front-end website I can specifically monitor the resources, the memory, the storage it consumes. I can extract this information to create a report for a specific cluster.

Each group of employees has access to reports about specific clusters. You choose the information to add to the forecast from various KPIs. It helps the company understand capacity and to see the information it needs to see regarding the future.

In the country where we operate, we have something called a PDI, a development and innovation program or plan, for looking toward the future and delivering new applications. vROps gave me the information I needed to build a new PDI. It gave me excellent data for that.

Every four years, we have a plan to replace hardware. In our last replacement, vROps helped me to reduce the hardware we needed because we could optimize our solution. We have also saved on power and other data center costs. In that area it has saved us 30 percent.

It has also helped to decrease our overall downtime a lot, because I can see the distribution of memory and the CPUs. I can see if there are issues with storage or the network or CPU. It helps me to plan so that the system is more available.

We have integrated vROps with vRealize Log Insight. With this we can correlate logs between vROps and the ESXi. I have shared this dashboard with a group of people. They can see this information day by day and look for issues and problems in the production area. We can see the relationship between the tracing and the logs from the ESXi and the server, in the same dashboard. We can see what actions are needed to solve problems. That is a very important capability for our company.

What is most valuable?

For me, the most valuable feature of vROps is its reporting. We use the reports to send information to certain groups within our company to help forecast the use of resources.

It provides a focus on the VMs. At a glance, it shows the applications inside of each VM. The next step would be to use the plug-in, the APM.

The ITIL is very important for helping resolve capacity issues. It helps deliver a lot of information about issues faster.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using vROps for six or seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. I don't have any problems keeping it running. The maintenance is easy and it's easy to upgrade.

When it comes to maintenance, usually there is a ticket, and the person within our company who is responsible will analyze it. It may be a new upgrade, a new feature, a patch. A person is assigned to it to decide if it's necessary to upgrade or apply the patch. Once it's approved we set aside time to take care of it, but it's generally not difficult.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent, no problem. In the time we have used it, our environment has grown. We can add more servers, more data. Scaling it is easy.

We have two sites and together there are 276 servers. But thanks to the use of vROps, with each new purchase I buy fewer servers. When we started with it we had more than 300 servers. Now we purchase fewer of them.

How are customer service and technical support?

For me, the technical support is the biggest problem. I've been working with them since 2016 and in the first years their response was faster than it is today. That is a problem. Also, I need to put together and send them a lot of information. And then I wait one day, two days. The support has been getting worse over the last few years. They need to improve it. Two days for them to respond is a big problem for me.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I realized we needed a solution to monitor our VMs. So six or seven years ago we decided to buy a solution to monitor, forecast, and give us unique dashboards with information on issues such as capacity, and to monitor applications, etc.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is a simple process. In our company we have a system, BMC, which makes it possible to deliver information and to integrate BMC and vROps, using the SDT and VMware. This process, the integration between BMC and VMware took two years. 

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves with an internal team.

What was our ROI?

At the higher levels in my company, such as the CIO, they looked at what the solution delivers and they felt the ROI was faster with this solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When we last did a comparison of solutions, the pricing was equal or similar.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Because we are a government company there are compliance requirements. Any purchase has to go through a public process. We have to publish the information in the market. We looked at BMC and CA, and we looked at CA recently.

We tested and did a proof of concept for each of the solutions, not a big test but a simple process; enough to see how they operate. For me, the big difference was that vROps is a VMware solution and is integrated with other products such as vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Automation, and of course, vCenter. And the unique dashboard was also a great addition to our operations.

What other advice do I have?

In the future I'd like to use the plug-in and the APM. In the future, using the APM, things will be better. Nowadays, applications have under-utilization of hardware.

I'm happy with the solution. There are many options for using it because of the features vROps has.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

6 and 7
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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