VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

It will save you time and money in various areas of your IT ops but the reporting side could be more flexible.

What is most valuable?

I would say the operational management piece for policy management and remediation as well as the predictive analytics and smart alerts. This can come in real handy in an environment that is constantly changing whether you are taking resources out or putting them in. Also the trending analytics you get from the performance monitoring as well as the capacity management features for planning and better optimization for the overall IT Infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

I would say for the short term and initial benefit of installing the software is capacity management which is something that immediately returns valuable data. Your ability once installed to see your entire virtual computer environment and what resources are over or under allocated such as vCPU, memory and storage. This can provide large savings in hardware purchases as well as allow you to recapture those resources and re-purpose them. The more long term benefits are felt in the policy management and the automated/guided remediation that can be setup to help analyze and resolve operational bottlenecks.

What needs improvement?

I would say the reporting side could be more flexible as well as including more information, maybe adding additional graphics and charts to better summarize the data it captures for operational review.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over four years. We have integrated Operations Manager into the various layers of our IT infrastructure both virtual and physical. This assisted us in proactively monitoring as well as performing the analyzation and automated remediation of operational resources with in our dedicated and shared service environments. It also gave us the ability to provide high level operational reports to the companies senior management.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No pretty straight forward deployment via OVA wizard roll-out to get the x2 appliances up and running on the network. From there, it's just a matter of configuring the remainder of the software to talk to your IT infrastructure via the ops manager web console interface. This includes adding your Virtual and Physical hardware that you want to include for monitoring and analytics.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not at all. The product itself is very stable and since its appliances are virtual DRS and vmotion can be configured to create an HA hosted environment. Outages in this configuration are very few and far between.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is designed to scale and assists you in planning with your infrastructure, including computing demand and growth. It's designed to guide you through the various areas of infrastructure operations and makes adding new virtual and/or physical hardware to the Ops Manager core console very easy and scheduled. Adding a vCenter or a piece of physical hardware is as simple as entering in an IP address and username/password. Since all environments are sized different you should establish a Ratio for vCOPS to manage, for example, so many virtual or physical components.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

VMware’s customer services is one of the best in the market and they also provide TAM services full or part time that can help any company implement their cloud software suites successfully.

Technical Support:

VMware's engineers are very knowledgeable about their products and can handle infrastructures with the complexity of an enterprise level service provider right down to the small to mid-range dedicated IT foot prints.

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

We used quite a few different solutions to get the same feature sets that this one product offers. We switched in order to consolidate into one solution that could support all of the features we needed as well as reduce our overall capitol spend on multiple software brands and service contracts.

How was the initial setup?

Very straightforward even in a multi-networked environment which is what you tend to find from service providers. The install itself is wizard driven and asks you for the information needed to configure the software step by step.

What about the implementation team?

We did the install via an in-house team which included myself and a network engineer. That’s all it took to get the project planned out and implemented successfully.

What was our ROI?

The ROI for us is a reduced overall software and support costs by consolidating our monitoring and analytic tool set from many products to one. This reduced the operation software capital expense required to provide monitoring and analytic services for a managed solution.

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

Licensing for vCOPs comes in two models, Per Processor with unlimited VM’s and/or Per Virtual Machine or Physical Server in 25 VM packs (one pack = 25 VM’s). A cost analysis should be done to determine which model your company operations best fits.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes but it was software previously installed and vCOPs was used as a replacement.

What other advice do I have?

I would say that the above score is based on the level of licensing which you use within your Infrastructure. I use the Advanced edition which is designed more for use in a enterprise level environments. This will look at both the virtual and physical sides of Infrastructure Operations which includes Predictive Analytics, Policy Management, Automated and guided remediation as well as customizable dashboards and reports. On the performance monitoring and analytics advanced can examine your vSphere performance and Health beyond what the standard vCenter monitoring tools has to offer, it can provide SAN storage analytics, application discovery and dependency mapping, OS Monitoring (Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc for both Physical and Virtual servers). Advanced also includes additional features for configuration and compliance management for vSphere Harding. Last but not least there is some additional Extensibility with 3rd party management packs for server, storage and network monitoring tools. Some example of packs are Brocade SAN Analytics, EMC Storage Analytics, NetApp Storage, Oracle OEM, SAP Hana, HP OneView, Microsoft Hyper-V.

If your virtualized infrastructure is primarily VMware and you are having issues with monitoring, analyzing and planning from an operational perspective this is the software to use. It will save you time and money in various areas of your IT infrastructures operations

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