VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

Most customers don't mine data from vCenter. This product presents that data in an easy-to-consume format.

Valuable Features

I think the best thing I like about vROps is that all the information is in vCenter’s database, but most customers won't take the time to mine the data in vCenter. vROps presents that data in an easy-to-consume format. You don't have to dig in to all the numbers as to why something needs to change or why you might have to improve performance.

It's huge in the performance management arena because it has the ability to really show us that we are over-provisioning a lot of the virtual machines to the point where they're hurting themselves; too many virtual processors, too much memory. The virtual machines can actually be built smaller and perform better.

vROps has the ability to provide insight, fully look at and monitor your environment, and give you recommendations on optimization, efficiency, and risk management.

For instance, let's say that I have a virtual machine that appears to be starving for memory. vROps has the ability to monitor that virtual machine in real time, and give you a recommendation on how to make that virtual machine perform better. Possibly by, say, moving it to another host.

For troubleshooting, it can also be pretty cool, and give you an idea if you're having issues, say, at storage level. Let's say latency has gone too high on one of my LUNs; it has the ability to monitor that by working with SIOC. and some other products on the hypervisor. Also, it has the ability to look at troubleshooting from a performance standpoint; troubleshooting between networking devices.

We have also used capacity management to definitely save on the compute side.

Improvements to My Organization

Given that I help others learn how to use the product, in most cases, even with the default dashboards that come with the product, most customers get a wealth of information. Then you couple that with the ability to customize those dashboards for their specific environment. One of the things I've always enjoyed is that we've been teaching and preaching for years on the training side: Right-size your virtual machines to get the best ROIs. The efficiency badge in vROps will tell you exactly how many virtual processors you can reclaim, and how much memory you can reclaim. It's not just an administrator saying, "Hey your virtual machine could be smaller." It's the product actually telling you that you could get a lot more out of your environment.

Room for Improvement

I would probably like to see better recommendations. I think sometimes the recommendations for performance optimizations tend to be a little too simplistic. The recommendations could be a little bit more in depth, as to why you need to do this or that.

For instance, in a performance optimization, it might say you just need to move this virtual machine from here to here. If you really look at the virtual machine’s overall performance, moving it might be a way to fix it, but resizing the virtual machine might by a better recommendation. Or moving it to another data store might be a better recommendation. I think the recommendations could be a little more tightened up and probably a little bit more in depth.

Also, one of the things I like about vROps is the ability to add the additional adapters to monitor other kinds of products, whether it's NSX, or storage, or even physical hardware to a degree; cloud-based environments. I'd like to see more on that front, to continue developing those additional adapters, those additional third-party add-ons. For example, working with Palo Alto Networks, working with some of our additional storage vendors. There are some good adapters out there, for sure, but there's new stuff coming out all the time.

Finally, I think its ability to interact with vRealize Automation could be enhanced.

Use of Solution

We've been teaching on it now for four or five years now.

Stability Issues

So far, stability's been pretty good. I can't think of anything off the top of my head where we've had any issues.

Scalability Issues

Scaling is pretty good, especially when you have the ability to put nodes in remote offices to grab the information then pull it over for it to be crunched. From a scalability standpoint, pretty good.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I personally have not used technical support.

Initial Setup

The initial setup is actually quite easy because you just go through the wizard and you deploy your different nodes: your master and your slave secondary, and then your data nodes. It's pretty easy to deploy these days, and then they've got different versions. They've got a version that will run on Red Hat; I've got one customer that uses that. I've got most of my customers using the Windows version.

Other Advice

Definitely get training on it. Of course I represent that, but it's a very complex product. Out of the box, you can get a lot out of it, but there's so much more customization available with vROps. If you'll take the time, you'll get much more out of the product, but it usually requires a bit of training. It's probably taken me a good part of the year to understand a lot of the ins and outs to the product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a VMware partner.
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