VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

Every day, or every hour, we look at the backend to see what is going on. We use it reactively.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is mainly having a single point where you can see all of the performance of the whole cluster; see the CPU bottlenecks, the memory bottlenecks, apps on the storage side, on the network side.

Right now, we use it mainly for performance management, so we know what's happening, although we use it more reactively; we're not in a proactive mode. Meaning, every day, or every hour, we look at the backend to see what has happened, but it's not like a predictive DRS.

I have heard that vROps 6.3 will be able to integrate with DRS, and I think that will help us automate the DRS from vROps, and make the configuration change from vROps.

How has it helped my organization?

Before vROps, we didn't have any view into what's happening inside VMware. We had some monitoring on the OS level. Meaning, we had Zenoss, Hobbit, and other things that monitor the operating system on Windows or Linux, but we didn't have anything on the ESX side.

I do not have any specific cases where it helped us avoid an outage or reduce outage time, but it does provide a good view of root cause analysis, after the fact. It has helped me a lot with root cause analysis. When something happens and I go back and I want to see what exactly went on, I can really clearly get it from vROps.

There have been cases when the capacity management has helped me, but again it's all reactive, not predictive. Meaning, when I get an alert, I then look at vROps and see what it says. From there, I can figure out I have an issue. If I don't address it in a week, it could become a disaster.

The same thing with performance management. For us, everything is in more of a reactive mode; we know after the fact and it helps us with investigation.

What needs improvement?

I think that user interface needs to change a little bit. It's too technical. You need to be a really technical person who has worked with VMware a lot to really be able to navigate your way through. If you are, say, a junior sys admin, you might get lost. You have to really know your stuff. The user interface needs to be intuitive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I wasn't impressed with the stability in 5.5. But 6.2 is much better.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 1600 VMs, and scalability is good. We used to run two instances in 5.5. With 6.2, I'm running one instance; I'm fine. It does not slow down at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

I occasionally use VMware technical support, and it is bad, to be honest. Sometimes when I create a ticket sometimes, it takes them 12 hours, 24 hours, to get back to me. I have clearly said that production is down, and they didn’t get back to me. We have to engage the team to get a resource to work on it.

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

We were previously using Foglight. At some point, we realized that Foglight is too slow; it doesn't give us what we're looking for and we started looking for another solution. The time came to renew VMware licenses, so we just added it. The main reason was to get away from Foglight because it wasn't good.

How was the initial setup?

I am the one that set it up. I followed the documentation that came with it and it was straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at VMTurbo, and we loved their product, but it's more expensive. The VMTurbo user interface is phenomenal; very easy to move. It gives you everything you're looking for. Plus, whoever did the user interface testing at VMTurbo was the sys admin; for vROps, it might have been a programmer. You need to have a sys admin as one of the guys who tests the product and its suitability. With vROps, I need to know what I'm looking for.

What other advice do I have?

It's one of the best products that does the job. It hooks into the VMware suites. From that angle, I believe it's more preferable than the others.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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