VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

Quick heads-up display that is nicely concise on what's going on in the environment.

Valuable Features

In comparison to the other management suite that we tried, StrataCloud (which started out as Reflex), vROps has a very quick heads-up display that is nicely concise on what's going on in the environment. It shows the overall health of the environment with weather maps, and it quickly drills down - seems to be - a bit deeper than the other products that I've tried. Not so much fluff, more tech talk.

In terms of what we found the most useful, we were having storage problems and instead of, where StrataCloud points you to another map that goes one level deeper, vROps is very concise; it'll give you the HBA number, the LUN, and exactly what it's seeing. It was latency in our case.

Another benefit is the kind of manager-based mapping it can do and the layout; they love that kind of stuff.

Improvements to My Organization

We have another management platform installed in another one of our clusters, for a different department. When we get help ticket calls and I have to use that other platform, it seems to take me forever to actually drill down to what the problem is. vROps is faster. vROps just drills down to the nitty-gritty and if you're a tech, it tells you what you need to see. The important information.

We have nothing documented, but when we first put in vROps, we were having storage latency problems and we weren't sure where it was coming from. We weren't even sure it was a storage latency problem and immediately after installing vROps, it narrowed the issue down right to the VM store and the iSCSI adapters that were causing us our problems.

It also helped us with performance management: virtual CPUs, under-sizing and over-sizing, and the RAM.

Room for Improvement

Personally, from what I've seen, I think what I'd like to do is get the inside log added to it now for an even deeper drill down into what's going on in the environment. Based on what I saw at VMworld, I think I might be missing stuff. I don't know if I have any proof of that. With vROps, you're not seeing small faulted events unless you drill down deeply. With the VM login site added to it, it's going to tell me everything: initial events and it builds very nice graphs of events and the amount of events that occur over time to customizable periods.

I think I’d like it to be easier to see that type of information, based on what I saw in a lab at VMworld. I really didn't know I was missing anything, and I might not be, but based on the lab, I think that we are not getting full visibility right now without that.

Also, I think it should be cheaper, especially at an enterprise level. If it could be cheaper, that would be great.

Stability Issues

I've had no issues with stability.

Scalability Issues

I don't know; we've never had to grow it out beyond the initial install, so I don't know if I can speak to that either.

We have 600 VDIs; that's one install, and then we have probably about 300 and so servers.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We've used our SE as technical support, and he's really good. He knows the product and whenever we were having trouble, he was able to help us out. It was more with the install; haven't had a lot of trouble since the install.

Previous Solutions

We started with nothing and then we bought another product, StrataCloud, because we were aware it was taking way too long and we just didn't know what was going on. You get the ticket call saying things are slow and without a product like that, where do you start? I think initially the investment was in StrataCloud because vROps was just too expensive.

We got into it because it was included in our licensing level with VDI. As soon as we installed VDI, it just quickly showed us a ton of problems we were having we didn't even know about. After seeing it there now this year, what I'd like to do is push back, see if I could get the product we're using out and invest on this one on the other side - on our production server side also.

Initial Setup

We had some initial setup issues; I think there was some kind of a shim driver we had to install, if I'm remembering correctly. We had some issues with that shim driver initially. He did it remotely; he called in and we got over it quickly, the initial problems.
The full install was a few hours.

Other Solutions Considered

We had a request for proposals on management suites and the winner of that RFP was the StrataCloud suite. At that time, we had 6 or 7 competing products come in (all of their names escape me right now). They were all demo’d and we chose the one we were on based on a number of different areas, but I think the biggest one was price.

Price wasn't the most important part to me; it was important to the people buying, the end financial guy. To the technicians, we all wanted the best technical product.
I don't know if that is vROps, but right now it seems to me to be the best one.

Other Advice

For me, from what I've seen, just go with the vendor’s monitoring product. It seems to be that they always know the product best. If you go for somebody else, I think for the most part you might not be seeing the information presented the same way.

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