What is most valuable?
Getting firsthand information in the environment straight to the people that would respond to those actual alerts and events, in real time, versus a phone call or having to play catch up after the events happened. We're being very proactive with the tool up front.
The ability to create custom dashboards for specific application groups and let them do some of the in-house monitoring themselves. Also, the ability to deep dive into their applications where these groups didn't have that visibility before. We've actually reduced our ROI because people are actually more hands-on with the tool whereas before it was just a small select group of people that you would call, "Hey, how's my VM doing or what's going on?"
Now, the user is actually engaged, so it's actually helped us out tenfold.
How has it helped my organization?
In terms of using vROps, it's actually educated small groups of VM professionals to everyone who has access to the VM world regarding their responsibilities. From an application perspective, it develops stuff, therefore they can actually see how their application's behaving in the environment versus having to call somebody else and actually see what's going on. Thus, they get a firsthand experience from development rolling right into production.
What needs improvement?
One of the big challenge with vROps is there so much to learn as a user as you're doing it. It is also getting these dashboards in front of the executive committee, so they can actually see the environment. It's much easier to give a manager a dashboard of his environment, but he drives the events down to his team, "Why are we getting these alerts, what's going on in our environment?"
It's easier for him to do it because he's the boss of that area. Versus the support team, the VMware team, or the vROps team, in this case, driving these issues. I think we need to come up with more intuitive, outta the box dashboards, something I've even talked to about Blue Medora with.
Help us out-of-the-box. Help us get that initial footprint up and running. We'll build from there.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
vROps 6.5 is rock solid. We have 6.6 in our development environment. We're gonna look to roll it out next month and all the reviews have been very positive so far.
We did an internal customer survey: The first 100 people that we gave dashboards and access to, plus the customer survey internally came back over 90% positive.The customers that we're giving it to really like it, but they want more. As those requirements come in, we're gonna build on it, and hopefully deploy as we roll along.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have multiple locations around the world as well as in the United States. Our main data center is in New Jersey, but we have another main data center in Georgia and flight operations in Louisville.
It's really helped us out in terms of managing our environment.
How are customer service and technical support?
They been good. We have used tech support for vROps because it's relatively new in our environment, and they've been wonderful, very responsive. They have helped get us in and "Fisher-Price" some of this stuff from a technology perspective, so we know exactly where we're going.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had no tool to give us visibility into the virtual environment. We had the traditional tools from the enterprise management suite of tools, the BMC and IBM tools, but really nothing that catered to the virtual environment. This was our opportunity to actually get something to do a deeper dive and get more visibility into the organization.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was out-of-the-box.
It comes up petty clean, but the layers of complexity that we introduced into the environment obviously changed some of those parameters. It's a learning experience, as with any other VM port tool.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
There's a couple big players in this address space obviously. One of the major considerations for us was our aggressive timeline which we were looking to deploy, and that our deployment head already reached, not just a New Jersey-Atlanta implementation, but throughout the world as well. So the flexibility to expand across the globe is really an important piece of it.
What other advice do I have?
Flowchart your dashboards first before you do anything technical within the tool itself. It's much easier to take what you have on paper and transpose that off to an actual flowchart or a diagram. It's always easier to clone a dashboard than create one yourself.
It'd be easier if you had a repository of dashboards from a VMware perspective. Whereas, as a user, I can go to that repository and clone one, then customize it for my environment. Clone is your friend.