VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

It's very scalable and we're able to add instances

What is most valuable?

As it's the only tool that I've found which I could provide to our NOC team. Because we have our set of tools that we use in system administration, but we do have a NOC team, and the NOC team is not very proficient in the tools we use. Therefore, we had to give them something that is simple enough to use, something they could display on a big screen in their NOC, in order to see alerts in our virtualization infrastructure. vROps was the only tool which we found which was capable at the time to create customized dashboards, and we created the dashboards specifically for our NOC team to find any storage issues and any network latency issues.   

How has it helped my organization?

It was also one of the only tools that was available back in 2015 that was able to integrate with our storage area, so it had the management pack. We used to have HP 3PAR at that time, and HP gave us a free management pack to install on our vROps, so not only did we have full visibility into our virtualization infrastructure, we also had the visibility into our 3PAR.

What needs improvement?

The one thing that I miss the most with vROps is that it's a read-only tool, meaning that you see the issue happening. You can troubleshoot, you can do all kinds of deep-dives into the issue and find out what the root cause is and everything, but in order to get it fixed, whatever it is (doesn't matter what it is), you need to log into another tool in order to fix it. Thus, if you see a latency issue with data store, you can pin point where it happened on your 3PAR, but you need to open the 3PAR management console to get it fixed. Same with a VM. If it tells you that you have a lack of resources, and you need to add 4GBs of RAM to the machine, it doesn't offer to do it for you. You will need to log into vSphere Client and add RAM.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using it in 2015. Three years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say it is stable, but it does require frequent updates. 

In the early days of vROps, back when it was vCenter Operations, we did have some stability issues with it. Every now and then, we had to reboot it for no good reason because no one was able to log in, but I think with version 6, released a year and a half ago, those things disappeared. Still you need to keep it well-maintained. By comparison, if we upgrade our vSphere infrastructure every six months or so, unless there is a critical patch with vROps, we find ourselves updating it every two to three months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With version 6, we were able to add instances, so it's very scalable. Once you run out of resources, you can either scale up by adding RAM and virtual CPUs to it, or you can just add another instance. It synchronizes automatically. With version 5, this was not available, like horizontal scaling - just going up. 

How is customer service and technical support?

I don't have a good opinion of VMware support. 

I remember at one point, one of our instances was corrupted, and they tried their best to recover it, but in the end, after digging in its insides for three days (and they really dug), they just told us, "You need to rebuild the instance. We can't recover any of your data. Just spin up a new instance and start collecting data from scratch." 

So we lost all our historical data. It wasn't business-critical, because we were able to export our dashboards and import them into the new instance, so NOC was operational a few days after the incident.

Other than this experience, we have not had the best experience with VMware support.

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

The pricing: It's expensive.

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