What is most valuable?
We use vROPs primarily on our VEI side. It gives us a lot of insight into the session experience that I haven't found in another product. It matches PC over IP latency times, packet loss times; I just haven't been able to find that using another product anywhere.
I think it pretty much covers everything I need. I can monitor my storage performance with it. Obviously my host hardware, my virtual desktops. I know it can do virtual servers if we were licensed for that. We don't have NSX. I'm sure that there are add-ins for NSX for it.
How has it helped my organization?
It helps us verify when a customer complains about, or an end user complains about VDI performance. "Is there something going on in the session, network related between the endpoint and the virtual desktop?" Sometimes we are even able to find performance problems or identify network issues before an end user notices it and opens a ticket.
What needs improvement?
Monitoring our vSAN environment still seems to be touch and go. It doesn't always report correctly on that.
What would be helpful is more intuitive troubleshooting or more intuitive messages. Some of the messages that you see really don't make sense. When you start diving in to them, it gets better, but a lot of times there is still a lot of lack of clarity. For example, where do I go to try to figure out exactly what is causing this? Something a little more solid, maybe even link it to some KBs or that that might be related.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's been a very stable product. The upgrades are simple, overall. I haven't had any problems that have come out of updates at all or upgrades to it. Very solid.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We are only using it on a VDI environment of about 550 desktops, but I know from reading the guides that it scales out really well.
How is customer service and technical support?
I have had to contact tech support once or twice. I had a little trouble getting the deployment set up so it would exclude servers, because we aren't licensed to monitor servers with it. Sometimes, certain versions, when you add a feature, pack it in. Sometimes they don't work like you expect them to. But tech support has been great on that and they help get it figured out.
How was the initial setup?
It was deployed when I got there, back in the vCOPS days, and I basically abandoned that installation and did a fresh vROps deployment because we were so far behind it was easier than trying to do the stepped upgrade.
Some of the earlier releases were a bit more complex to get deployed. Newer versions have been really easy. I think I did one other complete redeployment again because we left to get out of scope, and I had a lot fewer questions and a lot fewer issues the second time.
Overall, vROps is a very mature product. It is stable. It's got a lot of features in it and sometimes that's the downside. There is so much power to it it's hard to know how to use it completely.
If you are going to deploy vROps, make sure that you've got time to dedicate to learning it. The deployment is relatively easy. The learning how to leverage all the features of it afterwards can take some time. Leverage educational resources, whether it be through VMware or leveraging a partner if you need to. It is a really good product, it can just be a little overwhelming when you first get a hold of it.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
vROps was there before me. When I got there, I was asked if I felt that there was value in keeping it and I said yes, absolutely.
What other advice do I have?
The most important points in vendor selection are
- the vendor's reputation
- how good their products truly are
- how long they've been around
- the features supported
- the capabilities of their product
- how user friendly it is
- the comfort of the interface
- the overall stability of the product.