VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

Bombards you with false alert warnings and the interface is full of messages that are a waste of time


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is to use it as an operations tool.

How has it helped my organization?

It hasn't improved our organization, we have monitoring in place already, too much overlapping monitoring because wasteful operationally.  Also, the learned behavior thing at first sounds like a great benefit, but when an alert is triggered just because a VMs behavior changes, like for example it uses more network than usual and crosses a threshold but isn't really taxing the underlying infrastructure, well it essentially creates a scenario where admins are logging in to address the alert, but its there really isn't anything wrong.  This stuff should be simple and not overly complicated, and in my opinion the product has become overly complicated over the years. 

What is most valuable?

Reporting is a fantastic tool. It's a great tool for generating reports on different things, and for historically looking at performance metrics to help solve performance problems in an application stack. There are some great uses for it, but I think that VMware needs to take a step back and simplify it a little bit more, without trying to bombard us with everything they can possibly think of. Some of the stuff isn't important, and it's not operationally useful.

What needs improvement?

I used to use the old version, and I liked the old version before it was rebranded. The interface was more intuitive, it was more familiar with traditional vSphere client type interfaces. When I deployed the most recent version, I logged in and I was shocked that I didn't know where to go to do what I wanted to do. The whole interface is an information overload, it just bombards me with messages, warnings, and alerts. When I follow through on the majority of these messages, I realize that I'm really just wasting time because they're not real problems.

There's a time to live metric that keeps flashing all the time saying things like "Your cluster is only going to have 45 days left before this resource is going to run out." It's not true. It simply doesn't happen. We could run our clusters with these warnings for another two years. I'm not happy with that. I don't want to be warned just because one VM deviates a little bit from what it would be doing on a normal basis. I'll only want to be alerted when that specific VM causes a genuine problem within the physical infrastructure, where it's going to create some sort of bottleneck of performance for a larger number of VMs collectively. There's x amount of bandwidth on a physical network interface card as the traffic flows over it. It's not really ever gonna be a bottleneck until that card itself becomes saturated. I don't want to see an alert about a VM that's running over a network card when the card itself isn't saturated. 

These are things that bother me about the product: information overload, too many warnings that are false alerts. After a while, when I see these things all the time I don't want to act on anything anymore. I don't want to log into the product because I know that when I log into it I'm going to see too much stuff that's just going to waste my time.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't scale very quickly in our environment and we only have fixed licensing to a specific product. Even as we add new hosts and classes, we only use that particular product against the assets we are licensed to use it against. We acquired the VRealize operations bundle in a large purchase, as part of a solution for our SAP environment. It actually monitors all the hosts and VMs associated with our SAP infrastructure.

How is customer service and technical support?

OK

Which solutions did we use previously?

We use foglight, and I have to admit vrealize is way better, but we really don't spend much time in either product.  We haven't switched we use both to manage different assets

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple. We have a relatively small environment we were running it against and we didn't have to plug multiple components. We just employed everything all at one server VM stack.

What about the implementation team?

in house

What was our ROI?

Cant' really say there is one, you buy it, you spend money on it, but it doesn't really allow for a return on your investment, it only burns more of your operation teams cycles just to learn it and use it, and respond to the alerts it creates.  Bottom line, if you size your infrastructure correctly you don't need this.  If you want to stack VMs on the host to its tipping point, good luck no matter what you monitor with.   

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

The pricing and licensing structure of this solution weren't so bad. Although the larger scales become more expensive because it's a per-socket model and that's the way VMware prices its stuff out. This particular product could benefit from a different model like a per-VM count rather than a per-socket count. We bought it as part of a bundle and we got a good deal on it. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have another solution from Dell EMC called Foglight, and it's way worse. vRealize is ten times better than that product. Although they both leave us with too much nonsense to bother with.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a six.

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