What is our primary use case?
Primary use case for vRealize Operations is from an optimization standpoint. We're actually getting analytics from our VMs for over-provisioned VMs, under-provisioned VMs, and making the adjustments accordingly, per the recommendation from Operations.
How has it helped my organization?
One of the benefits for our organization, in particular, was the optimization piece where, historically, our virtual environment has always been over-provisioned. We've always tried to go from a physical to virtual, one-for-one. Now, with vRealize Operations, we're actually proving to the company that we're utilizing the virtual infrastructure to its fullest capability, but actually scaling back instead of adding more resources.
From a troubleshooting standpoint, beforehand it took us a lot of time to actually go into esxtop, pull the actual raw data that was happening from a storage level, a network level, a CPU/VCPU and memory level. But having all of these resources at our fingertips, from a graphical user interface, we can pinpoint the pitfall very easily. And it is very user-friendly, with the red, green, yellow "what's wrong." And getting the right teams involved faster has helped us the most with vRealize Operations.
What is most valuable?
Most valuable feature is the dashboards that we can customize per-user that logs into them. If we need to make a dashboard that's very high-level for our executive to see how our virtual environment's handling things, we can do that. Or, if we need to deep-dive technically, we can do that for our engineers. They really need to see the important stats that make our virtual environment work the most efficiently.
The solution is very user-friendly. From an installation standpoint, it only takes about half a day to a day to implement. Integration with vCenter is very seamless, starts collecting data, almost immediately once you make those connections, getting real-time data within the first 24 to 48 hours. User friendliness is very easy.
What needs improvement?
A lot of feedback that we're getting from some of our engineers who are actually using Operations today is that the graphics are very low-key. When it comes to red, yellow, green, yes, "Skittles Theory," but when it actually comes down to what's optimized and what's not optimized, it's very rudimentary. If they could actually make nicer pie charts or graphics involved in it, it would make it a lot easier to read the data on a higher level, rather than actually having to dive down and know specifically what you're looking at.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's extremely stable. Since we implemented it, we haven't had a restart or reboot that wasn't for a maintenance period, and we've been up ever since, collecting data.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is very easy. Once you implement a new vCenter, it's pretty much just make the connection to the new vCenter and it automatically starts collecting data from all the VMs in that new vCenter. Clusters, DRS recommendations, HA recommendations, everything's at your fingertips and it's very easy to upscale, per your environment, for the growth of your company.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We didn't have a solution at the get-go. Once we implemented this, we actually saw the grand scheme, or a higher level, from top-down, of our whole virtualized environment, that we weren't getting before without really deep-diving into the underlying hypervisor level. That's really what we've been using it for.
How was the initial setup?
We learned that we had the licensing for it, I downloaded the file, and just ran with it. It was very straightforward, just downloaded the file from the internet, uploaded into vCenter, ran it, IP address, log on to the web console and go.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We had a little bit of Hyper-V, but normally, mostly VMware.
What other advice do I have?
If you're running VMware, implement vRealize Operations as soon as possible.
I would rate the solution and eight out of ten. The only reason why (it's not a ten) is because of that graphical interface (issue) that I just described.