VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

It has enhanced our ability to troubleshoot and effectively manage our solutions


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What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for the product is to to look at all of our infrastructure and provide stats to our performance team for most of our applications. We integrate with vSphere and have a fairly large vSan, which we rely on vRealize Operations to keep on top of to let us know if there are disk failures, alerts, or system health issues. This is pretty much the day-to-day triaging problems of vRealize Operations. 

It has been performing very well. We've been a vRealize shop for about five years. There were early kinks in the some of the virtual appliances as we rolled them out, but for the last year and a half, it has been rock solid.

How has it helped my organization?

It has enhanced our ability to troubleshoot and effectively manage our solutions to understand what clusters are having issues and diagnose those programs right away, so we can be proactive. We are now proactive, which we weren't before. We achieve this through vRealize.

We're catching problems earlier. The troubleshooting which goes into it is proactive. One thing I did recently was right-size all my clusters. I did that through vCOPS within a couple hours. I was able to move workloads around to different clusters and optimize my whole environment, which was across about 300 ESX hosts. So, it's very powerful.

We pay attention to disk snapshots which are in the overhead on SAN data stores that we have. They have the ability to collapse different virtual machines to different data stores and do a lot of cleanup. Without that visibility, we would probably have a lot more wasted space and more money that would have been out the door.

What is most valuable?

One of the things that we had to rollout in the last year and a half is compliance. The product has done a great job of ensuring all of our virtual infrastructure is compliant, and we have met all our regulatory compliance, which has been a huge help. 

There is rich dashboarding, which has the ability to customize dashboards. It has gotten better with the versions. I have assigned it to some co-ops who learned it within a few weeks and have dashboarding almost right away. It's very intuitive platform. 

What needs improvement?

Working with vendors more to suck more pieces in via the infrastructure and do that for zero cost, if we could. While not always based on VMware, if we want to add something in like Microsoft SCOM data, we have to go out and buy it, or certain widgets we have to buy. The more pieces we can receive for free and have everything cooked into vCOPS to give us a single pane of glass (for zero or minimal cost), this would benefit us.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We don't have any downtime for our vRealize app. It's definitely helped out with the stability of our platforms. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very flexible and scalable. Adding things in has become a lot easier along with utilizing some of the capacity analysis features. If I have a project to add in resourcing, I can go to vCOPS, and do an analysis. I can put it through its workflow, then it tells me what to add and it's usually pretty accurate.

How is customer service and technical support?

From time and time again, there's little tweaks you got to make to the vRealize platform. The technical support has been excellent. 

I haven't had any problems. Usually within an hour or so, we have diagnosed the problem and have a solution that we either need to implement or implement right away. 

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup a long time ago. 

Now, the lifecycle product has provided some things which are very easy to roll out within the vRealize suite. It is just check things out and roll it out, then it sort of monitors the application. This has greatly enhanced our ability to roll out vCOPS quickly and augment it too.

What was our ROI?

The ability to not have to buy as much hardware. I can look across all my clusters and spread the resourcing out. I can see where I have some low and high points, then not have to go out and buy a whole bunch of blades which I don't need. It has helped us in our capacity analysis and purchasing. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Turbonomic. It was expensive because of their ability to learn your environment. We already owned a piece of the vROPs suite, the compliance manager, so we sort of fell into the suite. We thought we can go out and buy Turbonomic, which will cost us so much money or we get the enterprise product because we already have the compliance manager piece, which is what we did, and never looked back. 

It's an excellent solution compared to others. When I first looked at a Turbonomic was a few years ago, they had a few more features than what vCOPS was doing at the time. I gave that feedback and all those features are now in the product. Therefore, there's not much of a comparison today.

What other advice do I have?

  • Dig into your requirements.
  • Put a list together.
  • Then, start taking a look at vCOPS, because it's a great product. It most likely will fit your requirements. 

I would highly recommend the product to anybody who is out there. It has saved us a lot of money.

I would give it a nine out of ten. It's an excellent product, but there's always room for improvement. I never give anything a ten.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We usually put together a list of requirements about what we are looking for within the product. One was the extensibility; the ability to kind of have a single pane of glass. This has been one thing which benefited us with vCOPS, as we can snap in almost any other vendor's hardware, whether it be UCS, Dell, or Cisco switches. This was a big requirement for us.

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