VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

Useful for performance monitoring, alert monitoring, and capacity planning

What is our primary use case?

We use vROps as a monitoring solution because it is good at that. It is designed to monitor VMware data centers. 

I am using AWS and Azure. I prefer AWS, but it depends on the budget of the company as well. Having customers in the cloud is cheaper than on-premises, but it is completely different.

How has it helped my organization?

Many of the features in this solution have helped out and improved my customer's organizations, such as creating, monitoring, splitting, modifying, playing with the VLRs and alarm definitions, notifications, performance analysis, cost analysis, and cost-calculations report comparisons.

Improves performance for the CPU. Helps us develop a future plan.

The VMware data center has helped us be more proactive in anticipating and solving problems by splitting the production servers. I can combine it with other solutions, like Horizons Cloud. This helps in general.

vRealize Log Insight has affected our overall troubleshooting by allowing us to have a single point to check everything. For example, when I was using Dell EMC RecoveryPoint for virtual machines, which is protection software, they had a single dashboard inside the vCenter in order to check the overall information on the dashboard, such as storage. Previously, I would need to connect to vCenter to check every single log or if there was an alert. With this solution, I do not need to connect to the dashboard or vCenter. By using the UI of vRealize, I can connect independently from my home computer with no need to access vCenter. I have a single dashboard where I can check everything I need, such as alerts, emails, any critical situation, or Log Insight, all from one single place.

What is most valuable?

The most favorable features of the solution are it has a good design, is easy to use, and can be used for a large variety of solutions. You are able to combine it with many tools and solutions, such as LDAP, Active Directory, and automation solutions.

The UI is user-friendly and easy to use. For example, with a colleague that has just started in the IT field, I can easily explain how to use this solution. It is very intuitive. It has graphics and a lot of details. When comparing it to other vendor monitoring tools. It is much simpler to manage, configure, automate, and do reporting.

It is useful for performance monitoring, alert monitoring, and capacity planning. In the latest version, you have the ability to calculate how much you are spending on your infrastructure for every single machine or the final price of one of your virtual machines. Additionally, you can look at the information between on-premises and AWS, then compare the differences.

There is proactive monitoring available. You need to adjust the appropriate settings, accordingly.

What needs improvement?

The solution can improve by offering more flexible integration with other platforms or products, such as Hyper-V or Azure. Not everyone uses VMware. It would be beneficial to have a more open-source concept for integration, creating more visibility across multiple clouds.

Sometimes, from a normal user's perspective, I feel like I want to get to the main dashboard faster because there are a lot of options to get to the final step. To get to our main dashboard on Windows machines, you need to click about 10 times and change a lot of options. It would be better if they could organize it to be only three to five steps.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) for approximately five years. I apply and implement it in different businesses and companies as a consultant.

I use vROps daily as a user and administrator. I also explain the solution to colleagues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable without downtime. They have improved the solution over previous versions. 

I do the daily tasks, like monitoring. Since I am using the version, I haven't had to apply any upgrades, do any migrations to new appliances, or apply remote collectors.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale up by combining all your vCenters and add collectors. It is very flexible.

In the small companies that I work with, there are about 50 users who are using it for monitoring critical solutions, like finance programs, SQL Servers, IIS, NGINX, Data Domain, and Avamar. 

How are customer service and technical support?

In general, VMware has good technical support. They have top guys.

I have contacted VMware about Dell EMC issues, but they only focus on vROps support.

There is a strong user community with blogs, which is very important. The community is really extensive. A lot of people help you. We share information there.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used other solutions previously and it was impossible to get the dashboard from Dell EMC appliances. We found this solution does it perfectly.

I was previously using other tools combined with Windows, such as RVTools. Now, I only use one solution that has an all-inclusive virtual appliance. vROps is always improving, e.g., the UI, and a benefit to our operations. In general, it is a great product.

I have integrated vROps with vRealize Log Insight and vRealize automation. After integrating vRealize, we tried to split and combine the logs from the login sites for more alerts and information to organize the whole infrastructure and have automation. We used many different types of scripts trying to orchestrate them all together into one solution, replacing, for example, Elasticsearch and some other scripts.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of the solution is easy. 

The deployment takes less than 20 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

It is easy to deploy the settings. It is not complex at all. You can start all over and organize everything differently.

First, I choose on-premises because I want to feel in first person how difficult or easy the installation or deployment is from other data centers. Also, I combine it with Active Directory as well as VMware Workspace. Even if it is a PoC, I do the installation to production.

I also work with third-parties and providers.

What was our ROI?

vROps has helped decrease downtime by approximately 35% by giving me a warning when the VMs are down.

We are receiving approximately 75% workload placement efficiency. vROps is good in this case.

By using the cloud solution, it helps save on costs. We did not have to allocate money or resources for what is typically associated with on-premise solutions, such as installations, upgrades, maintenance, and network hardware.

The virtual appliance is not power-intensive. It does not use a lot of CPU, RAM, etc.

It gets better with every version.

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

The licensing is not clear at the moment if the on-premises pricing is the same as on the cloud. I am checking on the pricing. However, you can save a lot of money with the cloud solution because you need to spend time installing, upgrading, and connecting with the on-premises solution. Also, you don't need to spend time scheduling the maintenance and maintaining the solution when using the cloud version.

I recommend it to colleagues and companies, but people have complained that it is expensive. I think the pricing is fair.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I tested SolarWinds, ManageEngine, and HPE. I was looking for a product to help with monitoring of some special appliances from Dell EMC. I tested different products, and this solution was the only one that helped my customers and me to get the final solution that I was looking for. It is really difficult, practically impossible, to get a monitoring system for these types of Dell EMC physical appliances: Avamar, Data Domain, and RecoverPoint. I tried different products, like Zabbix, Nagios, and PRTG. Whereas, vROps is perfect for this type of job.

Dell EMC doesn't have any idea how to monitor. They offer coding, scripting, APIs, and connecting to vCenter. They don't offer a knowledge base or advice for monitoring problems. I discovered vROps for monitoring their problems.

While open sources are free, you have to spend a lot of time training and explaining to people how to use them.  

I am reading and checking for different solutions all the time.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to test the product.

I am monitoring VxRail from vROps.

Our average time for resolution depends on the issue. For example, if I receive a notification, and there is a large latency or the hard disk is filling up too fast, it will depend on the end administrator who is monitoring it.

I rate VMware vROps vRealize Operations an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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