VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

A scalable solution that is good for monitoring and day-to-day troubleshooting


What is our primary use case?

We monitor workloads with vROps. For example, if a new customer wants our services, we need to know the impact if you put their workloads in our platform, i.e., if this new workload will have any impact on the product or platform. We need to know the increase in percentage relative to CPU, memory, and disk. So, it is important to know how a new project or workload can impact the product or platform.

How has it helped my organization?

It can decrease the downtime of a client who recently has experienced performance issues by 10% to 15%. This tool can help you decrease those kinds of circumstances. Downtime is also about the design of the solution and how you put workloads in your infrastructure. If you put in more VMs than your infrastructure can support, you will have a big problem with all your clients. That is the reason that it is very important to check the performance every day of the ESXi host and vCenter from maintenance mode. If you periodically check if you have had a security issue, then you can resolve it as soon as possible from a security perspective.

vROps is selling because we have a lot of customers who need to know their usage of VMs, e.g., is the sizing of our VM good or should I decrease it? Or, in reverse, I need to increase the size of the VMs. All this is about the performance and what VMs resources you can liberate from the platform.

What is most valuable?

It is a very good tool for day-to-day troubleshooting. For example, if you have CPU-ready VMs, you can build a report of VMs who recently had an issue. It is useful for making decisions and troubleshooting issues. I think it is the most powerful option on the market.

You can schedule reports on the platform that are very useful day-to-day. 

For project management and new clients, the What-If Analysis is very good. You can use it for workloads. When you are adding new workloads to your platform, it helps you avoid impacting your production.

There is another useful tool for undersizing or downsizing VMs, which has more resources than they can handle. 

We have a dashboard for the latency of the datastore on the storage side. For new architectures, we have a vSAN dashboard for latency based on the usage of vSAN, because you need to regularly see the used space.

The newer versions (5, 6, and 7) are more user-friendly. There are tabs upfront where you can see if you need a dashboard, for example. You also have a building option, if you want to build in the infrastructure and how. It is very customizable from that point of view.

It is a very good tool for efficiency. From an ESXi host perspective, you can see the CPU rate on a dashboard. For example, if the relationship is 5:1, then it is a good standard. If you exceed this, you can get into problems with VM performance. If you have a host with a VM inside of a host using the CPU, you can balance that manually. It can also help you move the VMs into clusters. 

What needs improvement?

The older versions are not user-friendly.

If you have an operations center, you can put a big monitor with its dashboards so you can see what is going on in your platforms. However, there is no real-time. It takes about five minutes to refresh info. It is a good option if you need to see the entire landscape of the solution, e.g., the CPU, memory, and disks. For example, if you have plugins for VxRail, and there is a problem, will you be notified?

They could mix in parts of VMware Skyline into vROps to make it more efficient.

In a previous version, you could click on a cluster to see a lot of information about efficiency, e.g., when you will run out of memory, CPU usage, and RAM in percentages. In newer versions, you see this information in megahertz and kilobytes, not percentage. I don't like this change so much. If you need to present information to your boss or Director of IT, the information would be better with a percentage. Now, you have only a big number and don't know the percentage of use that you are getting from the VMs. I don't know why they changed it, but I liked the percentage version more than getting the numbers for megahertz of memory. Also, kilobytes of memory is a very large number. For a simple view, gigabytes or terabytes is better.

With the What-If Analysis, if you put some information in, and then add another workload, it is not possible to view the two workloads in the What-If Analysis. For example, if you have a customer who wants to up your sizing by 30% more, and then you have another customer tool which needs sizing, how can you leverage resources? If you add these two customers, then your sizing might be 70%, but you only have 30% of your resources free.

I would like to see more information about public cloud plugins with Amazon, Google Cloud, and Azure. This is really important in the future. Companies are moving to public clouds to maintain their workloads since they don't have downtime, which makes for very stable platforms.

In the future, they could add a central administrator for vROps. For example, if you have a large environment from multiple countries, then you need to look at the landscape for performance and forecasting.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it since 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Version 6.7 is more stable than the previous version. There is no real problem with the purchase of upgrades. So, it is a very stable platform if you get good sizing of the tool. If the VMs do not have the appropriate memory and CPU, then you can probably get performance issues. So, this is important for the tool. From the disk size, it is better to choose the thicker VMDK to maintain a good performance if you had a lot of vCenters.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable solution. If you need more vCenters or information, you can simply add VMs onto the cluster. From the vROps cluster, you can get more resources from the VMs. You only need to deploy a new VM for the cluster of vROps, and this automatically moves the workloads. If you put an IP, then the server will recognize this new node from the cluster and the job automatically. So, it has very good scalability.

There are a lot of plugins. For example, I use the vCloud Director plugin for private cloud. We also have VxRail. VMware and Dell EMC work very well together. From the VxRail side, there are plugins that can help show you more information for your platform.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support team is very good. They will explain things to you. You are very involved with the problem. I think the Latin America team works out of Costa Rica.

We had some problems with the views in version 6.5. It would show me 110% usage, which doesn't make sense. We opened a case with VMware. I worked with their development team in Bulgaria. We resolved the problem. 

I had a problem with a vROps plugin because we upgraded our vCloud Director. The plugin didn't recognize the upgrade. At that moment, we are doing a workaround for this while they apply a new update from this plugin to resolve this problem.

We had a demo for Tanzu from VMware for vCloud Director. We needed to show a customer how vCloud Director works with Tanzu and the Kubernetes solution. From that demo, we built a solution with VMware that links with vCloud Director as a platform.

VMware Skyline detects a problem in your platform. It has the ability to create a ticket to VMware directly, then you will receive a call from VMware, "Oh, you had this problem." It also monitors security issues.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for the demo is very easy. You have 60 days to use the trial version and see what the tool has to offer to you. You only download the URL, then configure some parameters, IP, and sizing. Also, in the wizard, you have an option where you can see VMs with more CPU, memory, and disk. 

The deployment was first a demo version, which was standalone with one VM. Then, we needed to add more vCenters to vROps, so we needed to add more VMs. Finally, we had three VMs to maintain the database of vROps.

We started with a demo version to see what the tool has to offer our organization in regards to the VM's efficiency and health. This is very common for our company. They ask you, "What if you put more workload in our infrastructure? How will this impact a new workload in our environment?"

You have two options to deploy VMs. 

  1. You have thin space. If you use VMs, then there is space to increase. However, if you decide to choose VMs with thin space, probably for an SQL database, there is no other good option from a performance perspective.
  2. You have thick space. For example, you have a disk of 100 GB, and you say, "All" in the first deployment.

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

The billing is complicated because every country has a different option. Here in Chile, we don't pay for this kind of service with the Chilean pesos. We use another currency. In the future, I think vROps needs to work with governments for a native solution.

What other advice do I have?

It is useful for determining whether to make decisions. Also, for our troubleshooting issues, it is the most powerful option in the market.

vROps provides a good native solution if you are using multiple VMware tools.

The design and what you sell to customers will impact your infrastructure.

There is a new version, but I haven't used it yet.

I would rate this solution as an eight out of 10.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

6.7
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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