VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) Review

We use it to see whether a VM is actually being stressed from a memory or a CPU standpoint. We would like it to monitor outside the virtual world.

Valuable Features

Our primary use of it is for loading purposes, whether it be for memory or CPU loading, how much storage consumption. There's a large paradigm shift that everybody's had at this organization, going from physical to virtual. They all think, "The software says I need 16 GB RAMs, I need 16 GB RAMs when it's virtualized." When in reality they really don't. We've started things off and it's been really difficult for people to adjust to that, because we start off with 4 GB, which is our standard VM size. We'll use vCOps to see if it's actually being stressed from a memory or a CPU standpoint, if it needs more CPU or more memory. In most cases, we show that it's not; when we go back, we find out there was either a badly written query, maybe it's I/O bound or something, or network bound, those kinds of things. It's helped us to keep the sprawl from happening.

Improvements to My Organization

I think it streamlines the tech side of things, where people are doing the troubleshooting. We've got three tier levels. It didn't help the tier 1 folks too much because they don't have access to it. But the tier 2 folks, they do, they use it as a tool to see if indeed there's something wrong or if it's a specific application as opposed to the virtual machine. Things along that nature. It definitely helps from a troubleshooting standpoint.

Room for Improvement

There are some features that we would like it to monitor outside of the virtual world. For example, networking and appliances. I know that there are some adapters that you can add that will help with that, but it doesn't give you that full picture of the organization. It's hard to bridge across multiple domains and things of that nature.

I think what's missing is what we haven't deployed yet, things such as Infrastructure Navigator, which goes by a different name now. Part of the reason I attended VMworld 2016 is to bone up on the newer vROps, actually the entire vRealize Suite; see how best we can migrate them over.

I think a single pane of glass for everything would be most useful to me.
I think it would be nice if, when you actually found an issue somewhere, by clicking you can actually go in and fix the issue. I think that probably happens on later versions, I know our version we don't have that capability.

Stability Issues

We've had stability issues with the underlying PostgreSQL database; it's very chatty, it fills the logs up, it fills the drives up. We have to go in and shut it down, resize the database drives. It would be nice to be able to do that on the fly, as opposed to having to shut the system down and use manual Linux tools to expand the partition sizes and stuff.

Scalability Issues

I can't really address scalability because we deployed it for what we wanted already. We're not going to grow. Scalability I don't think is an issue for us. We deployed it for what we wanted. It's not something we've addressed.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I have used technical support a couple of times. They were helpful. They pointed me to the issues, the database issue I mentioned elsewhere.

Previous Solutions

We didn't have anything that was monitoring the virtual infrastructure.

Initial Setup

Initial set up was straightforward. We follow the PDFs that you get from VMware; pretty straightforward.

Other Solutions Considered

We looked at SolarWinds and we looked at a Veeam product.

vROps fit better. It just fit better for what we were doing. The other ones didn't. You had to install agents on all of the VMs. We didn't just want to do that.

Other Advice

Plan it out, because a lot of IT guys want to bring it up, install it, see what's going on, and then they realize, "I need to build it this way now, instead of that way." Do the research ahead of time, plan it out and size it properly from the outside.

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