Thursday, November 6, 2014

Part 1 : vCOps 5.x to vROps 6.0 - Intelligent Operations from Apps to Storage!

Back in the month of August, I had an opportunity to get an early interface to vRealize Operations Manager. I jumped out of the seat when I saw the new UI and the amazing features. As much I wanted to share the goodness of this version of vCOps now called vROps, I knew that I had to wait before we move the product from Beta to RTM and finally to a release built. I have been closely following the progress and have deployed a number of beta builds to provide constant feedback to the product management and of-course to learn the goodness which vROps brings along with itself.

Although their are quite a number of posts out there which have already given an overview of What's New with this version of vROps, I would probably want to give you a high level overview and then double click into the new architecture and features in the days to come. I am also planning a series on Installation & Configuration Best Practices and that would be inline with the series which I did with the 5.x versions.

Before we begin let's start with a quick graphic which gives a 30,000 feet overview of what's new with vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.

Let me dig down into each of these points and give you a preview of these enhancements:-

SCALABILITY - With vROps 6.0, the entire architecture of the application has changed. With this change, vROps is now enabled for horizontal scaling along with the existing option of vertical scale. This change makes the product bigger and better. You can now deploy vROps, in a cluster mode to scale the application on demand. This will allow you to add new objects which you want to monitor using vROps and needless to say that this will surpass the current limit of 12000 VMs which is the limitation of vCOps 5.x. This essentially is possible through the application RAID a.k.a. RAIN concept applied in the architecture. In short, the first node you will deploy will be a MASTER NODE, then you can create a REPLICA NODE which is to provide high availability to the vROps cluster. Every additional node which you add in this cluster will be a DATA NODE and allow you to scale the number of objects which you can monitor using the vROps cluster.

USER INTERFACE - This is definitely the best enhancement for me. vROps 6.0, just has a single UI which is not only intuitive, it has a great look and feel to it. This means that the 3 different UI's, i.e. Admin, vSphere & Custom all come together to make this Unified UI which will have all the features built in. The features on the UI will be unlocked based on the license you hold. The interesting thing is that it's not just an interface change, but a change in the way vROps will treat vSphere & Non-vSphere objects. All the objects within vROps 6.0 are so called first class citizens. In other words, all the objects and related metrics are treated equally whether they come from the VMware Adapter (vCenter Server) or from a 3rd party adapter.

ALERTS - With vROps 6.0, the alerting mechanism is not only based on hard & dynamic thresholds of the available metrics & super metrics, but you have the option to take it to the next level of creating alerts for multiple symptoms which you spot in your datacenter. In simpler terms, you have option to feed in the human intelligence into the alerting system to ensure that you not only get alerts on the things which you are not aware of, but alerts on things which you feel are important to your datacenter operations. While the symptoms make the alerts intelligent, their is an additional enhancement to make these alerts actionable through remediation engine built within vROps. This feature really brings the concept of Self-Healing Datacenter alive and ready to use with this release. vROps, 6.0 has actions built into the product based on python scripts. These actions can help you do sone of the basic tasks like, powering off/on VMs, Snapshots, adding resources etc. While this list is exhaustive, you also have the option to write your own actions. If this was not enough, VMware has integrated the Automation & Orchestration Jewel a.k.a. vRealize orchestrator (formerly called vCenter Orchestration (vCO)) via an adapter which can be used to trigger controlled workflows from vROps into the rest of the ecosystem of your datacenter.

VISUALIZATION - This is definitely one of the biggest enhancement based on the various requests from the customer and feedback from field employees like myself to the engineering groups. With vRealize Operations Manager, you can now look at creating custom reports without digging down into XML coding. With 5.x you only had a set of reports available, for anything extra it was a herculean task of going through XML coding and hoping that one would get the report they are looking for. While vCOps was not designed to be a reporting tool, the traditional IT still believes in looking at reports to take decisions. vROps 6.0 makes it easy by using the concept of VIEWS. You can built views either based on the dashboard widgets, or things such as Lists, Graphs, PIE etc. and plot the required performance or capacity data in these views. These views can then be planted either in reports or dashboards as per the requirement of the consumer. While all this is enhanced, the beauty is that this is available through simple GUI options instead of getting into behind the scenes. This takes custom dashboards and reporting to a completely new level and I am looking forward to create some useful dashboards and share them with you in the days to come. With this, I should also mention that vROps will no longer use 2 virtual machines ( Analytics & UI). Both the VMs are now clubbed into one and each vROps node will be a single VM with both the engines running in it.

CAPACITY MANAGEMENT - Capacity management with vROps from a policy perspective does not change much. Allocation & Demand are still in the game, however, since all the objects are FIRST CLASS citizens, the concept of capacity management is applicable to anything and everything now. While with vCOps 5.x, Capacity Management was limited to vSphere Objects, with vROps it is possible to apply the capacity management policies to each object which is being monitored by vROps. The other crucial change made with 6.0 is the PROJECTS feature. Projects is an enhancement to the What If Analysis. In essence, you will not only be able to forecast using the What If Analysis engine, you will also have the opportunity to convert your analysis into a Project and save it within the vROps engine. Doing this was not possible with the previous version. You will also have the additional option of using the commit option within the project which would automatically do the capacity modelling for you and reserve the capacity for the upcoming projects in an organisation. Remember, this is not limited to the virtual infrastructure. This functionality can be applied to anything which is being monitored under vROps. I can see this feature being tapped potentially by project management tools out their through the NEW API (I almost missed this) available with vROps.

AND MANY MORE....  :-)

Needless to say that this is just a teaser or an introductory post. In days to come, we will double click into each of these areas and many other features which I have not even highlighted yet. Hope you enjoy the post. As always, would love to hear your thoughts, feedback or constructive criticism :-)




  1. Very Nice post Sunny.
    Can you please put some light on internal DB architecture changes between vCOps 5.8 to vROps.

    1. Here you go -

  2. hi sunny ...

    your blog is the awesome one i have seen in my life and thank you so much for providing everything in vmware.
    most thankful to you

  3. Hey mate, good blog. a beginner with VROPs so finding it very useful. Will be going through all the series post.