Monday, October 16, 2017

Part 1 - Install and Configure vRealize Operations Federation Management Pack

VMware recently released the vRealize Operations Federation Management Pack. Since I see a number of folks asking about the new management pack, I thought it would be useful to have a video sries which can help you understand the use cases behind the vROps Federation Management Pack. This short video series will cover a number of important topics about the vRealze Operations Fedration Management Pack.

To get more details about this management pack click here.

In this first part, I will step you through the Installation and Configuration process of the Federation Management Pack. 




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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Announcing General Availability of vROPS Federation Management Pack 1.0

We just announced the the Federation Management Pack for vRealize Operations Manager.


What is the Federation Management Pack:

The vRealize Operations Federation Management Pack helps you to unify your multi-site vRealize operations deployment into a single pane of glass. This solution allows you to instantiate a deployment of vRealize Operations Manager with the capability of receiving key metrics for specified objects from other vRealize Operations Deployment in your environment.


The management pack allows you to unlock the following use cases:
  • Provide a summary of Performance, Capacity and Configuration to Senior Executives and VI-Admins across all your vSphere environments.
  • Provide a unified view of events triggered across the virtual environments into a single page for making it easier for NOC / Helpdesk to initiate action.
  • Ability to create a data warehouse where user selected set of metrics could be stored for data archiving and reporting use cases.
  •  Ability to provide summarized views of Health and Configuration of your Software Defined Datacenter Stack. This includes core applications such as VMware vCenter, VMware NSX and VMware vSAN. The solution also covers the management applications such as vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Automation, vRealize Business and VMware Site Recovery Manager.Supports vROPS 6.6 and 6.6.1 

Getting Started Dashboard

The federation management pack comes with the Getting Started Page which allows you go through all the dashboards which comes with the solution. It also allows you to get a visibility into all the vROps environments you are monitoring with the Federation instance of vRealize Operations.



Documentation and Links:




Tuesday, September 26, 2017

vROps Webinar 2017 - Part 4 - Optimizing Workload Performance Using Automation

While we all know that, automating day to day operations tasks is becoming the choice of an IT organization, it is hard for them to find a solution which can completely understand their business policies and provide them the efficiency they need from automating simple operational tasks.


Based on our research, we found that, one of the most time consuming activity done by an Virtual Infrastructure Administrator is to juggle resources between the changing business requirements and ensure that every VM which is being hosted in their environment is BEING SERVED WELL.
With VMware vRealize Operations 6.6, a new and innovative solution is introduced to cater to this use case. While there are other products in the market which claim to have done this, what we have learned from our customers that Technology applied by those solutions quickly forgets that Automation should also consider business policies. This functionality is called Workload Balance. In our last episode of the webinar series, we discussed and demo'ed this capability.

Here is the recording:




We would highly appreciate if you could spend 30 seconds to fill up this quick and simple survey to provide us your feedback. You can also request topics of your choice through this survey.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Announcing General Availability of VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.0

VMware just announced the aviability of VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager.

VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager automates Day 0 to Day 2 operations of the entire vRealize Suite, enabling simplified operational experience for customers. vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager automates lifecycle management with a single pane of glass, thereby freeing customer resources to focus on business-critical initiatives, while improving time to value (TTV), reliability, and consistency.


Here is quick video showcasing the product and capabilities:



Key capabilities include:

·       Simplified New Install of vRealize Suite
o  Product & Solution Based install (VVD)
o  Standardized deployment sizing (S/M/L)
o  Silent Install (infra as code)
·       Support Brownfield Environment - Import existing environment
·       Single sign-on (vIDM integration)
·       GUI & API based
·       Export configuration (JSON template)
·       Snapshot and one-click upgrade
·       Day 2 Operations - Scale-out, Organic growth
·       Pre-checks & Validation
·       myvmware.com Integration
·       Configuration Management and Drift Reporting
·       Health Monitoring (Integration with vROPS SDDC Health)
·       Error Handling / Log Bundles
·       Aligned to VMware reference architecture & VMware validated designs
·       Backup and restore with EMC Avamar.


Important Links:

·       Download Landing Page

·       Release Notes 



Monday, September 4, 2017

vROps Webinar 2017 - Announcing Part 4 : Optimizing Workload Performance Using Automation


Back from VMworld 2017. Clearly, this has to be the BEST EVER VMworld for VMware and its customers. I am still hungover from all the announcements and amazing solutions we have to offer to our customers.

Well, in all this excitement, I wanted to make sure that we are able to keep our promise of sharing more about vRealize Operations 6.6. In my last episode of the webinar series, I gave you a quick overview of the all new version of vROps. IN this episode, I want to DIVE DEEP into the interesting topic of introducing automation into operations.

While we all know that, automating day to day operations tasks is becoming the choice of an IT organization, it is hard for them to find a solution which can completely understand their business policies and provide them the efficiency they need from automating simple operational tasks.

Based on our research, we found that, one of the most time consuming activity done by an Virtual Infrastructure Administrator is to juggle resources between the changing business requirements and ensure that every VM which is being hosted in their environment is BEING SERVED WELL.

With VMware vRealize Operations 6.6, a new and innovative solution is introduced to cater to this use case. While there are other products in the market which claim to have done this, what we have learned from our customers that Technology applied by those solutions quickly forgets that Automation should also consider business policies.

With Workload Balance as the next topic of our Webinar Series, we will talk about some real world use cases and demonstrate how we can AUTOMATE OPERATIONS keeping in mind the business goals and requirements. I have selected a date post VMworld Barcelona and hopefully it will suit you.

Make sure that you save the invite. Here are the details: 👇👇👇


Session Title
Date
Tuesday, 19th September 2017
Time
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Pacific Time
Speakers
Sunny Dua & Simon Eady
Webinar Link
Save Invite


See you at the Webinar!!  👋👋👋👋




Saturday, August 26, 2017

See you at VMworld!!





Hope your bags are packed and you are heading towards Vegas for VMworld 2017. This year like every year if bigger and better and I am extrememly excited to be part of this game changing time in the industry. 

Just in-case you are unable to attend this year, make sure you mark your calendar for the Live General Sessions. Here is the link with more details..

If you are at the show then do not forget to catch up. I would love to have a chat with you if you are challenged in running operations and looking for solutions. One way to catch up would be through breakout sessions. This year, I am privileged to present a session with a customer and a old buddy Sudharsan S. from Cognizant about this exciting concept of running measured operations. The founder of the program is my close buddy Iwan Rahabok and you can learn more about the program on his blog. Or you can be in this room at VMworld to attend LIVE


Add this session to your schedule by clicking here.
In another session (Group Discussion), I will talk about how we help customers run production operations with vRealize Suite. This is a JAM session where we would welcome all the feedback you might have from your experiences of using the VMware vRealize Intelligent Ops Solutions. So if you have feedback for us which we can use to help create our next gen products, this is the session for you.


Add this session to your schedule by clicking here.

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For our TAM (Technical Account Managed) customers, I will be available in the TAM Central in VMVillage presenting on a couple of topics. These are exclusive events for TAM customers and you need to speak to your TAM to attend these. The first one will be with Iwan. This is a 2 hour deep dive workshop which will talk about Architecting Operations in this new ERA. The learning's from this session would be applicable to your work as soon as you are back to office from VMworld :-)



Another TAM customer session would be on a topic which I cannot disclose on my blog. But if you are a TAM customer and looking for solutions to manage large scale, globally distributed cloud environments, then this is the session for you.

Session Name : Can't tell you here :-)
Location - Mandalay Bay, Level 3, Palm A
Time - Tuesday, 29th August - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM


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I will be podcasting as well with Yadin from Druva Inc. whom I recently worked with on a very cool project of creating a vTrailMap. This map can help you immensely with your jouney to the cloud :-) More details can be found by meeting Yadin in the exhibition area. You can find him on twitter. Here is his tweet about the vTrailMap




Here is the Podcast Timing. Make sure to Tune in :-)

When
Wed Aug 30, 2017 12pm – 12:30pm Pacific Time
Where
VMware Village - Podcasting Booth (map)

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I am happy to share that me and Iwan would be presenting at the Extreme Performance Bootcamp at VMworld organized by Mark A. We will be talking about how to measure performance of your vSphere Environments using vRealize Operations Manager. We will also touch upon how you can troubleshoot your vSphere Environments effectively. Here are the session details.


Saturday August 26, 2017
8:00am to 5:00pm
(registration opens at 6:30am)
Location:
Mandalay Bay, South Convention Centre
3rd Floor Jasmine Rooms

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Just in case if we do not meet, do make sure you get your #vROpsNinja Stickers from the VMware Intelligent Operations Booths in the Exhibition Area. We have a bunch of them reserved for you :-)


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Finally I will be participating in the #VMworld Hackathon this year with a dream team. John Dias (the voice behind the product videos of vRealize Operations Manager 6.6) will be one of them.

Hackathon starts on Monday 8:00 PM at Luxor and runs late. More details here - https://blogs.vmware.com/code/2017/07/28/vmworld-hackathon-back/ 


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Monday, August 21, 2017

Demystifying vRealize Operations Data Collection

Around 3 years ago I wrote an article explaining the data collection process of vRealize Operations Manager. In that article, I wrote about the path followed by the data from source to destination. Fast forward 3 years and I still get questions about vROps data collection process and granularity.

People have different notions about this, so let me share the secret sauce:

vRealize Operations Manager Out of the Box, is configured to collect data every 5 (FIVE) minutes form the source. The collector wakes up every 5 minutes and gets last 15 samples of 20 seconds interval from the source.


15 Data Points X 20 Seconds = 300 Seconds ( 5 minute collection cycle)


Once the 20 samples are in, we go ahead and average them out to come up with the value which is saved in the FSDB (File System Database) of vROps. In parallel, operations such as threshold checking, computed metric calculation etc. take place.

As we all know you can further transform this data in views and super metrics by using functions such as Min, Max, Standard Deviation etc. All these functions run on the data saved in FSDB which is the 5 minute data point explained above.

These transformations are NOT ran on the 20 seconds samples. The 20 seconds samples infact are used to do calculations of the 5 minutes data points and are dropped as soon as that calculation is done. This reduces the storage requirement drastically.

Also, it is possible to change this default collection cycle from 5 minutes down to 1 minute, however it is not recommended to do that unless you understand the overall impact on Compute and Storage for increased collection and processinh.

Hope this helps!!




Tuesday, August 8, 2017

vRealize Operations Manager 6.6.1 Released

VMware just announced the release of vRealize Operations Manager 6.6.1. This is a maintenance release which has the minor bug fixes which were reported with vRealize Operations 6.6. If you are looking to upgrade to vRops 6.6. I would highly recommedn to move to 6.6.1 so that you can benefit from these minor bug fixes.

As per the release notes, here are the lists of issues which have been taken care off with this maintenance release:

  • The Total Reclamation Opportunity widget in the Capacity Overview dashboard now displays the correct Reclaimable Capacity metric value.

  • The VM percentage metric values for the idle, wait, system, iowait, and swapwait metrics have been corrected.

  • Issues with View rendering where resource and aggregation filtering options have both been set, has been resolved.

  • Issues with report generation for reports created in earlier versions has been resolved.

  • Improved Cluster resilience in case of packet drop spikes in the network.

  • Intermittent End Point Operations adapter install/upgrade failures has been fixed.

  • The vSAN World object shows the correct number of VMs using vSAN datastore.

  • vRealize Operations user interface displays correct information when custom attribute is updated directly in vCenter Server.

  • Imported vIDM user preserves all assigned groups.

  • Users can enter FQDN as part of the vIDM redirect URL.

  • Endless analytics restarts caused by a empty file is fixed.

  • Only vSAN enabled host are counted in the vSAN World object.

  • The issue with empty Cassandra file has been resolved.

  • Intermittent REST authentication issues has been fixed.

  • vSphere tags are no longer cleared if tag query fails.

  • Negative values for some of the metrics of the vSAN adapter are corrected.




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Part 10 - VM Mobility gets a whole new meaning with Workload Balance in vROps 6.6

Hope you are enjoying the vROps 6.6 Whats's New Series. I took a little break from writing, but I am back with some more goodness around vROps 6.6. One of the key features which was shipped out in this realese is called the Workload Balance.

In my first post of this What's New Series, I wrote in brief about Fully Automated Workload Balance. Here is a quick recap of what I highlighted about this feature.

  • Fully Automated Workload Balancing:
    • Ensures performance across the datacenter's with fully automated workload balancing, across clusters and across data stores.
    • Ensures DRS Configurations and provides the option to set DRS automation level for individual objects.
    • Predictive DRS takes action to preempt resource contention.
    • Utilizes operations analytics to optimize initial placement of workloads through vRealize Automation.

In the upcoming vROps Webinar Series, I will go deep into this topic to explain how vROps Workload Balance can help you proactively avoid performance problem by using the Mobility Aspects of a VM with time trusted technologies such as vMotion and Storage vMotion.

Apart from being proactive on moving virtual machines across clusters, Workload Balance also helps you track the configuration of DRS which plays a big role in moving virtual machines within the cluster.

With Custom Datacenters (a construct of vRealize Operations Manager), you can create your mini datacenters of your favorite clusters with like properties and move virtual machines between these clusters to avoid any performance bottlenecks and effectively utilize the capacity.

Watch out for the announcement for the next webinar episode where we will see all this goodness in action.

In the mean-time, see this video from Matt Bradford who works as a Technical Account Manager at VMware and also runs a wonderful blog named vmspot.com 

Matt explains both Workload Balance and Predictive DRS with some great examples. See him in action below:




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Thursday, July 27, 2017

vROps Webinar Series 2017 - Part 3 - What's New with vROps 6.6.

Hello!!! Hope you enjoyed the last episode of vRealize Operations Webinar Series.This time around we spoke about the all new version of the product : vRealize Operations Manager 6.6, which is recently released by VMware.

We started with an overview of all the cool new stuff and then drill down into individual areas. We then jumped into a Live Demo as usual to see the new features in action.

We would highly appreciate if you could spend 30 seconds to fill up this quick and simple survey to provide us your feedback. You can also request topics of your choice through this survey.


Here is the recording!






Note : It is recommended that you watch the video in HD quality for a great experience.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Contest : Share Your vROps 6.6 Upgrade Story & Win Exciting Prizes

The VMware Communities just started a contest on vRealize Operations Manager 6.6. Make sure you check it out and participate by sharing your experience with vRops 6.6.


If you are all excited about our new release of vRealize Operations 6.6 and have already upgraded, please share your story. We are running a contest through July 2017 to spotlight the top 3 stories in our upcoming blog. The top 3 winners will be selected to have a 1:1 training workshop for your entire team with our product experts.


Top 5 reasons to upgrade to vROps 6.6:
  1. Simple process and more efficient
  2. Fully automated workload balancing
  3. More Dashboards Out of the Box
  4. Tighter Integration with VSAN, vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Business for Cloud
  5. Better look and feel with HTML5 Clarity UI

Please post your success story in the VMware Communities forum with the answe to the following 3 simple questions:

  • Why you upgraded to vRealize Operations 6.6?
  • What benefits have you experienced from this upgrade?
  • Can you share best practices with your peers?
>> Judge Criteria: Most interesting best practices, upgrade themes into any of the 5 categories above.

>> Watch these videos to get the most out of vROps 6.6


Look forward to exciting stories! Go vRops Ninja!!
vROps_Ninja.png

What's New with vROps 6.6 on VMware Communities Roundtables Podcast




Podcast are the modern blogs. The only difference is that you hear the opinion of the person instead of reading them. I guess that makes it powerful since you can be anywhere, doing anything and tune into a podcast and hopefully learn from it.

If the topic is of your interest, then it is like music to ears, if not, then you switch over to a different channel. The learning never stops...

While I am No Podcast pro, I have been involved in a couple and the one I enjoyed a lot was with cloudinsiders.fm. No points for guessing that the topic was "How is your IT infrastructure being managed?" Tune into that one if you want to hear my ramblings on where is Operations with all things cloudy going and how would one create a strategy around Cloud Operations.

In my recent Podcast adventure , I skope about the motivation behind vRealize Operations Manager 6.6. 

I was honored to be invited on the VMware Communities Roundatbles Podcast to discuss about my blog, my journey into the virtual world and ofcourse the latest release of vRealize Operations Manager 6.6.

Special thanks to the wonderful hosts Eric, Katie and Noell for inviting me to the show and all the wonderful work they do for the VMware Communities.


Here is the link to the Recording - http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-19367/TS-1192094.mp3 

Hope you enjoy the podcast and most importantly learn from it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Have a Great Day!!



Monday, July 10, 2017

vROps Webinar 2017 - Announcing Part 3 : What's New with vROps 6.6



Welcome to the next episode of vRealize Operations Manager Webinar Series. This time around we will talk about the latest release of vROps released in the month of June. 

With this release, VMware has made drastic changes to the product and the initial reviews of the product have been great. Since I was a part of the team delivering this new release, I thought it would be a good topic to discuss in the next episode of the Webinar Series.

As always, we will go through the slideware to give you a quick introduction and then do a live demo of the features in our environment. Since this is a big release, we will use the subsequent episodes of this series do give you a deep dive into some of the features which require a special mention and more time due to the depth and breadth of the topic.


Here are the details: 👇👇👇


Session Title
Date
Thursday, 20th July 2017
Time
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Pacific Time
Speakers
Sunny Dua & Simon Eady
Webinar Link
Save Invite


See you at the Webinar!!  👋👋👋👋

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Part 9 - Using data roll-ups for longer retention period in vROps 6.6

Hope you are enjoying the What's New with vROps 6.6 series. With this post, I wanted to share a little gem of a configuration which has not been in the lime-light with all the new and cool things available with this new release of vRealize Operations 6.6. 
This feature is about data retention which has not changed much since the initial days of vROps (infact it was called vCOps back then). If you remember, Time Series Data Retention is one of the key features of vROps which allows you to retain the metrics data in the FSDB for upto 10 years. This means that you can retain data without any rolls ups for months and go back in time whenever you want to. 

While I have never seen a customer with a requirement of 10 year data retention, I have often come across customers who have a 2 year worth data retention policy. Specially in the healthcare or government space where historical data retention is a compliance requirement. In such cases, your storage requirement for saving all this data increases exponentially. 


Related image
I have had a number of customers ask if we can purge or archive this data or even create roll ups to minimize the disk space requirements while ensuring compliance requirements of long term data retention. 

This will also help with reduction of their backup and DR foot print which is key to enterprises running vRealize Operations Manager in a large scale production environment. With the release of vRealize Operations Manager 6.6, you now get a couple of options for data retention. You can find these options under the Global Settings option.

Let's find these settings and drill down into the meaning of these:

1- Login to vRealize Operation with admin privelleges.

2- Click on Administration -> Management -> Global Settings

3- Click on the Edit icon to view the settings in edit mode.



Here you can see 2 settings:

Time Series Data Retention : This is the existing setting from the previous versions and is set to 6 months by default for 5 minutes interval data retention.

Additional Time Series Retention : This is a NEW setting with vROps 6.6. This is set to 36 months by default. This setting will ensure that after 6 months of normal retention (5 minutes), the 7th month data is rolled up into a ONE HOUR (1 Hour) roll up. You can set up this option upto 120 months for data roll ups.

With this setting in place, one can easily, setup the 5 minute interval data to 3 months which is enough for capacity predictions and performance troubleshooting and use the additional retention setting to 3 months or more based on the compliance requirements. 

So go ahead, re-think your data retention policy and see how you can make the footprint of your vROps instances smaller with the benefit of longer term data retention.


More to come.. Stay Tuned!!