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VMware vRealize Suite updates focus on cloud management

The latest versions of vRealize Operations, Network Insight and Automation offer tools to help VMware admins effectively manage workload resources and control cloud costs.

The latest updates unveiled this week to VMware's vRealize management suite emphasize private and hybrid cloud capacity planning and cost management.

The updated vRealize Suite, which includes vRealize Operations 7.5, vRealize Network Insight 4.1, vRealize Automation 7.6 and vRealize Lifecycle Manager 2.1, will be available to customers by May, VMware representatives said. Added capabilities in vRealize Operations aim to help IT professionals whose environments are in flux, with a variety of what-if planning scenarios for future capacity planning and cloud migration projects.

"The ability for IT executives and their teams to get cost transparency has moved from optional to a requirement," said Stephen Elliot, program vice president at IDC. "There's a lot of pressure on these teams to understand what's being spent, who's spending it and what the future looks like in terms of forecasting expenditures."

Cost management has become more important in recent years, as organizations consider whether to add or move capacity to public cloud providers. Hybrid cloud scenarios, in which an organization's IT infrastructure spans private and public cloud environments, can complicate these cost management decisions, Elliot said.

One capability in vRealize Operations 7.5 enables customers to estimate and compare costs between on-premises deployments and public clouds when they consider a migration. The software includes default reference costs for instances on AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM Cloud. Customers also can upload a custom rate card using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to compare costs for other clouds, or to compare discounted instance rates.

Stephen Elliot, program vice president, IDCStephen Elliot

"When you have really solid cost models, it changes the conversation with the business," Elliot said. "It puts the pressure on the business folks to recognize, 'We can't ask [IT] to do more with less this year, because you don't have any more resources.'"

However, the what-if cost management features in vRealize Operations will not include a more detailed cost analysis for public clouds or data for popular cost-saving instances, such as Reserved and Spot instances. It's also not meant to replace VMware's cloud-focused cost management software, CloudHealth, VMware representatives said.

VMware has invested heavily in its vRealize Suite to extend the capabilities of its hybrid cloud management software portfolio, Elliot said. The company has also worked with cloud providers to give VMware customers more options to manage public cloud resources. Last month, Google delivered a plugin for vRealize to help VMware customers manage both on-premises and Google Cloud Platform resources from the same console.

The ability for IT executives and their teams to get cost transparency has moved from optional to a requirement.
Stephen ElliotProgram vice president at IDC

The latest version of vRealize Operations employs the same open source Telegraf agents for application and OS monitoring used by the company's Wavefront application performance monitoring software.

Wavefront remains a separate product that's tailored to developers and DevOps team needs, but the additions to vRealize Operations could help operations teams more quickly diagnose infrastructure-related problems and reduce finger-pointing, said Taruna Gandhi, director of product marketing for VMware's cloud management business unit.

"We're still catering to the infrastructure and operations buyer," Gandhi said. "We help them figure out if the problem is with the application or in the underlying infrastructure and help them take the appropriate action to troubleshoot and remediate."

Other updates in vRealize Operations 7.5 include enhanced compliance monitoring and the ability to customize a compliance standard, as well as the ability to auto-balance VM placement on hosts for organizations using VMware vSAN.

Packaging and pricing for VMware's vRealize Suite remain unchanged.

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