An introduction to VMware vRealize Operations Cloud

VMware is set to release a cloud-based management software as a service in 2020, which uses predictive analytics and AI features to optimize, plan and scale VMware-based hybrid clouds.

With the release of vRealize Operations 8.0, VMware announced vRealize Operations Cloud, a unified management offering that offers all the features of vRealize Operations 8.0 but delivered as a SaaS.

This new software lets organizations monitor and troubleshoot applications and infrastructure, manage capacity and cost as well as implement integrated compliance. These operations rely on predictive analytics, machine learning and AI technologies to optimize, plan and scale hybrid clouds based on VMware technology. VMware currently has vRealize Operations Cloud in beta testing and has yet to announce the software's general availability date.

VMware vRealize Operations Cloud supports a wide range of features, such as workload balancing, real-time predictive capacity and cost analytics, and integration with vRealize Log Insight for troubleshooting. VMware is building vRealize Operations Cloud as an open and extensible software that provides visibility across private, hybrid and public clouds.

Self-driving operations is a central management strategy of the product. VMware vRealize Operations Cloud uses AI technologies to optimize systems based on key performance indicators, while delivering proactive remediation and compliance.

The software also offers feature parity with vRealize Operations 8.0, though the vendor provides the offering as a cloud service. The vRealize Operations 8.0 software is now generally available and includes several new and enhanced features for self-driving operations and organizations to manage hybrid cloud or hyper-converged workloads. It also includes native support for AWS and Azure monitoring and troubleshooting.

VMware is building vRealize Operations Cloud as an open and extensible software that will provide visibility across private, hybrid and public clouds.

Top considerations for vRealize evaluation

Although VMware vRealize Operations Cloud supports the same features as vRealize Operations 8.0, the cloud software can provide organizations additional benefits, such as easier deployments and management. VRealize Operations Cloud also offers consumption-based pricing that supports an Opex model and delivers unified visibility across clouds, while providing a consistent set of tools for working in the cloud.

Organizations already committed to the VMware ecosystem and supporting hybrid clouds should give the vRealize Operations Cloud serious consideration. But organizations must remember that vRealize Operations Cloud is currently in beta.

When the service is available, it could offer several important benefits, such as increasing efficiency, reducing unplanned downtime, delivering faster time-to-value and reducing risks, all of which could lead to a lower total cost of ownership.

VMware vRealize Operations Cloud focus areas

Similar to vRealize Operations, VMware built vRealize Operations Cloud on four main components for simplifying and automating management: continuous performance optimization, efficient capacity and cost management, intelligent remediation, and integrated compliance.

Continuous performance optimization. These functions optimize application performance by automating workload placement and balancing, while considering operational and business intent. The vRealize Operation Cloud software uses real-time predictive analytics to drive workload-related actions and integrates with vRealize Automation.

Efficient capacity and cost management. The second feature set addresses both capacity and cost management by using machine learning-based, real-time predictive analytics to correlate the two to improve utilization and consolidation. The software includes tools for proactively planning future capacity, making it possible to predict capacity demand and receive actionable recommendations.

The offering integrates with the CloudHealth multi-cloud management software, which enables an organization to monitor AWS and Azure costs by account, region and service through vRealize Operations Cloud. They can also combine private, hybrid and public cloud costs in dashboards and reports.

VMware vRealize Operations Cloud also includes the Capacity Buffer feature for reserving capacity beyond what's already available and offers the Cluster Base Rate calculation method for dividing cluster costs for VMs.

Intelligent remediation. This component refers to the vRealize Operation Cloud's ability to provide actionable insights based on correlated log, metric, event and configuration data, enabling organizations to quickly predict, prevent and troubleshoot issues.

The software also incorporates machine learning-based anomaly detection to provide insights across hybrid clouds, and it offers native integration with VMware's SDDC and VMware Cloud on AWS. The software also includes federated views and over 150 management packs to support scalability and extensibility.

The third feature set also includes the Troubleshooting Workbench for intelligently gathering and correlating data to troubleshoot issues faster. Another useful tool is Service Discovery, which determines what services are running in each VM and the dependencies between those services. Organizations can also use Service Discovery to automatically build applications and execute scripts in the VMs.

Integrated compliance. These features address regulatory standards and compliance across SDDC and VMware Cloud on AWS workloads. For example, vRealize Operations Cloud supports compliance monitoring for vSAN and NSX-T, as well as automated drift remediation with out-of-the-box workflows.

The software also provides common compliance templates based on standards such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, HIPAA and Federal Information Security Management Act. Organizations can also build their own custom templates.