Today we are very excited to announce the upcoming release of VMware vRealize Operations 8.0, which will continue to deliver new and enhanced capabilities for self-driving operations, helping customers like you to optimize, plan and scale hybrid cloud and HCI deployments while unifying multi-cloud monitoring. Powered by machine learning (ML), this release will provide a unified operations platform, delivering continuous performance optimization, efficient capacity and cost management, proactive planning, intelligent remediation and integrated compliance.
The vision of Self-Driving Operations is to apply artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) and data science to solve IT operations problems, for greater efficiency, agility and automation. AI/ML automates and enhances IT operations by 1) applying analytics and machine learning to data collected from infrastructure and applications, in order to 2) automatically spot and react to issues in real time, including performance optimization, capacity management and anomaly detection.
vRealize Operations automates and simplifies operations management by delivering on four primary tenets:
- Intent-driven continuous performance optimization
- Efficient capacity and cost management
- Intelligent remediation
- Integrated compliance
The next release will enhance all four tenets. In addition, we will make several platform enhancements, including ……. drumroll please …….. a Software as a Service offering called vRealize Operations Cloud. This VMware Cloud service will deliver feature parity with the on-premises product, delivering the full power of vRealize Operations to our VMware Cloud on AWS and generally “cloud first” customers. If you are interested in checking out the SaaS version, sign up for vRealize Operations Cloud beta.
Use Cases Unlocked by vRealize Operations 8.0
vRealize Operations 8.0 will unlock some powerful use cases for managing your private, hybrid, or multi-cloud environment:
- Best platform for Hybrid Cloud operations – whether it’s vSphere and VMware SDDC stack in your data center, VMware Cloud on AWS or through a VMware Cloud Provider partner, you will get full capabilities across the hybrid cloud.
- Hyper-converged infrastructure operations – the upcoming release will deliver complete performance, capacity, troubleshooting and compliance management for vSAN
- Application-aware operations – the next release will also extend up the stack with native service discovery and OS and app monitoring, including up to 20 packaged application OOTB
- Compliance – for entire SDDC stack across the hybrid cloud. This will include vSphere, vSAN and NSX config management and compliance for both regulatory and custom IT standards, not just on-premises but also for VMs on VMware Cloud on AWS.
- Unified multi-cloud monitoring – the upcoming release will include native support for AWS and Azure monitoring and troubleshooting, multiple what-if scenarios and integration with CloudHealth by VMware for actual cost and billing analysis.
Let’s Deep Dive into What Will Actually be New in 8.0
This will be major release with a HUGE payload. To make things simple, I will point out a few key capabilities for each of the four tenets of Self-Driving Operations:
TENET 1: CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION
Based on feedback from customers like you, we recognize that more and more customers are adopting a hybrid cloud approach and vRealize Operations has become the go-to platform for managing not just the on-premises vSphere, but also HCI, VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Provider partner offerings. So, we are very excited to introduce intent-driven performance optimization for VMware Cloud on AWS with cross-cluster workload balancing and rightsizing. You will be able to define operational and/or business intent for VMware Cloud on AWS and, then choose to:
- Manually conduct workload optimization,
- Schedule optimization for a later date/time, or
- Let vRealize Operations fully automate the optimization process (with full user visibility into what it is doing in the background).
The other major capability will be the integration between vRealize Operations 8.0 and vRealize Automation 8.0. This integration will not only provide feature parity from previous versions, but we will take it to the next level with shared contracts so that you can build the next generation closed-loop cloud management platform (CMP).
TENET 2: EFFICIENT CAPACITY AND COST MANAGEMENT
Capacity and cost management will again be a big focus area for this release. Some of the most noteworthy capabilities will include:
- HCI capacity/cost management and planning
- Private cloud cost comparison across data centers for new workload planning
- Monitoring costs for VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure
- Enhanced Private Cloud Costing with per datacenter cost drivers
- Public cloud costing via CloudHealth integration
Here is what the updated what-if planning will look like, helping plan capacity for hybrid, hyperconverged, and public clouds.
As you can see, there will be multiple planning scenarios for HCI. In addition, the Datacenter Comparison scenario will let you compare VM costs across multiple datacenters, identify cheapest cluster to run the workload in and link to Add Workload scenario to quantify capacity shortfall.
You will also be able to monitor VMware Cloud on AWS costs in vRealize Operations using bills from VMware Cloud Service portal. You will be able to also combine private, hybrid, and public cloud costs in dashboards and reports, track outstanding and year to date costs as well as get cost breakdown by subscriptions, on-demand, purchase history etc.
This release will also feature integration with CloudHealth, providing the ability to monitor AWS and Azure costs in vRealize Operations. You will be able to get a view of overall costs per account, region, service etc. And once you have all the data in vRealize Operations, you will be able to combine private, hybrid, and public cloud costs in dashboards and reports.
TENET 3: INTELLIGENT REMEDIATION
Now we come to the part of the announcement where I wish I hadn’t used my drumroll earlier because one of the most significant NEW features that 8.0 will bring into play is… [second drumroll]… Troubleshooting Workbench! That’s right – vRealize Operations 8.0 will provide ML-driven anomaly detection, combining anomalous metrics, events and properties with full stack visibility from apps-to-infrastructure.
Workbench will intelligently gather and correlate information so you can start troubleshooting quickly. It will provide a single view of potential evidence and you can adjust time and topology scope to find the problem, pin interesting metrics and dismiss others as well as run multiple active troubleshooting workbenches at once.
The latest release will also feature an Azure management pack, in addition to the existing AWS one for monitoring public workloads.
What’s more … we will also make AWS and Azure management packs native to the product and make these available starting with vRealize Operations Advanced edition.
Other enhancements in monitoring and troubleshooting will include:
- Additional OOTB application monitoring (20 total) via Telegraf agents and custom script execution
- Native Service Discovery with support for top-n processes and one-time script execution
- Enhancement in content to management packs – SDDC, Cloud Pod, Container/PKS , vRealize Orchestrator, NSX-T, Skyline
TENET 4: INTEGRATED COMPLIANCE
We are continuing to enhance the config management and regulatory compliance capabilities within vRealize Operations that were introduced in the previous releases. You will now be able to manage configuration of the entire SDDC stack including vSphere, NSX-T and vSAN. In addition to common compliance templates like PCI, HIPAA, DISA, ISO, CIS, and FISMA, you will be able to create your own custom compliance standards and activate automated drift remediation with out-of-the-box workflows with VMware vRealize Orchestrator integration. You will also be able to monitor the compliance for VMs in VMware Cloud on AWS. You can import and now will be able to also export custom compliance standards.We will also have updated dashboards and workflows, like the one below.
And finally, platform enhancements …
We already talked about the SaaS offering, vRealize Operations Cloud. In addition, we will simplify the experience for SaaS users, featuring a new quick start page for easy on-boarding and the ability to quickly add cloud accounts such as VMware Cloud on AWS, AWS and Azure. This service is in preview and you can sign up for the beta.
For the on-premises product, we will deliver continuous availability of the platform, that goes beyond high availability (HA), providing the ability to stretch vRealize Operations clusters across fault domains, using layer-3 networking. If one site goes down, vRealize Operations can still provide full access to data and capabilities.
I saved the best for last. We will also preview ‘Project Magna”, which is a reinforcement learning-based automated vSAN performance tuning service. Last year at VMWorld, Pat Gelsinger raised the bar with “Self-driving Data Center” vision. Pat proposed that dynamic modern applications require that the underlying data center infrastructure be continuously, automatically and adaptively optimized to deliver the expected performance. Hence software defined data center needs to evolve to self-driving data center.
Project Magna will be the first instantiation of the self-driving data center vision, beginning with VMware vSAN. It will focus on using reinforcement learning to understand application needs and to continually and dynamically auto-optimize the underlying vSAN configuration to drive greater performance and efficiencies. Magna will be delivered as a combination of a VMware cloud service integrated with vRealize Operations.