vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 overview

VMware announced the release of vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 today. With the release of vCOM, Capacity IQ has been put to sleep as all of Capacity IQ functionality has been fully integrated into vCOM. So what does this tool offer?

Apart from the features that CapIQ offered, vCOM will provide you more insight on whats happening in your virtual environment performance wise, alert you for any risk or current issues and forecast any potential issues that could come up down the road. Not to mention it will also tell you how to more efficiently use your environment. Sounds insane doesn’t it?

Let’s look at the screenshot below. What we have here is a dashboard that gives you the view of your world. Now what is your world? A world comprises of one or more vCenter along with it’s population. In the example below, we are looking at whats happening across two vCenters. The holistic view below shows you the hotspots under the health category which may require your attention along with a Risk widget that predicts issues in the future. The efficiency widget scans your environment and proposes ways on how to right size your VM based on how it has performed overtime. As you can tell, vCOM is boldly telling us that we can reclaim 308 vCPU, over 9TB of disk and 1 TB of vMemory, nice aye!! Instead of wasting more money in buying more resources for your environment, lets make full use of what we have. I am sure your boss will appreciate that as well and when it comes time to hand out bonuses, saving 9TB of disk alone will be hard to ignore 😀

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Licensing Poll Result; vRAM = Cloud

So this past saturday I posted a poll in hopes for trying to understand besides the reasons I covered for VMware to switch their licensing model, what else could be the driving factor for VMware to make such a drastic change. Before I get into what I discovered, let me summarize the feedback from the polls.

As of today, I received 195 responses and if you are interested in computing the margin of error, be my guest I think its somewhere between 7%-9%. Out of the 195 responses only 24.1% said they will either pay less or the same with the new licensing model. 60.51% of the respondents will either have to pay 2, 3 or even 4 times as much. And 15.38% said the change will ruin their future plans. Somehow based on what I have seen @ VMTN in the pass few days, I am not surprised by these numbers. But I found something else that I thought was very interesting.

84.61% of the respondents owned 100 or less hosts in their environment and 54.87% owned less than 25. Also, 51.28% of the respondents represented companies with 500 or less employees. 21.03% had 500-2500 employees, 20.51% had 2500-25000 employees and only 7.18% were representing large organizations of 25000 employees or more. I think this has been the most interesting part of the poll. It’s clear from the numbers that the SMBs are the ones that are really getting impacted by this in a huge way. Specially small businesses with 100 employees or less. And I can understand why this would be the case as well. Being an IT shop in a small business, one will be required to do more with less and oversubscription of memory would have been a big thing for them. Now with vRAM, they may see a huge cost increase and as result we might even witness a mass exodus.

Here is my conspiracy theory and no its not that Paul Maritz owns a lot of shares in MS, I find that comical. What I think is happening is that VMware is pushing the SMB towards the cloud. And if you calm down and think about it for a second, its actually beneficial for you and for VMware as well. Most people who are angry at VMware are screaming and yelling about how they will switch to Xen or even HyperV. Come on, its not like your girlfriend has cheated on you and now you have to get even. It’s time to think smart!

If you are on the switching platform bandwagon and HyperV, Xen etc are among your options, please keep in mind that VMware came on this road for a reason and its only a matter of time before the others follow. Not to mention, the others have always been the followers when it comes to virtualization and what we are witnessing today is not any different. If you do switch to a different platform, you will only end up being mad at MS, Citrix or whomever else you end up with for the very same reason VMware may have upset you today. Unless you like being tortured, I would highly recommend that you look at different cloud providers as your option as well. This will be your most viable option and I am not saying this because I happen to be a major cloud provider’s employee.

Let’s face it, the cloud is here to stay and we have heard the word being thrown over and over again for sometime now. But nobody really knows what it is. If you ask 10 people to define a cloud, you will get 10 different definitions of a cloud. That’s because every cloud is different and unique in its own way. Instead of wasting your time with evaluating inferior hypervisors because you can’t afford the best in the business anymore, I recommend that you look into the world of clouds seriously. You will end up in the cloud one way or another and its about time that you seriously look into what they have to offer.

Keep in mind, if VMware has upset you today, going to competitors isn’t your best option. If you are leaving because you can’t afford VMware anymore and going to a competitor will teach ’em a lesson, I would really like to see you getting signed up for SNL. Look into the cloud today, the competitors will push you there anyways, its a matter of time. Keep in mind, they are always playing catch-up and this time around isn’t any different.

On a lighter note if you think your girlfriend has cheated on you, what does getting even really do for you? 🙂

vCD + vCO +AD What does this mean?

We are all aware of the VMware vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) and how it enables the automation of so many tasks in vCenter that could become tedious and boring after a while. In February 2011, VMware released the vCO plugin for vCloud Director aka vCloud aka vCD. How will this help you? Think about the process involved in creating an organization, virtual datacenter, users, networks etc. With vCO, you can create workflows to automate these tasks so that the ever shrinking and often under staffed IT department can focus on bigger and better things. vCO for vCD expanded the automation to your vCD environments which is slowly becoming the standard to start your own cloud.

Today, VMware has released vCO plugin for Active Directory. Some of you must be thinking whats the big deal? With this plug-in, you can enhance the level of automation you had before and provide better service to your customers. Tasks like creating AD accounts, deleting AD account, groups, memberships can all be automated by leveraging vCO workflows. It comes with 32 preconfigured workflows and you can create more as needed.  To benefit from this, you will need  to have a vCO setup along with your vCD. Not to mention you will need to have the underlying vSphere environment in  place.

Lets think of what this could do when all the pieces line up. The customer logs into your portal and creates a request. vCO creates the organization/virtual datacenter/network/ bla bla bla for the user. The user then creates a vApp that consists of two VMs in the vDC. Now with the AD plugin for vCO, the workflow for creating computer accounts for these VMs can be leveraged. Oh and did I mention the new organization that was created will now have the users that were also created in AD using a workflow. Next thing you know a customer decides  to leave, now a workflow can handle that task as well. You dont have to go and delete the child objects in the organization like you did before. Your workflow will delete all the child objects and finally your organization as well. Now your resources are available to be purchased again. And while you are at it, you can also clean up AD with the accounts that are no longer needed using the AD plugin for vCO.

To sum it up, automation is the name of the game. You dont have to be a hardcore developer to leverage vCO. If I can do it, anyone can. The only way to handle the ever increasing demand is by automating tasks that can be automated. It even decreases the room for error and helps to divert your time into bigger and better things besides creating a VM, adding a portgroup etc. Lastly, automation is also extremely important in ensuring your cloud meets the standard definition of what a cloud should be. Trust me, there are just too many definitions out there, and automation seems to be the common denominator.

You can download the AD plugin for vCO here.