With the continual mantra of “Do more with less” from management, we are continually challenged to increase velocity to production while maintaining or improving accuracy of the deployed application. Automation, Operations, and the Cloud are a mesh of solutions that need to work together. The announcements today are amazing steps for the vRealize suite to improve the cloud and automation footprint.
vRealize Cloud Universal
Let’s start with the announcement of a global catalog, which will allow you to take all of your on-premises catalogs into a centralized location. As a automation architect, this got my attention more than the other announcements. I’ve had the challenge of looking into managing multiple automation solutions in multiple regions. To be honest, there really isn’t a great solution when your looking on-premises, in multiple regions.. This takes your already existing on-premises catalog and then allows it to be centralized in the cloud. An amazing solution for a multi-region company
Of course, this solution would require a special licensing model, which is why they are looking into combining on-premises and cloud licenses together to allow you this solution. Time will tell what the licensing model will really look like, and how successful it will be. In my mind allowing the licensing to be one model would be best instead of moving into another “hybrid” model.
What would go great with that automation solution? Understanding how to make that model work better, faster, and cheaper? This is where project Magma and vRealize Cloud AI comes in. With the power of AI they can peer into your environment and allow you to enable optimization. This will gauge your environment and, using the power of AI, state what changes would make it run better. The first solution they will be focusing on for this solution will be vSan but others are coming.
vRealize Operations – (vROPS)
With SaaS becoming a stronger option for your vRealize operations management, additional tools and improvements were needed. First, as Tanzu has changed the landscape to vSphere so we need vROPS to be able to monitor and optimize as needed. The next step after Tanzu is to get into the applications running in those environments and map them using vRealize Network Insight and then see how to remediate issues and optimize. vRealize Operations has always been a powerhouse to help teams understand what is happening in your clusters, and how to troubleshoot issues that are being reported. Now with this insight brought into the application space and into Tanzu itself we have a much better perspective into the applications itself. With the new addition of the application monitoring and optimization, what would make it better? Well for one moving to real-time polling, with basically push-button functionality. That’s right, with one click of the mouse you have the ability to change the polling of vROPS from 5 minutes to 20 seconds. These are great solutions from the vRealize Operations team. New additions also come in pricing model, allowing pricing to be done on non-vRealize automation tool sets, and enhancing the amount of pricing that can be exposed.
These are all great additions to an already great solution, but VMware has never been about keeping something great in what it does without ever enhancing. VMware has always had a goal of moving the ball forward. That means Kubernetes, that means cloud, and that means applications being treated as 1st class citizens instead of passengers.
Most of the announcements about vRealize Universal covers the bigger announcements for vRealize Automation, but one thing I have to mention, is the ability to use HashiCorp Terraform as a 1st class citizen in Cloud Assembly. This allows vRA to manage your state information while the rest of the codebase is kept in your repository. You can bring your Terraform variables into Code Assembly and create them also in the blueprint, which will then map them as environment variables into the Terraform deployment.
One other addition already announced with vRealize Automation 8.2 is the creation of supervisor namespaces in Tanzu. This is a pretty significant feature for vRealize Automation. For those that have not played with Tanzu, the supervisor namespaces is one of the few things that the operations team needs to create. Once the namespace is created, then RBAC can be assigned as well as storage for the cluster/pods. Basically once this is passed onto the Developers they can create clusters, change context to those Tanzu clusters and deploy their workloads. By automating this solution, vRA administators will add another self-service solution to remove visibility of infrastructure/operations from developers.
The world is looking far more self-service, with a side of clouds. These solutions really do increase velocity to market, while maintaining or improving accuracy. The additions of fuctionality on all solutions presented create a great tool-set for customers looking to help bring their applications to scale.