VMware this week moved to inject application and operating system monitoring capabilities into the VMware vRealize cloud management platform to make it easier to employ dashboards to map the relationships between applications and the underlying IT infrastructure they run on.
In addition, VMware enhanced its capacity optimization tools to enable IT teams to run “what if” scenarios based on the amount of IT infrastructure available both on-premises and in the cloud. The company also embedded integrated compliance and automated drift remediation capabilities into VMware vSphere.
Finally, VMware added support for VMware NSX Data Center network virtualization software to the VMware vRealize Automation platform, and instances of Kubernetes clusters can now be seen by VMware vRealize Network Insight tools.
Taruna Gandhi, director of product marketing for the VMware Cloud Management business unit, said these efforts are part of a continuing initiative to drive intent-based computing that leverages automation across a software-defined data center (SDDC).
VMware views application and operating system monitoring capabilities as being critical tools for making informed decisions about those intents, said Gandhi. However, these tools are not intended to replace the need for classes of management technologies such as application performance management (APM) platforms, she said. Instead, VMware envisions using dashboards to more efficiently troubleshoot issues based on metrics gathered by Telegraf agents embedded in VMware vRealize. In effect, IT teams will be able to identify anomalies faster versus wasting time in “war rooms” trying to prove the innocence of any element of an IT stack.
VMware is pursuing a dual strategy where DevOps and automation are concerned. The VMware vRealize framework can be invoked either through application programming interfaces (APIs) or a graphical user interface (GUI), which tends to appeal more to traditional VMware administrators who don’t have extensive programming skills but still need to respond to rapidly changing IT operation environments.
Thanks to automation, operational costs are falling considerably, according to VMware. A report from Forrester Consulting commissioned by VMware found organizations that have adopted vRealize have seen a 30% productivity improvement and a 93% reduction in unplanned work. That same report also noted that, thanks to capacity optimization, VMware customers have also seen a 20% reduction in hardware cost savings, a 10% reduction in storage costs, and a 50% reduction in database software licensing costs.
In most cases, VMware is employing machine learning algorithms to automate IT operations whenever possible within its cloud management suite. But Gandhi said VMware is hesitant to embrace the term “AIOps” until it becomes clearer how employing machine learning algorithms represents a new class of IT management tools rather than an ongoing set of enhancements to existing management frameworks.
Whatever the outcome, it’s apparent that algorithms are here to stay. How much they will be employed to advance adoption of best DevOps practices across the enterprise, however, remains to be seen.