Moving to expand the reach of its portfolio of IT management software well beyond virtual machines, VMware today announced that the vRealize suite of IT automation tools can be employed across containers and virtual machines running on-premises or in a public cloud.
In addition to providing support for VMware’s Admiral container management portal, version 7.3 of vRealize Automation adds much tighter integration with both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure public clouds. For Microsoft Azure, vRealize now can deploy and manage middleware and application services. For AWS, vRealize Network Insight now can microsegment networks in an AWS Virtual Private Cloud as well as troubleshoot network traffic issues in AWS.
From a DevOps perspective, however, the most significant new capability is being added via an update to the vRealize Operations module: the ability to automatically deploy workloads across multiple clusters and datastores based on business policies defined by the IT organization, says Mahesh Kumar, senior director of product marketing for VMware. This update also adds a predictive Distributed Resource Scheduler (pDRS) that leverages analytics provided via vRealize Operations to predict anomalies and identify potential I/O contention issues before they occur.
At the same time, the latest update to VRealize Operations will incorporate a tab for vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3, which has been extended to provide cost and capacity utilization metrics for AWS and Microsoft Azure alongside VMware-based private cloud costs.
Other additions to the VMware portfolio include tighter integration between VRealize Operations and VMware vSAN storage software, NSX network virtualization software, enhanced blueprints for sizing deployments and integration with configuration management tools from Puppet. Kumar says that latter capability will be extended to include support for Chef and Ansible configuration management tools as well.
With these additions to the IT automation portfolio, VMware is clearly signaling its ambitions lie beyond its own hypervisor. Within enterprise IT environments VMware is dominant. That position has enabled it to gain significant traction in terms of driving adoption of its management tools. Now, VMware is moving to extend the reach of those tools into public clouds and containers. At the recent Dell EMC World 2017 conference last month, VMware debuted instances of its portfolio of software running on AWS. Most containers today are deployed either on top of a virtual machine or in a platform-as-a-service environment. But VMware is also aware of the fact that over time more containers will be deployed on bare-metal servers that are not running any type of virtual machine software at all.
Of course, just about every other provider of an IT management framework knows this as well. In addition, there’s no shortage of management tools designed specifically for containers. But as DevOps continues to evolve, most IT organizations are naturally expected to favor approaches that enable them to manage the broadest number of platforms possible.