VMware over the last two years has been making steady advances in automating the management of IT. At the VMworld Europe 2017 conference VMware unveiled a vRealize Suite 2017 offering that combines the latest releases of vRealize Operations, vRealize Automation, vRealize Business for Cloud and vRealize Log Insight software into a single offering designed to optimize lifecycle management across a software-defined data center (SDDC).
Mahesh Kumar, senior director of product marketing for cloud management at VMware, says the driving force behind the development of vRealize Suite 2017 is to enable the automation of IT operations in support of an IT organization’s larger DevOps strategy.
The elements of VMware vRealize have been upgraded as follows:
- vRealize Operations 6.6 adds tools to help organizations analyze workload placement decisions to automate the balancing of workloads across clusters and data stores. It includes a predictive distributed resource scheduler (pDRS) and native VMware vSAN management and monitoring capabilities.
- vRealize Automation 7.3 adds support for Admiral 1.1, the lightweight container management portal that VMware previously announced. Virtual Container Host instances generated by VMware vSphere Integrated Containers, Docker hosts, and for Docker volumes can employ vRealize Automation to create and attach volumes to containers. It also delivers increased support for VMware NSX network virtualization software.
- vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3 is now being exposed as a tab in vRealize Operations 6.6 to better drive cost efficiencies by making operational and cost metrics readily available. It also delivers improved insights into the costs of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure public clouds alongside VMware-based private clouds.
- vRealize Log Insight 4.5 now provides integration with vRealize Operations to provide root-cause analysis of logs and metrics.
Resistance to IT automation continues to decline. Many IT operations professionals naturally are concerned that IT automation will lead to unemployment. But managing IT operations at the present level of scale required simply can’t be accomplished using manual processes. In addition, developers are voting with their code to employ public clouds that have already been automated. IT teams who want to make a case of continuing to deploy application workloads in a local data center need to be able to provide a cloud-like experience, which can be accomplished only by employing automation. Kumar notes that VMware is trying to arm IT administrators with the analytics required to make a financial case for continuing to deploy applications on instances of VMware running on-premises or in a public cloud.
Most IT organizations today are focused on automating disparate deployments of IT infrastructure and software. While that represents an advance over manual processes, many of those same organizations now are wrestling with various islands of automation. VMware is trying to unify automation across all the compute, storage and networking technologies it delivers to fashion an SDDC that enables IT organizations to be more agile. Longer term, however, IT organizations that employ stacks of software other than VMware will need to find a way to automate DevOps across heterogeneous IT environments.