What’s New in vRealize Operations 8.6 Feature Walkthrough

The latest release of vRealize Operations is available today! vRealize Operations 8.6 is a BIG update for vRealize Operations and vRealize Operations Cloud. And we mean biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig. This release introduces a newly redesigned UI which provides a more efficient experience throughout the product. We’ve also broadened our support for VMware Clouds, Public Clouds, and applications, not to mention lots of other fantastic enhancements!

Get up and running fast with vRealize Operations Cloud

It’s never been easier to get started with vRealize Operations Cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS Customers can now simply request their own trial instance right from within the Add-Ons page of their Cloud Services Console. Once activated, we’ll automatically provision your free 30-day trial instance and pre-configure it to get valuable insights from your VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC.

Once you have your new vRealize Operations Cloud instance, we’ll walk you through some of the most common tasks to get you up and running quickly. The new in product guides will chaperon you through connecting to vSphere, creating alert notifications, troubleshooting, and even creating your own dashboards and alerts. Callouts will direct you where to click and will navigate you automatically throughout each of the steps so you can focus on learning how to use vRealize Operations rather than flipping through documentation.

Redesigned User Interface

Another big change that’s designed to help you get around vRealize Operations faster is the brand-new user interface. That’s right! vRealize Operations is coming to your party dressed in new attire! With this release, we focused on consolidation and reorganization. All the menus have been consolidated into a single menu along the left-hand side.

We’ve also consolidated the cloud and other accounts into a single view called integrations. Here, you can view and manage all your vCenter, VMware Cloud, Public Cloud, and Management Pack accounts from one page. Quick filters are available in case things get a bit unwieldy (we get it, it happens). You can also install and configure all your management packs from the repository as well as all your saved credentials. And when everything is set up how you like it, why not export all your accounts to a file for safe keeping or migrating to another instance of vRealize Operations?

Or better yet why not just export everything all at once? We’ve greatly expanded the capabilities of Content Management in vRealize Operations 8.6 to include just about everything except for that darn kitchen sink. It’s just never included in anything, is it? House fixtures aside, you can now export user accounts and roles, integration accounts, cost drivers, payload templates, and custom applications and services to name a few. Not to mention, you can also include out of the box content to ensure your experience is consistent when you import everything into a new instance. Beyond migrations, this is also a good option to be able to back up your customizations just in case. And yes, your sensitive data is encrypted using AES/CBC/PKCS5 padding algorithm with 128-bit encryption upon export.

We’re also introducing some spectacular enhancements to dashboards. Starting with new dashboards for virtual machine, vSphere cluster, and vSAN performance, plus capacity management and reclamation. The new virtual machine and vSphere cluster performance dashboards also leverage 20 second peak metrics released earlier this year. This means you’ll get even more granular data into the performance of your virtual machines. Just don’t forget to enable these metrics in your policies.

Other enhancements include a redesigned dashboard home page which provides an easier way to navigate to the most used dashboards. There’s also a great new option to mark dashboards as favorites for quick access to any of vRealize Operations’ awesome array of dashboards. You can mark favorite dashboards directly from the new dashboard home screen or within the dashboards themselves. Not to mention you can also pin recent dashboards, so you don’t lose them when you navigate to another.

Application Monitoring Enhancements

There are a lot of enhancements to talk about when it comes to applications. Perhaps the largest of which is support for the Open-Source Telegraf agent. This feature was only available in vRealize Operations Cloud previously, but we’re excited to announce it can be used with vRealize Operations on-premises! This opens a plethora of new applications and services that can be monitored through vRealize Operations. There are currently over 200 input plugins already written for the Open Source Telegraf agent, and you could even write your own. Heck, there’s even an input plugin to bring local weather data into vRealize Operations.

Creating custom applications is nothing new in vRealize Operations, however in 8.6 we’re introducing a better way to build them. The new Business Applications feature provides a visual editor which allows you to drag and drop any object into your application’s various tiers which are also fully customizable. You can also include custom groups to make your business application definitions more dynamic. And if you’ve already created your own custom applications in vRealize Operations, don’t worry as these will be automatically imported as Business Applications when you upgrade.

Another feature that was previously a vRealize Operations Cloud exclusive but is now coming on-premises is integration with popular application performance management tools. This includes AppDynamics, Datadog, New Relic, and Dynatrace. These tools tend to focus more on the user experience side of applications. By bringing the metrics from these tools into vRealize Operations, you’ll be able to determine the effects that infrastructure issues may have on your end users and could help identify potentially large issues faster. Plus, vRealize Operations doesn’t just import this data, it also maps the relationship from the APM application to the underlying virtual machine it’s running on thus building another bridge from the world from applications to infrastructure.

Public Cloud Enhancements

We’re also excited to share that vRealize Operations 8.6 provides better insights into even more public cloud services. Starting with new summary pages across AWS, Azure, and GCP. These summary pages give you a bird’s eye view of all the services you have deployed and any active alerts. There’s an interactive map for you to be able to drill into each of your regions to see what is deployed in it. There are new summary pages for individual objects as well where you can quickly access alerts, key metrics, and object relationships.

We’ve also expanded the number of public cloud services that can be monitored as well as introducing more object relationships. For AWS, we support any service that can be monitored through CloudWatch. Plus, we’re introducing support for custom metrics for everything else. Google Cloud Platform is now a native management pack in vRealize Operations 8.6 and we’re adding support for more services like Cloud Storage, Big Query, and GKE. Microsoft Azure is also getting a big update with support for 16 new services like Analysis Services, Data Box, Archive Storage, and Bot Services as well as new object relationships.

New Sustainability Dashboards

Sustainability is one of the key priorities for every Enterprise organization across the globe now. Virtualization has played a crucial role in data center consolidation, thereby helping reduce hardware footprint. It also enables savings in power consumption and floor space in data centers. This improves the overall efficiency and curbed carbon emissions resulting from IT infrastructure growth. According to the 2020 VMware Global Impact Report, customers using VMware solutions have avoided 1.2B metric tons of carbon emissions since 2003. If this value can be quantified for each customer, it could be a great asset for organization towards achieving their Sustainability goals. The all-new Sustainability Dashboards in vRealize Operations 8.6 will help customers in identifying carbon emissions reduced by Virtualization. They also provide guidance on further optimizing data center efficiency through carbon footprint reduction achieved via lean operations, clean demand, and green supply.

New Alert Payload Template Options

Back in vRealize Operations 8.4, we released a popular new feature which allows users to configure alert integration with any number of third-party tools via webhooks. These custom webhook notification templates allow you to take vRealize Operations alerting data and format it in a manner that it can be accepted by your messaging applications, ticketing systems, and more without the need to install webhook shims. In vRealize Operations 8.6 we’re happy to share that you can now perform similar customizations for e-mail alerts. It’s now possible to include more important information into your e-mail notification such as alert details, relevant metrics, and properties of the impacted object, as well as information on parent and child objects. Not to mention you have full HTML formatting capabilities.

Improved integration with vRealize Automation

vRealize Operations 8.6 is also introducing some exciting new enhancements to its integration with vRealize Automation. The first of which is bringing visibility into vRealize Automation deployments in the public cloud. Whether you’re deploying to AWS, Azure, or GCP vRealize Operations will give you insights into the performance, utilization, and availability of these services just as it does for on-prem deployments. What’s more, vRealize Operations can also alert you when a deployment is only partially successful. If you’re deploying a dozen virtual machines and one fails, vRealize Operations will let you know and will still collect important information about the rest of the deployment.

vRealize Operations 8.6 is another big release and we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s new. For more information, check out the product page and release notes. Don’t forget to check back here often as well as our YouTube channel as we will bring you more information on these features in the coming weeks. As always you can find loads of information about vRealize Operations and other great VMware products at pathfinder.vmware.com.

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