VMware vRealize management suite for hybrid clouds


Four-Component Adhesive

In the hybrid cloud context of VMware vRealize, the company promises nothing less than a panacea. According to the manufacturer, you do not have to take care of anything in a vRealize environment. VMware promises that the deployment of any workload across virtually any platform is just as easy as the use of certain cloud APIs, such as AWS, Azure, or OpenStack. Those who already have VMware products can just as easily deploy and link them directly to vRealize.

However, vRealize doesn't just take care of the deployment, it also takes care of monitoring, alerting, and trending on the fly, automatically scaling workloads across the board. If your environment runs out of steam, vRealize adds resources to suit your requirements. To keep you informed about what the environment is doing, vRealize also includes a solution for centralized logging.

According to the manufacturer, vRealize meets compliance requirements by connecting to and supporting existing processes such as ITIL, a set of best practices for IT service management. If the vRealize scope is not enough, the extension APIs are a great choice. Not only are they openly designed, but they also let you retrofit arbitrary functions – if you are willing to put in the time or money.

Reading VMware's marketing brochure about vRealize, you quickly gain the impression that you don't have to do anything except roll out a setup, which is of course not true. vRealize does not relieve you of all the work, but it does shift some of the load off your shoulders in various areas.

Automating Features

The key feature in the tool suite is vRealize Automation (Figure 1), which is basically a large orchestration framework that calls functions in different cloud environments under a uniform interface (and, if so desired, behind uniform APIs) (Figure 2). What sounds abstract in theory, is quickly intelligible in practice.

Figure 1: vRealize Automation is the central deployment component of vRealize and takes care of orchestration of deployments. © VMware
Figure 2: vRealize Orchestrator, a component of VMware Automation, takes care of reliable orchestration in deployments. © VMware

Any administrator who has ever dealt with different cloud environments knows that the same features are available in one form or another from virtually every vendor. Creating a virtual machine (VM) for a specific purpose bears witness to this. To begin, you usually create a virtual network, which is then connected to a physical, external network with a virtual router. Then, you create a storage volume for the VM, usually based on an existing operating system image. Finally, you define the SSH key that needs to be active on the VM and start the VM itself. A short time later, it is ready for use.

The problem is that with hybrid workloads spanning multiple public clouds or a private and public cloud, you have to do this work multiple times. Moreover, you have to take care of some integration work to keep the setups compatible with each other. For example, if you run OpenStack in your datacenter and want to run a shared setup between OpenStack and AWS, you need several templates in the different languages of the orchestrators. This process is tedious and challenging during operation.

Automation Takes the Helm

In such a scenario, vRealize Automation comes in to play. The product is designed to communicate with the APIs of various public clouds, as well as those of private virtualization setups. Logically, vRealize Automation can also dock onto existing vCenter setups. However, OpenStack is also on the list of supported environments in private datacenters.

Instead of building separate templates for each target environment, you use vRealize to build blueprints and service descriptions of standardized services. Automation then ensures in the background that these are rolled out on the desired target system when called by the user. vRealize Automation is primarily an abstraction layer for other cloud services to create a uniform interface in either graphical or API form.

VMware's understanding of its core target audience is quickly reflected in the application: Preferably, users should use a self-service portal where they can quickly click together the desired workload. Additionally, vRealize Automation integrates comprehensive governance features. The admin first stores the credentials for the target clouds, but the product also comes with its own rights management, which lets you fine-tune who can do what down to the level of individual users. The same is true for quotas, which you also manage centrally in vRealize Automation.

As usual, VMware does not compromise on the supported target setup: The manufacturer supports generic clouds such as AWS and Azure, as well as its own products, such as the SDN software NSX.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy ADMIN Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs

Support Our Work

ADMIN content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you've found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More”>


		<div class=