VMware vRealize management suite for hybrid clouds


Deployments and Operation

Modern cloud-ready applications and, especially, the container-based apps of today have different operational requirements than conventional applications from the distant past. Traditional monitoring, for example, must be much more flexible in clouds than in legacy environments, because the number of instances to be monitored can change abruptly and dynamically.

For reasons of scaling alone, workloads in clouds live because they specifically book and use only those services they actually need at time t . An online store for fishing equipment, for example, will need a lot of resources during the fishing season in summer but will have less load in winter. Modern web applications are therefore built in such a way that they can start any number of new instances of themselves on demand to distribute workloads across more shoulders.

The administrator rightly expects that a hybrid workload management solution will take these factors into account and address them accordingly. vRealize does not let you down at this point: vRealize Operations and Log Insight make sure you have a clear view.

Scale, Monitor, Reconfigure

The Operations component takes care of all tasks that arise in everyday life after the initial deployment of a setup. If it detects that the environment is running too slowly by referring to, for example, preset performance values, it automatically creates virtual instances. This works for conventional VMs as well as for containers, which the entire vRealize suite can handle with ease. vRealize Operations also takes care of capacity management. If RAM and CPU usage is too high for a given instance, it automatically restarts the instance.

At the same time, Operations dynamically adapts the configuration of workloads in cloud environments. After a scaling process, if it is necessary to adjust individual values in the configuration files, you can so specify under the Blueprints tab (Figure 3) for the respective environment. vRealize Operations observes such instructions in its templates and makes the appropriate changes, if necessary.

Figure 3: Under Blueprints, you not only define the architecture of virtual deployments, but also when to scale horizontally. © VMware

The monitoring aspect is not neglected either: vRealize Operations provides a cornucopia of functions to monitor target instances thoroughly in deployments, ranging from simple tests, such as whether an instance is responding to ICMP requests (ping), to complex checks that you can integrate into a vRealize blueprint.

Special Topic Logfiles

VMware even dedicates a separate component in vRealize to logfiles, which is more complex in distributed environments than in conventional environments because you have to deal with more components. Not all environments store their log messages in files on disk. For example, if the Podman container solution is used, it keeps a separate logfile for each container with the output of the standard output channel stdout and the standard error channel stderr. If a setup is distributed over several cloud instances, the complexity increases considerably. In the worst-case scenario, you then use different cloud environments with different techniques to find a problem.

Here, vRealize enters the scene with its Log Insights component, which aggregates the log messages and files of a setup if you have previously specified them in the vRealize Automate blueprint. The structure of the deployment is then no longer important – vRealize instead collects all relevant logfiles in a central location and allows quick access (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Deep integration of various VMware technologies (e.g., NSX) is perfectly implemented in vRealize Automation. © VMware

In summary, vRealize Operations and vRealize Log Insight are the extended arms of vRealize Automation. The two components monitor what the virtual setups were assigned at the outset and ensure that all the rules you set are also fulfilled.

The issue of compliance also comes in. Ideally, you will want to take this into account when configuring a blueprint for an application in vRealize Automation. In this way, you can ensure that the mandatory relevant rules are applied according to the company's compliance policy. Manual changes to setups can, at the very least, result in virtual setups no longer meeting compliance requirements. vRealize Operations puts a stop to this by constantly comparing the status of virtual setups with the target and by revising manual changes where necessary.

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