VMware vRealize management suite for hybrid clouds


vRealize Business

Running setups and keeping them in line with compliance requirements is good, but in most cases, companies also want a certain form of integration into existing company processes.

On-site admins might be tempted to roll out a virtual test instance on AWS that occasionally is forgotten and not deleted afterward. A few cents a minute doesn't sound like a lot of money, but if a virtual instance remains unused for a whole month, it can cost into the thousands of dollars. An admin that uses vRealize will be able to see the costs of the different clouds when starting workloads, and an automatism will switch off instances that run too long according to defined rules.

Such features are implemented by vRealize Business for Cloud. Its most important tool is a central dashboard that allows you to keep track of costs already incurred and those still to be incurred. If desired, categorization can take place here as well. Different users and the costs they generate can be grouped, so you can quickly identify the projects that generate particularly high costs.

The stated goal of vRealize is to make costs across different types of infrastructure transparent and comparable for controllers. When choosing a target workload platform, you not only have the opportunity to make a decision in the best (i.e., most cost-effective) interest of the company, you also get a concrete feeling for which infrastructure causes what kind of costs.

The prerequisite, however, is that someone enters the costs incurred for parameters such as vCPUs and vRAM in the tool for their own use case. Depending on the contract with the cloud service providers, these costs may well differ from case to case (Figure 5).

Figure 5: The Business part of vRealize forecasts costs and provides a quick overview. © VMware

vRealize Business also has practical added value for administrators of private clouds. If you grant admin rights to the user who connects to a private cloud with vRealize Business, the tool reads the current usage statistics from there.

vRealize then implements a trending function. If the hardware is no longer sufficient for the expected workload in time period t , the software sounds an alert and prompts you to add resources. This function is advantageous in private clouds because, procuring additional hardware requires some lead time. Thus, vRealize helps with planning.

Manager, Manage Thyself

Regardless of all external factors, vRealize includes a fifth component that functions as a kind of metacomponent. The individual vRealize components somehow have to find their way into a customer's infrastructure. The vRealize Lifecycle Manager takes care of exactly that by rolling out the aforementioned components and integrating them with core VMware tools, such as VMware Marketplace. From there, prebuilt application blueprints can be integrated directly into vRealize tools, such as vRealize Automator.

Once again, VMware proves that it is capable of more than just providing reliable life-cycle management for its own products: VMware also regularly succeeds in building functional ecosystems around these tools, leaving you largely happy.

Beware of Lock-In

Once you've aligned your internal workflows with the VMware toolchain, you can't get away from it – at least not without significant investment. Migration of existing vRealize setups to other tools is virtually impossible. If the close relationship with VMware is okay with you, it's not a problem; many VMware customers know the principle anyway. Nevertheless, you should consider this effect in advance.

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