vRealize Operations Manager – Part 1

I thought I would begin to post a multiple part series on vRealize Operations (vROps).  I’ve come to be rather partial to this tool as it has solved many problems for me.  Plus I’m a data junkie and this gives me all that I want.  In this post I will review enterprise knowledge management and how vROps can help.  It may be an overlooked aspect of a tool that is so strongly marketed towards performance monitoring, but vROps is nothing if not dynamic.

The challenge many organizations face is a lack of knowledge shared between organizational units.  An infrastructure team may have a great inventory of servers but they rarely know the applications hosted on those servers.  In small to mid-sized organizations tribal knowledge often is easily and quickly obtained by the infrastructure team and they often do know what application is on the various servers.  This is from either supporting the servers or provisioning and completing the application install and is often mistaken for enterprise knowledge  However, that knowledge does not scale to 500 or 5000 servers And if the knowledge is resident within a single team then that’s not very enterprise now is it?

Luckily, vROps can help solve this problem by allowing the creation of customized application dashboards. You can create multiple types of dashboards to fit your particular needs.  My go to is an application health dashboard that binds multiple servers together into a single health badge.  The health badge provides a good representation of the application’s overall health from all servers, it takes up very little real estate on your dashboard, and you can link together multiple widgets to show additional data when the application’s health badge is selected.  The dashboard can also be shared to other user’s across your organization such as application owners, management, support desks, or to your executives.

By creating application dashboards you can begin to share common information across multiple user bases to break down communication barriers.  Your infrastructure team can now visually see what application is hosted on a group of servers.  Your application owners now see easy to understand health indicators of red, yellow, and green of their particular application.  The management team can see overall health of all applications they are responsible for.  Multiple users with differing needs, all interpreting and consuming the same data; basically they can now share a common language which is a wonderful thing in a datacenter.  Combine this with a configuration management database and poor knowledge management can quickly become a thing of the past.

In the next post I will walk you though how to setup an application dashboard and continue to review other features of vROps.