At VMworld 2014, VMware introduced a new suite in the operations management space: vRealize Operations Insight (vROI). vROI is an add-on on top of vSOM and adds vCenter Operations Manager Advanced and vCenter Log Insight to the suite. Note that vRealize is/will be the new name for all vCenter Operations Management products, as explained in this article.
The cool thing about both vSOM and the new vRealize Operations Insight suite is that these operations management suites are licensed per CPU. This means you can monitor unlimited virtual machines as long as the underlying sockets in the ESXi layer are licensed. There’s a good comparison on the VMware website which details the differences between vSOM and vROI from a functional perspective.
Having vCops Advanced included in vROI offers some very good options on top of the Standard edition such as:
- Custom dashboards – A real must-have;
- vCenter Hyperic – For OS-level monitoring;
- vCenter Configuration Manager – For configuration management;
- vCenter Infrastructure Navigator – For an automatic inventory of running services in your VMs and their relations with other VMs;
- 3rd Party Adapters – For integration with 3rd party solutions;
I can think that vROI offers the features you would expect to be the next step after a successful implementation of vSOM.
vRealize Operations Insight licensing considerations
vCops Advanced is a very powerful solution and capable of monitoring both virtual & physical servers, networks and storage devices. As stated before, with the vRealize Operations Insight suite you license the sockets of your ESXi hosts; the question here is, what exactly is allowed within this licensing option when talking about vCops Advanced here?
After some discussion with our local SE team I have summarized some information on this:
- You’re (of course) allowed to monitor all your virtual machines and physical ESXi hosts;
- You can create custom dashboards and include these resources;
- You’re allowed to configure and use vCenter Hyperic for OS-level monitoring. You’re only allowed to monitor the OSes running in the virtual machines on the licensed ESXi hosts. You’re not allowed to monitor physical OSes or the OSes of virtual machines that are not running on the licensed ESXi hosts. You will need separate OSI (Operating System Instance) licenses for these additional OSes. Of course you can connect vCenter Hyperic to vCenter Operations Manager.
- You’re not allowed to use vCenter Hyperic for application level monitoring. So no monitoring of application-level monitoring of a SQL server or Exchange server.
- You are allowed to monitor the underlying physical infrastructure including switches and storage devices using the vRealize Opertions Insight license. This suprised me, but it is definitely an interesting addition. Notice that for SNMP v3 switch monitoring you will need a Windows server running the Hyperic agent. The SNMP adapter for vCops only supports SNMP v1 & v2, which is not so secure. You have to run the Hyperic agent for SNMP on a virtual machine that’s running on the licensed ESXi hosts.
I hope this gives you some additional insights on how vRealize Operations Insight licensing works. Notice that this information is just FYI, always ask your local VMware representative for the exact details and a verification of what you are planning to do!
Also read the VMware vRealize Operations Datasheet.