virtualization

How Does your VMware Environment Look Today? A Rationale for the VOA

How Does your VMware Environment Look Today? A Rationale for the VOA

VMware® as a technology has a huge potential to sprawl. Have you created an environment for testing purposes? Have projects required a number of guest VMs to be built, but are no longer in use? How about your storage? Is there some chance that your storage can be helpfully augmented by vSAN? What about the distribution of your VMs? Are there some that are not appropriately balanced, performing well, or could be better served by sitting on a lesser utilized host?

VMware has a tool called VMware Optimization Assessment, which digs in and allows for a much better insight into the utilization, life cycle, and optimization of your environment. It uses the back-end technologies of vRealize Operations and vRealize Business as components to the data collection.

Along with providing you the peace of mind of having a healthy and well-configured virtual environment, it also gives you some of the best ways to manage your infrastructure for future growth and to remain healthy. Even the best virtual environment administrators desire these kinds of health assessments to provide reporting up through their management structure and to aid in growth patterns.

This can help to guide business-related decisions for companies that are in heavy growth mode, corporate splits and acquisitions, as well as those that are actively seeking to limit their physical footprints into a more virtual data center. ActiveCloud projects can directly benefit from this too, as the best laid projects for orchestration of applications and workloads into the cloud will be benefitted immensely by the knowledge that those systems being migrated are being effectively and appropriately utilized.

A big use case that I can see for this is whether or not your organization will be better suited by the Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) process, giving a larger environment a deeper discount and lack of limitation on growth from within their day-to-day operations.

Another valid piece is that of the hardware refresh process. If you’re going to replace your servers and storage, or build-out a new ROBO (Remote Office/Back Office), knowing how to effectively size these new pieces of equipment will likely end up saving you substantially.

An administrator may be in a highly volatile and growing environment, but would rather not go back to purchasing additional licensing to support their infrastructure and remain within constraining license models. Remember, each socket on each server in your environment must have valid licensing. This not only includes your production environment, but Dev, Test, and even Sandbox environments. A VMware Optimization Assessment coupled with an Enterprise License Agreement will allow for the growth of an environment like this unencumbered by license limitations, or the need for constant returns to the purchasing group. This will definitely save money on licensing.

So, let’s talk about your ultimate ELA? What components do you want? Does your environment have a cloud component? May vRealize orchestration or automation be beneficial? How about life-cycle issues? Maybe vRealize business is appropriate? Maybe your VMW environment can benefit from the micro-segmentation or enhanced security model of NSX? If so, I strongly recommend enhancing the environment with NSX. Maybe you have a desire for eliminating the traditional SAN, and want to leverage the power of vSAN and the benefits of utilizing the internal storage available to your hosts and the drive bays to grow your own? I do love the Software Defined Data Center and the benefits therein. The VMware Optimization Assistant tools will help you determine what you need, and how best to craft the ELA.


Matt is a long-time engineer, and presales architect specializing in storage, virtualization, and orchestrations in the cloud. He has spent the last 10 years in the virtualization space focusing on Citrix and VMware solutions based on various storage platforms and specializing in Open Solaris, ZFS, EMC, NetApp, 3Par, HP, and Equalogic.