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 VM’s 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 VM’s: Are there some that are not appropriately balanced, performing well, or could be served better by sitting on a lesser utilized host?
VMware has a tool entitled the VMware Optimization Assessment which digs in and allows for a much better insight into the utilization, life-cycle, and optimization of your environment, using the back end technologies of vRealize Operations and vRealize Business as components to the data collection.
Along with providing you the piece 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 so as 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. Active Cloud 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 operation.
Another valid piece is that of the hardware refresh process. You’re going to replace your servers, storage or build-out a new ROBO (Remote Office/Back Office), the knowledge of how to effectively size these new pieces of equipment ensures that will end up likely saving you substantially.
An administrator may be in a highly volatile and growing environment, but would rather not go back to purchasing on a regular basis to purchase 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 inherent with the need for constant returns to the purchasing group, and will definitely serve the goal of saving money on licensing.
So, let’s talk about your ultimate ELA? What components do you want? Does your environment have a “Cloud” component? Maybe vRealize orchestration or automation may 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.
In my next posting, I’ll be happy to expound on any of these parts pieces and software benefits. Just ask for what moves you.