Book Review: Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator

So to be 100% honest I have had this book on my desk for several months. Just staring at me. Calling my name. VMware press provided this copy to me along with Mike Laverick’s SRM book and so I am finally going to review the first one.

Cody Bunch does an amazing job of breaking down one of the most mystifying yet powerful products hidden in the VMware portfolio. VMware vCenter Orchestrator is almost mythical in the promises of automation of typical tasks of a vSphere administrator. While you can bang your head against the wall for weeks trying to figure out how to properly setup the vOrchestrator server and client I was able to use Cody’s guidance to have to operational and running test workflows in just a few hours (I am a slow reader).

I can’t stress enough the need for automation and orchestration in today’s virtual machine environment. The business is demanding more and more from the Virtualization team and in order to deliver vCenter Orchestrator is a good start since you probably already OWN it.

Hopefully soon there will be an update with information on the vApp version of Orchestrator. Check it out here on Amazon or your favorite book reseller.

Thanks again

New Releases for VMware vCenter

Two new products and a new release for an older product will happen today. Applications aimed for those trying to scale their VMware environment and make it more strategic in their organization. These will be released in the vCenter family but may not actually run on you vCenter Server.

First up is VMware vCenter AppSpeed. This software will alow drilling into the performance of the application level in a VM. One feature I find compelling is the Assured Migration. Take a look at an apps performance before and after migration to be sure the same level of service post virtual migration. This is very cool and needed for VI admins trying to prove that it is not VMware causing the problem. At least AppSpeed helps pinpoint performance issues faster, which is a huge help to anyone with a VMware environment.

Second is vCenter Chargeback. You can guess it, Chargeback provides the ability to apply accounting to your resources and if not charge for those resources at least get a look back to determine the actual costs of a initiative.

Last is the Update to an existing product, vCenter LabManager 4. Big news here is all Stage Manager functionality has been rolled into Lab Manager. Stage Manager will go away supposedly. The pricing for Lab Manager will change. If you have a valid SnS for Lab Manager or Stage Manager you will supposedly get Lab Manager 4. Cool.

So that this doesn’t just look like a copy of a VMware press release. I wanted to include my own thoughts. The appearance of more “manage and automate” applications like these three show that the VMware install base is demanding more and more from their environment. Customers investing in this type of software shows to me they are not looking to bolt to another product any time soon. Wait this is way too positive. Lets say something I don’t like, Lab Manger price will go up but still be less than Lab Manager and Stage Manager combined. As a customer I would not like this move because maybe I just wanted Lab Manager now you say the price has increased due to functionality being added that I didn’t ask for. It could be like Microsoft including SQL 2008 with every 2008 Server license and increasing the cost of the server license by the cost of SQL. Then not letting you buy them separate. The problem with my complaint is I guess many customers came to VMware and said, “Hey, I sure wish Lab Manager and Stage Manager were all one product.”