VMware vRealize Suite 8.4 Released

VMware has released vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.4, vRealize Automation 8.4, vRealize Automation Saltstack 8.4, vRealize Operations 8.4, vRealize Log Insight 8.4, vRealize Orchestrator 8.4 and vRealize Network Insight 6.2.

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.4

What’s new:

  • VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.4.0 Easy Installer support
  • vRealize Automation Salt Stack Config Standalone support
  • VMware Identity Manager (also known as Workspace ONE) enhancements
  • Content Management enhancements
    • Automation-PropertyGroup content type support
    • Embedded vRealize Orchestrator support for vRealize Automation Cloud
    • VMware Identity Manager users can capture or release vRealize Operations Manager dashboards

See the full release notes here.

vRealize Automation 8.4 and vRealize Automation Saltstack 8.4

There are a lot of new and enhanced features, that I am really excited about that solves some of the problems that we currently are doing workaround for.

What’s new:

  • Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 compliance – SaltStack Config
  • Accessibility enhancements
  • Policy criteria support for additional Integer/String operators
  • Networking: Reconfigure Existing Security group for vSphere and VMC – Iterative and Day 2
  • Networking: Change On-Demand and Existing Security groups for VMC – Iterative and Day 2
  • Hostname is updated in Ansible Tower
  • Support for multi-vm/disk configuration
  • Add disk with different sizes
  • Changing deployment projects for onboarded deployments
  • Documentation to configure proxy for vRA on premises Terraform environments
  • Unregister onboarded machines from vRA
  • Single secret store
  • Operations center: Custom roles support
  • Operations center: Cloud zone Insights enhancement
  • Operations center: Distinguish optimizable deployments
  • Specify order and SCSI controller for vSphere disks
  • Support for disks which are part of the image template
  • Disk placement should align with the VM in Workload placement\Multi-VM scenario
  • Storage allocation as per full VM size
  • Simplification of onboarding workflow​
  • Onboarding action to support vSphere network interface
  • Support for Azure image gallery
  • Snapshot management for Azure disks
  • Support for Azure disk encryption sets
  • Enhanced support for Azure availability sets
  • Ansible enhancements
  • Puppet enhancements
  • Event Broker enhancements
  • SaltStack SecOps: SLES 15 Center for Internet Security Content
  • Release of vRA STD + and SaltStack SecOps addon in rest of world
  • SaltStack Config
  • ITSM Plugin
  • vRA plug-in in vRO
    • This is a fase 1 release
  • ABX Scale
  • GCP Sole Tenancy
  • IPAM registration for vRA 7.x workloads while onboarding into vRA 8.x
  • Change in Access Token API behavior
  • Force deleting deployments for the IaaS API endpoint

See the release notes here.

See also the following blogs from VMware about some of the new features/enhancements here:

Announcing General Availability of VMware vRealize Automation 8.4.

What’s New with vRealize Automation 8.4 – Technical Overview.

Cloud Assembly’s Disk Placement, Storage allocation enhancements and Optimized Cluster Disk Deployment/Attachment.

Cloud Assembly Support for Multiple Disks Clusters, Disk Sizes per Template & SCSI Controller Management.

Cloud Assembly – GCP Sole Tenancy (Dedicated Host capability).

vRealize Automation Updates for Puppet and Ansible Integrations.

vRealize Automation ServiceNow ITSM Plugin Update.

Deploying Apps with vRealize Automation and vRealize SaltStack Config.

vRealize Operations 8.4

Product Support Notices:

  • vRealize Application Remote Collector is deprecated
    • Replaced by cloud proxy
  • End Point Operations Management Solution is deprecated
    • I think this is being replaced by Telegraf-based Application Monitoring
  • vRealize Automation 7.x support dropped
  • vCenter Server 6.0 support dropped

What’s new:

  • Automate Key Operational Tasks for a Self-Driving Data Center 
    • Use Automation Central to create and schedule key actions.​
      • Reclamation Actions: 
        • Delete Powered Off VMs 
        • Power off idle VMs 
        • ​Delete old snapshots 
      • Performance Optimization Actions: Downsize VMs 
        • Scale up VMs
        • ​General Actions: Reboot VMs 
    • ​Ability to filter and define dynamic scope.
    • ​Ability to send notifications and visualize global schedules.
    • Ability to track and view automation savings.
  • Simplified Troubleshooting and Intelligent Remediation
    • Alert Payload Templates
    • Simplified Alert Notifications​
    • Outbound Plugin Enhancements
    • Telegraf-based Application Monitoring Enhancements 
  • Efficient Capacity and Cost Management
    • VMware Cloud on AWS Costing
    • APIs for Pricing Rate Cards (Public) 
    • Cost Optimization Dashboards
    • New Cost and Price Dashboards 
    • What If – Migration Planning for Azure VMware Solution (AVS) and Google Cloud VMware Engine (GCVE)
    • Tag-Based Price as Individual Metrics 
    • Costing and Pricing of Short-Lived VMs 
    • Continuous Improvements 
  • Dashboards, Widgets, Reports, and Views Enhancements 
    • Manage Views and Manage Reports are now featured prominently on the side menu of the user interface. They also provide frequently used actions. 
    • ​In the list of Views, the filter for Name can accept a regular expression. This allows you to search for views that match certain patterns. 
    • Heat Map widget. When the content has an identical size, you can now group by a value that results in a meaningful visualization. 
    • Availability of Business Hours as a setting in the View List. Setting Business Hours is useful if you want to exclude certain hours of any given day (Monday – Sunday). See Data Details.
    • Availability of four additional filters in Custom Group, View Filter, and Widget Filter: Not Empty, Empty, Not Exist, and Exist.
  • ​Platform Enhancements
    • Cloud proxy support for on-prem vRealize Operations
    • Global Settings and Content Management 
    • Azure VMware Solution and Google Cloud VMware Engine
    • VMware Cloud​ on AWS Enhancements 
  • Native Management Packs
    • NSX-T 
    • AWS 
    • Microsoft Azure 
  • Accessibility Compliance
  • Metrics and Properties Enhancements
  • Renaming of Management Packs​Metrics and Properties Modifications
  • Instanced Metrics

See the full release notes here.

See also the following blogs from VMware about some of the new features/enhancements here:

What’s New in vRealize Operations 8.4 and Cloud

Announcing vRealize Operations v8.4 and vRealize Operations Cloud

vRealize Log Insight 8.4

What’s new:

  • Log Sources: You can now configure Fluentd to collect logs from various sources such as Docker, Kubernetes, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, and OpenShift, and forward them to vRealize Log Insight. Fluentd is an open source log processor and forwarder, which lets you collect log data from different sources and enrich them with filters. It is the preferred choice for containerized environments such as Kubernetes. You can find the configuration steps for the Fluentd log sources within the vRealize Log Insight user interface.
  • Log Masking: Your log data contains information that might be considered sensitive. Specific log messages may include user names, email addresses, URL parameters, and other information that you do not want to disclose. Log masking lets you mask any information by modifying the configuration that handles information you consider to be sensitive.
  • Log Dropping: Sometimes, your infrastructure may generate a volume of log events that is too large or has significant fluctuations. In this situation, you may need to choose which logs to send to a log management solution, and which logs to drop. Log dropping lets you drop certain logs by modifying the appropriate configuration.
  • Custom Webhooks: The vRealize Log Insight webhook connection is now available to send notifications from alerts to Slack and PagerDuty. You can also send notifications to custom webhooks by defining an appropriate payload.
  • Archiving based on Partitions: Data archiving preserves old logs that might otherwise be removed from the vRealize Log Insight virtual appliance due to storage constraints. vRealize Log Insight can store archived data for data partitions in NFS mounts.
  • Alert Management: With the upgraded alert management, you can see the entire list of alerts within the scope of your organization in one environment. Alerts are now organization-centric as opposed to being user-centric, which provides more flexibility to control organization alerts.
  • Simplified Sizing with a New Sizing Calculator: Correctly sizing the vRealize Log Insight cluster is essential to achieve optimal performance when searching for and analyzing logs, and to ensure that a cluster has the required resources. The sizing calculator determines the required node size based on the types of servers and devices logging, the expected ingestion rate, and log retention requirements.
  • NSX Security SKUs.
  • Content pack updated: The following content packs have been updated:
    • VMware NSX-v 4.2.1 ​ (Updates related to fields extraction​)
    • VMware NSX-t v4.0.1 ​(Addition of new dashboard support “Unified Security Flow Logs”​ )
    • VMware vRA 8.3+ (Support vRA 8.3+ product line​)
    • Microsoft IIS v3.4​ (Improvement in “Setup Instruction” section to describe how to extract custom fields from logs.)
    • VMware Horizon v4.0.1 ​ 
    • vSphere 8.4
    • vRops v4.2
    • vSAN (Support vSAN 70u2​)
    • Additional content packs validated:
      • NPE Servers v1.1.1​
      • Mongo DB v2.4​
      • Solarwinds v1.1​
      • Oracle DB v1.1​
      • NPE Nimble v1.1

See the full release notes here.

vRealize Orchestrator 8.4

What’s new:

VMware vRealize Orchestrator plug-in for vRealize Automation

The VMware vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for vRealize Automation allows interaction between vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation.

The preconfigured workflows provided with the plug-in help you deploy and manage resources in vRealize Automation. In addition to the provided workflows, you can create and run custom workflows. Newly provided content in vRealize Orchestrator that is compatible with vRealize Automation, provide solutions to the main customer use cases to create and run workflows for the main functions in vRealize Automation, such as managing projects and users, using custom types, manage VMs, etc.

The current release of the plug-in supports:

  • Host management and CRUD operations for on-prem and cloud vRealize Automation hosts.
  • Out-of-the-box workflows for host management.
  • Preserved Authentication to the hosts and dynamic host creation.
  • A REST client that can be used for requests to vRealize Automation.

Note: If you are using the embedded vRealize Orchestrator instance in vRealize Automation, the plug-in is available out-of-the-box. To use the plug-in for external standalone vRealize Orchestrator deployments, you must download and install it from the VMware Marketplace.

Restore deleted objects

You can restore deleted objects, such as workflows, actions, policies, configuration elements, and resource elements, from the Deleted Items page of the vRealize Orchestrator Client.

See the full release notes here.

vRealize Network Insight 6.2

What’s new:

  • Network Assurance and Verification
    • Provides a cross-link for the VM-VM path search in the network map with a logical VM-VM path
    • Provides native support for the Cisco ASR 9000 devices
    • Provides native support for MPLS for Cisco Catalyst and Cisco ASR 9000 devices
    • Supports F5 Secure Network Address Translation (SNAT) in Network Map
    • Introduces new threshold configurations for
      • Switch metrics: CPU, Memory
      • Switch port metrics: Switch-Port RX Traffic Rate, Switch-Port TX Traffic Rate, Switch-Port RX Packet Drops, and Switch-Port TX Packet Drops.
  • NSX-T Monitoring and Troubleshooting
    • Introduces 5-minute polling intervals for metrics collected from the VMware NSX-T and VMware vCenter servers
    • Introduces 20 seconds granular metrics for VMs
    • Introduces new search queries for BGP neighbor status and learned routes, and Equal Cost Multi Path routing status of edges in a cluster
    • Supports the collection of the firewall rule comments from the distributed firewall rule definitions
    • Supports the collection of URPF mode router interface key property for the VMware NSX-T routers
    • Introduces two new threshold configurations for the VMware NSX-T Edge metrics: Traffic Rate and Packet Drops.
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
    • Supports SDDC Group
    • Including intra SDDC group flows, application discovery for SDDC group, search operator, dashboard, alerts, and flow threshold
      • Supports VMware Transit Connect
    • Including flows, dashboard, search operator, alerting, and flow threshold
      • Supports VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC to VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC and VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC to native VPC topology
      • Introduces 20 seconds granular metrics for VMs within the VMware Cloud on AWS Compute Gateway and VMware Cloud on AWS Management Gateway (VMware vCenter Appliance, VMware NSX Manager Appliances, VMware NSX Edge Appliances, VMware HCX Appliance VMs)
    • Provides Network and Security Configuration Maximum alerts
    • Provides support for Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) Route Leaking and Layer 3 MPLS VPN on VMware Cloud on AWS Direct Connect Colo Router (Cisco ASR).
  • Flow Based Application Discovery
    • Automatically identifies application groups without any user inputs
    • Provides the ability to keep the saved applications up to date with dynamic membership updates
    • Supports modification of the naming preferences to change the name of applications based on the user CSV file or the VM name, tags, security group or security tag.
    • Supports modification of the flow duration and scope
      • Option to select 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or 30 days as flow duration
    • Applications dashboard:
      • Saved applications display an icon if updates are available
      • Provides the ability to filter applications based on the applications with updates and no updates
      • Supports sort functionality on the last updated column
    • Update applications view:
      • Displays the tiers that are added, modified, or deleted, with the member details
      • Provides the ability to apply the update on the applications
    • Edit application page displays a warning if there are any pending updates
  • VMware SD-WAN
    • Application hotspot widget shows impacted applications for immediate attention to applications that are experiencing performance degradation
    • Eliminates references of the Equal Cost Multi Path tags in the VMware SD-WAN Path Topology map.
  • Enhanced Rule Recommendations in Security Planning
  • Enhances security planning to provide fine-grained firewall rule recommendations
    • Provides the ability to export the recommended rules to include the membership information of different groups used in the rules.
  • Azure VMware Solution
    • Provides support for Azure VMware Solution 2.0.
  • Google Cloud VMware Engine
    • Provides support for Google Cloud VMware Engine.
  • Pinboard Enhancements
    • Provides Public APIs for Pinboard CRUD operations.
  • Platform Enhancements
    • Provides support for 7-node XL clusters
    • Ability to track the usage of VMs, Hosts, Applications, Flows, and Firewall Rules with a data retention period of up to 13 months.
  • Others
    • F5 data source now only needs REST API access. SSH access is not required.
    • Applications discovered from ServiceNow support VMs, Physical IPs, and K8s services in the discovered tiers
      • Membership of tiers discovered from Service Now or based on flows can only be specified as a list of entities. Search based membership criteria can not be used to specify members for tiers that are automatically discovered from ServiceNow or based on Flows.

See the full release notes here.

See also the following blogs from VMware about some of the new features/enhancements here:

What’s Popping with vRealize Network Insight 6.2 & Cloud?

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