VMware Aria

What is VMware Aria?

Businesses today are leveraging more cloud technologies than ever before. Most are embarking on the app modernization journey with Kubernetes front and center to manage and scale their modernized applications. However, this is no light undertaking as it can be highly complex to do this successfully across multiple cloud environments. There are many factors to consider and technical challenges to overcome. Today, at VMware Explore, VMware announced a new product offering called VMware Aria to help organizations meet the various multi-cloud challenges today. It is the newest chapter of VMware’s multi-cloud management story. What is VMware Aria? What are its capabilities, and how can it help businesses with today’s various multi-cloud challenges?

The problem that VMware Aria helps to solve

First, what problems are VMware Aria trying to solve for organizations today? Multi-cloud customers have over-arching management needs. Cloud adoption is seeing very strong adoption.

  • How do customers decide which apps to deploy to which cloud?
  • Are policies being consistently applied across clusters and clouds?
  • How do businesses make decisions around improving performance and optimizing cost?
  • How do you get a global view of cost, security, and performance around platforms and clouds?
Understanding the complex challenges of multi cloud environments today
Understanding the complex challenges of multi cloud environments today

Each cloud provider and environment has its own tools, workflows, processes, and other technical differences, making answering the above questions extremely difficult.

Customers are leveraging strong multi cloud solutions today
Customers are leveraging strong multi cloud solutions today

What is VMware Aria?

It is a multi-cloud management solution built for cloud-native and public cloud environments. It provides end-to-end tools for managing the cost, performance, configuration, and delivery of cloud infrastructure and cloud-native applications.

Underneath the hood, the solution powering VMware Aria is called VMware Aria Graph, a graph-based data store technology that captures data, metrics, and other information from customers’ multi-cloud environments.

VMware Aria is comprised of three components

The new VMware Aria product portfolio comprises three main categories of components. These different components complement and extend the management of the VMware Tanzu platform, including the development, delivery, DevSecOps, and lifecycle of cloud-native apps.

What are the three main components?

  • VMware Aria Cost powered by Cloud Health
  • VMware Aria Operations
  • VMware Aria Automation
VMware Aria components including VMWare Aria Cost VMware Aria Operations and VMware Aria Automation
VMware Aria components including VMWare Aria Cost VMware Aria Operations and VMware Aria Automation

VMware Aria Hub

VMware Aria Hub provides centralized views and controls to manage the entire multi-cloud environment. It leverages VMware Aria Graph to provide a common definition of:

  • Applications
  • Resources
  • Roles
  • Accounts

VMware Aria Graph

VMware Aria Graph’s graph-based data store captures the resources and relationships of customers’ multi-cloud environments. It was built from the ground up to understand cloud environments and cloud-native applications.

VMware Aria Graph offers a single source of truth updated in near real-time so that customers can view their cloud environments and cloud-native applications as they exist currently. By contrast, other cloud management solutions on the market were not designed to provide this near real-time view of cloud environments.

It is based upon a new type of architecture to capture the many different relationships between applications, resources, roles, accounts, and other cloud constructs. These can scale to hundreds of millions of objects that can be updated in near real-time.

What kind of scale are we talking about that is possible with VMware Aria? VMware notes that VMware Aria can scale to meet the multi-cloud management needs of even the largest and most demanding enterprise environments.

VMware Aria Graph – Key capabilities

VMware Aria Graph provides key capabilities for organizations today managing their multi-cloud environments:

  • Highly scalable – supports cloud-native environments
    • Scales to hundreds of millions of nodes
    • Graph data store captures the many-to-many relationships needed to understand dependencies fully
    • Enables viewing historical configurations, critical in root cause analyses
  • Event-based collection – supports a high rate of change
    • Captures change events whenever they happen
    • Captures full granularity
  • Federated and modular architecture – enables aggregation of data from any source
    • The plug-and-play approach allows you to layer data from third-party tools
    • Aligns operational data to a single, holistic source of truth, enabling teams to make better decisions and work more efficiently.
  • Unified GraphQL API – simplifies consumption by both developers and ops teams
    • Establishes a single, dev-friendly, consistent interface to multi-cloud environments
    • Precise GraphQL queries provide lightning quick and highly efficient access to data

VMware Aria Graph – integrations with third-party solutions

The VMware Aria Graph solution stores data and leverages API services in a way that can be seamlessly integrated with third-party solutions for observability and application performance management tools.

Data can be collected and normalized from:

  • Public clouds
  • On-prem clouds
  • VMware tools
  • Third-party tools

This data can be used to enrich operations, automation, and cost metrics in existing:

  • VMware vRealize
  • CloudHealth by VMware
  • VMware Tanzu Observability products

New End-to-End Management Services built on VMware Aria Hub and VMware Aria Graph

There are many new management challenges to be aware of with today’s complex, multi-cloud, distributed environments. Due to the unique features and functions that span management disciplines and multiple cloud environments, VMware is introducing new management services built on top of VMware Aria Hub and VMware Aria Graph to provide multi-cloud governance, cross-cloud migration, and business insights.

  • VMware Aria Automation Guardrails – Businesses can enforce guardrails for cloud networking, security, cost, performance, and configuration at scale in an automated way using what VMware refers to as an “everything-as-code” approach
  • VMware Aria Migration – You can automate assessment, planning, and execution, providing an accelerated and simplified multi-cloud migration journey. This solution is available in a Tech Preview release currently. It allows you to discover your environment, understand application topology, and then using Aria Cost, understand the cost. Then Aria Operations helps understand the performance and utilization and optimize it to the correct footprint. Then Ara Automation will help automate the migration process.
  • VMware Aria Business Insights – It takes the information from Aria Graph through events, logs, metrics, and traces and synthesizes and correlates it with application data. You can get full-stack event correlation leveraging AI/ML analytics to discern relevant business insights.
Three new VMware Aria powered management solutions
Three new VMware Aria-powered management solutions

VMware vRealize Suite will be renamed!

One of the other points to note with this announcement is many other products will be folded under the VMware Aria umbrella, including VMware vRealize, CloudHealth by VMware Suite, and Tanzu Observability by Wavefront.

Customers who own these products will be entitled to the corresponding VMware Aria offerings as part of VMware Aria Cost, VMware Aria Operations, and VMware Aria Automation. The new branding, product documentation, and support features will happen early in 2023.

Product branding changes coming for vRealize Suite
Product branding changes coming for vRealize Suite

VMware Aria FAQs

What is VMware Aria?

VMware Aria is about driving business agility with solutions that simplify multi-cloud complexity without complex integrations from the customer side. It provides end-to-end tools for managing the cost, performance, configuration, and delivery of cloud infrastructure and cloud-native applications.

How does VMware Aria relate to VMware vRealize Suite and Tanzu Observability?

These solutions will be rebranded to fall under the VMware Aria portfolio of products and solutions. Customers who own licenses for these products will be entitled to the equivalent products under the VMware Aria portfolio.

What are the components of VMware Aria?

The VMware Aria solution is comprised of the following components:

  • VMware Aria Cost powered by Cloud Health
  • VMware Aria Operations
  • VMware Aria Automation

Wrapping Up

After the announcement at VMware Explore 2022, many may be asking the question, What is VMware Aria? The new VMware Aria solution will undoubtedly help customers to take charge of their multi-cloud environments. Especially if customers are using VMware products and solutions today, VMware Aria will be a natural progression of tools and workflows they are used to. Even for new customers, VMware Aria holds a lot of promise to help reign in on the multi-cloud sprawl that is becoming very typical and challenging in the enterprise today.

Learn more about VMware Aria and other announcements at VMware Explore 2022 here:

Read my other coverage of the VMware Explore 2022 announcements here:

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at Virtualizationhowto.com and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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