The Scoop: vRealize Automation 7.1

vRealize Automation 7.1 in now Generally Available for download. This release brings several features and enhancements, but primarily sticks to the themes of Time to Value, Quality and Stability. Another focus point for this release is to provide customers currently on vRA 6.x an upgrade path to all the benefits of the 7.x platform.

vRealize Automation 7.1

I’ll be posting some details around a few of the new capabilities in the next several weeks, but for now here’s a summary list of what vRA 7.1 delivers…

Time To Value

  • Streamlined deployment and prereq installation process
  • Silent installer leveraging new vra-command CLI tool
  • Install management agents, prereqs, and core for VA and IaaS nodes
  • Use wizard-generated unattended properties file for subsequent silent installations
  • Leverages new VA public API (https://<vrava_ip>:5480/config/):

    vra7-176

  • UI-based (VAMI) Migration wizard
  • Migrate from vRealize Automation 6.2.x environment to a new vRealize Automation 7.1 instance
  • Complete DB migration (vPostgres and SQL)
  • Migrate IDVA/SSO Directories to vIDM
  • Preserves the source 6.2.x environment
  • Supports migrating from 6.2.x Simple to 7.1 HA/Distributed (as well as HA to HA):

    vra7-226

  • vSphere Endpoint Improvements
  • Data collection performance increased by ~60%
  • Support for vSphere infrastructure changes (e.g.
Details

vRA and NSX – Part 3, Security Groups and Policies

Introduction

Recapping Part 2 of this series: We staged a number of NSX Logical Switches to be consumed by vRA machines as External Networks. vRA collects and identifies these networks as traditional [vSphere] Network Paths and allows them to be wired for consumption in the Converged Blueprint (CBP) designer as needed (or using custom properties, but that’s beyond this post). Logical Switches can be created for a consumption-only model, automatically created per Deployment when using On-Demand services, or some combination of these.

Moving on…

Similar to it’s relationship with NSX Logical Switches, vRA provides both consumption-based and dynamic security services to deliver a number of use cases leveraging NSX Security Groups and Security Policies.…

Details

vRA and NSX – Part 2, Staging Logical Networks

Introduction

A logical switch emulates a traditional network switch by creating logical networks that can be used to connected one or more vnics of a virtual machine to the corresponding logical network. In an NSX environment, logical switches are directly mapped to an available Transport Zone (VXLAN) and is stretched across all hosts and clustered configured with that VXLAN. Similarly, a Universal Logical Switch is deployed when used with Universal Transport Zones and can be stretched across hosts, clusters, and even vCenters. Logical switches are typically created and managed using the vSphere Web Client. Once created, machines can be logically wired to them for connectivity to other machines and/or upstream services (e.g.…

Details

Just Released!! Cloud Management for Dummies

I’m proud to announce the release of my first “Dummies” book!

A Cloud Management Platform (CMP) provides a unified platform for managing private, public, and hybrid cloud environments together with conventional and modern application architectures. Cloud Management for Dummies was written to guide organizations through some of the challenges of selecting a cloud management platform as they move from traditional IT to a more modern, automated, and governed infrastructure.

cmpdummies-title

About this Book

Cloud Management For Dummies is loaded with information that can help you understand and capitalize on cloud management. In plain and simple language, we explain what a cloud management platform is, why you need it, and which capabilities to demand in an enterprise solution.

Details

vRA and NSX – Intro to Network and Security Automation

Network and security automation — and specifically the use of on-demand services — will continue to play a more significant role as NSX (and network virtualization in general) continues to become more and more prominent. Customers are still trying to understand the impacts of app-centric networking and whether or not they’re ready to hand these critical services to automation tools. There’s a perception that automation reduces control and/or visibility into networking and security services that traditionally involve a ton of ownership, red tape, and several siloed personalities that love to hear their own voice (I used to be one!). Plus, there are personal domains and certifications to protect!…

Details

vRA and NSX – Part 1, vSphere Prep

Introduction

There are a few prerequisite steps to complete on the vSphere and NSX side before vRA can be configured to consume its services or deliver on-demand networking and security. In Part 1 of this series, we will use the vSphere Web Client to review the NSX baseline deployment and add the necessary configurations for staging. What is configured here will depend on the desired objectives and use cases…I’ll cover minimum requirements.

Note: These steps assume you have already deployed NSX Manager, registered NSX with vSphere, and prepared hosts / clusters per best practice.

Objectives:

  • Review NSX deployment in vSphere to ensure prerequisites are in tact
  • Validate Logical Network / VXLAN configuration

As mentioned previously, this guide assumes a basic NSX deployment has been completed.…

Details

vRA and NSX Integration Series

It should be no surprise that VMware is putting a lot of time and energy around the benefits of vRealize Automation and NSX. The #BetterTogether campaign has taken off and just about anyone touching either of these solutions should be able to articulate that message by now. I’ve been focusing on the integrations between vRA and NSX partly because it’s within my charter, but primarily due to being huge believer in the transformative nature of the technology behind it. Whether at a VMUG, in a briefing, building internal content, or in my home office as my puppy, Millie, begs to go out and play just as I start recording a video (it’s like clockwork!), this has easily become one of my favorite topics.…

Details

Adding a Network Selection Drop-Down in vRA 7

Ever since the early days of vCAC, customers have needed the ability to provide a variety of additional control options to vRealize Automation’s self-service consumer. I’m specifically referring to inputs and selection options that are made available to the consumer during request time. Some of the most common examples include fields for plain text input, drop-down menus, checkboxes, value lists, and text descriptors. The input or selection can be basic information or used for downstream processing during machine provisioning.

Custom Properties

There are hundreds (thousands?) of use cases and unique requirements that make it just about impossible for VMware to deliver every option as an out of the box.…

Details