vRealize Automation 7 – Part 5, Identity Management

Moving right along with the next spotlight feature in vRealize Automation 7 — a totally revamped access control and authentication system brought to you by VMware Identity Manager (vIDM). What may appear as an insignificant move from 6.x’s standalone Identity Appliance (IDVA aka vCenter SSO/PSC) is actually one of the most important additions to the new platform. Allow me to elaborate…

vIDM is the result of VMware’s acquisition of TriCipher about 5 years ago (August 2010), which has gone through several iterations and has become — or will become — the de facto policy-based identity platform across VMware broader portfolio (beyond vCenter, of course).…


vRealize Automation 7 – Part 4, Initial Config as-a-service

We’ve discussed VMware’s focus on the UX and Time-to-Value (TTV) with vRA 7’s much-improved Deployment Architecture and the new Deployment Wizard, which automates the end-to-end deployment for for monolithic or distributed vRA implementations. This alone will drastically change the perceived complexity of installing the solution. But now that we’ve got that out of the way, why not take it one step further?

Once vRA is installed, there is still a significant amount of initial configuration and logic building to be done. While this allows customers to build a tailored solution based on their requirements and desired logic, it wasn’t very POC or quick-start friendly.…


vRealize Automation 7 – Part 3.1, Deployment Wizard Video

In part 3 of this series I provided an overview of vRA 7’s new deployment wizard – an addition that will significantly increase the time-to-value (TTV) by aiming to quickly deploy vRA regardless if it’s for a minimal (monolithic) or enterprise (distributed) implementation.  I cannot emphasize enough how critical the deployment wizard (along with the new deployment architecture) will be for removing the perceived complexity of getting vRA stood up.  Competitively, this sets a new standard for how to implement any enterprise solution and will certainly allow vRA to shine above the rest (but enough about that).

Below is a video of the deployment wizard walking through a minimal implementation. …


vRealize Automation 7 – Part 3, The Deployment Wizard

Remember that time you downloaded vRA (or vCAC) and tried to install it on your own? After some frustration and head-scratching, you turn to documentation, blogs, events, and a variety of guides provided by the community. Eventually everything starts looking good as you’re able to get passed the install and into initial configuration. vRA 6.x’s implementation involves a series of appliance deployments, VAMI configurations, prerequisite headaches, and installation of several IaaS components on windows hosts. Taking that to a distributed, highly-available configuration was a whole different story with the added complexities of deploying several additional systems, clustering configurations, external dependencies, and a whole other set of prerequisites.…


vRealize Automation 7 – Part 2, Deployment Architectures

VMware has been tackling several customer pain points when it comes to deploying and configuring vRA (6.x). But let’s get this out of the way — the ratio of level of effort vs. product capabilities make the time investment quite worth it at the end of the day (at least i think so!).  In the overview post (Part 1), I mentioned the massive focus on overall UX improvements in vRA 7. While the new deployment wizard absolutely changes the perception of complexity and takes all the work out of the admin’s hands, the reduced deployment footprint is equally important and will drastically reduce operational overhead and time to implementation.…


vRealize Automation 7 – Part 1, What’s New – Spotlight Features

This was a big week in Barcelona — not just because VMworld EMEA broke attendance records, but also thanks to the announcement of one of the most anticipated updates to the VMware vRealize family, vRealize Automation 7.0 (vRA 7).  I had the opportunity to hosts and co-host several vRA sessions throughout the week, including a couple exclusive ad-hoc deep dive workshops for vExperts.  Now it’s finally time to share with all of you the cloud management goodness that’s been brewing at VMware.  This is the first of many in a series that will cover all the new innovations and features of vRealize Automation 7.0 and dig deep into several advanced use cases.  …


Larger Stage, Louder Mic

Close your eyes and think of something you really want — whether it’s something you want to accomplish, a must-have “toy”, or anything you wish you had but weren’t really sure how you’d get it.  Sometimes that incredible thing you get isn’t something you were actively pursuing.  Sometimes it is.  I closed my eyes and did this very exercise a little less than 6 years ago.  I was at a great point in my career at Lockheed Martin and had established myself relatively well.  But I was ready for that thing.  So I closed my eyes…and when I opened them, I found myself sitting in my very own cube (with a view!) at VMware’s Public Sector HQ in Reston, VA.  …


My VMworld Sessions: A Shameless Plug

A blog would not be complete this time of year without plugging one’s own VMworld sessions, so here it goes!…

I am incredibly excited to be a part of 3 sessions that were selected for VMworld 2015 Breakouts.  The recurring theme here should be of no surprise!

Becoming a vRealize Automagician: Why Automation isn’t Automatic – MGT5318

Get a peek into how these VMware customers and exceptional technologists — Steve Kaplan, Alan Keeler, and Trent TeSelle —  have leveraged vRealize Automation to fundamentally change how IT happens within their organizations. We’ll discuss vRA’s extensibility engine alongside vRO, why it matters, and how it can transform IT as you know it.…


A Quick Lesson on vRA Entitlements

vRealize Automation provides a ton of granularity for roles and permissions, service availability, lifecycle management (e.g. day-2 operations). It essentially boils down to a set of logic that defines who can see and do any given task on any given resource. This can be as simple as a handful of configurations, or get as complex as you want it to be.

vRA’s Entitlements feature is just one of many ways to add governance and additional controls to your environment. Entitlements allow admins to create a set of policies that determine which services any given consumer can deploy and how they can [lifecycle] manage their services post-provisioning.…


Increasing vRA’s Concurrent Provisioning Operations

I get this question on a weekly basis (at least) – how many concurrent provisioning operations can vRA handle?
…and as soon as I say “2”, i get the [expected] follow up – how can I change that to something ridiculous?

Here’s how:

But first, let’s revisit the blanket statements above because they’re missing a lot of details. The REAL answer is “it depends”. Concurrency primarily depends on which Endpoint is configured, whether or not a proxy agent is used, and what the endpoint itself can handle. The vast majority of vRA customers have at least 1 vSphere Endpoint — which leverages a proxy agent — so I can confidently divulge the default concurrency of 2.…