The Scoop – vRealize Automation 7.2

Today VMware announced vRealize Automation 7.2, the third incremental release since the revamped 7.0 platform was first introduced. With each release comes new features and functionality with an almost obsessive focus on driving time-to-value and improving the overall user experience. vRA 7.2 is no exception to that rule.

vRealize Automation 7.2

vra7-585

Accelerating Time to Value:

  • New API’s for programmatically Installing, Configuring, and Upgrading vRA 7.2+
  • Leverage the API’s to validate installation, deploy monolithic or distributed environments, generate certs and install licensing
  • Enhanced Upgrade API’s enable programatic system-wide upgrade functionality
Details

Storage Over-Provisioning in vRealize Automation

A driving factor of virtualization in the old days was the immediate efficiencies that were realized with each P2V. It was money in the bank each time consolidation ratios increased and fewer physical boxes were required. In the physical world, we tried to ensure each OS and associated app(s) had plenty of excess CPU, memory, and storage resources available to it…just in case they were needed at some point in the future. The target utilization rate was typically under 20% (often less than half that) and a sustained rate above that was a cause for concern. In contrast, virtualization aspired resource utilization rates of 60-80% per host and a little below that cluster-wide.…

Details

VMware SDDC Technical Whiteboard

One of my favorite things to do is whiteboard. In my line of work, the whiteboard allows me to tell a story…one that can be broad in coverage, yet tuned on-the-fly to best align with the needs of the audience. It started as a “cloud” whiteboard back when vCloud Director (vCD) was released and the first vCloud Suite offering was announced. The first storylines were all about VMware’s cloud and management framework and leveraging vCD to align with a set of industry-accepted characteristics that defined “cloud”. There have been several iterations over time as new technologies (and acquisitions) came to fruition, with an evolving storyline to highlight modern challenges and the transformative nature of the Software-Defined Datacenter.…

Details

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