vRA 7.2 DIG – 02, Deploy and Configure VMware NSX

We will be leveraging VMware NSX in this implementation to provide the load balancing services for the vRA deployment as well as integrating into vRA for application-centric network and security. Before any of this is possible, we must deploy NSX to the vSphere cluster, prepare the hosts, and configure logical network services. The guide assumes the use of NSX for these services, but this is NOT a requirement. A distributed installation of vRA can be accomplished with most load balancers. VMware certifies NSX, F5, and NetScaler.

(You can skip this section if you do not plan on using NSX in your environment)

Checklist:

  • Deploy (3) NSX Controller Nodes
  • Prep vSphere Hosts
  • Complete Logical Network Preparation
  • Configure VXLAN Network
  • Configure Transport Zone

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vRA 7.2 DIG – 01, Introduction

vRA 7.x focuses a lot on the user experience (UX), starting with one of the most critical — deploying the solution — then the second most critical, configuring it.  Following through with the promise of a more streamlined deployment experience, vRA 7’s release made a significant UX leap with the debut of the wizard-driven and completely automated installation of the entire platform and automated initial configuration.  And all of this in a significantly reduced deployment architecture.

The overall footprint of vRA has been drastically reduced. For a typical highly-available 6,x implementation, you would need at least 8 VA’s to cover just the core services (not including IaaS/windows components and the external App Services VA). …

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vRA 7.2 Detailed Implementation Guide

Welcome to the vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation Guide (DIG). This series of posts — made up of detailed how-to, end-to-end videos, plenty of commentary, and other related content — was put together to help you deploy and configure a highly-available, production-worthy vRealize Automation 7.2 distributed environment, complete with SDDC integration (e.g. VSAN, NSX), extensibility examples and ecosystem integrations. The design assumes VMware NSX will provide the load balancing capabilities and includes details on deploying and configuring NSX from from scratch to deliver these capabilities.

This little project has been in the works for quite some time and will continue to expand as I include additional how-to’s for a variety of use cases (e.g.…

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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

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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
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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.…

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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.…

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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/):

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  • 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):

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

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