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.…

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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.

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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.

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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!…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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vRA and NSX – Using Baseline Security Groups

vRA and NSX came together back when vRA (a.k.a. vCAC) 6.0 was released, just as VMware was transitioning from vCNS to NSX. In vRA 6.x, inventory-collected security groups must be selected (checked) per Reservation prior to being available for consumption by a multi-machine blueprint (and only MMBP’s support NSX in vRA 6.x). As I’ve highlighted several times before, the latest release of vRealize Automation (7.x) delivers deeper integrations with NSX and unified service authoring capabilities to make delivering application-centric networks the new norm. See this post for how vRA and NSX are better together…I won’t repeat those details here.

With vRA 7’s deeper integration and broader use cases, one hugely powerful feature is the ability to incorporate one or more NSX Security Groups — either Pre-Existing or On-Demand — into your service design using the new Converged Blueprint Designer (CBP).…

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vRealize Automation and NSX – Better Together

One of the hottest topics in the world of software-defined everything is unequivocally NSX. This rocketship of a technology is fundamentally changing datacenter design — much like vSphere so effectively did (except at a greater pace). NSX redefines how networks are built, consumed, and managed. Even more importantly, security no longer has to be compromised due to the the prohibitive cost of per-application policies. And best of all, this all done with software. That’s a good thing since we’re at the start of a software-defined revolution, quickly breaking out of our hardware-defined chains.

I can go on and on, but this post isn’t about how awesome NSX is…not entirely anyway.…

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