Earlier this month I hosted “vRA 6.2 Install and Config Live!“, an open-invite social event dubbed “vRA Live” (#vralive). To my surprise, I had 185 RSVP’s with more than 100 people — VMware partners, customers, and several of my peers — attending the 4 1/2+ hour online session. Although I tried to focus on the fundamentals of deploying vRA and associated services, the online Q&A and dialog provided by the experts panel added several examples, lesson’s learned, and plenty of colorful commentary. I couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout and hope to get the next session(s) queued up very soon!…
Thanks to all who have shown interest in this event. I was expecting 50 RSVP’s…currently at 128! That just about guarantees this will be a fun (and informative) event. I have put together the following agenda based on feedback from the sign up survey.
The primary objective is to install, configure, and demonstrate vRA 6.2 from scratch. For this, I will follow the install and configure workflow I previously covered in my vCAC 6.0 POC and Detailed Implementation Guide. Although vRA 6.2 provides additional capabilities and a more streamlined installation, many of the concepts are the same.…
Update 04/22/15: After further investigation around the effectiveness of these optimization tips on a vRA 6.2.1 environment, I am convinced that several of the tweaks do in fact provide some level of perceived IaaS UI performance improvements. I’m very interested in hearing your feedback on these findings (i.e. give it a try and let me know!).
Update 12/10/14: I have been advised that the optimization tweaks highlighted in this article will not provide any added benefits to vCAC/vRA 6.1 or 6.2. This is due to the way the IaaS interface is now presented back to the user (via the vCAC appliance vs. directly to the user session). The good news is VMware dev’s are hard at work at baking optimization right into the products, starting with a significant boost in the recently released vRA 6.2.
VMware’s vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) can transform how an enterprise delivers IT. It’s out-of-the-box functionality will help IT deliver Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) along with X-as-a-Service (XaaS / Everything-a-a-S) in a matter of clicks. Once extended into the datacenter’s ecosystem with vCAC’s extensibility engine, it will help integrate, orchestrate, and automate native and 3rd-party tools, services, and infrastructure, thrusting the enterprise into a new level of self-serviced IT efficiency.…
VMware vCloud Automation Center uses Active Directory service accounts to run several internal services and processes. In many environments it is required to reset the passwords for these service accounts at various intervals. As you can imagine, resetting the password for a given service account will cause the associated services to stop functioning until they are updated with the new password. A customer recently pointed out that there is no official documentation that provides guidance for updating the services used by vCAC to prevent a service outage. So, naturally, I figured I’d put this out there until such documentation is provided…
Before proceeding, determine exactly which service accounts are mapped to which services to prevent a misconfiguration. Follow these steps after changing the service account password and during a maintenance window…. …
In keeping up with my extracurricular doc-building activities, I am happy to release the latest iteration of my vCAC implementation guide for the deployment and configuration of vCAC 6.0. This unofficial Proof of Concept and Detailed Implementation guide is provided, with no guarantees (or support), to assist with the end-to-end implementation of vCloud Automation Center 6.0 in a pre-configured vSphere 5.x environment.
The guide walks through – in plenty of detail – vCAC 6.0’s deployment, concepts, technologies, and features as they would be used in a real-world implementation. This document can also double as an unofficial hands-on training guide which covers:
– New Features in vCAC 6.0
– Deployment Architecture
– Implementation on VMware platforms (vSphere)
– IaaS and XaaS Configuration
– Usage and Navigation
– Advanced Concepts and Use Cases…
I recently had the opportunity to brief several dozen VMware Public Sector (US-Fed / SLED) partners in anticipation of the vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 6.0 GA release. While most of the day focused on vCAC, I spent about an hour or so delivering an updated version of my SDDC Whiteboard brief to help set the stage for vCAC.
The whiteboard provides an overview of VMware’s SDDC / vCloud vision — starting from the foundation (i.e. vSphere) and capped off by the cloud automation layer (vCAC)…and all the loveliness in between.
This is a presentation I do often, but no two are the same. If you’ve got 45ish minutes to spare, please do and feel free to provide some feedback!
To continue the momentum, now we dive into installing the IaaS components of vCAC. Part 4 of this series walks you through the vCAC IaaS Installation Wizard, which is a significant improvement from previous versions. A few configuration details and GO!
Again, the IaaS engine in vCAC 6 is the .NET-based component that is similar to previous versions of vCAC 5.x. For vCAC 6.0, IaaS is consumed through vCAC’s primary framework. From VMware’s vCAC 6.0 Documentation:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) enables the rapid modeling and provisioning of servers and desktops across virtual and physical, private and public, or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Modeling is accomplished by creating a machine blueprint, which is a complete specification for a virtual, cloud, or physical machine. Blueprints are published as catalog items in the common service catalog. When a user requests a machine based on one of these blueprints, IaaS handles the provisioning of the machine.
IaaS also allows you to comprehensively manage the machine life cycle from a user request and administrative approval through decommissioning and resource reclamation. Built-in configuration and extensibility features also make IaaS a highly flexible means of customizing machine configurations and integrating machine provisioning and management with other enterprise-critical systems such as load balancers, configuration management databases (CMDBs), ticketing systems, IP Address management systems, or Domain Name System (DNS) servers.
Moving right along (and behind schedule), Part 3 of this series will walk through the configuration of all the prerequisite requirements for the Windows-based IaaS component.
The IaaS engine is a .NET-based component that resembles (an uncanny resemblance) previous versions of vCAC 5.x. For vCAC 6.0, IaaS is consumed through vCAC’s primary framework (deployed via the vCAC Virtual Appliance) once it is installed and registered. The prerequisites for IaaS are identical to previous vCAC versions, which I’ve covered in detail in the vCAC 5.2 Detailed Installation Guide.
Review: VMware’s vCloud Automation Center 6.0 solution is made up of 3 core components:
- vCAC VA – Delivered as a Virtual Appliance (.OVA), vCAC’s primary interface for administration and user self-service. Also includes an imbedded vCO server.
- vCAC ID – Delivered as a Virtual Appliance (.OVA), vCAC’s stand-alone Single Sign-On engine, which provides multi-tenant LDAP and Active Directory authentication services for vCAC tenants.
- vCAC IaaS – Windows Installable (.exe), vCAC’s IaaS engine for heterogeneous infrastructure as a service — setup is covered in Part 3 and 4 in the series
NOTE: this video guide was created using vCAC BETA builds and some of the steps will differ from the generally-available builds. I will try to update all the videos pre-GA.…