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

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.

The whiteboard has been delivered on your standard everyday office whiteboard, table-tops, glass walls, flip charts, notepads, napkins, and electronically via powerpoint, iPad, and digital sketch pads. Regardless of delivery medium, I have found the whiteboard to be the most effective means of articulating the often-confusing details and associated benefits of the Software-Defined Datacenter at any level of depth…and without yawn-generating, ADD-invoking death by powerpoint.

My most recent iteration of the SDDC whiteboard doubles as field and partner enablement, so I had to put a little more thought into the storyline to ensure it closely resembles how customers have typically leveraged vSphere, NSX, VSAN, and the vRealize Suite evolve their existing datacenters to quickly build and gain the benefits of SDDC.…

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. We also illustrate common use cases for CMP and guide you to the path to management in the hybrid cloud era.

Excerpt: Identifying the Market Context

Companies in all industries are responding to new opportunities to leverage big data and mobility to drive a better customer experience and a more productive work environment. Many companies are actively pursuing new business models and revenue streams that rely on digitizing and modernizing business processes.

The phenomenon of digitization, along with other structural changes in the business world, is driving the need to dramati- cally speed up application delivery.

VMware Cloud Management Q1’16 Releases

Today was a big day for VMware’s Cloud Management business unit!

While most of these releases are an incremental (“sub”) release, they are quite important for all customers who have either already deployed or upgraded to vRealize Automation 7.0 and/or vRealize Business 7.0, or have been patiently holding off for the first incremental update prior to deploying or moving into production (especially considering the many platform-level enhancements introduced in 7.0).

As you’d expect, the vRA / vRB 7.0.1 updates bring with them bug fixes and minor enhancements since the 7.0 release(s). The theme is product quality, performance, scale and stability. These also represent the first releases to align with the BU’s new 90-day target for major and minor releases.

 

 

vRealize Automation 7.0.1

 

vRealize Orchestrator 7.0.1 (standalone VA)

 

vRealize Automation 6.2.4

 

vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1

 

vRealize CodeStream 2.0

 

vRealize CodeStream Management Pack for DevOps 2.0

And finally, the vRealize Suite 7.0 has been officially released to align with the completed portfolio of cloud management solutions.…

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.  It is important to note that vRA 7 has yet to GA, so some of the automation options and the UI itself can be tweaked between the current beta code and eventual GA builds.

(The screen capture is sped up 2.5X and some long wait periods have been clipped)

vRA 7 Deployment Wizard – FAST from @virtualjad on Vimeo.

The wizard will provide a choice of a minimal (POC, small) or enterprise (HA, distributed) deployment then, based on the desired deployment type, walks the admin through a series of configuration details needed for the various working parts of vRA, including all the windows-based IaaS components and dependencies.…

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. That is especially the case for distributed architectures that can grow upwards of 20+ machines. Let’s change that, shall we?…

vRA 6.x Deployment Architecture

In addition to several external dependancies, vRA 6.x requires various internal/embedded services to be taken externally for high availability. The services embedded in the virtual appliance include vRealize Orchestrator, the vPostgres DB, and the vRA framework services themselves. An external Identity Appliance (SSO) is required for authentication (vCenter SSO also an option). And, finally, the optional App Services VA for app authoring.

For distributed architectures, the components include at least 2 load-balanced vRA VA’s, an external pair of clustered vPostgres DB’s, external clustered vRO pair, a pair of [vCenter] SSO’s (the Identity Appliance does not support an HA configuration), and a single ill-fated App Services VA, which also does not support an HA setup.…

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.  I was suddenly at my favorite little tech company that had already changed the world (at least once)…and was ramping up to do it again.

Okay so maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that. There were a few interviews and several great conversations, but never did anyone have to do any convincing…I wanted in!  Ever since I joined VMware back in 2009, I knew I was suddenly a part of something huge.  My Lockheed career had been such an incredible period of my life and a significant part of developing my skills up to that point, but I often found myself wanting to grow my career and head in a direction that I wasn’t sure Lockheed was ready to support.  …

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.

When: 9/1/15 (Tuesday) 2:00 PM
Abstract & Registerhttps://t.co/S9MsvF6Qze


Organizational Change Management and SDDC: Why Getting Your Organization and People Aligned Are the Key Ingredient in Ensuring Maximum Value from You – OPT5793

What originally started as the “Software-Defined People Problem” has slightly shifted to discuss the overall organizational alignments required in order to successfully pull a cloud transformation off. I joined forces with VMware transformation advocate and guru, Brad Wolfe, to deliver a must-attend session for anyone who has struggled breaking through legacy silos and fiefdoms.…