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 1.1, Spotlight Overview and Demo

As a follow up to the vRealize Automation 7 – Part 1, What’s New – Spotlight Features, I have just published a YouTube video that walks through vRA 7.0’s Spotlights and jumps into an 18-minute demo that dives a little deeper in each feature…

  • Logging in, Service Catalog, Overview
  • VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) – Federated Identity Management
  • Converged Blueprints – Unified Service Design
    • App Authoring
    • NSX Networking
  • Event Broker

The video below has been published in VMware Cloud Management’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to the vRealize Automation Playlist!

 

This is the complete 35-min video (demo starts at 17:30). I will publish just the demo portion as a separate video shortly.

 

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@virtualjad…

vRealize Automation 7.0 (GA) is LIVE!

Well, here it is folks…the wait is over for one of the most anticipated releases from VMware’s Cloud Management BU — vRealize Automation 7.0 is officially GA as of this writing!!

vRealize Automation is the centerpiece of vRealize Suite, VMware’s Cloud Management Platform (CMP). With the release of vRA 7.0, VMware clearly demonstrates it’s leadership in the CMP market by delivering a platform loaded with several enhancements, killer features and industry-first innovations. vRA 7 also redefines the user experience by following through on the commitment to take the complexity out of hybrid cloud management without “dumbing down” the product.

I’ve had the privilege to work very closely with several teams within the cloud management BU while gearing up for this launch, most notably my friends and peers in the go-to-market team. In my 6 years at VMware, I can honestly say I have never seen so many smart people work so closely together on a common goal — deliver a solid product, set the standard. Needless to say, I’m incredibly proud and honored to be a part of this release.

Let’s get to the goodies.

I foolishly set a goal to have a full library of vRA 7 content completed by GA.…

vRealize Automation 7 – Part 3, The Deployment Wizard

Remember that time you downloaded vRA (or vCAC) and tried to install it on your own? After some frustration and head-scratching, you turn to documentation, blogs, events, and a variety of guides provided by the community. Eventually everything starts looking good as you’re able to get passed the install and into initial configuration. vRA 6.x’s implementation involves a series of appliance deployments, VAMI configurations, prerequisite headaches, and installation of several IaaS components on windows hosts. Taking that to a distributed, highly-available configuration was a whole different story with the added complexities of deploying several additional systems, clustering configurations, external dependencies, and a whole other set of prerequisites. Of course none of this is unique to vRA — many enterprise solutions will take weeks or months to deploy in a production-ready state. There are many complexities expected of a cloud management platform that is nested at the center of an enterprise ecosystem. While the end-to-end implementation of vRA has come a long way, there was still a lot to be desired. Fortunately, that desire was understood…and a solution was brewing.

Continuing with the theme of redefining the user experience, vRA 7’s new deployment wizard takes time-to-value to a whole new level.…

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.…

vRealize Automation 7 – Part 1, What’s New – Spotlight Features

This was a big week in Barcelona — not just because VMworld EMEA broke attendance records, but also thanks to the announcement of one of the most anticipated updates to the VMware vRealize family, vRealize Automation 7.0 (vRA 7).  I had the opportunity to hosts and co-host several vRA sessions throughout the week, including a couple exclusive ad-hoc deep dive workshops for vExperts.  Now it’s finally time to share with all of you the cloud management goodness that’s been brewing at VMware.  This is the first of many in a series that will cover all the new innovations and features of vRealize Automation 7.0 and dig deep into several advanced use cases.  So let’s get started…

Spotlight #1 – Deployment and Initial Configuration

vRA 7 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, we made a huge splash at VMworld Barcelona 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.

Deployment Architecture – The overall footprint of vRA 7 has been drastically reduced.  …

A Quick Lesson on vRA Entitlements

vRealize Automation provides a ton of granularity for roles and permissions, service availability, lifecycle management (e.g. day-2 operations). It essentially boils down to a set of logic that defines who can see and do any given task on any given resource. This can be as simple as a handful of configurations, or get as complex as you want it to be.

vRA’s Entitlements feature is just one of many ways to add governance and additional controls to your environment. Entitlements allow admins to create a set of policies that determine which services any given consumer can deploy and how they can [lifecycle] manage their services post-provisioning. The following entitlement options are available per Business Group User or Group.

  • IaaS Blueprints
  • PaaS / AppServices Blueprints
  • XaaS Services
  • Actions / Custom Actions (Day 2 Operations)
  • Service Catalogs
  • Approval Policies

Entitlements are created and managed under Catalog Management (Administration tab -> Catalog Management -> Entitlements) for all available services. It is important to note that entitlements are a REQUIRED function for service delivery (e.g. all services must be entitled at some level before they are available for consumption). Since this isn’t a HOW-TO post (see the vRA Live Install and Config videos and/or the vRA 6.0 POC Guide for a detailed how-to), here’s a summary of how to get from here to there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once an Entitlement is created, there are several options that will help you fine-tune exactly what gets entitled, who this entitlement effects, which actions are available, and whether or not component-level approval policies are in the mix.…

Installing the vROps Management Pack for vRealize Automation

Following the general availability of vRealize Operations (vROps) 6.0 and vRealize Automation (vRA) 6.2, VMware has released several integration and management packs that bring the solutions together to help streamline management between consumption and operations. These management packs connect external sources and “solutions” into vROps to provide a more holistic view of the ecosystem. vROps has provided this capability for a small set external sources for quite some time, but not until vROps 6 has that included more of VMware’s own cloud management solutions. Considering the number of VMware customers that purchase these products together (e.g. vCloud Suite or vRealize Suite), these integrations add a ton of overall value. One great example is the vROps Management Pack for vRealize Automation.…