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.…

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 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.  …

vRA Live! – Extensibility Videos Published

In the second act of vRA Live!, we took a dive into extensibility and uncovered many of the ways in which vRealize Automation can be incorporated into a broader ecosystem of tools and extensions, largely leveraging vRA’s BFF, vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). This session was part of an ongoing series of vRA deep-dives and a follow up to the inaugural session, vRA Live! – Install and Configure. With more than 350 RSVP’s and ~140 hanging out for 3 1/2 hours, I’d say this was another success…so thanks to all that attended!These sessions wouldn’t be what they are without the awesome panel. A ton of thanks and a huge shout-out goes to this crew, who presented their own use cases (live), etched an epic vRO whiteboard on the fly, and answered more than 110 attendee questions throughout the session…

vRA Live!, Session 2 – Extensibility

** Update 12/31/14: Videos have been posted! – https://www.virtualjad.com/2015/05/vra-live-extensibility-videos-published.html

As a much overdue follow-up to vRA Live! – Install and Configure, I will be hosting the next session on April 17th @ 1:00PM EST.  vRA Live! – Extensibility will focus on extending vRealize Automation through vRA’s extensibility tools.

Extensibility is used to unlock the power of vRA’s integration and automation of the cloud ecosystem, deliver custom services, and help bridge the gap between what is available “out of the box” vs. the reality that is an enterprise’s high-customized and often complex environment. While vRA can deliver basic IaaS services with relatively little effort, the real value for enterprises and those leveraging vRA for managing a software-defined datacenter is delivered by the ability for it to integrate, automate, and orchestrate the surrounding environment.…

vCAC 6.0 Implementation, Part 4 – Configuring vCAC IaaS Component

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.

vCAC 6.0 Implementation, Part 3 – Configuring vCAC IaaS Prereqs

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.…

vCAC 6.0 Implementation, Part 2 – Configuring vCAC’s VA’s

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 (covered in detail in Parts 3 & 4).
source: vCAC 6.0 Install and Configure [beta] documentation

 

Additional components to the solution (based on licensing) include the vCAC Financial Management engine (delivered as an .OVA), and the Appication Provisioning engine (also an .OVA).  Both are covered much later.

Part 2 of this series will dive into the the configuration/integration of the vCAC VA and ID/SSO VA components.

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.

Other videos available in this series:

 

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@virtualjad…