vRA7.2 DIG – Microsoft Azure Integration

vRealize Automation 7.2 added native support for Microsoft Azure as a cloud Endpoint. This allows customers to quickly add their subscribed Azure resources to vRA for management and consumption. Azure is the latest addition to the list of native IaaS Endpoints, but the integration takes a different approach from the traditional IaaS Endpoints. For starters, Azure integration is built entirely on vRA’s native extensibility platform vs. the traditional [.net] engine. Likewise, the Azure endpoint is added to vRA as an extensibility endpoint, unlike most other native endpoints that are configured in the Infrastructure section.

Behind the scenes, vRA heavily leverages vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) and a set of OOTB workflows to orchestrate various Azure functions. The included workflows are provided to deliver core Azure functionality and a handful of Day2 operations, but can also be copied and customized to provide additional functionality and XaaS services as needed. This can help fill any gaps in native functionality and, more importantly, deliver unique integrations that would otherwise be quite complex.

But don’t let any of this scare you. Building, provisioning, and managing Azure workloads is accomplished using all the familiar user interfaces in vRA. From a consumption perspective, vRO is tucked in the background and is invoked by vRA based on the task at hand.

The Scoop: vRealize Automation 7.1

vRealize Automation 7.1 in now Generally Available for download. This release brings several features and enhancements, but primarily sticks to the themes of Time to Value, Quality and Stability. Another focus point for this release is to provide customers currently on vRA 6.x an upgrade path to all the benefits of the 7.x platform.

vRealize Automation 7.1

I’ll be posting some details around a few of the new capabilities in the next several weeks, but for now here’s a summary list of what vRA 7.1 delivers…

Time To Value

  • Streamlined deployment and prereq installation process
  • Silent installer leveraging new vra-command CLI tool
  • Install management agents, prereqs, and core for VA and IaaS nodes
  • Use wizard-generated unattended properties file for subsequent silent installations
  • Leverages new VA public API (https://<vrava_ip>:5480/config/):

    vra7-176

  • UI-based (VAMI) Migration wizard
  • Migrate from vRealize Automation 6.2.x environment to a new vRealize Automation 7.1 instance
  • Complete DB migration (vPostgres and SQL)
  • Migrate IDVA/SSO Directories to vIDM
  • Preserves the source 6.2.x environment
  • Supports migrating from 6.2.x Simple to 7.1 HA/Distributed (as well as HA to HA):

    vra7-226

  • vSphere Endpoint Improvements
  • Data collection performance increased by ~60%
  • Support for vSphere infrastructure changes (e.g.

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.…

ProTip – vCAC 6.1 and NSX 6.1 Integration

vCAC 6.1 added a ton of integration with NSX 6.1 using a series of vCO Workflows, UI’s, and API integration. Although the logic is in the code, there are a few steps needed to get things going…

For starters, be sure to configure a vCO Endpoint (Infrastructure tab -> Endpoints -> Endpoints). In a POC or small environment you can point to the embedded vCO instances that ships with the vCAC VA. Otherwise point to an external vCO instance (note: if using an external instance, be sure to install the NSX 6.1 vCO plugin first).

Once the vCO Endpoint is configured, it’s time to add NSX support to the vSphere (vCenter) Endpoint. In vSphere (vCenter) Endpoint configuration, check the “Specify manager for network and security platform” box and enter the appropriate address / credentials for NSX. Be sure the account used has admin permissions (you can use the default admin account, or any account that has been added as NSX Admin users.

Check the logs to make sure no errors exist. You can also check data collection status (Compute Resources -> hover over appropriate cluster -> select Data Collection) and ensure “Network and Security Inventory” shows a successful collection.…