December 4th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

In part 4 we published an application blueprint through Application Serivces, that is pretty awesome but we still really haven’t done anything just yet.  I mean its all just about working but the real hard part is creating the application blueprints.  Just for fun, lets create a generic blueprint and run a deployment.  While logged into Application Services go to Applications and click on the green + (plus) button to create a new application.

  • Name the application and select a business group, if you’ve followed along my various home lab series you would select StarWars here since it is the only business group we gave permission to in vRealize Automation.
  • Click save, click Create Application Version then click Save
  • Now you are able to create a blueprint; click Create Blueprint
  • Drag the logical template to the design pane, again if you’re following along with me this would be the CentOS 64 logical template
VMware Application Services / Application Director application designer

VMware Application Services / Application Director application designer

  • Now all this would do is create a virtual machine like you could do through vRealize Automation or vSphere; here however we also have several preconfigured services we can drag into our logical template to install applications.
  • Let’s do a typical single node web and database server
  • Drag Apache, vFabric RabbitMQ and and vFabric Postgres into the logical template, it should look something like this:

apps-app-services-addedNow one of the hardest parts about automating something is now all the dependencies.  In this scenario I happen to know a few things are missing, not because I am a genius but because I went through several iterations of this blueprint before getting it to work.  This, however also allows me to demo some other features of Application Services.  In my CentOS template, SELinux is enabled – now I could convert my template to a virtual machine, disable it, clean up the virtual machine machine again and convert it back to a template.  It’s what I would have done not 6-8 months ago.  Now, however, I’ll simply use the tools available to me, tools like Application Services or Ansible to put the virtual machine into the state I want it:

  • From the Application Components page, drag two “script” items into the logical template
  • Edit the first script by clicking on it; name it (no spaces), click on Actions, click “Click here to Edit,” copy the following into the window and click the reboot checkbox

#!/bin/bash
# set SELinux disabled
cp /etc/selinux/config /etc/selinux/config.bak
sed -i s/SELINUX=permissive/SELINUX=disabled/g /etc/selinux/config

  • SELinux will now be disabled upon reboot.
  • We also have to tweak the EPEL install to allow it to pull data properly (seems to be a known issues right now).  Rather than letting the EPEL package install as part of the services we used earlier, we can also do that in a script and configure the options we need for it to work.
  • Edit the 2nd script as you did before but copy the following into the window

#!/bin/bash
# install EPEL
yum -y install http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/x86_64/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
sed -i “s/mirrorlist=https/mirrorlist=http/” /etc/yum.repos.d/epel.repo

  • Click the OK button, you should now see something like this:

apps-blueprint-configd

  • Now click the deploy button, name the deployment, and select the business group
  • Click Map Details, ensure all details match what you have setup, and click Next
  • Provide a name to your virtual machine and edit CPU and memory as needed (and to match your vRA blueprint limits) – click Next
  • Review the deployment blueprint and click Next
  • Click the deploy  button (you could also publish to vRA here as we did in part 4, but I’m just demonstrating the deployment)
  • The deployment will start

Now at one point I wasn’t sure it was working, I could see Application Services say it was working (system was under 80-90% load consistently) however I wanted to see what vSphere was doing.  As you an see in the two screenshots below, the virtual machines are being deployed as you might expect (they are from two different deployments so yes the dates are different)

Application Services - virtual machined deployed via the web client

Application Services – virtual machined deployed via the web client

VMware Application Services deployment viewed in vSphere Client

VMware Application Services deployment viewed in vSphere Client

In addition, you can zoom in on the Execution Plan pane to see what step the deployment is currently on

Application Services provisioning a virtual machine

Application Services provisioning a virtual machine

This process took quite a while in my lab, but it I am pretty resource bound now.  Now, as I mentioned this is an iterative processes, good chance it may have failed in your environment, review errors and run the deployment again.  After working through any specific environment issues you should be able to successfully deploy the application components.

apps-successful

Deploy an Application Blueprint – Application Services Series Part 5

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November 24th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Application Services is configured, now its time to create and publish an Application Blueprint.  During the installation I chose to install the sample content so I would have some an existing application blueprint available; I am going to take advantage of that sample content for my lab and edit one of the existing applications.  If you are not already, log into Application Services as luke and use the pull down menu in the upper right to change to the Application view.

  • Click on jPetStore
  • In the Application Versions pane, click on the 1.0.0 version
  • Click on the blueprint
VMware Application Services jPetStore blueprint

VMware Application Services jPetStore blueprint

  • Click on CentOS32 v6.3
  • Drag the CentOS64 v6.4  logical template into the application builder
  • Drag the components from jPetStore to the CentOS64 operating sytem
  • Delete the CentOS32 item and click the Save button

apps-new-os-blueprint-b

  • Click the Deploy button in the upper right corner
  • Name the new deployment profile and select the business group; Click the Deploy button
  • Select the Deployment Environment, click the map details button then click Next
  • Click into the hostname field and enter a name then click Next
  • Review the execution plan and click next
  • Click the publish button, name the item and click OK

Now we need to provide entitlements in vRealize Automation; log into vRA as tenantadmin:

  • Click on the Administration tab >> Catalog Management >> Catalog Items
  • Click on jPetStore (or whatever you named it), add it to the Clone Linux Template service and click Update
  • Log out and log back in as luke
  • Click on the Catalog tab; you should now have your basic VM template catalog item and the jPetStore catalog item.
Application Services Blueprint published in vRealize Automation Catalog

Application Services Blueprint published in vRealize Automation Catalog

You are now able to request Application Services blueprints through vRealize Automation!

This was a pretty basic example, and not likely to be replicated in real world use cases.  In fact, I have seen projects to automate the installation of software take upwards of 6 months to complete. Remember with Application Services we have moved beyond installing an application and simply cloning it, as that doesn’t work or scale for many applications – they require connection strings, network information etc..  What you are doing now is leveraging a release engineering or application automation tool so building a solid Application Services blueprint will go through its own SDLC.

Create an Application Blueprint – Application Services Series Part 4

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November 19th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Time for Fabric Groups, and no a fabric group is not what Grandma does on Saturday afternoons at the senior center.  Fabric groups in the vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center world is a collection of resources, this tends to send folks who have been storage focused for a long time down a different path as they start thinking about zoning and switches.

There can be multiple fabric groups with different purposes, for example you may assign clusters to different business groups to ensure performance, or at least that one group does not “hog” all of the resources available (though as we’ll see later there are other ways to control that).

As this is a resource being configured, we again log in with someone that as the Infrastructure admin role, in our case the iaasadmin user :

  • Click on the Infrastructure tab >>  Groups >> Fabric Groups
  • Click on New Fabric Group
  • Provide a name for your fabric group, in my case I’ll use vxprt
  • Assign a user to as a fabric administrator – remember we may have different groups using different fabrics and you may want to have someone in engineering manage their resources and a separate person in QA to manage the resources in their fabric group.  Or you could have a single fabric group that is assigned to various users.  The choice is yours.  In my case I am going to assign the iaasadmin user as the fabric administrator.  Start typing the name in, click the magnifying glass icon then click on the user
  • In compute resources, you will see the cluster from the vCenter server you added when you added the vSphere endpoint, had you not followed the last blog post you would have no endpoint, thus no resources – unless you already knew to do that on your own of course!  Select your cluster and click the OK button

For fun, click on New Fabric group again – did you think your cluster assigned to your previous admin group would still be available?  Logic might suggests that once I assign a cluster to a fabric group I should not be able to reuse it, however fabric groups are not how we control resource consumption, they are used for administration by other users.

That’s it, pretty easy.  If you like you can create multiple fabric groups to mimic what you might do in a production environment or play around with adding different clusters if you have those kinds of resources.  In my next post we will setup machine prefixes and business groups – which have to be done in that order, you can’t create a business group without a machine prefix (seems out of order to me but hey I’m not a programmer).

Configure Fabric Groups – vRealize Automation Series Part 9

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September 5th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Notes from the How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO session at VMworld: IT has to transform into a service broker (or as I have always thought of it, IT is a service provider).  By working with the business IT should be able to provide the services needed to its users, whether its providing internal/local resources or public – IT can/should be the broker to those resources. emc-hybrid-cloud-reasons Why hybrid?  That is what businesses want; enterprise apps are still being deployed privately – security, control, and licensing are some common reasons.  Building a hybrid cloud allows IT and the business to leverage either resource as needed allowing IT to operate as a service provider (ITaaS) EMC-ehc-pub-priv

 

By enabling ITaaS with EMC Hybrid Cloud for VMware, businesses can expect

To reduce their budget by saving on external services that business units or departments may be using as “shadow IT” services that is outside the control of the IT group.  ITaaS also enables IT to spend more time working on innovation, rather than maintenance by enabling self service and real time access to resources by the user.

How does an IT organization transform?  First, by providing standardized services, IT as a service consolidates IT resources across the enterprise and provides cost-effective IT applications and infrastructure.  Forward-thinking IT organizations are taking this further and providing their business consumers with a choice of internal and external services, and so become brokers of IT services to the business.  IT as a Service also delivers more agility and transparency than traditional IT by providing clear pricing and published service levels for IT services, which can be directly delivered to business consumers through a self-provisioning portal that ties into automated deployment of IT processes.  As you can see below, automation is a key tenant of a well run hybrid cloud (but also a well run IT organization – see my previous post here – The 5 most important factors in IT)

EMC-ehc-itaasThere are several components to build a successful, well run hybrid cloud – enabling cloud services such as a self service catalog, monitoring and transparency.  A management layer to deliver automated services, monitoring, capacity planning and reporting.  All of this running on compute, network and storage services.  EMC’s Hybrd Cloud for VMware leverages vCloud Suite to deliver the automation and self service required for IT to become a true service provider.

At the Cloud management layer, vCenter Orchestrator connects the virtual environment with the elements of the software defined data center…enabling integration and functionality across the compute, networking, and storage components.  VCO also opens the doors to integration outside of the private cloud.  Integration across the data center is possible with VCO’s extensible set of scripts, api’s, and ecosystem of connectors. EMC ViPR connects your physical storage into the private cloud, with storage automation and orchestration that enables you to add storage to your private cloud through the vCAC self-service portal.

EMC-ehc

One of the challenge of a hybrid cloud is deployment time and how soon the benefits of the cloud will be seen by lines of business. In traditional cloud deployments, IT does the deployment internally through a fully custom integration. The argument has traditionally been that custom is necessary to meet all needs of the business and IT, this is no longer true. Why is there such a time difference?

EMC-ehc-deploy

EMC has developed a more standardized approach based on predefined architectures will speed adoption and will help meet business requirements without lengthy custom engagements. This predefined solution stack is optimized for cloud and virtualization and decreases the software integration and configuration time.  In the Planning phase, EMC will help you determine the exact solution for your needs.  Speaking of needs, here are some questions you should consider when planning a hybrid cloud deployment:

EMC-ehc-questions

 

 

How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO w/ @vmtyler & @rick_vmwaretips #VMworld

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August 27th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Notes from the How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO session at VMworld: IT has to transform into a service broker (or as I have always thought of it, IT is a service provider).  By working with the business IT should be able to provide the services needed to its users, whether its providing internal/local resources or public – IT can/should be the broker to those resources. emc-hybrid-cloud-reasons Why hybrid?  That is what businesses want; enterprise apps are still being deployed privately – security, control, and licensing are some common reasons.  Building a hybrid cloud allows IT and the business to leverage either resource as needed allowing IT to operate as a service provider (ITaaS) EMC-ehc-pub-priv

 

By enabling ITaaS with EMC Hybrid Cloud for VMware, businesses can expect

To reduce their budget by saving on external services that business units or departments may be using as “shadow IT” services that is outside the control of the IT group.  ITaaS also enables IT to spend more time working on innovation, rather than maintenance by enabling self service and real time access to resources by the user.

How does an IT organization transform?  First, by providing standardized services, IT as a service consolidates IT resources across the enterprise and provides cost-effective IT applications and infrastructure.  Forward-thinking IT organizations are taking this further and providing their business consumers with a choice of internal and external services, and so become brokers of IT services to the business.  IT as a Service also delivers more agility and transparency than traditional IT by providing clear pricing and published service levels for IT services, which can be directly delivered to business consumers through a self-provisioning portal that ties into automated deployment of IT processes.  As you can see below, automation is a key tenant of a well run hybrid cloud (but also a well run IT organization – see my previous post here – The 5 most important factors in IT)

EMC-ehc-itaasThere are several components to build a successful, well run hybrid cloud – enabling cloud services such as a self service catalog, monitoring and transparency.  A management layer to deliver automated services, monitoring, capacity planning and reporting.  All of this running on compute, network and storage services.  EMC’s Hybrd Cloud for VMware leverages vCloud Suite to deliver the automation and self service required for IT to become a true service provider.

At the Cloud management layer, vCenter Orchestrator connects the virtual environment with the elements of the software defined data center…enabling integration and functionality across the compute, networking, and storage components.  VCO also opens the doors to integration outside of the private cloud.  Integration across the data center is possible with VCO’s extensible set of scripts, api’s, and ecosystem of connectors. EMC ViPR connects your physical storage into the private cloud, with storage automation and orchestration that enables you to add storage to your private cloud through the vCAC self-service portal.

EMC-ehc

One of the challenge of a hybrid cloud is deployment time and how soon the benefits of the cloud will be seen by lines of business. In traditional cloud deployments, IT does the deployment internally through a fully custom integration. The argument has traditionally been that custom is necessary to meet all needs of the business and IT, this is no longer true. Why is there such a time difference?

EMC-ehc-deploy

EMC has developed a more standardized approach based on predefined architectures will speed adoption and will help meet business requirements without lengthy custom engagements. This predefined solution stack is optimized for cloud and virtualization and decreases the software integration and configuration time.  In the Planning phase, EMC will help you determine the exact solution for your needs.  Speaking of needs, here are some questions you should consider when planning a hybrid cloud deployment:

EMC-ehc-questions

 

 

How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO w/ @vmtyler & @rick_vmwaretips #VMworld

Posted in Tech Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,