November 30th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

With my vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center lab mostly working, I did want to recognize a few things we missed that you might like to investigate further on your own.

First, if you look back you’ll notice we did not do anything specifically with vCenter Orchestrator.  Like vSphere templates, you can publish vCO workflows as catalog items to perform advanced or no routine tasks.  For example maybe you are an organization that makes heave use of vApps in vSphere and want to continue that.  vRA has no concept of vApps but using vCenter Orchestrator I could publish a workflow that will create the vApp and create virtual machines inside the vApp.  Additionally I could tie vCO into other infrastructure such as Active Directory or my storage layer using EMC ViPR for example.

We did not work with any of the advanced networking solutions such as VMware NSX or vCloud Networking and Security.  Consider the need for an isolated multi-virtual machine development environment, I could deploy an NSX edge device and places all of the virtual machines behind the edge device and provide access to the application to a specific set of users or other network segments.  Also missed in these posts were adding additional endpoints to connect to services such as vCloud Air or EC2 – things that could enable you to build a “hybrid” cloud

The last item I will cover here is charge back using vRealize Business (formerly IT Business Management Suite).  With vRB…no sorry not doing it – with ITBM you can get much more granular in cost tracking and turn that data into charge back to other groups or show back to justify your IT budget (remember IT people – you job is not to make money, its to support the business).

Thank you for following along with my vCAC / vRA posts, I hope you found them useful!

Whats missing from my vRealize Automation lab

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November 23rd, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

VMware Application Services (formerly Application Director) is now deployed, but we need to do a bit more integration with vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center so we can publish Application Services blueprints to the vRealize Automation catalog.  First we need to define a cloud provider;

  • While logged in as Luke, the user we gave all of the Application Services roles to, click on the Applications pull down menu and select Cloud Providers
  • Click the Create Cloud Provider button/box
  • Click the Cloud Provider Type pull down and notice what options are available – vCloud 5.x, vCAC and EC2.  What about vCloud Air – can we use that?  If you said yes you are correct because vCloud Air is based on vCloud Director.
  • Enter the information like so (note some of the boxes appear “greyed out” – they are not, just a poor choice for background colors) and click the Validate Connection button
VMware vCloud Automation Center / vRealize Application Serivces validate cloud provider

VMware vCloud Automation Center / vRealize Application Serivces validate cloud provider

  • Notice that you have to use an upper case domain, I’m curious as to why but in any case its the only way that worked for me
  • Next in the lower half of the screen (not pictured above) in the templates section, click the green plus icon
  • You should see the CentOS-Template catalog item we previously published in the vRealize Automation catalog; click the check mark next to the desired template and click OK
  • Click the Save button in the upper right hand corner

We now have the first step in setting up Application Services complete, up next we will create a Deployment Enviornment

Create a New Cloud Provider – Application Services Series Part 1

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November 22nd, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

We’ve got our reservations done, but so far we haven’t created any catalog items for our Georgia and Alderaan employees to actually request.  One of the simplest things to publish in the vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center catalog are virtual machine blueprints; which are created from vSphere templates.  With our virtual machine converted to a template in vCenter, we should be ready to go.

  • Log into vRealize Automation as iaasadmin
  • Click on Infrastructure >> Blueprints >> Machine Prefixes
  • Create a Prefix like we did for our business groups, call this one nix
  • Click on Infrastructure >> Compute Resources >> Compute Resources
  • Hover over cl01 >> Data Collection
  • Wait a few moments and click the Refresh button at the bottom of the screen; status should be Succeeded
  • Under Inventory, click Request Now
  • Log out and log back in as tenantadmin
  • Click on Infrastructure >> Blueprints >> Blueprints
  • Hover over New Blueprint >> Virtual >> vSphere (vCenter)
  • Fill in the build information similar to below
VMware vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center new Blueprint

VMware vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center new Blueprint

  • Click the Build Information Tab
  • Change Action to Clone
  • Click the ellipse next to Clone From and select your linux template and click the OK button
  • For testing in the lab, leave everything else as is and click the OK button at the bottom of the page
  • Hover over the new Blueprint, click on Publish then click OK
  • Navigate to Administration >> Catalog Management >>Services
  • Click the Add button, name it Clone Linux Template, set it to Active, and click the Add button
  • Highlight the new service and click the Manage Catalog Items button
  • Click the green + icon, select CentOS-Template and click Add
  • Click Close

Almost there I promise, now that the blueprint, service and catalog item is created, we just need to provide entitlements so our users can see it!

Adding Blueprints from vSphere Templates – vRealize Automation Series Part 14

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November 22nd, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Home stretch, 15 posts and we are about to see our first catalog item published!  Lets get going and create the entitlement which is how we define what can be done in vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center

  • Log in as tenantadmin
  • Click Administration >> Catalog Management >> Entitlements
  • Click the Add button and fill in the information as follows

vra-entitlement

  • Click the Next button
  • Click the plus sign next to Entitled Services, select Clone Linux Template and click OK
  • Click the plus sign next to Entitled Catalog items, select CentOS template and click OK
  • Click the plus sign next to Entitled Actions, Select Machine from the pull down and chose all of the items, Select Virtual Machine from the pull down and select Destroy; click OK
  • Click the Add button

Log out as tenantadmin and log back in as luke, you should now see your vSphere template, which is now a vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center blueprint published!

hooray

Creating Entitlements – vRealize Automation Series Part 15

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November 21st, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

One of my goals in the #vDM30in30 challenge was to expand my comfort level with vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center and Application Services / Application Director.  To that end, it’s time to deploy the AppS appliance.  In vRealize Automation 6.1, Application Services (formerly Application Director) became a “component” of vRa.  I guess what the marketing department meant by “component” was that it is a completely separate virtual appliance with its own management UI and integration with vRealize Automation :)

In 6.0, like the vCloud Automation Center appliance, the initial OVF import was important.  While there are documented ways to manage the network settings that “should” allow you to make changes, I found that the changes were not always persistent so again I am careful here and probably carrying with me some bad memories.  Log into the vSphere Web Client, if you are running your VMs on the VMware Workstation NAT’d network, do so from your DC.

  • Click on vCenter >> Hosts and Clusters
  • Right click on your cluster and select Deploy OVF Template, if prompted click allow
  • Browse for the location to your Application Services OVF and click Next
  • Click Next, Accept, and Next
  • Name your appliance, I’ll be keeping with my convention and use vxprt-apps01, and select the datacenter or folder you want to deploy to
  • Select the datastore, then ensure you have selected Thin Provision
  • Connect to the appropriate port, change the IP allocation pull down to Static and fill in the DNS, Gateway and Netmask fields;  click Next
  • Enter the IP address for the appliance and click Finish
  • While the appliance is being deploy, open DNS manager and create an A record in both the forward and reverse lookup zones.
  • If, like me you are limited to lab resources, change the amount of memory for the virtual machine to 3 or 4GB.  I changed mine to 3GB and it seems to be working fine.
  • Once the deployment finishes, power on the virtual machine and open the VMRC; you will see a prompt to enter the serial number for Application Services:
vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center Application Services Serial Number via Console

vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center Application Services Serial Number via Console

  • Enter your serial number and press the enter key on your keyboard
  • Enter the new OS root password when prompted (you can ignore the errors about weak passwords…not that mine is weak … :)
  • Enter the OS darwin_user account password
  • The appliance will configure its initial configuration process – now would be a good time to also update your host file if necessary on your workstation.  Services can take awhile to start since I dropped the memory of the system
  • You will be asked if you want to use this instance for a migration from 6.0.1, in our case the answer is N
  • Next, provide your vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center Server URL; in my case https://vxprt-vcac01.vxprt.local
vRealize Automation / vCloud Autoamtion Center Application Services registration

vRealize Automation / vCloud Autoamtion Center Application Services registration

  • Enter [email protected] when prompted for the administrator username
  • After a few moments you should get a prompt saying Registration is successful
  • You will now be asked if you want to setup Out-Of-Box sample content; I am selecting Yes
  • Next, provide the Tenant Name – in my case vsphere.local as I am using the default tenant for my lab
  • Here, we need to switch back to the vRealize Automation web console for a moment as we need to give a user the appropriate roles to import content.
  • Log in as tenantadmin, click on Administration >> Users; search for one of your Business Group admins, in my case either Rick or Luke, type in their name in the search box and click on the user when it appears
  • Give the user the top 4 roles Application Architect, Catalog Administrator, Cloud Administrator, and Publisher/Deployer (probably don’t need all, but can’t decipher what specifically it needs from the documentation)
Assing Application Services permissions in vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center

Assing Application Services permissions in vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center

  • Click Update; the user luke now has all Application Services related roles
  • Switch back to the VMRC; enter luke as the username and then the password password
  • Enter the business group that should have access to the sample content, in my case StarWars
VMware Application Services importing out of box content for business group

VMware Application Services importing out of box content for business group

  • Once complete you should see that you can also import out of box content for other tenants again by running /home/darwin/tools/import_oob_content.sh
  • Press any key to continue
  • Enter the new password for the Application Services admin account (I know a lot of accounts huh)
  • Setup will finish boot until you see the typical VMware appliance console
  • Open a web browser and navigate to https://vxprt-apps01.vxprt.local:8443/darwin/org/vsphere.local
  • You can log in as any tenant user that you configured; for example try luke
VMware vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center Application Sevices web console

VMware vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center Application Sevices web console

That is the basic deployment of VMware vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center Application Services – up next we have a bit more configuration to do to make the Application Services Available as a catalog item in the vRealize Automation / vCloud Automaton Center catalog.

 

Deploying Application Services – vRealize Automation Series Part 12

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