I think we need to take a few steps back and focus on vRA architecture and design. I’ve had many questions, requests, and discussions with some of my readers on this topic. Implementing vRA can lead to many rewarding outcomes, but as some have discovered it can also lead to aggravating outcomes if not designed properly upfront.
At first it can seem very straight forward. Create some endpoints, groups, reservations, and blueprints. Sprinkle in some integrations for custom hostname, IPAM, DNS and AD and you are on your way to fully automating your workload deployments, right? Not exactly. You can certainly do this and at first it will seem amazing, but as you mature and start to scale out your new catalog of services the lack of up front design and planning will quickly start to reveal itself.
Continue reading “The road to automation with VMware vRA”
Many of you may have heard about Amazon’s latest product named Lightsail. This service is designed to competed with shared hosting providers. A few years back I moved my websites from shared hosting, to self hosing, and ultimately to a dedicated server with 1&1 hostsing. For $85 a month it wasn’t a bad deal. Although the server seemed very sluggish at times and the network wasn’t very fast it was still better than shared hosting.
Over the course of the last two weeks I moved all my web assets to Amazon Lightsail and I couldn’t be happier. The Amazon network is lightening fast and the $5 per month instance is out performing the dedicated server I had from 1&1 hosting. Lightsail offers many plans starting at $5 a month all the way to $80 a month.
Continue reading “Hello Amazon Lightsail, Good by 1&1 dedicated server”
Many of you have utilized the Custom Hostname module that has been made available by Tom Bonanno here on Dailyhypervisor. Those that use have probably noticed that it is no longer maintained. This is because there are supportable modules available like the one I’m writing about now by SovLabs. The Sovlabs module offers more flexibility and is a supported product making it a best of breed solution for this task. Whats even better is their is a common framework that exists within the SovLabs platform that greatly extends the capabilities of each module. More of the framework to come. For now let’s go ahead and configure the custom hostname module.
Within the SovLabs custom naming module hostnames are broken in to two parts. A Naming Sequence and a Naming Standard.
Naming sequences are exactly exactly what they sound like. They basically define how are we going to sequence the names that are created. Sounds basic right? Well SovLabs has taken sequencing to a whole new level. Most of you are probably familiar with using a standard decimal based sequence that might look like host001, host002, and so on. SovLabs has added the ability to use HexaDecimal, Octal, and Pattern based sequences for your naming needs. Pattern based sequences are insanely powerful. Pattern naming sequences can contain Decimal, HexaDecimal, Octal, Binary, and Alpha. Below are an examples of what you can achieve with Pattern Based naming sequences:
Continue reading “vRA 7.3 – Configuring SovLabs Custom Naming Module”
In my previous article about the SovLabs plugin I covered some pre-requisites and sent you over to the SovLabs documentation to finish the installation. Once you have installed the vRO plugin using the vRO Control Center you will go to your vRO Client and see a new folder that has all the Sovlabs vRO modules.
Continue reading “vRA 7.3 – Configuring the SovLabs Plugin”
If you haven’t read Part 1 of this article you will want to go back and read it before you proceed. In part 2 we will build on the installation that we performed in part 1. Let’s just dig right in and get started.
How this integration works
Configuring the integration to use native vRA authentication requires the user to login to ServiceNow and vRA both. When the user logs into ServiceNow they are redirected to the vRA Login page and was logged in they are then redirected back to ServiceNow. This allows requests the user makes to be passed to vRA as that user. The main difference between this and the SAML (ADFS) integration is the user only need to login to vRA the very first time they use it and never again as the user is auto-magically logged in to vRA in the background using the SAML token. This is a great option for testing the integration without having to touch your Identity Management configuration.
Continue reading “vRA 7.3 – Installing and configuring vRA plugin for ITSM – ServiceNow – Part 2”
It seems like everyone these days wants to use ServiceNow as their catalog for vRA. It use to be that everyone just wanted to create or update CI records. Before I get into the weeds on how to get vRA and ServiceNow talking together I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the integration, the pros, the cons, and it’s limitation.
Continue reading “vRA 7.3–Installing and configuring vRA plugin for ITSM–ServiceNow–Part 1”
There are lots of reasons to want to export and import blueprints from one vRA instance to another. My current motives are to move blueprints from my vRA 7.2 environment to my newly deployed vRA 7.3 environment. In vRA 7.3 their is a great new free feature available, the Code Stream Management Pack for IT Devops that is free. However if you are running a pre vRA 7.3 environment you may want to get that content from that environment backed up so you can use it in another instance. Cloud Client is a great option.
You can download Cloud CLient 4.4.0 here. Continue reading “Using the vRA Cloud Client to export and import blueprints”
Many of you are looking to kick the tires on the SovLabs vRO plugins for vRA 7.3, but don’t know where to begin. If that’s you, then you are in luck. In this article I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know to install the plugin. Before we begin please make sure you have visited the SovLabs Trial registration site so you have the installation bits and a trial key.
Patching vRA 7.3
Before we just go an drop in the plugin we need to prepare vRA. To do this we must first apply two hotfixes. One for the vRA appliance and one for vRO.
Continue reading “Installing the SovLabs vRO plugin for vRealize Automation 7.3”
Some of you may have attended the vRA and ServiceNow presentation at VMworld 2017 yesterday. I regret not being able to attend and present it myself, however I’m certain that Chris Smith and Ian Smith did a fantastic job. Here I want to recap some of what was presented during that session.
It’s important to understand what options are available and what features they offer in order to understand what you really need when integrating with ServiceNow. To start do you need what is referred to as North/South integration, East/West Integration, or both. Below is a list of what capabilities fall under each classification.
|ServiceNow used as Catalog||vRA used as Catalog|
|VMware vRealize Automation handles automation and orchestration.||VMware vRealize Automation handles automation and orchestration.|
|Create or update CI records||Create or update CI records|
|Available via VMware ITSM plugin, AVNet Plugin, or Custom REST API integration.||Available via VMware ITSM plugin, SovLabs plugin, Avnet Plugin, or custom vRealize Orchestrator workflows.|
Continue reading “vRA – vRealize Automation and ServiceNow Integration”
If you have been to the VMware Solutions Exchange you most certainly have seen the name SovLabs. Although their solutions are regularly called plug-ins, I assure you they offer more than just orchestrator-based plug-ins. I first started working with their solutions earlier this year and I was instantly hooked. Many of you have used vRO extensions that were made available by Tom Bonanno or myself posted here on Dailyhypervisor. One in particular is the custom hostname extension for vRA. While that extension has helped hundreds if not more of you, many of you quickly discovered the downside of using it. That downside being management overhead and lack of support. As much as we would have liked to offer support to those in need we simply don’t have the bandwidth to do so. Even upgrading the extension we put out for new versions of vRA in a timely manner had its challenges for us.
Continue reading “SovLabs – Solutions for VMware vRealize Automation”