VMware vRealize Automation – vRA7 – Custom Hostnaming Extension for vRA7 and beyond

Overview

One of the most frequent asks when using vRA is, “How do I deploy machines using my company’s hostnaming standards automatically using vRA?”  Since the out-of-the box hostnaming only provides a way to do prefix-suffix, the answer to this question usually is that it will require customization.

This solution is intended to provide a way to implement this functionality by using a small, highly versatile custom extension which can handle 95% of use cases without writing custom code.

The rest of this article contains instructions on installing and configuring the vRA Custom Hostnaming Extension.  This extension allows administrators to model very specific custom hostnaming schemes for their vRA virtual machines, Deployments, and vCloud Director vApps using vRA custom properties, with dynamic creation of stock machine prefixes and index tracking for each unique hostname combination.

This extension is proof-of-concept or demo grade.  While it runs well and consistently, it has not been put through a formal quality assurance process, so please use with caution.

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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 Creating a vSphere Reservation

There are two types of vSphere reservation within vCAC. Reservations against a vSphere host and reservations against vSphere clusters. In order to create either a vCenter server is required. To make a reservation against a vSphere host it cannot be part of a vSphere cluster. Unlike physical reservations when creating a vSphere reservation you do not need to consume the entire vSphere host or Cluster in one reservation. You can create multiple reservations against a vSphere resoruce consuming parts of it in each reservation. You also have the ability to over subscribe the vSphere host or cluster.

When creating a vsphere reservation you have the ability to reserve memory, storage, and determine what networks are available within the reservation. vSphere reservation also give you the ability to determine how workloads can consume the resources. This is achieved in a number of ways. The first of which is a reservation priority. The reservation priority allows you some control over how you consume your resources. Let’s say you have two reservations assigned to a business group. If you wanted workloads to fully consume one before being placed against the other you would give the different priorities. The one you would want to fill first would be say a priority of 1,and the other would be a priority of 2. If you want to fill them equally you would give them the same priority. This will cause vCAC to round robin the placement of the workloads.

You can also implement the same types of placement priority for datastores within the reservation using the priorities you associate to each datastore.

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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 Creating a Physical HP Reservation

Physical reservations are different in nature than a virtual reservation. Unlike virtual reservations we cannot dynamically assign Memory, CPU, Disks, or network adapters. We are stuck with what is in the physical machine. When we talk about self-service and automation it poses an interesting problem. How do we allow users to request a physical server that meets their needs.

The Physical Reservations combined with Physical Blueprints in vCAC help us solve this problem. In this article we are talking about Physical HP servers, and if we had a rack loaded full of servers it’s highly probable they wouldn’t be exactly the same. That’s fine we can add as many physical servers of varying configurations as we need to a reservation in vCAC. A physical Hp server reservation in vCAC is simply a collection of Physical HP servers managed through their iLo interfaces.

If you have reviewed Adding Physical HP iLo EndPoints you would have noticed that every physical server requires an endpoint. Once the endpoint is created vCAC does a discovery and learns about the physical specs of the server. A resource is then created for that server that can be added to a physical reservation.

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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 – Creating a Business Group

Business Groups are representations of your organizations logical groupings of users and managers. These can be business units or other groupings such as developers, windows users, etc. Business groups are very important within vCAC because these are the groups that you assign resources to. You can assign resources from the various types of supported infrastructure to these groups and the users are then able to provision workloads to those assigned resources.

Creating a Business Group

  1. From the Infrastructure menu select Group form the left menu.
  2. VCAC6FG-1
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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 5.2/6.0 – Custom Hostnaming Extension v3.1

Overview

One of the most frequent asks when using vCAC is, “How do I deploy machines using my company’s hostnaming standards automatically using vCAC?”  Since the out-of-the box hostnaming only provides a way to do prefix-suffix, the answer to this question usually is that it will require customization.

This solution is intended to provide a way to implement this functionality by using a small, highly versatile custom extension which can handle 95% of use cases without writing custom code.

The rest of this article contains instructions on installing and configuring the vCAC Custom Hostnaming Extension.  This extension allows administrators to model very specific custom hostnaming schemes for their vCAC virtual machines, multi-machine services, and vCloud Director vApps using vCAC custom properties, with dynamic creation of stock machine prefixes and index tracking for each unique hostname combination.

This extension is Continue reading “vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 5.2/6.0 – Custom Hostnaming Extension v3.1”

vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 – Adding Tenants

After vCAC 6 is initially installed you have only the default tenant that was created during the configuration of the Identity Appliance. The administrator user for the default tenant will allow you to login to the vCAC UI and created additional tenants and configure default branding.

It is highly recommended that you do not utilize the default tenant for anything other than tenant management. You can add a directory service such as AD to the default tenant to assign other administrators, however beyond that it is not recommended that you utilize the default tenant to provide any additional service. This post will walk you through creating a new tenant in vCAC 6.0 that can be used to publish services.

Creating a new tenant

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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 – Installing the vCAC 6.0 IaaS Server

Now that we have installed and configured the vCAC 6.0 Identity Appliance and the vCAC 6.0 Virtual Appliance we now need to install the vCAC 6.0 IaaS Server. The IaaS server is all the former vCAC 5.x and earlier components. The vCAC 6.0 IaaS Server includes the following components:

  • IaaS Reopsitory
  • IaaS Server Service
  • IaaS DEM’s – Orchestrator and Worker
  • IaaS Proxy Agents

If you are familiar with vCAC 5.2 and earlier you will notice the architecture for the IaaS server is the same. There are some important changes to functionality that this component provides however. The IaaS server no longer handles the following:

  • vCAC Admin Portal – Now in the vCAC 6.0 VA
  • vCAC Self Service Portal – Now in the vCAC 6.0 VA
  • Cost Profiles – Now in the vCAC 6.0 VA
  • Approvals – Now in the vCAC 6.0 VA
  • Authentication – Now in the vCAC 6.0 VA

From an integration perspective the vCAC IaaS server still supports state transition workflows and the same Windows Workflow Foundation workflow system as well as the custom machine menu operation workflows. You however won’t be using the custom machine menu operation workflows much with the new day two operations that leverage vCO. No longer are you limited to 4 custom actions and they are completely vCO driven.

Installing the vCAC 6.0 IaaS Server

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