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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VMware Introduces 24 product releases including the much anticipated vSPhere 6

Yesterday VMware was very busy announcing the release of over 2 dozen product which included two new products to the market these two new additions to the VMware portfolio are:

VMware Integrated Openstack – That’s right it’s out and it’s available now for you to download.
VMware Software Manager 1.0 – This probably not as exciting as VIO, but it will come in handy for finding, selecting, and downloading the content needed to install or upgrade a VMware Suite.

Below is a list of all the products released yesterday including links to their downloads, documentation, and release notes for your convenience.

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vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 – Ultimate Multi-Machine Blueprint Extension v1.0.2 – Updated

Have you ever needed more control over what custom properties get assigned to specific component machines of a multi-machine blueprint, or want to use the same component blueprints for all component machine of a multi-machine blueprint?  The Ultimate Multi-Machine Blueprint Extension aims to help with that.

The Ultimate Multi-Machine Blueprint Extension allows you to utilize the same source component blueprint for multiple component machines while at the same time controlling which custom propertied get assigned to each of the components.  This allows you customize each of them differently during deployment.

This extension works well with the Custom Hostname and the Custom vCenter Folders extension to round out the use of Multi-Machine Blueprints.

Example Use Cases:

  1. Use a single machine blueprint for all components of a multi-tiered multi-machine blueprint and customize the name of each component.
  2. Use a single machine blueprint for all components of a multi-tiered multi-machine blueprint and customize the guest agent actions of each component machine.
  3. Use a single machine blueprint for all components of a multi-tiered multi-machine blueprint and override the template for each component to deploy from a different source vCenter template for each component.

The goal of this extension is to limit blueprint sprawl and leverage the multi-machine construct to customize the component machines and rely less on customizing the single machine blueprints making them more re-usable.

This extension was designed and built as a collective effort by Tom Bonanno and Sid Smith.  If you have any feedback please let us know.

Features

  • Define which component machines to apply custom properties to in a multi-machine blueprint.
  • Utilize a singular blueprint for all component machines in a multi-machine blueprint.

Change Log

v1.0.2

  • Fixed bug that caused properties with Multiple periods not to be processed properly.

v1.0.1

  • Initial Release

Remember we have performed a large amount of testing, but this is a v1.0 extension so please test and let us know if you find any issues.

Continue reading “vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 – Ultimate Multi-Machine Blueprint Extension v1.0.2 – Updated”

vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.2 – Pre-Req Automation Script

Are you getting ready for the pending release of vRealize Automation 6.2 next week?  If so you’ll want to make your first stop GitHub to download Brian Graf’svCAC62-PreReq-Automation.ps1 script.  If you are not familiar with Brian’s PreREq automation scrip, it is a script that configures all of the needed requirements ion your Windows IaaS server prior to installing vCAC.  Brian did a fantastic job with the creation of this, it is a must have if you are installing vCAC from scratch.

In this version he updated the script to account for vCAC 6.2 Pre-Requisites so head on over to https://github.com/vtagion/Scripts/blob/master/vCAC62-PreReq-Automation.ps1 to download the script and get familiar with it to be prepared for the pendinf release.

vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 – Registering the Application Services Cloud Provider and Templates

Once your vCAC Application Services appliance is installed and configured, you must set up a Cloud Provider.  A Cloud Provider is a system that will provide infrastructure services for the applications you will manage.  In this case, we are using vCAC.  At the same time, you can create Templates based on the vCAC Blueprints you’d like to consume.

Follow the steps below to create your Cloud Provider and Templates.

  1. Choose a user account and add it to the Group Manager role in a vCAC Business Group with the privilege to deploy the Blueprint you would like to use as a base for your application installation.

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  2. Next login to the Application Services appliance, open the Applications menu in the upper right-hand corner, and navigate to Cloud Providers.

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  3. Click the green plus sign to add a new Cloud Provider.

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  4. Select the appropriate Cloud Provider Type, vCAC in this case.

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  5. Fill in the Name and Description for the Cloud Provider.  The vCAC Cloud Provider Type also requires you to input the vCAC Infrastructure URL (the Windows machine, NOT the catalog appliance), as well as your chosen User Name and Password.  Be sure to click Validate Connection after you’ve completed all required fields.

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  6. To add a Template, click the green plus sign next to the Templates heading in the lower section of the page.

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  7. Click the check box for the Blueprints you’d like to enable as Templates in Application Services, then click OK.  You can also click the ellipsis to show more information about a Blueprint.

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  8. If you’d like, you can change the Name and/or Description of the Template(s).  When you are finished, click Save.

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This Cloud Provider and Template will now be available for Application deployments.

VMware NSX 6.1 & vCAC 6.1 – Connecting NSX to vCAC

Now that we have installed and configured NSX I think it’s time we connected it to vCAC.  In version 6.1 there are some changes to the integration with NSX and vCAC.  When I say changes I should say there are some great new changes.  The integration now utilizes a vCO Plug-in that handles all the interactions between NSX and vCAC.

Benefits of vCO plug-in for NSX to vCAC integration

The benefits of the vCO plug-in are huge.  These workflows that now exist in vCO are there for you to use in your own customization giving you the ability to interact with NSX in a custom way without having to code against it’s api.  Personally I await the day for all integrations to be this way.

As most of you know the vCAC appliance has vCO built in and the built in vCO server already has the NSX plug-in installed for.  If you want to use an external vCO you will have to deploy the plug-in to that appliance before trying to connect vCAC to NSX.

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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 5.2 is offically GA and available for download!

vCAC 5.2 was officially released yesterday and made available publicly on the VMware website located here. Although it’s available on customers that have licenses for the product can access the download. Currently there is no public trial available.

New features in vCAC 5.2

  • Enhanced vCloud Director Integration – Support for Pay as you go, Reservations of partial oVDC’s, Individual management of VM’s within a vApp, and management of existing vApps.
  • Support for KVM – KVM support is adopted through the use of RedHat Enterprise Virtualization Manager 3.1 and supports provisioning of machines and management capabilities for the provisioned managed VM’s.
  • vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) – Supports provisioning of machines into existing VXLAN’s, Security Groups, as well as load balancers.
  • Customizable Reclamation Workflows – This is an enhancement to vCAC’s reclamation workflows which were previously very static and not customizable. In this release you now have the ability to customize a new lease length and the wait time before enforcing the new lease period.
  • SRM Compatibility – Notice the word compatibility. vCAC will not discover both the primary and recovery VM and allow management of only the primary. So no real functional support for SRM, but it is at least now compatible and able to function in SRM environment.
  • Windows 2012 Managed Guest OS – vCAC 5.2 now offers support for Windows 2012 as a guest operating system.
  • Lot’s of bug fixes – If you read the release notes located here, you will see there are about 5 pages of resolved issues.

Continue reading “vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 5.2 is offically GA and available for download!”