vRealize Code Stream – vRCS 1.x – Installation and Configuration

For those of you who are fortunate enough to be able to get a trial for Code Stream this article will walk you through the installation and initial configuration of the product.  Code stream as the name suggest is part of the vRealize product line and shares the same identity appliance and virtual appliance as vRealize Automation.  Because of this I will be referring to articles I have already written for portions of the installation in an effort to not re-invent the wheel.

Installing vRealize Code Stream

1. For instructions on how to install the vRealize Code Stream Identity Appliance please see Installing the vCAC 6.0 Identity Server.

*Note – The instructions in the above referenced article may vary slightly from vRCS 6.0 identity appliance, however it should be close enough that you should not have any issues following along.

It is recommended that you configure the Active Directory settings in the Identity Applaince which is not covered in the above post, but is straight forward.

2. For instructions on how to install the vRealize Code Stream Virtual Appliance please see Installing the vCAC 6.0 Virtual Appliance.

*Note – The instructions in the above referenced article may vary slightly from the vRCS Virtual Appliance, however it should be close enough that you should not have any issues following along.

On step 21 input the Code Stream License Key instead of the vRA license key, or both if you like.

3. For instructions on how to setup Tenants in vRealize Code Stream please see Adding Tenants in vRealize Autoamtion 6.x.

On step 7 you will not be able to add a user to the “Infrastructure Administrator” role as that is a construct of vRealize Automation.  If you are running code stream and vRealize Automation on the same virtual appliance you can add users/groups to this role.

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VRealize Code Stream – vRCS 1.0 – Laying the foundation with Git and Jenkins Part 2

In part 1 of this article we deployed both GitLab and Jenkins, configured a Git project and connected it to the Eclipse IDE.  In this article we will focus on configuring the Jenkins server to work with our GitLab repository and crate a Jenkins job to build our project.

Configuring Jenkins for GitLab

1. Before we can create a job we need to add some plugins to the Jenkins server for GitLab.  We need to make sure we have the following plugins installed by going to the Jenkins server, the Manage Jenkins, and then Manage Plugins.

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2. Next go to the “Installed” tab to see which if any of the needed plugins are already installed.  The plugings that are needed are:

  • Git Client Plugin
  • Git Plugin
  • GitHub API Plugin
  • GitHub Plugin
  • GitLab Plugin

 

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VRealize Code Stream – vRCS 1.0 – Laying the foundation with Git and Jenkins Part 1

I realize many of you looking to understand what Code Stream can do to help you with your Continuous Integration needs already have Git Jenkins and a whole ton of other tools. However for those who don’t yet have anything in place or for those who are looking to get a better understanding of where it fits into the mix I am going to walk through some simple setup examples to get you up and going.  To start we need to have two foundational elements in place; Git and Jenkins.

As part of the Git setup I’m going to help you get Git in place and tie your IDE (Eclipse) into Git for publishing code check-ins to your repository.  Then we will deploy a Jenkins server and integrate both Git with Jenkins to create simple builds that we can use with Code Stream.

What we need to get started

To begin we will need to have two servers deployed in the environment.  The first will be got Git and the second for Jenkins.  In my lab I deployed Centos 6.3 because I already had a template available.  I would recommend you have these deployed and ready.

 

Deploying a Git Server

I choose to use GitLab community edition for my Git server.  It seemed to offer the most options and flexibility for the lab.  The gitlab community edition is available at https://about.gitlab.com/downloads/.

Once you choose the version that appropriate for your OS version the installation is pretty simple.  Gitlab provides you with basic installation steps which as pretty straight forward.  Those installation steps for Centos 6 are:

Install Dependencies

sudo yum install openssh-server
sudo yum install postfix
sudo yum install cronie
sudo service postfix start
sudo chkconfig postfix on
sudo lokkit -s http -s ssh

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vRealize Code Stream v 1.0.0 has been released

vRealize™ Code Stream™ is a new release automation product that allows teams to deliver software rapidly, reliably and of higher quality, all the while lowering manual overhead and operational risks.  It is particularly relevant for organizations that have a Continuous Delivery or DevOps initiative.
Code Stream allows developers and operations teams to release software more frequently and efficiently, all the while leveraging their investments in existing development and operations tools. For customers who already use vRealize Automation, vRealize Code Stream is a complementary offering that extends automation to the entire release process itself. Beyond provisioning, it integrates with Continuous Integration, repository and testing solutions to push new software automatically from Development and Test to Staging and Production environments, saving the time and errors typically associated with manual procedures and hand-offs.

Code Stream 1.0 is available as a virtual appliance and offers major new capabilities, some of which are highlighted below:
·         Pipeline Automation: automating any release process for any kind of software thanks to Code Stream’s flexible pipeline modeling engine.
·         vRealize Automation integration: out of the box integration with vRA 6.2 and 6.1 to automate vSphere machine provisioning as a part of the release process.
·         Governance: gating rules that, based on test results or manual approvals, control whether an application build should be promoted to the next stage.
·         Artifact management: tracking and managing software artifacts thanks to an embedded version of JFrog Artifactory Pro, the market leader in repository management.
·         Release Dashboard: provides full visibility into the release process by reporting on relationships between pipelines, artifacts, and machines on which they have been deployed.
·         Extensibility: pre-built integrations with Jenkins, Yum, Nexus, testing frameworks, BASH or PowerShell scripts, and an extensible plug-in model powered by Artifactory and vRealize Orchestrator.

Download Landing Page: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/infrastructure_operations_management/vmware_vrealize_code_stream/1_0
Documentation Landing Page: https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vrcs-pubs.html
Release notes: https://www.vmware.com/support/codestream/doc/vrealize-code-stream-10-release-notes.html
vRealize Code Stream Product web page: https://www.vmware.com/products/vrealize-code-stream

vRealize Operations Manger – vROM – 6.0 Released

The much anticipated vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 released today.  This new release is a milestone further tying together components of the vRealize Suite.  With the release of vRealize Operations 6.0 and vRealize Automation 6.2 comes the integration of the two products.  However that is not all vRealize Operations 6.0 has some very exciting new features of it’s own.The release introduces the following new enhancements and features:

Scale-Out Deployment Architecture
This release provides distributed deployment with elastic scale and higher scalability.

Unified User Interface
This release introduces a single user interface to manage vSphere as well as non vSphere domains. You can create powerful, flexible custom dashboards enabling you to bring any information you want into the management console.

Licensing Management in 6.0
vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 has an independent license-management GUI that provides enhanced administration of license keys specific to vRealize Operations. Customers can now deploy mixed editions in a single vRealize Operations 6.0 instance.

Smart Alerts
Smart alerts combine multiple symptoms to generate a single alert that focuses on the underlying issue with clear recommendations and option to take action for remediation.

Enhanced Reporting
Enhanced reporting provides several out-of-the-box reports with the ability to generate fully customizable reports.

Capacity Planning and Project Management Capabilities
New capacity planning and project management capabilities extend beyond vSphere and across physical and application level metrics. Flexible capacity models can be adjusted to meet different business needs.

Custom Policies
Custom policies can applied for specific workload types, applications or clusters enabling more advanced monitoring of performance, capacity and configuration standards.

Automated Remediation of Problems
Integrated action and remediation capabilities with the ability to apply actions according to the recommendation for the alerts.

User Access Control Management
Improved user access control, including granular role-based access control.

Unified Storage Visibility
New storage visibility shows the correlation between the application group and the storage infrastructure supporting it, including HBA’s, Fabric and Arrays, along with the ability to trace operational issues all the way to storage.

You can download vRealize Operations here.

You can view the release notes here.

vRealize Automation – vRA (vCAC) 6.2 – vRealize Automation 6.2 released

FIlter vRealize Automation 6.2 has been released.  This release although not a Major Version packs a pretty powerful punch.  It’s loaded with new features and enhancements that you are all going to want.  This release aims to add some features that solve some basic challenges that have been seen by many of you running the product in your production environments.  Here is a breakdown of what is new in this release:

  • vCloud Air EndPoint with support for Proxy Servers with vCloud Air
  • Configurable email tempaltes
  • Calendar of Events
  • Use IaaS custom properties within Application Services (Application Services)
  • Support for CloudFoundry as a deployment target (Application Services)
  • vRealize Operations Integration including health badges in vRA Portal.
  • XenDesktop 7.x Support
  • Support for OpenStack Havana
  • Ability to edit Custom Properties during approval time
  • Scheduler for reconfigure operations
  • Ability to change lease times to indefinite
  • Enhanced Event and Audit Logging
  • Log Bundle tool
  • VM Disk Support for up to 60 disks (Previously 15)
  • Improved Rest API
  • API for Reservation Management
  • Better control for DB log rollover
  • Swap Space Custom Property to account for swap space on disk
  • Filter Catalog by Business Groups
  • Enhanced installation for easier HA deployments
  • UI Performance Improvements

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VRealize Automation – vRA (vCAC) 6.2 – Hardening Guide Released

This is something that has been long sought after by many.  The hardening guide is 38 pages long packed with hardening information for the vRA Appliance, IaaS Server, Identity Appliance, and Application services appliance.  This document takes you through the hardening of the SLES 11, PostgresSQL, Windows Host including SQL Server, IIS, and Microsoft .Net.  The hardening guide also covers the network security and securing communications between the vRA components.

The network security section of the guide includes a complete list of all the vRA components and the ports/protocols that are used by the component.  Even if you are not ready to start creating a fully hardened deployment it’s worth taking a look at the guide and becoming familiar with the the communications between the different components.

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The MoaC Lab

moac-sslvpn_banner copy

I have been received a number of questions about the MoaC Lab so I decided to put together an article to cover what the MoaC is.  The MoaC or Mother of all Clouds lab is a project Tom Bonanno and myself (Sid Smith) started to help with sharing information.  The goal is to build a lab that will allow us to build the use cases that everyone wants to learn about.  It’s not about building a lab that has a huge number of resources, but a lab that has a huge number of integrations.  Integrations that that we can document and share with the world.

The MoaC Lab consists of two site.  Site 1 is located in my basement in Harrisburg, PA and Site 2 is located in Tom’s Basement near Atlantic City, NJ.  The two site are currently connected using an IPSec VPN run over NSX.

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