vRA 7.3 – Configuring SovLabs Custom Naming Module

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  Those that use have probably noticed that it is no longer maintained.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

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:
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vRA 7.3 – Installing and configuring vRA plugin for ITSM – ServiceNow – Part 2

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.

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vRA 7.3–Installing and configuring vRA plugin for ITSM–ServiceNow–Part 1

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.

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Using the vRA Cloud Client to export and import blueprints

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”

Installing the SovLabs vRO plugin for vRealize Automation 7.3

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.

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vRA – vRealize Automation and ServiceNow Integration

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.

North/SouthEast/West
ServiceNow used as CatalogvRA used as Catalog
VMware vRealize Automation handles automation and orchestration.VMware vRealize Automation handles automation and orchestration.
Create or update CI recordsCreate 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.

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Release Announcement – vRealize Automation vRA 7.2

While I was away on vacation last week it seems VMware had another exciting round of releasing starting with the Release of vRA 7.2.  Probably the most anticipated feature is the new Azure Endpoint.  Although this is a very exciting feature there are some other very exciting enhancements as well.  Enhancements to the API, container support, installation API, and one of my personal favorites Scale out/scale in.

GA date: 22 November 2016

What’s new?

The vRealize Automation 7.2 release includes resolved issues and the following changes:

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VMware round of Q2 releases including vRA 7.1, vROPs 6.3, vRCS 2.1, Cloud Client 4.2, vRB 7.1 and more

Many of you may have already seen the news, but I like to create a roll up to make it easy to see what’s been newly released.  Yesterday Tuesday August 23rd 2016 VMware released a number of much awaited Management product updates.  See below for a breakdown of the updates per product.

 

vRealize Automation 7.1

 

What’s new?

vRealize Automation 7.1 is optimized for growing clouds thanks to significant improvements in the automated installation experience.

vRealize Automation 7.1 continue simplifying the primarily and secondary setup process by adding ability to automate the setup process among similar deployments leveraging the new Silent Installer. Cloud Admins are now able to scale out existing vRealize deployment by adding more vRA components and manage them automatically though the new Command Line(CLI) interface.

vRA 7.1 release is also equipped with a brand new Migration tool which allows you to perform safe and sound side by side upgrade (migration) existing vRealize Automation systems 6.2.X to the latest and greatest release. During the migration process the source production environment remains intact which guarantees a minimum downtime of the production environment.

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VMware vRealize Automation – vRA7 – The dawn of the vRealize Automation 7 Event Broker

vRA 7 introduced a number of new and very useful features such as unified blueprints, software components, event broker, and others.  The event broker however has proven itself to be one of the most power new features we have seen in some time.  How so you ask?  Well if you have been working with vRA for any period of time you will remember the old way of triggering external workflow executions such as those run by vRO.  If you have been using vRA for a really long time you will remember back before vRO when vRA wasn’t even vRA and run nothing but .Net workflows, but we won’t go back that far.

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