Many of you may have already heard after 6 years at VMware I decided to spread my wings and go back to the world from which I came. I joined VMware when they acquired DynamicOps a little over 6 years ago, and after 6 great years at VMware I decided to move on to something new, but not so new.
If it doesn’t show from my blog I am very passionate about automation. I’m even more passionate about helping organizations overcome all the challenges they face during their journey towards automation. Having been working with vRA for over 10 years I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned the countless ways different organizations go about achieving the same end result. I’ve learned the challenges with automation in the datacenter. I’ve learned I could probably write endlessly about what I have learned
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 Those that use have probably noticed that it is no longer maintained.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”
Whew the last few days have been full of new releases and VMware is not done yet. I’m not going to spoil anything but I will tell you that the release of vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.5 is not the last announcement you will be seeing from me. I anticipate some other exciting news next week. FOr now check out what’s new in vRO and stay tuned.
vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.5 is a patch release that introduces a number of improvements and bug fixes.
Enhanced workflow logging, including messages that mark the start and the end of the workflow run. In case of failure, the log captures the workflow ID, the request ID, and the exception.
Added ability to run a Debugger in the Orchestrator client when the request is generated by an external system, such as vRealize Automation, the vCenter Web Client, or a REST endpoint.
Introduced Spanish locale support for the Orchestrator plug-in for vSphere Web Client.
vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.5 also introduces Control Center, which delivers a more flexible configuring, monitoring, and troubleshooting experience. Control Center contains multiple built-in capabilities:
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
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.
You might read the title and think to yourself ‘Why would I want to use vRO with Wink?” Well there are a number of reasons. I created this because being an automation specialist I thought it would be cool to automate my home. When I started down this path I got a wink hub, a smartthing hub, a philips hue hub, Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Openers, Kwickset locks, Leviton & GE switches, Light Bulbs, a Smappee Energy, Water, & Gas Monitor, Nest Thermostat, Nest Protect, EcoBee, Ring doorbell, Canary, Harmony Hub, and a number of other hubs, devices, and sensors. As I started my project I realized on their own non of these products do a great job at automation. Sure you can control things via na app, but I want more than that. I don’t just want automation either, I want intelligent automation.
A simple example: I want my door locks to be locked after a defined period of time being unlocked. Well sure I can create a rule or robot that say lock door after x time, but that’s lacking intelligence. Maybe I want to lock the door only if it is closed. Non of these systems can do that. However with vRO I can create a workflow that locks the door and checks the door sensor to determine if it is opened or closed and if it’s closed, lock the door, if not check again in x period of time until it can be locked.
Another example: I park my vehicle in the garage. I like to remote start my vehicle in the winter to warm it up. I would sometimes forget to open my garage door then start my vehicle. With vRO I can mount a Nest Protect on my garage door right behind my exhaust and set a rule that if CO is detected, open the garage door. Alternatively I can use a OBDLink hooked up to my vehicle computer and through Dash determine if my vehicle is running and trigger garage door to open. You get the idea.
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.
vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.1 is now available. This is exciting especially of your are running vRA 6.2 and would like to deploy an external vRO server. That of course is just one of the benefits of the new vRO 6.0,1 release. Below is additional new features with this release:
With this release vRealize Orchestrator introduces a more flexible content delivery mechanism due to increased workflow development efficiency and a new troubleshooting experience. Workflow developers benefit from a more programming-free design experience provided by the new control flow activities and error handling mechanism. Workflow execution and monitoring is easier when using the new administrative interface. vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.1 introduces better configuration options for vSphere 6.0, by using a unified page for configuring vCenter Single Sign-On authentication, licensing, and vCenter component registry. The stability of the vCenter Server plug-in has been improved by resolving major issues based on customer feedback.
vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.1 has an updated model for installing the vSphere Web Client plug-in for vRealize Orchestrator. vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.1 supports the vSphere Web Client integration and context execution of vRealize Orchestrator workflows as part of vSphere Web Client 6.0.
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.
*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.
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:
Use a single machine blueprint for all components of a multi-tiered multi-machine blueprint and customize the name of each component.
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.
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.
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.
Fixed bug that caused properties with Multiple periods not to be processed properly.
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.
This release of vCenter Orchestrator fixes a number of issue from the previous release. Mainly a maintenance release, so when you can find the time I would recommend getting it installed and putting some of these issues in the past. If for no other reason you will want to get this installed to resolve the issue where nested workflow don’t resume properly when rebooting the vCO server. Issues resolved in this release:
Active Directory account gets locked when connecting to Microsoft SQL database If you set up a connection to a Microsoft SQL database with a Windows Active Directory account, the account gets locked from the domain.
vCenter Server inventory disappears from the Orchestrator client If there is an outage of the connectivity to vCenter Server, the vCenter Server inventory disappears from the Orchestrator client and cannot be accessed until you restart the vCenter Orchestrator server.
Purging operations might cause a Microsoft SQL database deadlock Orchestrator’s purging operations for events might cause a deadlock in a Microsoft SQL database.
VcAuthorizationRole.roleId does not provide the correct role ID and always returns 0 When you use the vCenter Server plug-in VcAuthorizationRole.roleId attribute, the correct role ID is not provided. Instead, the role ID of every object is displayed as 0.
Nested workflows not resuming properly when rebooting If there are nested workflows still running when you reboot an Orchestrator server, the nested workflows do not resume from the last workflow element that was running at the time of reboot. After the Orchestrator server starts again, the nested workflows resume from the begining.
Import Package dialog responding slowly The Import Package dialog might respond slowly when importing a package with content that is already available in Orchestrator.
Problematic releasing of locks If you create a lock with LockingSystem.lockAndWait(lockName,””) and try to release it by running the Release all locks workflow, the LockingSystem.unlockAll() method does not release all locks.