The road to automation with VMware vRA

Caution: Articles written for technical not grammatical accuracy, If poor grammar offends you proceed with caution ;-)

I think we need to take a few steps back and focus on vRA architecture and design.  I’ve had many questions, requests, and discussions with some of my readers on this topic.  Implementing vRA can lead to many rewarding outcomes, but as some have discovered it can also lead to aggravating outcomes if not designed properly upfront.

At first it can seem very straight forward. Create some endpoints, groups, reservations, and blueprints.  Sprinkle in some integrations for custom hostname, IPAM, DNS and AD and you are on your way to fully automating your workload deployments, right?  Not exactly.  You can certainly do this and at first it will seem amazing, but as you mature and start to scale out your new catalog of services the lack of up front design and planning will quickly start to reveal itself.

Every environment is different.  It’s amazing how many ways organizations have come up with to achieve the same result.  Some very elegant and simple, some very crude and complicated, and others somewhere in between.  Regardless of the process and how simple or complicated it may be, planning and preparation is critical to a successful outcome with automation.

In my up and coming articles I am going to take a journey based on a fictitious company, it’s use cases, it’s process, and it’s journey to cloud automation with vRA.  The journey won’t be focused on the vRA architecture, VMware has done a great job with it’s VMware Validated Designs to help you deploy vRA itself. It will be focused on architecting and designing the configuration of vRA.  The goal will be to design around some of the most common use cases I have seen across organizations and how to design vRA to meet the needs while remaining extremely dynamic and manageable as it scales.

The fictitious company I will be using through out this series is:

Fictitious Company: (GSS) Gregarious Simulation Systems
Profile: Successful Video Game Manufacturer

In my next article we will dig into the details of GSS and start to look at it’s current challenges, needs, processes, and ultimately it’s use cases as it plans for it’s vRA Implementation.

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