vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 / NSX 6.1 – Creating a Multi-Machine Blueprint w/NSX Routed Gateway Support

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

The out of the box vCAC –> NSX integration requires the use of Multi-Machine blueprints.  Multi-Machine blueprints are basically a blueprint that pulls together one of more single-machine blueprint.  In order to create a three tier web application like the one I will be walking through we will need three standard blueprints to utilize within our Multi-Machine blueprint.  In the below example will be configuring a Multi-Machine blueprint that will deploy an NSX Edge Gateway on to it’s own reservation and then deploy three different blueprints each onto a different network specific to it’s tier.  Example below:


I will be walking through how to create a Multi-Machine blueprint that will build out the equivalent of the above diagrams Multi-Machine App.

Creating a Multu-Machine Blueprint

  1. First identify the three Blueprints that you will be assigning to the Multi-Machine blueprint.image
  2. Once you have ensured you have all the needed blueprints select New Blueprint –> Multi-Machine.image
  3. On the create Multi-Machine page give your blueprint a name, select an appropriate machine prefix, and then click the “Network” tab.  *Note – the assigned machine prefix will be used to name the top level app container, not the individual virtual machines. The Machine prefix entered into each of the individual blueprints will determine their names. image
  4. On the Network tab assign the Transport Zone that you want to utilize for this Multi-Machine service. This should be consistent with the Transport Zone that you assigned to the reservations that we will be deploying to.  Next select New Network Profile.  Add the network profiles for the three networks that you will be using for the deployed virtual machines.  Finally select the Reservation Policy that you would like to utilize to target a reservation for the NSX Edge Appliance.  When finished select the Build Information tab.   These setting do a few things.  Selecting the Networks and Transport Zones is what allows vCAC to create the Logical Switches and ensure they are on the correct NSX Transport Zone.  Setting the Routed Gateway Reservation Policy it what allows the NSX Edge Gateway to be deployed to a separate reservation.image
  5. On the Build Information tab we need to add the blueprints that we would like to utilize as part of our Multi-Machine blueprint.  Click the Add Blueprint link.  When the dialog opens select the blueprint you would like to add.  You will need to do this for all Virtual Machines you would like to add to the Multi-Machine blueprint.  After you have the machines added you will need to edit their networking configuration by clicking the Edit link under the Network column(see the following two steps for information on assigning the network).  Once you have configured the networks you can click the yellow pencil to edit blueprint info such as minimum and maximum number of machines deployed from the blueprint and startup/shutdown order.  When finished select ok.imageBelow is the Edit Network Dialog.  When it open select New Network Adapter.

    When the New Network Profile dialog opens select the Routed Network Profile that you would like to use for the associated virtual machine that you are editing the network for from the top drop down menu.  Once you have assigned the Routed Network Profile click ok.  I will be assigning a different profile to each added Blueprint for the tier it belongs to.  App, DB, or Web.  By assigning the Routed Network Profile here it will assign a Network IP pool to the component blueprint when requested and every machine deployed for that component blueprint will receive an IP from the assigned IP pool.  For example if I deployed two web servers they would consume two IP’s from the assigned Web Tier IP Pool.

    Once you have completed the above steps and have saved your Multi-Machine Blueprint you must hover over the Blueprint in the Blueprint list and select Publish.  Once you Publish your blueprint you must assign it to a Service and configure the Entitlements for the Blueprint.

  6. Once you have Published and Entitles your Multi-Machine blueprint go to the Catalog and make a Request.image
  7. After the Request Dialog open you will see all the component Blueprints.  You can select each one to make changes to the specific blueprints as part of the request.  Once finished click Submit.image
  8. Once you submit your request vCAC will first deploy the NSX Edge Gateway associated with the request.image
  9. Next it will deploy the Logical Switches for each of the different tiers associated.  In my case that would be three logical switches.image
  10. Then it will assign the logical switches to the deployed NSX Edge Router.image
  11. Next it will add static IP Routes to the Up-Strean NSX Edge Gateway that is associated with the Reservation that the deployed NSX Edge Router was deployed to.image
  12. If you go to Infrastructure –> Machines –> Managed Machines and Expand the request you will see the component machines as well as the associated Edge Router.image
  13. In vCenter if you go to each of the VM’s being deployed you will notice that they are on the appropriate portgroup associated with the created Logical Switch, and they have been given an IP address on the correct network.image
  14. Once the deployments are finished your deployed VM’s will have full connectivity to your physical and virtual networks if you have properly configured the rest of your NSX and physical environment.  In short if OSPF is properly configured the static routes will be shared to your other routers and traffic will be routed in/out of your new networks without any additional work needed.

One Reply to “vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 / NSX 6.1 – Creating a Multi-Machine Blueprint w/NSX Routed Gateway Support”

  1. Hi,

    We can’t get vRA to create a DLR/ESG & logical switches when using routed network profiles. My colleague created a forum post https://t.co/WKR4xdbOop that detail the issue.

    Any ideas what may cause that ? VMWare support is telling us that the ESG/DLR must be pre-created first…Not the answer we’re hoping for!


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