One of my first tasks at evoila has been to install and configure vRealize Automation 6.
To put it in a nutshell, that task turned out to be pretty
time-consuming frustrating challenging.
All the more I was delighted when reading about the new features of vRA 7, which aim for delivering a much more convenient user experience regarding installation and configuration.
Motivated and ready for action I started a minimal deployment of vRA 7 in our internal infrastructure and soon all components have been up and running fine. Just like VMware promises, the required amount of time has been decreased significantly. Also the fact, that the complexity of the architecture has been reduced by including Identity Management and Application Services – among other things – in the Appliance, really is a great innovation.
Since I use to document what I’m doing to our infrastructure and love taking screenshots, I figured this should be shared in the following article series.
But in case you’re new to vRA and you’re not sure, if you should feel addressed by this series, you may ask yourself the same question as I did when hearing of vRealize Automation for the first time…
Of course, the question I’m talking about is: What is vRealize Automation and what does it do?
If you’re familiar with virtual infrastructures based on VMware solutions – which you should be before following this series – you know about the procedure of creating Virtual Machines and customizing their guest operating system. If you are a vSphere administrator, you may get requests of your colleagues regularly because they need one ore more VMs to work with.
This procedure, the delivery of new resources, is one key aspect of vRealize Automation.
But it’s not limited to just providing new Virtual Machines. You also have the option, to define which applications shall be installed on the VMs during provisioning by creating so called Blueprints. You can even link multiple VMs, preconfigure the network settings, and so on. And in addition with the integrated instance of vRealize Orchestrator you are able to automate and integrate most everything and offer those actions as services (catalog items) to the users. The buzzword is XaaS, anything as a service.
Just some examples:
Catalog items can be grouped and restricted to specific users or groups. In order to do so, vRealize Automation offers you to divide all of your compute resources into logical sub units and lets you specify to what extent they are allowed to be used. That way, you can easily represent your business structure within your virtualized environment, for example by creating Business Groups for your Linux developers on the one hand and your Windows developers on the other hand, each group owning only their required permissions and only having access to respective resources.
For the users, the catalog items are either requestable by just a single click, or – depending on their complexity – by filling a form.
For example, if a user requests a new Virtual Machine, you could either use predefined values for CPUs, Memory, etc. or provide a form in which the user can specify the desired settings. Another buzzword: Self-service portal.
Of course, there are a lot more features included which shall not be listed in this place.
But if you’re still curious, you should check the official VMware product information pages.
This series of articles will guide you through the installation process of vRealize Automation 7 and is aimed to all those, who have ideally already accomplished an installation of vRA 6. You should experience the entire wow effect.
If you’re new to vRA, you should have at least basic knowledge regarding vSphere and the configuration of Virtual Machines.
First, you will read how to deploy the vRA 7 Appliance which will result in the first of the two required Virtual Machines for the minimal deployment option. The following three articles then describe how to configure a Windows Server for using it as the IaaS host, which represents the second VM needed. Next, you will be guided through the new Installation Wizard and finally, the basic configuration of vRA 7 is explained.