Pay Attention! vRealize Automation 7.2 Deployment Highlight

vRealize Automation 7.2 has been finally released, honestly, I am more than happy to have the first hand testing on it. This is because the what’s new items are so attractive. Among the items, Containers management is enabled on vRA 7.2. I would blog on the new features in separate post, but followings are the recap from the release notes.

vRealize Automation 7.2 What’s New?

The vRealize Automation 7.2 release includes resolved issues and the following new capabilities.

  • Enhanced APIs for programmatically installing, configuring, and upgrading vRealize Automation
  • Enhanced upgrade functionality for system-wide upgrade automation
  • LDAP support for authentication and single sign-on
  • FIPS 140-2 Compliance:
    • Consumer/administrator interface is now FIPS 140-2 compliant
    • Managed using vRealize Automation appliance management console or command-line interface
    • FIPS is disabled by default
  • Migration improvements:
    • UI-driven vRealize Automation 6.2.x to 7.2 migration
    • Migration option available in Deployment Wizard
    • Enhanced support for importing vCloud Director workloads
  • Service entitlement enhancements:
    • Checkbox to add all users to an entitlement
    • Delete inactive entitlements
  • Expanded extensibility capabilities:
    • Several new event broker topics for enhanced extensibility use cases
    • Subscription granularity for individual components, catalog items, component actions, containers, or deployments
    • Leverage extensibility with new container management functionality
    • Scale-out/Scale-in custom XaaS services and applications that include XaaS objects
  • Networking Enhancements:
    • IPAM framework support for NSX on-demand routed networks
    • New network profiles to support additional IPAM use cases
    • Configure load balancing policy for NSX on-demand load balancer in the blueprint (round-robin, IP-Hash, Leastconn)
    • Configure service monitor URL for HTTP/HTTPS
  • Container Management:
    • Integrated container management engine for deploying and managing Docker Container hosts and containers
    • Build hybrid applications that include containers and traditional OS
    • New Container administrator and architect roles
    • Auto discovery of provisioned container hosts
    • Minimum supported version of Docker is 1.9.0
    • If the docker built-in load balancing is needed for clustered containers in user-defined networks, Docker 1.11+ is required
  • Azure Endpoint for Hybrid Cloud provisioning and management:
    • Seemlessly build, deliver, and manage Azure machines with vRealize Automation
    • Support for Azure networking services
  • ServiceNow Integration:
    • Automatically expose entitled vRealize Automation catalog items to ServiceNow portal by using the Plug-in that is available in VMware Solution Exchange

Check the Interoperability for Planning Your Deployment

But before testing the What’s New items, I would like to go thru’ the installation steps and consideration here a bit. As mentioned in previous blog posts, you may see vSphere 6.5 and feeling awesome about it. Also, VMware has released vROP 6.4. But when deploying all the solution together, you have to consider the interoperability among the products, e.g.

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As you may know that, we can integrate the following VMware Products to provide a full suite features for the Cloud Management Portal Features

  1. vRealize Automation
  2. vSphere
  3. NSX
  4. vRealize Operation

But from the Interoperability currently, vSphere 6.5 does NOT have a supported NSX version yet. And thus, if you are seeking to have On Demand Network Provisioning, Load Balancing, Firewall and Scale Out/In Features, you could NOT select Version 6.5 as your vSphere Infra. Even though vRA 7.2 support vSphere 6.5

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Thus, again!!! If you would like to use NSX with VRA, you need to have vSphere 6.0 instead. While the latest vROPS 6.4 provides native support on vRA 7.2 directly.

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Deployment of vRealize Automation 7.2

I have to say, the deployment steps have been simplified by a LOOOOOOOT since version 7.0. And in version 7.2, actually the deployment steps are exactly same as the 7.0 and 7.1 version. In high level, for a minimal setup you would need to:

  1. Download and Deployment the vRealize Automation Appliance 7.2
  2. Prepare another Windows OS for vRealize Automation IaaS Server (Optionally install with MS-SQL if you want to have a simple deployment)
  3. Optionally, you can separate the MS-SQL which IaaS server depends on

When the above are ready and powered up. You can go to the https://<VRA Appliance>:5480 to start actually setting up the vRealize Automation 7.2 with the installation Wizard.

I would Recommend You allowing the IaaS Server to have Internet Access to Simplify the Setup

Go to the VRA Appliance 5480 URL

On opening the VRA 5480 port URL, you can first select the deployment method. As I’m doing a POC or Minimal Deployment, select “Minimal Deployment” and “Install Infrastructure as a Service”. Press Next to proceed the setup.

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In this step, DO ensure your VRA is sync to a reliable time source. “User Time Server” is always a better option, but for POC purpose, you can optionally use “User Host Time” which is usually not so accurate.

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You cannot proceed the above step until an IaaS Host is being discovered in the button panel “Discovered Hosts”

Do this on the IaaS Server 

Thus, you have to login the IaaS Server and install the Management Agent which you can find the installable from the wizard above as vCAC-IaaSmanagementAgent-Setup.msi.

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Run the Executable and Press Next to proceed the setup

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Accept the EULA and press Next to proceed the setup

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Choose the installation path and press Next to proceed

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Input the vRA 5480 URL at the vRA Appliance Address field, root user name and password. Click the Load button to retrieve the SSL fingerprint and check the confirmation checkbox. Press Next to continue.

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Provide an Admin credential of the IaaS Server

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Press Install to kick off the setup of IaaS management Agent on the IaaS server

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Wait for the Completion of Setup

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Click Finished to finalise the Setup

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Go back to the VRA Appliance 5480 URL

You can See the IaaS server is available on the “Discovered Host” list now which allow you to proceed the Setup Wizard. Press Next to proceed the setup.

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I simply love this step, as this is the Prerequisite Checker Wizard for Your IaaS Server. In vRA 6.X age, we need to use scripts or manual ways to install all the Pre-Requisites which can spend a lot of time and effort for doing those completely. Now, You can simply do this by this wizard. Again, 7.0, 7.1 also provide this Wizard.

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Click the “Run” button above to start the checking on the IaaS Server. And click the “Fix” button to start preparing the prerequisites of the IaaS Server

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Wait for the Completion of Setup

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IaaS Server will be reboot after the setup is completed

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Provide the vRA Service a workable address, meaning the DNS has to be working

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Provide the SSO password, this is the SSO server password embedded in the vRealize Automation 7.2 Appliance

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Provide the IaaS Server information and Login

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Provide the DB server information, as I’m using the IaaS Server as the DB server also. So I use the IaaS.vmware.lab for my case and create new database. This is because as mentioned in the pre-requisites above, I have done nothing in the Database but just install a MS SQL Server in the IaaS Server Out Of the Box (OOTB).

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Then input the DEM Manager information

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And the vSphere Agent information which is setup along with the Installation Wizard which let you connect to vSphere Endpoint

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We then need to generate the Cert for the vRA Appliance

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And the IaaS Server which also hold the web sever

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After all the input, you can validate the installation before starting

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Wait for the completion of Validation

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On Completion, press Next to continue the setup

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Setup Wizard will recommend you to create a Snapshot before the setup. But as I’m just setting up it for POC and Green field. I Skipped this :). But Please Do take one when it’s an upgrade or production purpose.

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Press Install to kick start the setup

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The Wizard will start setting up your vRealize Automation Appliance, vRealize Automation IaaS Server and the MS-SQL Server which is used by the IaaS Server

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The installation will take for a while and it’s time to have a cup of tea

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O, yeah. The installation is completed

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Then you would have to provide a valid License for your vRA Setup

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Optionally check to Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program

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Optionally, check to create the Initial Content. But I would skip it, as I usually configure everything myself on the vRealize Automation in order to learn all the changes from Version to Version usually.

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Provide the configuration admin password if you would like to Create the Initial Content

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Either on Done or one Skip, the Setup will be completed and you can press Finish to complete the Setup.

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All DONE! You can then login your vRealize Automation 7.2 console from the https://<VRA>. I will provide more what’s new item testing in the coming blogs soon. But for this blog, I think it’s lengthy enough again… 🙂

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Horizon VIEW One Way Trust Step by Step
vRealize Automation 7.2 Lab – vSphere 6.0 and NSX 6.2.4 Preparation

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