Just a quick little post this morning! Anyone who works with the vRealize Automation APIs should definitely check out Grant Orchard and Roman Tarnavski’s awesome little side project, Platypus.
It only took me a couple of minutes to get it running on my MacBook - here’s how!
Download and install AppCatalyst
Open a new terminal window
cd /opt/vmware/appcatalyst/ Create a new VM called “photon"
appcatalyst vm create photon Power it on
I use mind maps quite a lot for study, I find the visual representation of info makes it a lot easier for me to remember! Below is a mind map I created for learning the roles in vRealize Automation, which I used during my presentation for #vBrownBag on VCP6-CMA objective 2.
You can download a PDF version here: vRealize Automation Roles Mind Map
@vaficionado) – if that list of names doesn’t fill you with confidence for vRA.Next, then I suggest you follow them on twitter and trust me that it’s a crack team!
So, my highlights:
Completely automated deployment…almost. The deployment of appliances and installation of IaaS components and pre-requisites will be wizard driven, the Window Servers will need to exist and have an agent installed, and the MSSQL server will also need to be installed.
As a vExpert, I am blessed to get 1000 CPU hours access to Ravello’s awesome platform and recently I’ve been playing with the AutoLab deployments tailored for Ravello.
If you’re unfamiliar with Ravello’s offering (where have you been?!) then it’s basically a custom hypervisor (HVX) running on either AWS or Google Cloud that allows you to run nested environments on those platforms. I did say it’s awesome.
As an avid home-lab enthusiast Ravello initially felt weird, but having used it for a while I can definitely see the potential to augment, and in some cases completely replace the home lab.
Recently the team I am working with came across an interesting bug/issue with actions missing from deployed VMs. We had checked and double checked the entitlements yet the actions that should be available to the end-user/customer were not listed.
Everything appeared to point to a permissions issue until one of the team members noticed something with regards to blueprints in the catalog.
Before I continue with what we observed and how we “fixed” it please bear in mind the blueprints were created programmatically.
Enter a name for the monitor, and leave the other parameters the same. Select the “Special Parameters” tab and configure the send string to the URL to monitor - e.g for the PSC SSO it’s going to be:
GET /websso/HealthStatus For the receive string, enter the expected response (“GREEN”). Click Create.
Assigning a NetScaler Monitor to a Service Assign the monitor to the PSC Services (or Service Groups) configured for PSC by opening the Configuration > Traffic Management > Load Balancing > Services page and selecting the PSC service for HTTPS/443 and clicking Edit.
Now that the prerequisites for the IaaS layer have been completed, it’s time to move on to the actual installation of the IaaS components, starting with the database. We then move onto the first Web server, which also imports the ModelManagerData configuration to the database, populating the database with all of the info the IaaS layer needs out of the box. We then install the second Web server before moving on to the active Manager server.
One of the trickiest parts of deploying vRealize Automation is the IaaS layer - people sometimes look at me like I’m a crazy person when I say that, normally because they’ve deployed a PoC or small deployment with just a single IaaS server. Add in 5 more servers, some load balancers, certificates, a distributed setup and MSDTC to the mix and you have a huge potential for pain!
If you’ve followed my previous posts, you’ll see know that I’ve got a HA Platform Services Controller configured, and a HA vRealize Appliance cluster configured with Postgres replication - all good so far.
Having just completed a particularly problem-prone distributed IaaS install, this was almost the straw that broke the camel’s back. Logging into vRealize Automation for the first time as an Infrastructure Admin displayed the infrastructure tab and all menu labels as big ugly references, and no functionality:
Rebooting the IaaS web servers restored the functionality of the IaaS layer but still did not fix the label issue, it took a further reboot of both vRealize Automation appliances, then the IaaS web servers to finally view the correct labels.
The recommendations for the vRealize Appliance have changed with 6.2, the published reference architecture now does not recommend using an external Postgres database (either vPostgres appliance, a 3rd party Postgres deployment or using a third vRealize Appliance as a stand-alone database installation). Instead the recommended layout is shown in the diagram below. One instance of postgres on the primary node becomes an active instance, replicating to the second node which is passive.