One question I’m asked quite a lot is what I use for a 3-tier application when I’m testing things like NSX micro-segmentation with vRealize Automation. The simple answer is that I used to make something up as I went along, deploying components by hand and generally repeating myself a lot. I had some cut/paste commands in my note application that sped things up a little, but nothing that developed. I’ve been meaning to rectify this for a while, and this is the result!
vRealize Automation and NSX integration has introduced the ability to deploy multi-tiered applications with network services included. The current integration also enables a method to deploy micro-segmentation out of the box, based on dynamic Security Group membership and the Service Composer. This method does have some limitations, and can be inflexible for the on-going management of deployed applications. It requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of NSX and the Distributed Firewall, as well as access to the Networking and Security manager that is hosted by vCenter Server.
As a consultant I’ve had the opportunity to design, install and configure dozens of production vRealize Automation deployments, from reasonably small Proof of Concept environments to globally-scaled multi-datacenter fully distributed behemoths. It’s fair to say, that I’ve made mistakes along the way - and learned a lot of lessons as to what makes a deployment a success. In the end, pretty much everything comes down to getting the pre-requisites right.
One of the cool new features released with vRealize Automation 7.2 was the integration of VMware Admiral (container management) into the product, and recently VMware made version 1 of vSphere Integrated Containers generally available (GA), so I thought it was time I started playing around with the two. In this article I’m going to cover deploying VIC to my vSphere environment and then adding that host to the vRA 7.
Recently I’ve been working on some ideas in my lab to leverage the AWS endpoint on vRealize Automation. One of the things I needed to get working was getting Software Components working on my AWS deployed instances. The diagram to the right shows my end-stage network - the instance deployed by vRA into AWS should be in a private subnet in my VPC, and should use my local lab DNS server and be able to access my vRA instance.
Big thanks to Jose Luis Gomez for this solution, his response to my tweet was spot on and invaluable! I’ve been trying to configure vCloud Air as a vCloud Director host in vRealize Orchestrator in order to create some custom resource actions for Day 2 operations in vRealize Automation. What I found was that there’s *very* little information out there on how to do this, and I ended up writing my own custom resource mapping for the virtual machines to VCAC:VirtualMachine objects - at least that way I could add my resource action.
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
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.
[<img class=“alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-6186” src=“/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/vRA-Product-Icon-Mac_0-150x150.png” alt=“vRA” width=“150” height=“150” . Out-of-the-box monitors allow us to detect if the port we are load balancing is open, but don’t determine whether the service on that port is functioning correctly. Important: None of these monitors should be created until vRealize has been fully installed - doing these as you go along will result in installation failures. For example, if you create the monitor on the IaaS web service before the DEM roles are installed, the web service will always be down because it’s waiting for a DEM role.
Deploying fully distributed vRealize Automation IaaS components – Part 2: Database, Web and Manager services
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.