I have been working with VMware Cloud Foundation recently and while for the most part things went well there were occasions where challenges were encountered which made the delivery to the customer all the more trickier than expected. This article is a list of observations and things to most definitely check or watch out for when delivering a VCF project. We were working with VCF version 3.7.2 (yes I am aware 3.
I recently upgraded an instance of vRA from 7.2 to 7.5 and rather than do it the manual way I used VMware’s vRealize LifeCycle Manager (version 2.0 update 3). Everything was going great and according to plan, the vRLCM pre-requisites checker made short work of all of the checks you need to do before you start an upgrade of vRA. You can see below vRLCM does a great job of keeping you informed of the current progress and in a really elegant way.
It has been a while since I have had time to write a blog post, the last quarter of last year was pretty crazy from a work point of view. Regardless, it is now a New Year and my tech focus is turning very much on CMP related things particularly vRealize Automation. (I am also very much looking forward to learning more about VMware’s CaS which I saw demo’d at the UK VMUG late last year by Grant Orchard)
When vRealize Lifecycle Manager 1.2 was released recently, I was keen to get it installed in my lab, since I maintain several vRealize Automation deployments for development and testing, as well as performing upgrades. With vRLCM I can reduce the administrative overhead of managing the environments, as well as easily migrate content between environments (I’ll be blogging on some of these cool new features soon). However, I hit a snag when I began to import my existing environment - I couldn’t get the vCenter data collection to run.
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!
Just a quick post today, as I was working with a customer recently and we were trying to retrieve the Custom Properties assigned to a vRealize Automation 7.3 deployed Virtual Machine, similar to the one in the image below. It’s not as intuitive as you’d like it to be because of the split between IaaS APIs and Cafe APIs. Below you can see I’ve deployed a simple CentOS blueprint with a custom property at the Blueprint level (called “BlueprintLevel” with a value of “CustomProperty”) and a custom property at the VM level (called “CustomProperty” and a value of “Test123”).
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.
In this episode, Sunny gave us a deep dive into the WLP and WLB features of vROps. We were also joined by a special guest, Jad El-Zein who gave us a great insight into how vRA utilises vROps for initial placement of freshly provisioned VMs We would highly appreciate it if you could spend 30 seconds to fill up this quick and simple survey to provide us your feedback. You can also request topics of your choice through this survey.
This was as I expected, the busiest day sessions wise for me. There was so much good stuff I had to be a little ruthless on what I wanted and or needed to attend while also wanting to get into the solutions exchange. Also at the end of the day the customer appreciate party was scheduled so that was something I was looking forward to a great deal (Hint - Kaiser Chiefs)
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. Nothing that I’ve written here is not already documented in the official documentation, and the installation wizard does a huge amount of the work for you.