23 May 2016

vRO: vRA7 Catalog Item Provisioning Requests, JSON and Referencing Properties

In VMware vRealize Automation 7 (vRA), blueprints are converged, rather than the single vs. multi machine blueprints that we were
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04 December 2014

VMware Documentation on Amazon Kindle

Since moving to Lincolnshire in August 2014 and whist still working on customer sites in London the majority of the time, I found myself doing
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14 Jun 2016
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In the last 6 months, I've done quite a bit of vRA6, 7 and vRO. During this time, I've had to learn quite a bit about both products, and how they interact with each other and with other REST based APIs, such as ServiceNow. Having been set in my ways in vRA 6 of using workflow stubs to break out to vRO in order to extend vRA functionality, I was concious of the fact that VMware will be removing .NET workflow stubs in future releases of vRA 7, and that the preferred method of extending out to vRO in vRA7 is to make use of the event broker service. Also, vRA7 makes use of converged blueprints, which from an extensibility point of view, actually means that we have to do things slightly differently in code than what we got used in in vRA/vRO6.

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23 May 2016
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In VMware vRealize Automation 7 (vRA), blueprints are converged, rather than the single vs. multi machine blueprints that we were used to in vRA6. This presents an interesting challenge when requesting new catalog items from vRO.

In vRA6, if you wanted to request a new catalog item from vRO, you would run the “Request catalog item” workflow and simply pass any property values along with your request and those property values would be applied to the resulting item in vRA. For instance, when requesting a new VM with 2 vCPUs specified as part of the request, you could specify the following custom property in as part of the request from vRA6:

provider-VirtualMachine.CPU.Count = 2;

In vRA7, you could still use the “Request a catalog item” workflow, however you’ll find that the “provider-<propertyName>“ properties passed with the request are not honoured and will have no effect on the resulting virtual machine. The reason this is happening is because of the converged blueprint. You now need to specify the VM for which the property value is mean to be set. It’s no longer assumed that you only have one virtual machine as part of your blueprint.

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19 Oct 2015
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So, you've done all the hard work to change your Hyperic Server certificate (or not). Now you browse to your Hyperic server's management page via HTTPS on port 7443 and you're presented with this uninspiring message from your browser:

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19 Oct 2015
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I've been working intensively with the VMware vRealize product suite over that past 4 months, including Hyperic. One of the things we have to do on our current project is to replace the Hyperic server certificate whenever a new Hyperic instance is introduced into the environment. This is a relatively straight forward task, but one that consists of quite a few steps. In this blog post, I've documented exactly how to go about replacing Hyperic server certificates.

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17 Sep 2015
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I have identified an issue in Log Insight 2.5 where alerts passed via email or to  vROPS contain the following text in the message:

“Notification event – The worker node sending this alert was unable to contact the standalone node. You may receive duplicate notifications for this alert.”

I also confirmed that DNS resolution and reverse lookup functions are working as expected. I was also able to reproduce this issue successfully in a lab environment, with DNS working correctly.

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06 Sep 2015
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While VMware vRealize Operations Manager makes use of a Gemfire database and vRealize Hyperic makes use of vPostgress, VMware vRealize Log Insight makes use of Cassandra. You might wonder why knowing that even matters. Well, as I’ve seen again this week, the database engine that drives each of these products essentially dictates the design and deployment of their environments and their limitations. 

This week, we had a situation where our newly deployed Log Insight cluster wasn’t performing. In fact it was so bad, that it took 20 – 30 minutes to simply log into the admin interface. Yet the CPU and Memory usage counters for each of the appliances weren’t even being tickled. It was a strange issue for sure, and by 5pm on Monday 31st of August, we were in the process of logging a P1 call with VMware support.

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