I have been dabbling in the world of vRO plugin development. Yes, I know, vRO is a product that doesn't get much love from the VMware community, and I do not think that is fair. People seem to have decided that the product is too complicated and where possible would rather write a PowerCLI script to automate things. The truth is, that when you take a little bit of time to look at vRO, you will find that it is not that complicated to develop vRO workflows and the possibilities are endless. I know, so I'm telling people that vRO isn't that complicated in a blog post which is targeted at myself for when I run into this issue in the future! So, if you are finding workflow development too complicated a task, this post is not for you, as I doubt you will be interested in plug-in development.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
I've built up and tore down my vRealize Automation lab several times in the past month in order to familiarize myself with some of the pitfalls. As a result, I've run into some installation gotchas that I noted down, and decided to post them here.
VMware vRealize Automation makes it easy for us to provide our end users with the ability to request and manage their own virtual machines using a “self-service” portal. With very little configuration required, we can add vSphere virtual machine templates to a vRA service catalog for users to consume. vRA can then handle the request management for new virtual machines and when approved by the appropriate approvers, even provision the new VMs by cloning the template.
There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not the Identity Appliance that ships as part of vRealize Automation (previously known as vCloud Automation Center, which will be referred to as vCAC 6 for the rest of this article) is required when deploying vCAC 6.1 in conjunction with vSphere 5.5 and later.
As of vSphere 5.1, Single Sign-On (SSO) is a pre-requisite to installing the components for and including vCenter Server. It’s no secret that VMware’s initial implementation of SSO in vSphere 5.1 was terrible. It was over complicated in terms of its implementation requirements, even requiring its own database, to be manually set up using SQL scripts. Thankfully, VMware addressed many if not all of the SSO issues in its release vSphere 5.5, with SSO now being a much more simple and robust component in your vSphere 5.5 environment.