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VMware’s cloud automation services are a set of cloud services that leverage the award-winning vRealize Automation on-premises offering. These services make it easy and efficient for developers to build and deploy applications. The cloud automation services consist of VMware Cloud Assembly, VMware Service Broker, and VMware Code Stream. Together, these services streamline application delivery, enable cloud flexibility and choice, and control risks. Additionally, these services facilitate collaboration between traditionally siloed groups helping further with accelerating business innovation.

  • VMware Cloud Assembly: Developers want the same experience of automating deployment and consumption of infrastructure and applications in private and hybrid clouds as they adopt public clouds. Cloud Assembly delivers unified provisioning across all clouds through declarative Infrastructure as Code, including AWS, Azure, and VMware Cloud on AWS. With Cloud Assembly, IT and cloud operations teams can orchestrate and expedite infrastructure and application delivery in line with DevOps principles, improving the overall developer experience, developers get an experience equivalent to provisioning resources from native public clouds.
  • VMware Service Broker: Service Broker provides simple, self-service access to multi-cloud infrastructure and application resources from a single catalog, without requiring disparate tools. With Service Broker, operations teams can more effectively govern resource access, and use and enforce security, deployment and business policies across multi-cloud environments.
  • VMware Code Stream: Enterprise development teams are creating and iterating on applications faster than ever, but this work is often delivered using a combination of manual scripting and a mix of delivery tools. This creates challenges with delivery speed, visibility, and troubleshooting for code releases. Code Stream automates the code and application release process with a comprehensive set of capabilities for application deployment, testing, and troubleshooting. It features integrations with popular developer tools and supports VMware-based private clouds, VMware Cloud on AWS and native public clouds. With Code Stream enterprises get code and applications out faster and reduce the time it takes to correct issues when they arise.

In this blog post we will explore CAS and how to initially set it up and configure it starting with a new assigned Cloud Organization registered with the above mentioned Cloud Automation Services.

What we

You can access VMware Cloud Services by visiting https://cloud.vmware.com/  then clicking on the Log In menu option to use the services.

Once you sign in with your credentials you will have access to the Console Menu option which will take you in to access the Cloud Automation Services we mentioned above.

Most of the work we will be doing will be initially in VMware Cloud Assembly then we will be able to extend the work to the other two services, VMware Service Broker and the VMware Code Stream respectively.

In this setup we will be leveraging the following environments :

  • VMware SDDC Cloud ( Home Lab ) as my Production Environment.
  • AWS EC2 Cloud as my Development Environment.
  • Azure Cloud as my Testing Environment.

So let’s get started, Eh!

VMware Cloud Assembly

VMware Cloud Assembly is an infrastructure as code automation solution designed to expedite infrastructure consumption and application delivery in line with DevOps principles, through an intuitive symmetrical dual interface ( Code or Draw ) that supports declarative, intent-based application infrastructure provisioning, blueprint design and lifecycle management across multiple clouds such as VMware SDDC, Amazon Web Services, VMware Cloud on AWS and Azure as a minimum on GA date.

The infrastructure as code approach streamlines infrastructure consumption by enabling blueprint parameterization, iteration on blueprint development and easy version control through native controls or supported version control systems. The SaaS form factor enables VMware to keep the platform up to date, allowing operations teams to focus on higher value activities, such as business systems reliability and performance.

Our intent here to use Cloud Assembly to provision new projects to public clouds that we can then bring on-prem when they are ready to go to production for example. My goal here really is to show you how we can create an agnostic blueprint ( WordPress Application ) that the user can deploy from Cloud Assembly Directly or request it from the Service Broker ( Catalog ) and selecting which environment ( Dev, Test, Prod ) you want to deploy the application to.

And to do that we need to configure a few things to create our deployment stack and start deploying blueprints

  1. Create our Cloud Accounts.
  2. Create Cloud Zones.
  3. Create one or more Projects.
  4. Create Flavor mapping.
  5. Create Image mapping
  6. Create and deploy blueprints.
Cloud Accounts

Cloud accounts allow you to bring your public cloud and on-prem data centers under CAS management.

In Cloud Assembly, navigate to  Infrastructure > Connections > Cloud Accounts > ADD CLOUD ACCOUNT

We will configure our 3 Account Types / Environments here :

vCenter Account Type

Prerequisites Checklist

  1. You have at least one collector / Cloud Proxy VM installed.
  2. You have the vCenter IP address/FQDN.
  3. You have the vCenter user name and password.

Note that a collector VM can typically support 10,000 VMs

Installing Cloud Proxy
  • Click Add Cloud Account
  • Select vCenter as the account type. When you don’t have any previous Cloud Proxies setup, you will be presented with the steps needed to install one.

  • Download the Cloud Proxy ova file to deploy it in vCenter OR
  • Copy the OVA link to directly deploy it in vCenter without having to download it first.
  • Import the .ova file to the vCenter Server and start the installation following the standard steps provided by the OVF Deployment Wizard.

  • Once you get to the Customize Template section within the OVF Deployment Wizard we will provide the following properties:
    • CAS One Time Key (OTK)
    • Root User name and password
    • Remote Data Collector / Cloud Proxy Display Name in CAS
    • Network Proxy Settings ( Optional )
    • Networking Properties

  • Click Next and Finish to deploy the cloud proxy. it takes a few minutes to detect your Cloud Proxy after it is deployed and powered up in vCenter.
  • To verify the detection of the Cloud Proxy is complete navigate to Infrastructure > Connections > Cloud Proxies and verify its listed with a good status.

  • Navigate again to Infrastructure > Connections > Cloud Accounts > ADD CLOUD ACCOUNT 
  • Click Add Cloud Account
  • Select vCenter as the account type. Now that we setup a Cloud Proxy, you will be able fill all the requirement including the Cloud Proxy we just deployed.
  • Enter the vCenter user name and password and hit VALIDATE. 
  • Provide a Name and a description for the Cloud Account.
  • In the Configuration Section select which DataCenters you want to allow provisioning to
  • Allow to create a Cloud Zone for the Selected Datacenters by checking the check box, this will automatically create the Cloud Zone for us so we don’t have to later.
  • Add Capability Tags as required, this will be used for placement decisions as we will see later in the blog post.
  • Click ADD when Completed.

  • Once added you should see the cloud account listed with OK Status

Amazon Web Services Account Type

Prerequisites Checklist

  1. Access Key ID
  2. Secret Access Key
  • Navigate again to Infrastructure > Connections > Cloud Accounts > ADD CLOUD ACCOUNT 
  • Click Add Cloud Account
  • Select AWS Web Services as the account type.
  • Provide the Access Key ID and Secret Access Key and Click VALIDATE
  • Provide a Name and a description for the Cloud Account.
  • In the Configuration Section select which Regions you want to allow provisioning to.
  • Allow to create a Cloud Zone for the Selected Region by checking the check box, this will automatically create the Cloud Zone for us so we..
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When you start looking at vRealize Automation extensibility and how you can integrate it into your own datacenter ecosystem or how you can accommodate certain extensibility use cases like provisioning workloads with custom host names based on a business logic or as simple as running scripts or attaching tags post provisioning, you usually have 3 options :

  1. You can do it yourself. (High Time To Value, Local Skill Set)
  2. You can use Professional Services. ( High Time To Value , Expensive )
  3. You can use SovLabs Extensibility Frame work. (Instant Value, Production ready, Fully Supported, Off the shelf extensibility content and a Fraction of vRA cost)

SovLabs provides one common framework for extending VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) where you can replace custom orchestration workflow development with ready-to-run extensibility software. It brings extensibility into the SDDC framework where its :

  • Managed as a native component of the SDDC directly from vRA
  • Interoperable with latest releases and versions of vRA and endpoints
  • Prescriptive, each module comes ready to run.
  • Flexible, easy to modify without touching a single line of code
  • Enterprise support ( Production ready and Scalable )

In this blog we will explore, in two parts :

  • Part 1: How to install the Sovlabs Plug-in
  • Part 2: How to configure basic Sovlabs Modules like:
    • Custom Naming
    • Microsoft Active Directory
    • Microsoft DNS
    • Property toolkit
    • VM Tagging
    • ServiceNow CMDB
Part 1 : Installing Sovlabs Plug-in 2018.3.0

Here will be doing a new install but before we do that we need to address a few prerequisites around vRA and vRO, so please read carefully :

vRA Prerequisites 
  • A Working instance of vRealize Automation 7.5 where you have successfully provisioned a VM from vRA using a blueprint.
  • Keep things simple according to the Sovlabs documentation by not using spaces or camel-casing for Tenant name, Users, Group Names or Business Groups. Not sure if thats the case for my vRA instance in my lab since its already setup but we shall see!
  • For Clustered vRA and/or vRO, load balancing is configured to VMware’s documentation. this is not our case here but for more details check the SovLabs documentation here HA and vRA with SovLabs.

Assuming you know your way around vRealize Automation you need to have the following:

Service Account User

  • You can create or use a local vRA user for the ownership of the SovLabs Endpoints, Profiles, and Services as well as connectivity into vRO to run workflows. your can create for example a new user called sov_admin but in our case we will be using the configurationadmin local user as a Service Account User, that got created during the content creation at the end of the vRA deployment.
  • Make sure the Service Account User has the following roles in vRA :  IaaS Administrator, Tenant Administrator, XaaS Architect.

vRA Custom Group

  • Create a Custom Group in vRA for the ownership of the SovLabs Endpoints, Profiles, and Services as well as connectivity into vRO to run workflows called sov_admins for example and make the configurationadmin Service Account User a member of this group.
  • Grant the sov_admins Custom Group both the Tenant Administrator and XaaS Architect Roles during the creating of the vRA custom group

  • Make sure that the Custom group sov_admins also have the IaaS Administrator role in addition to what we entitled it in the pervious step.

vRA Business Group

  • Login as the Service Account User configurationadmin@vsphere.local
  • Create or use a SovLabs specific vRA Business Group for allowing entitlements and ownership of SovLabs content to be confined to its own group. in our case we will be leveraging the Configuration Administrators Business Group, that got created during the content creation at the end of the vRA deployment.
  • Make sure to add the Sov_admins Custom Group to the Group Manger Role field within the Configuration Administrator Business Group.

vRO Prerequisites
  • vRO is already Setup and configured .
  • vRO may be embedded (recommended) like in our instance here or it can be also external. You can refere to VMware’s Install and Configure document.
  • vRO is Setup as an Endpoint in vRA, so click on the Infrastructure tab > Endpoints > Endpoints > Orchestration > vRealize Orchestrator to add your embedded or external vRO endpoint in vRA.

Modify Files and Set Permissions

  • Modify vmo.properties and js-io-rights files and set permissions. To do that SovLabs provides an script you can download from here called sov_vro_config.sh to automate the modification of those two files and it also creates the krb5.conf file for Kerberos Authentication.
  • Copy the sov_vro_config.sh script to your vRA/vRO appliance since we are using the embedded vRO, its actually the same appliance.
  • Make the script executable by executing the following command then execute the script and follow the instructions.
chmod +x sov_vro_config.sh
  • Restart the vRO service by executing the command
service vco-server restart

Create vRO vRA Host

  • Create vRO vRA Host via vRO Workflow as the default vRA host will not work fr the SovLabs plug-in. The vRA Host must be Shared Session mode and since we are using vsphere.local as our default and only tenant, the name to use for vRA host endpoint should begin with sovlabs_
  • Login to vRO using the vRO client and switch to the Design Mode

  • In the Workflows tab, go to: Library > vRealize Automation> Configuration > Add a vRA Host
  • Right-click the workflow and click Start workflow and fill out the form:

  • Click Next in the form wizard

  • Click Submit in the form wizard
  • New Inventory item for the vRA Host will be in the Inventory tab in the vRO client.

Create vRO vRA IaaS Host

  • Back in the Workflows tab in the vRO Client, go to: Library > vRealize Automation> Configuration > Add an Iaas host of a vRA Host
  • Right-click the workflow and click Start workflow and fill out the form:
  • Choose the vRA host in the list that we created in the previous step

  • Click Next for Host Properties and accept the defaults. The fields should all be auto-filled

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A  new VMware vRealize Automation plugin 5.0 was released on November 2nd on the VMware market Place Link for Servicenow that provides an out of the box integration between the Servicenow portal and vRealize Automation 7.5 catalog and governance model. It enables ServiceNow users to deploy virtual machines using vRA 7.5 and perform basic ServiceNow day 2 operations on their CMDB assets.

Key Features

  • Enables ServiceNow to integrate vRealize Automation 7.5 with ServiceNow platform and provide the ability for ServiceNow users to access the vRA catalogs, resources within ServiceNow.
  • The integration will allow end users to Request vRA catalog items from ServiceNow portal.
  • The plugin will fetch categories, catalog items and resource data from vRA platform and extend ServiceNow functionality to be able to render vRA catalog items into ServiceNow dynamically and manage vRA resources.
  • Day2 operation actions performed in ServiceNow CMDB will be updated back to vRA platform by giving API calls to vRA.
  • The plug-in supports vSphere, Amazon, Azure, and XaaS virtual machine provisioning, including formless and form based day 2 operations

In addition to all the above generic key Features, the ITSM 5.0 plug-ing includes fixes and new features such as :

  • Easier plug-in configuration through service account and Servicenow based RBAC and Entitlements
  • Multi-vRA support
  • Day 2 operations Enhancements
  • vRealize Business field support
  • ADFS or SSO setup are not required
  • Improve Login process for ServiceNow users with seamless authentication/entitlement model
  • Does not require end user access to internal vRA portal
  • Fully supported by VMware Global Services Support – GSS

In this blog we will take a look at how to deploy and configure the newly anticipated ITSM 5.0 Plug-in for vRealize Automation 7.5.

So let’s get started, Eh!

Step 1: Prerequisites

The ITSM 5.0 plugin is targeted for vRealize Automation version 7.5. ITSM plugin interacts with vRealize automation using MID server. MID server is an IaaS component (deployed on prem – in the same network as vRA 7.5) having installed binaries provided by Service Now. For enabling the MID server component – Service now instance should be registered in MID server.

The ITSM 5.0 Plugin is compatible with the following ServiceNow releases (Jakarta, Kingston, London). After registering the vRA instance on Service now portal, data collection needs to be done to fetch all the required vRA contents (like Catalog).

Once the catalog is imported to Service now, a user can place requests from the catalog based on their entitlements.

You will need :

  • Download a copy of the ITSM Plugin 5.0 from VMware market place.
  • A ServiceNow Instance – Jakarta, Kingston orLondon release.
  • A MID Server established and connected to your ServiceNow Instance.

If your looking for how you can do that, please reference my pervious blog on ITSM 3.0 blog

  • A vRealize Automation 7.5 instance configured on prem where you have configured and tested  one or more blueprint deployments successfully.
Make the plug-in accessible from all application scopes

To do that we need to navigate to Script Includes by using the search from the left navigation menu. Then Selecting System Definition > Script Includes

Once you select the Script Includes, do a search for JSUtil on the right page for the Name field. Once you find the script Open it by clicking on it.

On the Accessible from drop-down, select All Application Scopes then select Update. Ensure that the changes are saved.

Enable Application Access on Tables

You must enable application access to certain tables for the plug-in to work. Repeat the following steps on all the Tables below to modify:

  1. user_criteria
  2. sc_category_user_criteria_mtom
  3. item_option_new
  4. catalog_script_client
  5. question_choice
  6. catalog_ui_policy
  7. catalog_ui_policy_action
  8. sc_cat_item_user_criteria_mtom
  9. sc_req_item
  10. sc_category

Procedure To Enable Application Access

  • Log in to ServiceNow as an administrator.
  • Search for System Definition  in the filter navigator and click Tables
  • Search for each table in the Name filter on the right.

  • Click on the Table Label under the Label column that matches the Table Name search you did. All the records are in the Global Application mode, you will need to click the option on the top of screen to edit the record. That is if your were still asked, usually you shouldn’t have to since we enabled Global access from all application scopes in the pervious step.
  • Click Application Access.
  • Select the can read, can create, can delete, and can update check boxes for each table.
  • Click Update and Repeat.

Step 2: Installing the ITSM 5.0 Plug-in
  • Log in to the ServiceNow portal as a system administrator.
  • Select System Update Sets > Retrieved Update Sets > then select Import Update Set from XML

Click Choose File on the dialog to choose the file to upload, and then select the VMware-vRealize-Automation-Application-ITSM-V5 file > Click Upload.

In the Retrieved Update Sets list, select the VMware vRealize Automation Application ITSM V5.0 update set in the Name column by clicking on it once its in a Loaded State.

Select Preview Update Set to validate the update set before committing it.

A dialog box confirms update set validation.

Click Close and review the errors

In my testing I was using the ServiceNow London Release so I encountered 4 errors as you can see in the screenshot below. From pervious experience I was told many times that these records existed in the instance where the plug-in was developed and thats why we are receiving these error during the validation since these records don’t really exist in our instance.

go ahead and click on Accept Remote Update on each of the errors.

If you are using the ServiceNow Jakarta release and ServiceNow displays the below error message, click Accept remote update as well.

"Could not find a record in sc_homepage_renderer for column homepage_renderer referenced in this update"

Once you have accepted all remote updates click Commit Update Set

A dialog box opens automatically after you click Commit Update Set while the commit action is in progress. When its done click the Close button when it appears to dismiss the dialog. It took 25 minutes to complete so please be patient.

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Content lifecycle management in vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager provides a way for release managers and content developers to manage software-defined data center (SDDC) content, including capturing, testing, and release to various environments, and source control capabilities through GitLab integration. Content Developers are not allowed to set Release policy on end-points only Release Managers can set policies.

You can use content lifecycle management to dispense with the time-consuming and error-prone manual processes required to manage software-defined content. Supported content includes entities from

  • vRealize Automation 7.2 and later

  • vRealize Orchestrator 7.x and later

  • VMware vSphere 6.0 and later.

  • vRealize Operations Manager 6.6.1+ and later.

  • Source Control server: All latest versions of Gitlab Community Edition and Enterprise Edition.

Content lifecycle management in vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager is similar to content lifecycle management with the vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for DevOps where VMware announced its end of availability as of April 12th, 2018KB53222 ), but with the following differences:

  • Content lifecycle management is deployed as part of vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager on a single appliance. It has a new user interface and is tightly integrated with vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager core services.

  • vRealize Orchestrator is embedded on the appliance to run only content workflows.

  • Updated vRealize Code Stream Pipeline services.

Our focus in this blog is the vSphere Content Endpoint and the type of content we support which is :

vSphere Content Endpoint

Type

Value

Description

vSphere-CustomSpecification

vSphere vCenter 6.0+

Captures guest operating system settings saved in a specification that you can apply when cloning virtual machines or deploying from templates.

vSphere-Template

vSphere vCenter 6.0 +

Captures template to deploy virtual machines in the vCenter Server inventory.

Using vRSLCM 2.0 we will see how we can capture a vSphere Template ( W2K12R2STD64 ) from the VMware vCenter ( vcs-l-01a ) at the BRAMPTON development Data-Center to both VMware vCenters ( mgmt-vcs-01 & mgmt-vcs-02 ) at the TORONTO and OTTAWA production Data-Centers respectively.

Prerequisites
  • A pre-created template ready to be captured at the Brampton vCenter.
  • A Content Library Created and Published at the Brampton vCenter.
  • A Content Library Created by subscribing to the Brampton Content Library for both Toronto and Ottawa vCenters.
  • You have your Data Centers and its associated vCenter Server already setup in vRSLCM 2.0
Brampton vCenter Toronto and Ottawa vCenters (Linked Mode)

Once you complete the prerequisites we will setup everything in vRSLCM 2.0

Step 1: Configuring vSphere Template Repository

This template repostory is used to store all vSphere template versions captured in the vCenter Content Library Provided that we created and published. The content library, which we set to ‘published’ in vCenter will be displayed and selected here based on the selected vCenter instance.

A best practice is to have this vCenter instance close to where the templates would typically be captured, and that is the BRAMPTON development vCenter in our scenario and its published Brampton Content Library.

Select Content Management -> Content Settings -> vSphere Template Repository and fill all the required fields.

Step 2: Creating the vCenters Content Endpoints

Here we are going to add a content endpoint to an environment to capture, test, deploy, or check-in a content package but before you can do that you should at least have added an environment vCenter endpoint when you first setup vRSLCM.

For example in our VMwareLab we have 3 environment vCenter endpoints added under the Data Centers  -> Mange vCenter Servers. as you can see we have 3 Data Centres ( Toronto, Ottawa and Brampton ) and each of those data centres have there own vCenter managing the vSphere Environment.

Now lets go ahead and create our vCenters Content endpoints.

  • Under Content Management, click Endpoints.
  • Click NEW ENDPOINT.
  • Select vCenter.
  • Enter the information for the vCenter content endpoint.
    1. In the Name text box, enter a unique name for the endpoint.
    2. In the Tags text box, enter tags associated with the endpoint ( Optional )

      Using tags allow you to deploy a content to multiple endpoints at the same time. When you deploy a content, you can select a tag instead of individual content endpoint names, and the content deploys to all endpoints that have that tag. To add multiple tags, press Enter after you enter each tag.

  • In the Server FQDN/IP text box, enter the fully qualified server name, IP address, or host name for the content endpoint server.
  • To access the endpoint, enter the User name and Password.
  • Click Test Connection and click Next.

We will be doing these same steps for the 3 vCenter Content Endpoint we are adding but when we hit next we need to set the appropriate polices for the content endpoint we are adding.

So for the BRAMPTON vCenter Content Endpoint (vcs-l-01a) will need to set the policy to Allow the content to be captured from this endpoint the click NEXT to review the summary and SUBMIT

As for the TORONTO vCenter Content Endpoint (mgmt-vcs-01) and OTTAWA vCenter Content Endpoint (mgmt-vcs-02), since these are the destination endpoints where the content/Template will be copied to, we will need to set the policy to Mark as Production Endpoint i.e. Release Endpoint and Enable vCenter Template Support to configure where the template is deployed to, in each vCenter Server.

Repeat this when the adding the vCenter Content Endpoint respectively for both TORONTO and OTTAWA vCenter Servers / Data Centres

vCenter Server settings can be added to an LCM data center, once vCenter data collection is competed this endpoint is seen when importing from LCM and reduces the time to fill in the form as all the properties have been collected.  use the drop down menus to select your vCenter Settings to determine again where the template will be stored when copied.

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Now that we understand and we have seen how to deploy vRealize Automation 7.4 using vRealize Suite LifeCycle Manager 2.0 in Part 1 of the blog, we are ready to continue using vRSLCM to upgrade the vRA 7.4 instance we deployed to vRA 7.5.

So let’s get started Eh!.

Right away and when logged in vRSLCM we see a notification alert that vRA 7.5 is avaiable for Environment Blog Demo which you can mark as Read to clear it out.

Now lets dive into the Blog Demo environment by clicking VIEW DETAILS then clicking on the vertical 3 dots to explore the options we can take against this environment, once the menu is available to us, let’s select Create Snapshot from the menu since I only have vRA 7.4 in this environment. Please be aware that doing it from this level will create a snap shot across all the products and there components that are either deployed or imported to the environment.

Snapshot for vRealize Automation is taken for all the components except IaaS DB. Creating snapshot of IaaS DB is not supported by vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager. Ensure that the appliances are in a consistent state before triggering snapshots.

Provide a Snapshot Prefix Name that will  be set in front of the generated Snapshot date and time stamp name and check the box to Snapshot with Memory if you like then click SUBMIT

In my experience the Create Snapshot menu was still there even though I already hit SUBMIT so I had to click CANCEL after verifying that the Snapshots was completed in vCenter Recent Tasks.

Now we are ready to Upgrade so let’s click on the vertical 3 dots again but this time once the menu is available to us, let’s select Upgrade from the menu.

Under vRrealize Automation 7.4 Products Details we will be presented with a couple of important choices like taking a snapshot for the IAAS Machine after the vRA Virtual Appliance Upgrade.

This would be a 2nd Snapshot but this time its after the vRA VA is upgraded so if an IAAS component upgrade fails, then you can revert to the post-upgrade VA snapshot for the failed IAAS component. When you want to retry,  you do that from the command line and enter true in the retry input for upgrade.

Next we will select the Repository Type. In my case I have already copied the vRA 7.5 upgrade ISO to vRSLSM Binaries which I outlined in first part of this blog, therefore we are going to select vRealize suite Lifecycle Manager Repository which will automatically select 7.5 as the product version since its the only one available that I can upgrade to that I uploaded.

Click Next and click RUN PRECHECK to do the Data and vRealize Automation group set of Validations. In my case it was all green for the two validations so I Clicked SUBMIT to follow with the upgrade.

You can monitor as we mentioned before your Request in the Requests tab menu by clicking on the  IN PROGRESS under the Requests States column for the Upgrade Product request.

Here you can track each of the steps as they execute or come back to it anytime later for a status update.

You can also find what each of the tasks are doing within a step and find out how much time each of the steps took to complete.

now that all the steps were successful, we can try hitting again the same vRA Appliance URL at https://mgmt-vra-02.vmwarelab.org

Access the vRealize Automation Console and login with the local user Configurationadmin which has both the Infrastructure and Tenant Admin Roles.

What did I tell you ? It’s Magic! Just like that its all upgraded and ready to go.

The End Eh!

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Wow the title is just a mouthfull and so is this blog, so get your popcorn ready and get cosy friends cause we are going to try and capture everything we need to do, so we can use vRSLCM 2.0 to :

  1. Deploy vRA 7.4 and then
  2. Upgrade it to vRA 7.5

Just like that! how awesome is that ? So lets get started Eh!

Lab Overview

Deploying vRA 7.4 will consist of the vRA appliance ( mgmt-vra-02 ) and the IAAS windows machine ( mgmt-iaas-02 ) that will be running the vRA windows services and other important components. these two components does not exist yet.

In the lab we will be running vSphere 6.7 , SQL 2016 and vRSLCM 2.0 that were already configured.

Prerequisites

Please be aware that this what I did in my lab, so some of the items can be done in different ways if available.

  1. DNS A Records for both ( mgmt-vra-02 ) and ( mgmt-iaas-02 )
  2. AD Service account ( administrator@vmwarelab.org )
  3. Downloading the required software from VMware website to an NFS share that you can access from vRSLCM Appliance :
    1. VMware vRealize Automation 7.4.0 OVA file
    2. VMware vRealize Automation 7.5.0 OVA file
    3. VMware vRealize Automation 7.5.0 Update Repository
  4. Microsoft SQL 2016 Server ( mgmt-sql-01 )
  5. Microsoft Active Directory and DNS ( mgmt-dc-01 )
  6. vRealize Suite Lifecycle manager 2.0 ( mgmt-lcm-01 )
  7. vSphere 6.x vCenter ( mgmt-vcs-01 )
  8. A quite and cosy place to work, you can find one on CraigsList.
Step 1 : Adding Binaries

We have to add the binaries that we downloaded to the NFS share to vRSLCM. Once you are logged to vRSLCM , Select Settings -> Product Binaries -> ADD BINARIES. In my case my location is based on NFS so select NFS and enter the base location ( Case Sensitive ). Once completed hit DISCOVER to get the product binaries . Will select the product we downloaded and click ADD Selected product binaries are automatically mapped to product versions.

Once completed you should see them listed under Product Binaries

Another thing we need to do while we are here is copy a Windows ISO to vRSLCM via WinSCP for example to a folder I created under /data/iso. In may case I already copied Windows 2016 ISO to /data/iso  so in vRSLCM i will select ADD BINARIE again but this time I select Windows ISO and point it to the Base Location where I copied it to then I hit DISCOVER.

Select the ISO image name that are pre-populated after a successful discovery from base location, and fill the rest of the required fields as outlined below and click SUBMIT

One Important Note here is that Windows ISO has to be a Standard Edition for any of the following supported Windows editions :

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

Once completed again you should see it listed under the ISO Binaries.

Step 2 : Adding A Subject Alternative Names (SAN) Certificate

We will need to generate a certificate that we will reference later when you select to install vRA 7.4 , so lets go to Settings -> Certificate -> ADD CERTIFICATE and fill it similar to what I did in the figure below, then click GENERATE

Make sure the certificate is generated successfully and its listed in the certificates table. You can create a certificate for each of the vRealize Suite products Or you can use the same certificate for all products as long you make sure you enter all the HostName/Domain Names in the Domain Name section and there respective IP addresses in the IP Address section of the certificate.

If you are looking to how to deploy vRSLCM and Creating a SAN ( Subject Alternative Names ) Certificate using your CA Enterprise Server, Check out my colleague Steve Tilkens Blog  Here

Step 3 : Creating an Environment To Install vRealize Automation 7.4

We will be creating an environment in vRSLCM where we will be installing vRA 7.4, assuming you have your Data Center and its associated vCenter Server already setup in vRSLCM.

login to vRSLCM and click on + Create Environment from the left pane. Select your Data Centre and Fill the required fields and click NEXT

Under Products, Select vRealize Automation by checking the box -> New Install -> 7.4 -> Small Deployment and Click NEXT

Accept the terms and conditions of the end user agreement to proceed with the installation by scrolling all the way down and checking the box. after that click NEXT

Enter the vRealize Suite license 2017 since we are deploying vRA 7.4 and click NEXT

Using the drop down menus select all the applicable Infrastructure associated with the data centre you selected intialy when you created the environment, then click NEXT

Fill all the network detail and click Next

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