So at this point you should have the following:
- Endpoint connection with your VCenter
- Fabric Group allowing the resources to be granted
- Business Groups allowing specific group of users access to..
- Reservations setup to grant resources to business groups
- Reservation policies to allow specific Reservations to be called
- Network Policy to allow specific IP pools to be pulled/pushed from
- Active directory policy to place computer objects in specific OUs
You should have All this from the following blogs:
It sounds insane to say it but now that you have all these building blocks completed. Now you can setup your blueprints and start your deployments.
Before you start your blueprint plot out on paper or your mind or whatever how you want the end goal of the deployment. Do you want a SAAS solution tacked on? Are you using Enterprise vRA or Advanced? All of these questions lead up to how you deploy your instances. For this purpose we’ll assume the following
- You read my blog, and you did the stuff
- You use Customization specifications for vSphere deployments
- You utilize Templates for your deployment
With the following assumed I’m just going to walk through a basic setup for a basic deployment. The goal here isn’t to get fancy. Its really just to get your feet wet so that the next steps will be to custom build the server from there on.
Once your logged back into vRA you will go to design, and then click the green + for a new blueprint. Here is the screen you will see:
So this is pretty basic,
- Name is the name of the blueprint your creating
- Id is the name of the blueprint as well, but no spaces
- Description is pretty much what it is
- Deployment limit, This limits the number of the deployments per request. This will allow users to build multiples of the same machine, However, you will need to have your naming statically set.
- Lease Days – For this you can set the minimum of a lease, at the end of that lease if the user does not extend within the last two days it’ll shut down the machine and then the user can extend. If he doesn’t extend it will just stay shutdown. Once it gets to Archive day(s) it will shutdown the machine and delete it(So be careful). The deployment limit lease and archive are optional and do not need to be set.
Now lets look at the design canvas:
On the left you see your different categories and the assets you can deploy, From machines, Software components(ONLY IN ENTERPRISE LICENSE. Advanced will still see the option but not have the ability to change add one). Blueprints for nested deployment, Networks, XAAS, Containers, Config Management, and Other Components. These are all fun and great things to work with, but for this we’re going to keep it simple.
- Machine Type – For now drag a VMware machine type onto the canvas and have that stick. This consists of the majority of properties, and is the central hub for the additional assets. Once you add the machine type into the canvas it’ll open up alot of other properties that we’ll get into.
- Software Components – This is setup in Enterprise Licensed vRA and then can be attached to machine types in the canvas.
- Blueprints – If you want to place an already setup blueprint in the canvas and attach multiple pre-built machines to a deployment.
- Network & Security – Here is where a lot of you NSX automatons come in. For now we are just going to use the external network and connect it to our network profile.
- Xaas – This attaches an automation for basically anything to a machine deployment
- Containers – Deploys a container app into a cluster. However, there are pre-reqs there that are needed to be deployed properly.
- Configuration Management – This deploys built in Ansible and Puppet workflows(I believe this started in 7.5 but perhaps 7.6)
- Other Components – This is any other resource component or solution published for the deployment workflows
Instead of giving a written write-up on how to do this, I figured its WAY easier to just see some of the pros do this in a video. @virtualJad has some amazing stuff thats older but still useful to get your feet wet, and if you’ve followed this blog the pre-reqs should still be there:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcRarDG_oSo (vRA7.2)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-OQUPTAzvc (vRA7.4)
Along with Videos, There are hands on labs that VMware uses to teach you how to create a deployment. Here are the labs:
- Getting started – https://www.vmware.com/try-vmware/automate-hol-labs.html
- Advanced – https://www.vmware.com/try-vmware/automate-hol-labs.html
I think these videos and HOL’s are a great way to pick up where this leaves off and get you going.
I hope this series has been a help to get you started using vRealize Automation.