vRealize Automation 8.0 : First Impressions(The first 24 hours)

So its a little weird to give some thoughts on a product that hasn’t been out that long. The paint on vRA 8 hasn’t really dried on the GA announcement and I’ve only worked on it for over 24 hours. I thought this may be useful for those out there that are wondering if the upgrade from 7.6 to 8 was worth it (No migration). Maybe there are those out there wondering what it is, or what it does, or why these letters mean so much to some. Well I hope this helps, at least a little for some of those questions.

The “Easy” Installation

Oh there is a lot of talk about the Easy installer. Lots of people are discussing how its far superior to the deployment of minimal vRA 7.6 and how it even helps the larger installation. Well understand that with the “Easy” Deployment I was able to spin up an updated Lifecycle manager, IDM and vRA 8 within a couple of hours. BUT, the difference is within these “couple hours” the majority was just a loading bar.

The setup took 5 mins the first time I attempted to build the OS(HOLY COW). Yes, 5 mins. I timed it…

This failed because I put in a duplicate IP..(hangs head in shame) So I attempted again. This failed again… Why? DNS of course… So after setting up DNS and putting in proper IP address, it all installed like a charm. It was beautiful…

Comparison:

So for those looking at this and already attempted the “Easy” installation with vROPS or other appliances with Lifecycle manager, this is nothing new. But for those of us out there that remember the pain of building a SQL server, a “tools” server, and other IAAS components for vRA 7.6 you know that this deployment within hours, is amazing.

Oh and I didn’t have to mess with certs for a basic trial setup…. none…

Here is an HOL that will walk you through the setup:

HOL-2021-91-ISM – vRealize Automation 8

Moving around in vRA 8

This is alot of a learning curve and kinda the point of this blog.

vRA 8 is different… VERY different… If you’re familiar with CAS(Cloud Automation Services) you will be at home with vRA 8. The broker, assembly, Code stream, Orchestrator is all here. BUT, if you’re not familiar with CAS, and maybe(like me) you still use the legacy Orchestrator… This is all different, and different is good… real good.

Basically lets go over some basic navigation rules.

Service Broker = The vRealize Automation Service Broker is the simplified user interface that cloud administrators make available to users when the administrator’s teams do not need full access to developing and building and the blueprints or templates. From vRA 7.x its like the front end to the whole system much like 7.x has services and Catalog items. This will allow users to request things that we request with no access to Cloud Assembly needed.

Cloud Assembly = a multi-cloud, declarative blueprint orchestration and automation solution that enables infrastructure as code for expedited infrastructure consumption and application delivery. From vRA 7.x this is Reservations(kinda), blueprints, Xaas, and basically being a ENDPOINT agnostic automation tool.

Orchestrator (HTML 5 Only)= Simplify the automation of complex IT tasks with VMware vRealize Orchestrator, which integrates with vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite to further improve service delivery efficiency, operational management and IT agility.

Code Stream (Enterprise License)= is a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CICD) tool that you use to build pipelines that model the software release process in your DevOps lifecycle.

First 24 hours

Quickstart is a great intro to help reverse engineer how everything works from one part to the next. I really cant go into detail on how these work, but for those interested, there are many many posts on Cloud Automation Services to help fill in those gaps. After I spend more time with all the details and correlations there will be many more posts.

8.x is a great change for vRealize Automation. The idea of breaking a blueprint from an endpoint is genius. Playing around with “Cloud Machines” which are not glued to a specific cloud creates a great sandbox to build solutions that can be deployed to multiple clouds.

Lets say you build a 3 Tier web app that needs multiple machines. With this blueprint services you can run a build blueprint that can build this solution on your private cloud, but also on your public cloud as well. Or if you build it for AWS. it will also easily translate into Azure or GCP. This is the first Ah-ha moment of vRA 8.x and there are so many more to come.

Want to try it out? Go here to get a 30 day trial of vRealize Automation Cloud: https://cloud.vmware.com/vrealize-automation-cloud

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