How to create “Network Selection” drop-down in vRealize Automation 6.2

Network reservations

It’s been a while since I blogged, on the work front things are hectic and I am involved in many PoC’s for vRA, fun times.

I created this step by step guide for a very simple ask from a customer of creating a drop-down menu item in the service request form that allows the selection of networks in vRA 6.2.

This of course can be enhanced in different directions like displaying the networks “friendly names” instead of the actual port group names, or to populate the drop-down based on another selection for example selecting a specific datacenter will populate the right networks in the network selection drop-down etc, I will sure to create follow up posts with that.

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vRA tidbit – AWS provisioning and the key pair conundrum

choice

One of the main advantages of vRealize automation in the Cloud management space is that it provides customers with choices, this is true in many aspects of the solution like where to consume services from, how to deploy them, how the forms will look etc but in this post I want to talk about the creation of AWS key pairs.

There are many solutions out there that provide an interface for provisioning instances to AWS,  some have more capabilities than others and without getting into a full feature by feature comparison I will just say that vRA is one of the more comprehensive solutions out there with many capabilities that are required for cloud management such as self-service portal, multi cloud/vendor provisioning, automation and orchestration capabilities and much more.

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Quick and easy vRA ASD demo – send email

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Let’s say you want to test vRealize Automation Advanced Service Designer which allows you to create custom services that are based on Orchestrator, sending an email from the vRA catalog is a quick and easy solution to try it out.

The following steps will guide you to create a service that sends an email using the mail notification workflow in the embedded vRO.

Obviously you need to have a fully configured vRA environment including vRO (formerly vCO) , to demonstrate the email being sent and received I used FakeSMTP , which is a small Java application that acts as a mail server and displays incoming emails, pretty neat solution for demos check it out.

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How to configure vRO (vCO) AD permissions on workflows

VCO AD Perm 1

This is a small “How to” that I was thinking might be useful to some folks having the same requirement as I did today.

before I begin you will see in this post me referring to vRA and vRO as vCAC and vCO as well. This is because the products names changed but not the UI’s so bare with me.

What I was required by the customer here is to setup  access rights on workflows for users from active directory.

In vRO version 5.5.2 that I am working with (embedded in vRA 6.1.1) there are 3 places where there are AD configuration settings.

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vCAC 6.1 Application Services (AppD) Installation notes

vCAC AppD 6.1 Installation Screenshots - Sample Content
vCAC AppD 6.1 Installation Screenshots - Sample Content

Recently i installed the new vCAC 6.1 in my lab, vCAC 6.1 has many improvements, if you’d like to learn more about the improvements you can read Omer Kushmaro’s (Twitter @elastic_Skies)  excellent blog post  or just read the VMware blog post here.  During my installation i found that the deployment process for the Application services component of vCAC (AKA Application Director) has changed, it is more integrated with vCAC now and there are a few things you need to know when setting it up so it will work well for you. here is a short guide:

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How EMC IT are delivering DBaaS and ITaaS with VMware vCloud suit

EMC DBaaS1

EMC IT has released a few amazing resources that explain how they achieved a full ITaaS and DBaaS for their users, it is a must read and watch for anyone interested in ITaaS and DBaaS.

Whitepaper:

EMC IT’s Database-as-a-Service

Video

EMC IT’s  IT-as-a-Service/Database-as-a-Service – eCALM Demo

The eCALM system as they call (Enterprise Cloud Automation Life cycle Management) it is a “full” solution that allows deployment, configuration, day2 operations , backup as a service, security management, monitoring management and retirement of DBs.   This solution is based on the vCloud suit components + puppet on top of vBlock  with Symetrix and additional components like Data Domain, infoblocks, Log insight and more.

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New DBaaS capabilities in VMware vCAC 6.1

One of the main things customer need in regards to cloud automation is DBaaS. In vCAC6.1 VMware has added the capability to ingest a production database into a VM and allow it to be redeployed as a service on demand by the developer/DBA without the intervention of IT. The use cases are endless,  customers want ot have the ability to “refresh” a production database for test, Dev, QA and training purposes.

So, how does this work:

In vCAC 6.1 VMware added out of box vCO workflows that can deliver a copy of the production DBs (currently Oracle 12c and Microsoft SQL Server 2012) to the self service catalog for redeployment, the workflows executes the following steps:

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