Monday 14 March 2022

Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install vRA

In my previous post Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install vRLI we have completed deployment of VMware vRealize log insight, now we are ready to start deployment of vRealize Automation aka vRA.

When we talk about a true SDDC, its incomplete without automation layer. With the pace IT is evolving, actions from IT can not take days, if it does than it can not satisfy the need of  business, and if it can not be an enabling unit then may be IT wouldn't be needed. Visionaries already anticipated it. Solution was to automate day2day tasks which reduces delivery time significantly. Not only that, reactive approach reduces action taken on an incident which helps in better operations. Now due to automation most of the manual tasks will not need human resources, same resources can be utilized in innovation.

People initially thought automation will result in loss of jobs, however it presented with other opportunities. 

With automation user can directly login to a self service portal and request for the resource/service he/she needs. Now same request will follow the approval cycle and users department will be charged. User has an option to request the service for a specified time interval, which reduces the overall ETA of the service delivery and lifecycle management.

    What is vRealize Automation?

    As we now know what automation is in IT, vRealize automation is the automation solution from VMware, its another product which delivers automation and orchestration capabilities. In other words you can say vRealize automation is an infrastructure management platform which provisions and configures IT resources, not only that it automates the delivery of container based applications.

    Now managing and automation resources is not limited to on-prem datacenters, vRA can integrate with all major cloud service providing platforms and can deliver seamlessly to any platform.

    IT can provide users with a self service portal to choose which cloud platform they wish to leverage and implement a multi cloud model with centralized governance using vRealize cloud management.

    Implementing automation with vRA helps automating multiple clouds, using self service portals without compromising control and security. 

    Small list of its competitors

    • Azure Management Tools
    • Turbonomic
    • ServiceNow IT Operations Management
    • Platform9 Managed Kubernetes
    • Workload Optimization Manager
    • Red Hat CloudForms
    • IBM Cloud Private
    • Micro Focus Hybrid Cloud Management

    Gartner published a nice study of reviews on Gartner peer insights from end user (business) and vRA was rated higher than most of its competition, but not lower.

    If you wish to check the complete list and wish to compare them based on reviews please visit this link.

    Benefits/features of vRealize Automation.

    1. Being an automation product, it rapidly adapts to business needs by automating delivery of IT products such as infrastructure, desktops, servers, applications and container based applications.
    2. It has the ability to leverage multi-cloud platforms for delivering seamless experience on different vendor platform. irrespective of the fact if its public or private cloud.
    3. Automated remediation to avoid system non compliance. 
    4. Reducing TCO, by applying automation in delivery of IT services.
    5. Kubernetes infrastructure management and governance, with self service portal.  
    6. Agile way of application delivery with vRA.
    7. Support for third party tools such as ansible, chef, puppet, etc for Infrastructure as code.
    8. Role based access management.
    There are many more to count, however I have only mentioned few. To know more about vRA, please visit the attached link.

    Watch deployment video

    How to deploy VMware vRealize Automation?

    1)    In order to deploy vRealize Automation solution login to SDDC manager

    2)    Now navigate to vRealize Suite tab and click on deploy vRealize automation, it will take us to vRealize lifecycle manager.

    3)    Now login to lifecycle with vcfadmin@local credential.

    4)    Now navigate to Locker to create or import certificate.

    5)    Click on generate to create certificate or click on import for importing third party certificate.

    6)    As vRA is deployed in cluster mode, make sure you mentioned all nodes name and IP including virtual name and vip.

    7)    Once certificate is ready, its time we navigate to lifecycle operations, for organic growth of the environment.

    8)    Now click on manage environment.

    9)    Now click on three dots (ellipsis) and choose option add product.

    10)    Choose vRA from the available products, and deployment type will be cluster.

    11)    On the next page accept the end user license agreement, and move to next tab.

    12)    Now add license or click on select button to choose already added license.

    13)    I already have a license added which I will select, on the new window which pops-up.

    14)    Now validate the association of license with the product, and move to next tab.

    15)    Choose the certificate we have created or imported and move to next tab.

    16)    Review infrastructure details and move next.

    17)    Review network details and move to next tab.

    18)    On products tab select node size, assign K8S cluster IP ranges and provide appliance name, vra virtual name, IPs and virtual IP.

    19)    Run Pre-checks.

    20)    Once Pre-checks are complete, click next.

    21)    On the summary page review all details and submit the task.

    22)    Now monitor the progress of the task, in case any failure review the error and try to resolve the cause before restarting the task.

    23)    Once all stage are completed successfully you will have a complete vRA deployed which is integrated with all other vRealize suite products including vRealize workspace one access. Be patient with the deployment as it does take a bit of time for complete automation workflow to complete.

    This will conclude your vRA deployment in VCF environment. 

    In my next post I will cover preparation and deployment of  vRealize network insight using vRealize lifecycle manager in VCF environment.

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