VMware VRA

vRealize Automation (vRA) an overview

VMware is the market leader in Infrastructure Automation and hybrid cloud management [The Forrester Wave], with help of vRealize Automation (vRA) as part of VMware’s hybrid cloud management offering. vRA helps IT departments lower OPEX by automating the delivery and continuously managing their infrastructures and applications. vRA can deploy IT services across multi-vendor/multi-cloud infrastructure while vRA support private, Hybrid, and public clouds with the ability to integrate with various external tools like Ansible Tower, Saltstack, Git, and more.

Before getting in details of vRA features and components, let us discuss vRA deployment models

  • vRA can be on-premise as part of vRealize suite or VMware Cloud Foundation (vCF) offering, with on-premise you manage underneath infrastructure and upgrade lifecycle of vRA.
  • vRA cloud functions as vRA but as a SAAS offering that VMware manage it for you

Note: vRA Cloud receives monthly patching while vRA on-prem will be Quarterly.

vRA main usecases

  • Self-service catalog
  • Hybrid and multi-cloud support
  • Cloud agnostic blueprints across zones support (VMC on AWS, AVS, GCP sole initase, vCloud Director)
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC) & infrastructure pipelining
  • DevOps-ready platform with CICD and configuration management capability
  • Kubernetes Automation Management with integration PKS, OpenShift and Tanzu
  • Network and security service automation

VRA Components and main Terminologies

  • vRealize Automation vRA is an IT service delivery platform with governance and control features.
  • VMware Cloud Templates
    • Templating engine for Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
    • Replace the old vRealize Automation blueprints
    • Support GUI-based and YAML template development and provisioning
  • Cloud Assembly (a multi-cloud provisioning service)
    • Orchestrates and expedites infrastructure and application delivery in line with DevOps principles
  • Service Broker
    • Aggregates native content from multiple clouds and platforms into a single catalog with tag-based policies
    • A common and consistent catalog across a multi-cloud environment
  • Code Stream (CICD)
    • Speeds software delivery and streamlines troubleshooting with release pipelines and analytics
    • Infrastructure pipelines with troubleshooting and analytics
  • Orchestrator
    • Drag-and-drop workflow engine that offers runbook automation with the ability to automate almost any IT task and not only VMware centric ones as some might think.
  • SaltStack Config (the powerful configuration management component)
    • Event-drive software configuration management capability for virtualized, hybrid or public cloud – powered by Salt Project open-source community
  • ABX
    • FAAS which contain reusable parameterized actions
    • Supports multi-language (Python, NodeJS, and Powershell)
  • TAGs
    • Two main types of tags capabilities and constraints
    • Tags is important as it drives the placement of deployments through matching of capabilities and constraints
      • Capability tags, used for labeling resources, can be also imported form extrnal soruces (AWS, vSphere, Azure)
      • An example can be Environment:Prod Environment:Dev
      • Constraints tags, used to control access resources
      • By defualt all constraints tags is Hard (must be enforce or the deployment will fail), other type is Soft constraints (a preference if not met the deployment will continue)
      • An example can be, Department:Sales, or Location:London.
  • Cloud zones
    • Using cloud accounts we can define different clouds to be used for deployments
    • Public cloud Cloudzones are specific to a region  
  • Projects
    • Projects control who has access to vRA cloud templates and where to deploy on which cloud zone
  • Multi-organization tenancy
    • provides the capabilities to create multiple organizations tenant.
    • Multi-tenancy relies on coordination and configuration of (vIDM – vRLCM – VRA)

How to Install vRealize Automation 8

You can follow this blog series covering the installation of vRealize Suite using vRLCM

Written by,

Amr Abdelshafi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *