vRealize Automation – configuring vSphere endpoint

Hi again,

You may have seen my long article on install and configure of vRealize Automation.  It was pretty interesting stuff. I am working through this so that I can – eventually – demo how well Veeam Backup & Replication integrates with vRA. But the last article finished with vRA installed, and functional, but now we are going to connect our vRA to vSphere so it can provision virtual machines, and in fact manage the life-cycle of those virtual machines.

  • Install and and configuration of vRA – this article
  • Adding vSphere to vRA – this article
  • Create your first vSphere blueprint – article.

As I have said before, this is about making things work in a lab, and not production.

So first I access my default tennant

https://vra01.thewhites.ca/vcac

You can expect to see – if you are using an account with the appropriate rights something like the following.

When I say an account with the appropriate rights, I mean the account you created when working as administrator and the account you created was in the Tenant and IaaS admin group – as seen below.

Once logged in, now we change to the Infrastructure page – as seen in the first screenshot above – then to Endpoints.

Now we use the New button with the green + on it. It is a multi – drop down list.  But we want vSphere.

There is lots to fill in on the first page. What is very important to note, is that the Name field below should have the same name as you used in the install / config process which is by default vCenter.

The credentials used above need to be admin inside of vCenter.

Once you enter your data correctly you should select the Test Connection button and you will get a security alert but after that a green nice message.

Next we create a Fabric Group.  This is where VMs will be provisioned too.  You change to the Fabric Group area (as seen in the screenshot above), and use the green plus sign.

As you can see above I am using the endpoint that is my vCenter and the name of the admin is me.  Once this is done, I had to log out, and than log back in and I found that I had additional options in the menu on the left.

Under Compute Resources, you can select Compute Resources and see what your fabric group is providing.

The small triangle I am pointing at above is what you can use to request an update of the resources, view any provisioned VMs, and a few other things.  Simply looking at this screen can tell you data collection and agent status is good, and how many machines have been provisioned and what sort of footprint they have.

Now we need to set a machine prefix.  This is letters and a number and is what any provisioned VMs will be named using. So we log in again, as our admin users, which is also our fabric admin user and change to Infrastructure / Administration, Machine Prefixes. Again we use the green + sign.

To save this machine prefix you use the green checkmark that I am pointing at above.  Now how I am using MW with two digits in all tenants.  So the next one will be MW01.

We now create a Business Group.  This is done under the Administration tab, Users & Groups, followed by Business Groups. A business group is often aligned with a group of users from the same department, and is associated with resources. Again with the green +.

As this is a very basic article, we are skipping Active Directory Policy but I suspect that will suck.  May have to come back to it. Once you have done the same as I hit Next.

As you can see above I put myself in the group and support roles – this is my lab after all.  I have one test user – John and he is in the user role.  Again, when ready, hit Next.

On the next screen we have only a couple of choices.

We select the machine prefix we created, and since we did nothing with AD it stays blank.  We now select Finish.

Next is Network Profiles.  This can be avoided if you are going to use only DHCP, but if you want to provision servers that will hang around for some time, and use Static IP you need to do this.  We will do it here it case it helps.

Change to Infrastructure, Reservations, and Network Profiles. And again with the green + but make sure to select External.

Fill in the basic info as you see below. One idea is to use your VLAN for the Name.  I don’t have many and none that this will use so I am just using a simple name.

Now change to the DNS tab and again fill out appropriately.

Now change to the Network Ranges.

You can have a multiple of ranges here, and they can be as small or as big as necessary.  Mine is small but so is my lab. Hit OK when you are done.

The next tab is interesting.

This is where you will be able to see the IP address is use from this profile once VMs are provisioned and using them.

Now we have to create a reservation so that we can ensure that a business group gets the resources they are supposed to. So change to Infrastructure, Reservations, Reservations and use the green +. We are working in vSphere so make sure to pick that!

As you can see above, I have named it and chosen the tenant and business group.  I used the priority of 10 to provide flexibility if I want a new reservation to have higher or lower priority.

Next we change to the Resources tab.

In this case I have select the resource vCenter, how many machines will this be limited to, and then memory and storage.  I suggest you use a tool, like Veeam ONE, or vRealize Operations to make an informed decision in this area.

Next we change to the Network tab.

Pretty simple here, we select the network switch, and then the network profile that we created.

I am not doing anything yet with properties so we can skip that tab and change to Alerts.

I have turned on capacity alerts as I am curious what they will look like.  I am the Business Group manager so I will get them.

Once done you should see something like below.

Ok, we are now connected to vCenter, and can provision VMs, but we are only missing a blueprint.  That will be in the next article.

As always, let me know if you have questions or comments.

Michael

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