vRealize Automation 6.2 (vCAC) – GA! What’s New?

Another yearly quarter, and another product release! vRealize Automation 6.2 is now GA (Grab it!) and it brings so much awaited functionality to the table! This is the first release to have some impressive integration with VMware’s vROPS (formerly vCOPS) product, which is also GA today with version 6.0.

New Features!

vR Automation 6.2 / vR Operations 6.0 integration

Allows for Health badges to be viewed directly from item page, allowing the user to have a brief health summary of his VM. Also, vC-Ops-128xresource reclamation is available with insights from vROPs 6.0. When you’ll filter a VMs performance once vROPs is configured into the system, you’ll be able to search the metrics from vROPs rather then vCenter.
These two features are a huge benefit for day-to-day management of your private cloud VMs, and will surely drive great value in any environment where vROPs & vRA are integrated.

ASD Form vCO Workflow Execution

The ASD functionality of vRealize Automation always keep getting better and better. The latest improvements include being able to invoke a vCO action from the item form, when the form is displayed to the user. This, enables us to retrieve data for that request from 3rd party systems, or calculating addition information within vCO. This also applies to any custom day 2 operations you can build for vRealize Automation.

ASD Import/Export Content

This release also enables us to import and export content from vRA! Stuff like service blueprints can now be transferred from instance to instance.

VRAVAMI

VAMI Node Mgmt

Proxy Configuration for vCloud Air Endpoint

For those of you managing vCloud Air VMs with vRealize Automation, leveraging vCloud Air through an enterprise proxy is now possible via a special proxy setting in the vCloud endpoint

Centrelized Node info/log collection in vRA-VA

The vRealize Automation VA had it’s management interface revamped, and now allows for a full view of the installed components from a single point, checking if all components had communicated recently with the VA, and also the ability to collect logs in a centrelized fashion, straight from the VA’s VAMI management UI.

vRealize Applications & Custom Properties

For those of you who started exploring vRealize Applications, you can now expose the provisioned App ‘User queried’  properties, into the vRA request. Giving the user the ability to easily modify an application deployment at request time.

Come-Back Features!

Approval Props

Setting Approval Policy

Some of the (awesome) features that went away during the whole 5.2->6.0 transition are now doing a comeback! And these are GREAT news since these were REALLY handy stuff!

Editing Custom Properties on Approval

With vRA 6.2 you will be able to set custom properties to be editable by the approver! This is a wonderful feature that allows for a whole set of business logic approval use cases to be utilized again with vRA 6.2!

Calendar Widget

Approver

Approval Editing Properties

The all mighty calendar of events widget is now back, and allows you to view a calendar with all your item expiry / archiving / deletion dates right on the vRealize Automaion home page for every user! This is valuable to keep track on your VMs and leases and is a wonderful feature I really missed from 5.2

Hidden Features!

Wait… What?
So you’re probably wondering – “Why are there hidden features?” Well, the features that i’m going to describe below aren’t really meant for regular use, but are more related to my new role. I did think of some enterprise use cases where these could be beneficial, but keep in mind that they are considered ‘Experimental’.

Installing DEMs / Agents in Different Domains

One of the issues that I came across with some of my former customers (you know who you are!) was the need to manage several, unrelated domains with one vRA instance. This, naturally gets you to a decision point where IAAS is installed in a certain domain, be it management, prod, or where ever you see fit.

CalendarOfEvents

Calendar of Events

In order to have DEMs / vSphere Agents in other domains , you would need to do some nasty things. In this release, using the silent installer, you are able to grant a certain user in a remote domain (without any trust relationship) full access tothe IAAS repository. Meaning, that a vSphere Agent / DEM can be installed in a totally separate domain environment, under a different set of credentials from the main IAAS server components!

In order to do so, you’ll need to add two properties to the silent install for the DEM, named WorkflowManagerInstaller.msi . The properties are : DEM_REPO_USER / DEM_REPO_PASSWORD . An example of a silent install including these two properties should look something like this:

[code]msiexec.exe /i WorkflowManagerInstaller.msi /qn /norestart /Lvoicewarmup! DEM_INSTALL.log ADDLOCAL=All REPO_SERVER_URL="https://iaas-server.domain.com/repository/" REPO_HOSTNAME="iaas-server.domain.com" SERVICE_USER_NAME="Domain-B\user" SERVICE_USER_PASSWORD="Password1" REPOSITORY_USER="Domain-A\user" REPOSITORY_USER_PASSWORD="Password1" DEM_REPO_USER="Domain-A\user" DEM_REPO_PASSWORD="Password1" DEM_NAME="DEMW" DEM_NAME_DESCRIPTION="DEM Worker" INSTALLLOCATION="C:\Program Files….." VALID_DEM_NAME="1" MSINEWINSTANCE="1" TRANSFORMS=":DemInstanceId01" DEM_ROLE="Worker" HTTPS_SUPPORT=1 ENABLE_SSL=true MANAGERSERVICE_HOSTNAME="iaas-server.domain.com"
[/code]

For this trick to work on a vSphere Agent, simply run a config command after the agent is installed:

[code] VRMAgent.exe -Repo-SetCredentials –user <username> –password <password> –domain <domain> [/code]

Proxying DEM Workers

When installing a DEM Worker with the silent installer, you’ll be able to add a proxy configuration for that DEM. So if you have any DMZ environments that you want to manage, this could be a great way to do so!

To proxy the DEM / Agent , simply use the silent installer mentioned in the paragraph above, and activate 3 new install parameters:

  • PROXY_ADDRESS <proxy ip addres>:<port>
  • USE_SYSDEFAULT <true/false>
  • BYPASS_ONLOCAL <true/false>

These are pretty self explanatory. The USE_SYSDEFAULT, tells the DEM to grab proxy configuration from the default system configuration found in IE proxy settings. BYPASS_ONLOCAL , will order the DEM to bypass the proxy when it detects a call from the same network he’s on.


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