vRealize Automation 7.2 which was promised at VMworld to enhance ease of use with Out-of-The-Box support for ServiceNow, Azure, and Containers. has just been released today as promised in VMworld. You can download it at: vRealization Automation 7.2 download link. This article highlight few of the major improvements introduced with vRA 7.2.
While Amazon AWS, vCloud Air and vCloud Air Network endpoints have been out of the box in vRealize Automation for the longest time, Microsoft Azure has always required custom coding integration to work in vRealize Automation. Many customers showed interest in being able to deploy Microsoft Azure and were waiting patiently for vRA to offer it out of the box. This is coming your way out of the box in vRA 7.2. This will extend vRealize Automation Hybrid Cloud offering reach to Microsoft Azure customers.
The new Azure endpoint will allows customers to:
- Configure Azure connections (endpoints) per tenant
- Assign reservations and integrate with their governance model
- Design blueprints creation with Azure resources, specify network and storage options
- Supports Azure Networking (subnets, load balancers)
- Deploy converged blueprints with Azure resources in them
- vRealize Automation can automatically select the most appropriate subscriptions to deploy to
- Perform state-aware resource actions on their Azure resources
- Incorporate key vRA functionality, such as approvals, extensibility, and CBP
- OTB Day2 lifecycle operations include start, stop, restart, delete
Note: Azure Endpoint is the first to be built on top of extensibility platform (XaaS vs .Net) levarging the new Azure vRO plugin (Included OOTB). It’s the reason why you will need to define this Endpoint under Administration==> vRO Configuration ==> Endpoints, unlike other IaaS endpoints as shown in the below screenshots.
As more customers have been adopting containers and management of these containers is becoming a concern, vRealize Automation 7.2 has added containers support which allow you to deploy, manage and apply policies to containers in a very similar you deal with virtual machines today. vRealize Automation 7.2 leverages Admiral, a highly scalable and very lightweight container management platform to deploy and manage containers. This integration will allow vRealize Automation to:
- Provision and manage Docker hosts in VMware SDDC. This will include PhotonOS and CoreOS(Plain old Linux (SUSE / RH etc))
- Provision and manage containers via Docker API
- Provision and manage container apps via vRA
- Converged Blueprint support for 2.5-gen application
- Support for Docker Compose import/export
- Image registery management
- Policy-based initial placement of containers
- Resource management of container hosts/clusters
- Resource management of containers
- Create and consume container networks
- Manage private or public container image registry
- Have visibility into operational and log visibility of containerized apps
- Enable lifecycle actions for containers
One last interesting feature is the ability to have a converged blueprint that is a mix between traditional VMs and Containers as shown in the below screenshot
New out-of-the-box integration with ServiceNow, will enable users to easily propagate vRealize Automation services to the service desk catalog as well as enable the use of ServiceNow to deploy services via vRealize Automation.
Elastic Applications (Scale Out/Scale In)
vRealize Automation 7.2 scale out and scale in capabilities enahancments will not only allow yout to scale out and scale in your apps using VMware offered load balancers but using XaaS it will allows you to configure external load balancers such as F5 as part of the process. Not only that, but the new functionality is capable actually of using XaaS as part of the scale out/scale in process to reconfigure your VM or infrastructure as required.
Enhanced LDAP Support
vRealize Automation 7.2 has introduced back Open LDAP support, which wave the Active Directory dependency.
Enhanced Installation and Upgrade API
vRealize Automation 7.2 has enhanced the installation API and extend it beyond installation to include upgrade operations. This will allow customers who has the desire to completely setup/upgrade vRA programatically to do so. This is very usefull for environments where they will setup or ugprade multiple vRA instances.
New Event Broker Topics
vRealize Automation 7.2 increase its integration flexibility even further by introducing several new Event Broker Topics listed below:
- Blueprint component completed
- Blueprint component requested
- Catalog item request completed
- Catalog item requested
- Component action completed
- Component action requested
- Provision Container
- Container Operations
- Deployment action completed
- Deployment action requested
- IPAM IP lifecycle event completion
While vRA 7.2 has several UI enhancements, the one I wanted to highlight in here is the ability to delete Inactive Entitlements, which has been requested by several of my customers in the past.
You can download vRA 7.2 at: vRealization Automation 7.2 download link