vRA 7.2 what’s new?

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.

Azure Endpoint

Microsoft Azure vRA Endpoint

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.

vRA 7.2 Azure Integration

Container Management

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

vRealize Automation Admiral Container Integration

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

Converged Blueprint Mixed VM with Container

ServiceNow Support

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.

vRealize Automation Plugin to expose vRA Catalog in ServiceNow

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.

Elastic Applications Scale Out Scale In

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

UI Enhancements

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.

Download Link

You can download vRA 7.2 at: vRealization Automation 7.2 download link

Comments

  1. In addition the information presented above, there is a Scoped Application developed by Cloud Automation Factory that is certified by ServiceNow and VMware, which establishes Bi-Directional communication from ServiceNow through the vRA APIs, reducing the need for PowerShell, vRO, SOAP, etc. A few features it includes are:

    – Native ITSM integration with ServiceNow. CMDB is automatically updated, triggers SR/CR/Incidents.
    – Provisioning or Service Request failures automatically trigger Incidents in ServiceNow and can be configured with a log parsing technology to attach to the incident the latest log errors from across a vRA Enterprise Installation.
    – Request vRA Services and Amazon AWS Services from the same user interface.
    – Manage vRA Catalog/Service Items, BluePrints, Network Profiles, Custom Properties, etc. from ServiceNow with integration into ITSM.
    – Request VM State changes from ServiceNow with integration into ITSM.
    – Export BluePrints from one vRA Instance to other vRA instances.
    – Manage multiple vRA Instances from ServiceNow central pane of glass.

    Here is a link to the ServiceNow store to request a trial if your interested. Its also published in the VMware Solutions Exchange.

    https://store.servicenow.com/sn_appstore_store.do#!/store/application/635076380fa21200466c85bce1050eac/3.0.15

  2. Hi, hoping there’s a chance of an answer. I have deployed a distributed vRA 7.3 instance…enterprise suite license. I do NOT have the Azure plugin listed as an option in either the default or a created tenant. I have >> AD, HTTP-REST, Powershell, SOAP, SQL Plugin, and vSphere plugin <<

    Haven't found anything googling….any thoughts??? help! I've done my best to validate the vRA install is healthy.

  3. Looks like I may have found the issue….from the vRA 7.3 release notes

    >>
    Internal error message appears when you add an Azure machine to a blueprint in the Design tab
    When using an external vRealize Orchestrator server with vRealize Automation, Microsoft Azure integration is not available.
    >>

    I need to export/import the Azure package…

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