vRA Ninja Bootcamp follow up

For those of you that recently attended the Ninja Bootcamp on vRealize Automation I wanted to make sure that you had all of the links we referenced during the discussion.  Here they are in case you did not received them in the follow up e-mail.

Good to have links for reference (VMware) :


vRA and NSX


vRealize Automation 7.4 latest release update



Hands on Labs


Hand’s on Labs Documentation (watch for new labs coming after VMWorld)

vRealize Automation Getting Started

vRealize Automation Advanced Topics

vRealize Automation Advanced Extensibility

vRealize Orchestrator

vRealize LifeCycle Manager

vRealize Business Getting Started

Documents from Hand’s on Labs


CMBU Blog 

The main site for the latest content for the CMBU.

CMBU Youtube Channel 

Get alerts so you know when new content is uploaded.

Getting More out of vRealize Series (ongoing Webex)

If you are not going to these series you are missing out on a great resource.

Cloud Native Overview

Great overview light board series to help you understand containers.

(Bloggers sites) 

Guide to permissions

Overview of how the permissions work.

Custom Forms

New in 7.4.

Useful installation and Configuration blogs

Mike ZG (Open902) vRealize Automation Install and Configure 7.3

Great site to get you started with installation and configuration.

Virtual Jad Detailed Implementation Guide

Fantastic resource on how to get started with vRA and a ton of great how to’s.  Make sure to read everything on NSX.

Daily Hypervisor

Great resources for a lot of vRA related posts.

vRealize Orchestrator

You can download examples of workflows here.

vRealize Orchestrator Book

SovLabs (The partner that spoke at lunch) 



What’s New with Storage Based Policy Management for vRealize Automation

At VMworld 2017, I had the opportunity to work in the expert led labs for vSAN.  This was a great opportunity for me to learn about vSAN and also see first-hand how vSAN is growing.  The class room was full every session and vSAN was at the top of the list for most popular lab.  We had a lot of customers that had already adopted vSAN or in the process of implementing it and many of them were SAN admins.

Often, we forget about storage because it has been such an integral part of the vSphere architecture for so long. Discussions around automation tend to discuss all of the great things we can accomplish with networking, IPAM and numerous other solution integrations.  The Software Defined Datacenter allows us to take advantage of the virtualized layers of compute, networking and storage as services.  This allows us to develop services the business requires.

Storage Based Policy Management is a framework that allows storage capabilities to be assigned to policies.  Administrators can then assign those policies based on workload requirements to the appropriate virtual machine and/or object.   Virtual Machine objects or components are made up of the VMDK, VM Swap, VM Home Namespace, Snapshot Deltas and Snapshot Memory Maps.  The policies are created via the vSphere Web Client under the VM Storage Policies.

This gives us the opportunity to add new features and services for our customers as part of the service catalog.  Disk type, encryption, compression, deduplication, snapshots, replication and others features can then potentially be used.  As you can see below we can select the policies and assign these to the disk.


By extending these storage services we can now lifecycle and classify systems from a storage perspective.  This also allows for us to develop day 2 actions to improve performance, reduce costs or meet other business requirements.


A few examples of where these types of policies may be beneficial in your organization are:

  • Apply policies to objects on a virtual machine where they have different I/O workload requirements. Think about your database servers in many configurations you have multiple disks.  Each disk could be assigned a different storage policy one for your database and one for the logs.
  • Similar workloads may be assigned at deployment via the request. Policies can also be aligned for similar workloads.  Web servers, application or tier of service based on business requirements.
  • Tiers of service may have a gold, silver or bronze based around availability. When you think about day 2 actions you may have a server that may start out on bronze but as it becomes more valuable to the business they may request to have it migrated to a higher tier.

To get started here are the steps that you will need to follow.  Make sure to read the installation guide.

  • Download SPBM Plugin (2.1.0) from Market Place
  • Install SPBM Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator
  • Configure vCenter and vRA endpoints in vRO
  • Create Property Definitions for SPBM
  • Add Custom Properties to desired blueprints (and disks)
  • Add Custom Properties to vCenter Endpoint
  • Create Event Subscription for SPBM policy changes
  • Deploy a SPBM-enabled Blueprint
  • Create Custom Resource Action for Day2 SPBM

For additional information on Storage Policy Based Management make sure to read these other blogs:

Storage Based Policy Management Part 1

Storage Based Policy Management Part 2

See you at VMworld 2018!


AWS CSA – Associate Achieved   

I recently took advantage of one of the great benefits that my employer provides and took the AWS course for the Solution Architect – Associate.  Why AWS, well public cloud is a very popular topic and AWS is one of the main integrations for vRealize Automation I am asked about on a regular basis.  Fantastic course and I learned a lot but I thought I would share my thoughts around preparation for the exam.

First off the book AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide: Associate Exam book is a great resource.

Another resource I took advantage of was ACloudguru which I actually came across via Udemy and for the price you can’t beat it.  The course better than the actual live course I attended with an instructor (it was just a little more in depth) and would take another one if I get a chance.

The last thing I will recommend is get hands on with the labs and get used to the interface.   I took a little longer than I should have between the time I took the class and the time I took the exam so I used ACloudGuru to go through the course again.  Sign up for a free tier account and take advantage of the access to study.

The test is comprehensive so I would make sure you set aside time to make sure you understand the content as well a potential architecture situations that you may be asked about.  Also there are a couple other free resources out there like vBrownbag and the AWS Free training.

AWS Endpoint Creation with vRealize Automation

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Before you add the endpoint into vRealize Automation you will need to setup your AWS VPC.  Make sure you follow the instructions provided by AWS.  Additionally you can refer to the instructions in the vRealize Automation Configuration Guide.  As these may change refer to the appropriate versions for your deployment.

Adding an AWS Endpoint in vRealize Automation.  Once you have logged into the vRA console go to the Infrastructure tab, click Endpoints, Endpoints.  Click new+ cloud, Amazon EC2.  Provide a name for the endpoint as well as your Access Key ID and Secret access key.




Next go to the Fabric Groups and add a new Fabric Group as well as an administrator and select the appropriate compute resources.


Next create a reservation by going back up a level to the Infrastructure tab, Reservations


Once you have added the appropriate resources you should be to go into the design canvas and create AWS EC2 blueprints with the resources you configured.


Remember to reference the latest document based on the version you are running as they differ slightly.