Automation Requirements

Regularly, I hear that vRealize Automation does not have a feature that is out of the box or someone makes a statement that it is hard.  What is hard?  What is not OOTB?  What are you trying to accomplish?  What are your requirements?   Until you start to define what you want to accomplish, how do you know it is hard or not OOTB?

Let’s use the example “Custom Naming” since that is the one example I have heard a lot. Have you thought through the process?

Do you care about names?  If not, does an OOTB machine prefix work?  That is OOTB.  If not why?  Define what you need.


Would entering the hostname you want as part of the request work?  This can be done via a custom property?



Do you have a standard that you utilize today?  If so can you develop a process to recreate via an automated workflow?   Example located here.  (The key being this is an example) or get a professional to create one.  It may be easier to buy it off the shelf with SovLabs plugin for Custom Naming?

If you think about how other cloud providers use names they don’t really allow you to configure a custom name.

Getting back to the beginning.  What data do you have or not have to start the process? Remember that when we start to talk about provisioning virtual machines we need to consider the full lifecycle from request to decommissioning.


There are a lot of ways to solve this particular problem but we must first gather a few data points to point us in the right direction.   What are the requirements?  Are they technical requirements or business requirements?   Naming a VM is one of many parts to provisioning but it can be a religious battle in some organizations. Remember the goal is to take time out of the process, streamline it and continuously improve it.  Start small, keep it stupid simple and always have requirements.

  • Get started by making no assumptions
  • Get a group together to talk through requirements (put it on a whiteboard)
  • Define a scope that is agreeable
  • Talk with peers at other organizations that have been through it