The process of deploying vRealize Automation has been totally revised with vRealize Automation 8. The biggest changes are:
- There are no Windows IaaS components anymore
- Installation is done via the VMware Lifecycle Manager
vRealize Automation Architecture
As I mentioned in the introduction, vRealize Automation Cloud and vRealize Automation 8 share the same codebase and have similar features. But bringing a cloud native application like vRealize Automation Cloud to your on-premises data center requires cloud native constructs. So vRealize Automation 8 runs the same micro services VMware runs in their vRealize Automation Cloud environment on a local Kubernetes environment which runs inside the appliance’s PhotonOS.
Internaly, vRealize Automation consists of the following components:
- vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager: This component provides a portal for administrators for installing, configuring, upgrading, patching, configuration management, drift remediation and health management from within a single pane of glass. Using the Lifecycle Manager reduces the installation time tremendously from days to hours.
- VMware vRealize Identity Manager: This component basically enables single-sign-on (SSO) to SAAS, web, cloud and native apps. With vRealize Automation 7, the Identity Manager has been part of the vRealize Automation appliance. Now it is a deployed as a dedicated component (like in the old days of vRealize Automation 6).
- vRealize Automation: The software itself.
vRealize Automation 8 microservices architecture
When you install the solution from the Easy Installer, you will be installing the following three VMs:
- VMware vRealize Lifecycle Manager
- VMware Identity Manager
- vRealize Automation 8
Layout of VMs with vRealize Automation 8 with the Easy installer.
vRealize Automation core components
The product itself consists of four components, which is one more than vRealize Automation Cloud:
- Cloud Assembly – used to automate multi-cloud delivery of IT services. Cloud Assembly delivers unified provisioning across all clouds through declarative Infrastructure as Code, including VMware Cloud on AWS, native AWS, Azure and Google. This should help teams orchestrate infrastructure and application delivery in line with DevOps principles.
- Service Broker – provides self-service access to multi-cloud infrastructure and application resources from a single catalog. It aggregates native content from multiple clouds and platforms into a single catalog with role-based policies.
- Code Stream – automates the application release process, through deployment, testing and troubleshooting thereby simplifying the delivery of IT services. It speeds up software delivery and streamlines troubleshooting with release pipelines and analytics. It supports VMware-based private clouds, VMware Cloud on AWS, AWS, Azure and Google.
- Orchestrator – takes care of 3rd party integrations, custom scripting and supporting lifecycle action through the Event Broker Service.
We will show the a simple architecture consisting of three nodes as described.
Please make sure, to have DNS names (also reverse lookup) for those components created beforehands.
Like always, the installation process begins with downloading the necessary software from the VMware download sections.
vRealize Automation provides an installation tool – the Easy Installer. The Easy Installer will deploy the Lifecycle Manager first, upload the Identity Manager and vRealize Automation appliance OVAs to the Lifecycle Manager and finally deploys and configures the latter component.
After having downloaded the Easy Installer as an ISO-file, please mount it.
In the following we will show the process for Windows, but the Easy Installer can also be triggered from MacOS or Linux.
Next to the GUI folder and start, the installer application. The installation wizard will load.
After you launch the executable referenced above, you will see the very familiar looking installer. There are two options:
Here, I am choosing the Install option since I am installing a brand-new instance.
On the Introduction page, click on Next.
On the End User License Agreement page, accept the terms of the license agreement and click on Next.
In the next step, we need to establish a connection to vSphere. Provide the following settings and click Next:
- vCenter Server Hostname (or IP)
- HTTPS Port
If you have an untrusted SSL certificate, click on Accept.
On the following page, choose a location (data center or VM folder) and click Next.
Now we have to select a Compute Resource.
Of course, selecting a Storage Location is needed as well. Most likely you also want to enable Thin Disk Mode.
Next step is to provide the Network Configuration. Provide the following information and click on Next.
- IP Assignment
- Subnet Mask
- Default Gateway
- DNS Servers
- Domain Name
- NTP Server (optionally)
Now, provide a admin/root password for the vRealize Automation components:
Next, continue with the Lifecycle Mananger Configuration. We need the following information:
- Virtual machine name
- IP address
The next step is about configuring the Identity Appliance. Provide the following settings:
- Virtual Machine Name
- IP Address
- Default Configuration Admin
If you want not only groups from AD, but also members to be synced, active the “Sync Group Members to the Directory When Adding Group” checkbox.
Now, we provide the necessary information for the Automation appliance:
- Provide the license key
- Virtual machine name
- IP Address
The last screen summarizes the settings. Please review everything and let the installation start.
All information has been entered and now it’s time to start the installation. Click next and in 30 minutes you will have a fully functional vRealize Automation 8 deployment (Standard Deployment).
Once LifeCycle manager is deployed the url to access LCM will be displayed. You can click the link and see the progress of the Identity Manager and vRealize Automation installation.
When the entire installation is completed successfully you can go to https://[vra appliance ip] to start the configuration. If the installation is successful the screen below will appear.
Login using the Default Configuration Admin account you specified during the installation.
You can access the installed components at the following locations and credentials:
- LCM – https://[lcm appliance ip
- IDM – https://[idm appliance ip]
- vRA – https://[vra appliance ip]
- Embedded vRO Control Center – https://[vra appliance ip]/vco-controlcenter/
- Embedded vRO Client – https://[vra appliance ip]/orchestration-ui/