All posts by Dennis Hoegen Dijkhof

Dennis works for ITQ and works with VMware products since 2005. With his 15 years of experience in IT he can really add value to customers. Dennis his passion is to innovate big datacenters by using the latest technologies. Due to his passion he developed into a true expert on virtualization with VMware technologies. To share his passion and knowledge Dennis is active within the VMware community and is a member of the Netherlands VMUG leadership team (NLVMUG).

Christiaan and Dennis rewarded vExpert 2016

Something we are very proud of, but we didn’t want to brag about so that’s why we waited so long to share it with you.

Christiaan and Dennis are rewarded vExpert for the second year in a row.

So what is vExpert program? It’s explained by VMware as follows:

The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. The program is designed to put VMware’s marketing resources towards your advocacy efforts. Promotion of your articles, exposure at our global events, co-op advertising, traffic analysis, and early access to beta programs and VMware’s roadmap. VMware will provide you with a unique vExpert id that will allow insights into analytics to help understand customer trends to assist you and keep your advocacy activities on track.

The awards are for individuals, not companies, and last for one year. Employees of both customers and partners can receive the awards. In the application, we consider activities from the previous year as well as the current year’s activities in determining who gets awards. We look to see that not only were you active but are still active in the path you chose to apply for.

If you would like to know who is also rewarded vExpert you can read the VMware vExpert Announcement blog.

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2016-k

vRealize Automation: Missing Actions in Entitlements

After installing a new vRealize Automation 6.2.2 distributed environment a customer tried to add actions to an entitlement but default actions like Reconfigure were not visible. Also this Actions were not visible when we looked at \Administration\Catalog Management\Actions. The source of these actions are iaas-service so because it’s a new installation we checked if all the services were registered on the appliance via port 5480.

AutomateIt_Appliance

So the registration of the IaaS-Service was successful in this case, so it must be a registration of component, after investigating the install log we didn’t find any errors that point in a particular direction.

But, there is a easy fix:

1, Go to the IaaS Server Model Manager Data machine.

2, Browse to the café folder in Model Manager Data from the command line:
C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\Model Manager Data\Cafe\

3, Run the command “Vcac-Config.exe registercatalogtypes –v”

When you now look at \Administration\Catalog Management\Actions you will see the actions appear, you don’t even have to restart servers or services 😉

AutomateIt_Actions

 

Advanced Options vRealize Automation – Hide Properties & Snapshots tab

When you look at the item details for a Virtual Machine in the vRealize Automation Portal there are several tabs which show information. Most of this information is usable for the customer, like the CPU, memory and storage configuration.

Automate-it-properties1

Besides this tabs the tabs Properties and Snapshots are visible, during a deployment of a Virtual Machine you often use advanced properties which are of no use to the customer. This is also the case for the Snapshots tab, you might have disabled snapshotting on your blueprint so why show the Snapshots tab?

We didn’t expect this being a problem, but in several customer environments we got a lot of questions of customers about the information on the properties tab and why they cannot make a snapshot on the Virtual Machine. So we looked if it was possible to make the tabs invisible.

And it is possible by editing a configuration file on the IaaS web server called EditVirtualMachine.aspx, in our case on the default location:

c:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\Website\Leases\

You can edit this file with an editor like Notepad++.

Properties tab:
On line 265 in the EditVirtualMachine file you need the add ClientVisible=”False” so the line looks like this:

This can also be done for the Snapshots tab by editing line 278 in the EditVirtualMachine file and add ClientVisible=”False”

When you now refresh the Item Details the tabs are gone, so you don’t have to restart any services.

Automate-it-properties2

The downside, you as an admin are also no longer able to see the properties for this VM in the portal. I added a simple workflow so the properties are viewable with the use of Orchestrator.

Get Properties of vRA_VirtualMachine.workflow

Prerequisites check vCAC 6.1 (automated)

As many of you already know VMware released vCloud Automation Center 6.1 September 9th. I’m working on an implementation already, so I feel pretty lucky. An installation always starts with the deployment of the necessary Windows (2012R2) servers and all the prerequisites listed in the documentation.

We at automate-it.today are big supporters in automating everything, as long as it useful or fun to build. So I was really excited about the pre-req automation script build by Brain Graf. It’s easy, it’s fast and will give you a good verification of all the necessary prerequisites.

You can find the script here.

 

Selecting Network Through vCAC Property

vCAC is a really powerful automation tool, primarily giving users the opportunity to request their own applications without interaction of the IT Department. In this particular case I was configuring a blueprint to be used by developers.

Using vCAC to clone vCenter templates is really simple; users request a machine to use in the development or in the production environment. While I was testing the deployment of this blueprint the department responsible for Active Directory complained because my test machines, without the correct naming convention, appeared in the production AD.

The reservation used for this blueprint contained two networks, a development and a production network. Normally after deploying a vCenter template you edit the Virtual Machine hardware and select the correct network, before powering on the VM. In this case the requesting user does not have permission to connect to vCenter and to change this setting, and vCAC will just power on the VM. So we need another solution.

The solution is surprisingly not that difficult, you can use a custom property within vCAC. I will describe this in a few steps.

The first step is to find out which networks are available, this can be done by editing the reservation for this particular blueprint.

networkproperty-1

The next step is creating a new property definition within the property dictionary:

networkproperty-2

Name: VirtualMachine.Network0.Name
Display Name: Select Network
Control Type: DropDownList
Required: Yes

After you created the definition you can edit the property attributes

networkproperty-3

Type: ValueList
Name: Network
Value: Add all choices comma separated.

Now when the user will request a blueprint, there is a required choice with the name Network and the choices you added, in this case Development-1 and Production-1.

networkproperty-4

vCAC Blueprint Configuration

Below is the vCAC configuration workflow about configuring a Blueprint. This blogpost is the fifth in the vCAC configuration series.

The action blocks are actually clickable and will show you the matching parts of the VMware documentation in a popup window.

Go back to the configuration steps overview.

 

A couple of interesting vCAC documentation links about Blueprints:

 

vCAC Configuration – Reservation

This blogpost is the fourth in the vCAC configuration series.

Before a user can request a machine there need to be available resources, this resources are created with the Fabric groups. Within this fabric you can create a reservation.

A fabric administrator creates a reservation to allocate provisioning resources in the fabric group to a specific business group.

A virtual reservation allocates a share of the memory, CPU and storage resources on a particular compute resource for a business group to use.

A physical reservation is a set of physical machines reserved for a business group to use. Unprovisioned physical machines must be added to a physical reservation before being provisioned or imported, and cannot be removed until they are decommissioned and become unprovisioned.

A cloud reservation provides access to the provisioning services of a cloud service account, for Amazon AWS, or to a virtual datacenter, for vCloud Director, for a business group to use.

A business group can have multiple reservations on the same compute resource or different compute resources, or any number of physical reservations containing any number of physical machines.

A compute resource can also have multiple reservations for multiple business groups. In the case of virtual reservations, you can reserve more resources across several reservations than are physically present on the compute resource. For example, if a storage path has 100GB of storage available, a fabric administrator can create one reservation for 50GB of storage and another reservation using the same path for 60GB of storage. You can provision machines by using either reservation as long as sufficient resources are available on the storage host.

You can reserve physical machines only for a single business group. Because physical machines do not belong to fabric groups, all fabric administrators can manage all physical machines and reserve them for a particular business group.

Reservation

  • A reservation can only contain one policy.
  • A policy can be used on multiple reservations
  • Only one policy can be added to a blueprint

Go back to the configuration steps overview.

vCAC Business Group Configuration

This blogpost is the third in the vCAC configuration series and will focus on the configuration of the Business Groups.

A business group associates a set of services and resources to a set of users, often corresponding to a line of business, department, or other organizational unit. Business groups are managed on the Infrastructure tab but are used throughout the service catalog. Entitlements in the catalog are based on business groups. To request catalog items, a user must belong to at least one business group. A business group can have access to catalog items specific to that group and to catalog items that are shared between business groups in the same tenant. In IaaS, each business group has one or more reservations that determine on which compute resources the machines that this group requested can be provisioned. A business group must have at least one business group manager, who monitors the resource use for the group and often is an approver for catalog requests. In IaaS, group managers also create and manage machine blueprints for the groups they manage. Business groups can also contain support users, who can request and manage machines on behalf of other group members. Business group managers can also submit requests on behalf of their users. A user can be a member of more than one business group, and can have different roles in different groups.

Within a business group there are three different roles, that should be bound to Active Directory groups.

Business_Group_Roles

Below is the third workflow on the vCAC configuration about configuring the Business Groups. The action blocks are actually clickable and will show you the matching parts of the VMware documentation in a popup window.

Go back to the configuration steps overview.

vCAC Tenant Configuration

This blogpost is the second in the vCAC configuration series. With the second workflow on the vCAC configuration about configuring the Tenant, this workflow can be used to configure the default tenant.

The action blocks are actually clickable and will show you the matching parts of the VMware documentation in a popup window.

Go back to the configuration steps overview.

More information about working with Tenants, and how to create and configure them can be found here.