VMware Cloud Automation Services – The Service Broker

In my previous article about VMware Cloud Automation Services I gave a brief introduction about VMware Cloud Automation Services as a whole and I dove a bit deeper into Cloud Assembly. With Cloud Assembly we connected our clouds and created blueprints. The next step is to set up the Service Broker and deliver our blueprints to the cloud catalog. Here is where you will bring all your cloud infrastructure and services together as easy to consume catalog items.

To get started you need to be a cloud administrator for your organisation and have a Cloud Assembly blueprint or AWS Cloud Formation Template that is ready for consumption.

Remember the blueprint we worked on in the previous post, this blueprint was at version 1.0 but had not been released yet, let’s do that first.

Releasing a blueprint

First log in to the VMware Cloud Services portal and go to Cloud Assembly. From there go to Blueprints and find the blueprint you want to release.

Click on release and add a description, click release again.

We can see that our 1.0 version of the blueprint is now in a released state allowing us to set it up in the Service Broker.

Next stop, Service Broker

Switch to the Service Broker so we can create a new content source for our blueprint.

The quickest way to switch is using the button from the top right corner.

Now that we have switched to the Service Broker we should go to the Administration section to start sharing content. Be aware that you need to have the Cloud Administrator role within the cloud environment of your organisation. From Administration we will add a content source, so we click on New.

I tend to fill out the blueprint name and a description. Validate the blueprint (it should be fine in our case) and click save & import.

The final step is to share the content so it becomes available in the catalog. The way this is structured is through the use of projects. If a content source is added to a project, all members of that project can request the item from the catalog. To do this we go to content sharing and select the appropriate project at the top. As you can see mine is called wvanede-project-test. If you are not sure what  project is you should check out the article I did on Cloud Assembly.

Next when we click items we can pull our blueprint in to the project. There are a few things to note here. Sometimes you will see that certain items are grouped together and you can only share them all at once. If you just want to share a single item you should first set the selection to no grouping, i.e. Group By None. Then find your content source by filtering or just browsing the list, select it and click Save.

As you can see we have now have a shared content source in our project.

What is the end result

The end result of all these steps is that our Cloud Assembly blueprint is now shared through the Service Broker so our users can consume this.

Of course, all of the above steps to get this Cloud Assembly blueprint available in Service Broker can be followed to make AWS Cloud Formation Templates available as well. And who knows in the future we are able to add some options to this list.

When an end-user clicks on request we can deploy the blueprint. This works similar to Cloud Assembly but the difference here is that end users normally would not be able to access Cloud Assembly.

Conclusion

Together with Cloud Assembly the Service Broker is another powerful and easy to use SaaS offering from VMware. It allows you to easily share content and aggregate templates and content from various platforms. Also be aware that the Service Broker, Cloud Assembly and the Blueprint and Deployment engines are backed by a powerful API making it an even better match for companies that are embracing Infrastructure as Code.

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