Installing vRealize Automation 8

VMware released vRealize Automation 8 recently and they have completely redone the architecture. One of the best things is that Windows IaaS virtual machines are no longer needed! For all the new shiny visit the vRA8 release notes. Because we don’t need the Windows virtual machines anymore, the installation of vRA8 is much less complex then it used to be. Adding to this, vRA8 also comes with a new ‘easy installer’ which sets up the complete solution for you. One thing to note is that with the easy installer two additional components are installed as well. The first item that gets deployed is vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (this is what the easy installer is based on). Additionally the VMware Identity Manager appliance gets installed.

vRA8 deployment options

As with previous versions there are a few reference architecture deployment options. With vRealize Automation 8 there are two options. Small, where every appliance gets installed once without the use of a load-balancer. Large where the vRA and vIDM appliances get installed as clusters behind a load-balancer. Note that the easy installer can install the vRA8 cluster but, the vIDM cluster needs to be done manually. For more information on vIDM visit the product documentation.

vRealize Automation 8 easy installer

Before we can start with installing vRealize Automation 8 we need to download the ~10GB ISO file so prepare to do a little waiting. The good thing is that all components are included and you only need this 1 large ISO file.

Once you have the file mount it and start the \vrlcm-ui-installer\<your-os>\Installer and you are welcomed by the following screen.

To continue choose Install. If you have a vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager already running in your environment you may select Migrate. Note this does not migrate your older vRA environment.

Next read the introduction text and EULA and choose to use CEIP or not.

Now enter the deployment target details and continue to accept the vCenter certificate.

Next up choose the location, compute resource and storage.

Select a folder in your datacenter
Select a cluster in your datacenter
Select the datastore and if thin mode should be enabled

Now we need to enter all the network details.

Next we set the password for all components. If you are required by company policy to have different passwords for every component you need to change this after the installation.

in the following steps we setup the individual components.

vRealize Lifecycle Manager
VMware Identity Manager
vRealize Automation

Note that for the vRealize Automation deployment you have the option to deploy a cluster. In that case you also need to have a load-balancer set up and provide the IP and host name. In this case I’ll go with the standard deployment. After you click next and check the summary screen you can start the deployment.

Keep track of the installation

At some point during the installation the vRSLCM appliance will be ready and the URL will appear. Now you can log in there to follow the process in more detail.

When the installation is done the URL for vRA8 will also appear and you can log in to vRA8!

Now, for you that have been reading my blog about Cloud Automation Services (which is now called vRA Cloud). You will see some familiar services. Cloud Assembly, Code Stream and Service Broker are all also part of vRA Cloud. Actually, vRA8 and vRA Cloud are from the same code base.
I suspect that updates to the products will first make their appearance in vRA Cloud before trickling down to vRealize Automation 8.

To continue the setup of your environment you can read my blog posts about vRA cloud because the steps are similar. Or you can give the quick start wizard featured in vRA8 a try.

Quick start wizard

The quick start wizard will setup the first few constructs such as Cloud Accounts, a Cloud Zone, a Project and default policies and profiles.

Click launch quick start and start with adding your vCenter and NSX details. This will be used to create the two Cloud Accounts for vSphere and NSX. If you not using at least vCenter, then quick start isn’t for you. In that case add cloud accounts and the rest manually for AWS, Azure or Google Cloud.

vCenter details
NSX details

The next step is to setup the storage and network profiles and to select the first template. If there is anything you do not have yet in your environment you can add it and continue the Quickstart wizard later.

When selecting the default network know that you have to select NSX networks or vSphere networks, you will not see them all in the same view.

The final step is to setup the default polices.

At the summary screen there are also some additional options. You can choose to automatically deploy the first template and add some example NSX blueprints to the catalog.

Now run quick start and wait a few minutes. After quick start is done you will find the first catalog items in the Service Broker.

Conclusion

With vRealize Automation 8 VMware has made it extremely easy to deploy the solution compared to previous versions. It has a fresh new look and some new constructs to wrap your head around. One big change from vRA7 is that there is no more multi-tenacy. vRA8 has one organization and separation between tenants/teams/departments is now done by the use of Projects. If you are used to the vRA7 constructs keep the following in mind. Business Groups are now Projects, Reservations are now Cloud Zones/Profiles and Entitlements,/Leases are now Policies.

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