VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 – Upgrade and Health Check

VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 – Upgrade and Health Check

As you may be aware, vRealize Automation 7.3 just released a few days ago.  I took some time to upgrade my lab and thought I would share my experience as well as a look at the new embedded health service.

First it goes without saying that this is a lab, not a production instance.  Obviously you should take care before any upgrade with standard checks like ensuring compatibility with any extras you have, ensuring you have good functional backups, etc.

Also my lab is a simple deployment, not a distributed one.  Again, do your homework to ensure that you are prepared for the entire upgrade scenario.

Ok let’s get to it!

Upgrade

You have the option of doing the upgrade by using an online repository.  I am never a fan of doing a major upgrade this way.  It is one thing to download minor patches but I would rather download the file and do my own checksum validation before applying it myself.

First, you will need to download the upgrade ISO from the VMware download site.  It is the same location where you get the vRA OVA, just a different download.  After the download completes, validate the checksum against the provided one to ensure that your download is good.

After it is downloaded, I uploaded it to a datastore I have for ISOs and then attached it to the vRA CDROM.  Make sure you actually connect it!  This still trips people up, including yours truly.

1cdrom

Next, login to the vRA VAMI (default :5480) as root.  Under Update > Settings, select Use CDROM Updates and save.

2vami

Back on the Status page, hit Check Updates which should show the 7.3 update.  If you don’t see it, you probably don’t have the CDROM connected.  Then just hit Install Updates.  Note that I’m actually jumping two versions here, 7.1 to 7.3.  This is OK but if you have an older one than 7.1 you’ll need to check the release notes on how to get to 7.3.  

3checkupdate

You will see this message below for a while during the appliance update, but fear not – let it go and it will finish.

4updatemessage

My only complaint about this process is I hate messages like this with no “update progress” messages (or even worse, progress bars that just constantly scroll and don’t actually indicate progress) but it is a minor fault.  The IAAS updates actually do provide some good progress indicators.

Once it completes it will let you know and you can reboot the appliance.

5reboot

After the appliance reboot you can check the update screen again as the IAAS server components get upgraded next.

6iaas7agent

Once the IAAS updates finish, you are good to go.  Overall a very painless experience, so kudos to the vRA team for ensuring easier installs and upgrades!

Health Check

Next after I logged into my tenant and took a quick look around to make sure nothing looked awry, I gave the new health check feature a whirl.  As IAAS Admin, you’ll find the Health option under Administration.  Note that you can also see this as Tenant Admin but you can only view results, not configure or run tests!

8health

Click New Configuration to create a new test.  Configuring the test is pretty straight forward aside from the fact that you will need to input vRA info as if the system doesn’t understand itself.  This is because you are not limited to monitoring the vRA instance you are logged into…as long as you can reach it and have credentials you can do a health check.

9health110health211health3

The only thing that caught me up was the naming for my tenant admin who is a domain user.  After trying domain\user in several iterations and failing miserably, I simply used user@domain and it worked like a charm.  So be careful if you are using domain accounts here.

After the test is configured, simply run it.

12greenrun

Test results are all green, and green is good!  If you click on the icon you’ll get a more detailed view of what tests were run and the results.

13detailedrun

When I had the wrong user and some of the tests failed to run (the output was decidedly more yellowy-reddy than above), the detailed output actually did notify me of the problem and sometimes it will offer fixes as well.  As far as I was able to determine from the guide and my poking around, you can’t configure notifications for the health check which is kind of a bummer.  It would be great to be able to SMTP/SNMP if a health check issue arose.  Hopefully this can be added in the future unless I’m just missing it.

Look for more on vRA 7.3 over the coming weeks!

VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 – What’s New?

vRealize Automation 7.3 was just released and there is a lot to unpack.  I haven’t had the chance yet to play with the new version (hope to soon!), but I wanted to take a brief moment to call out some cool things I noticed.  Here are the release notes (link) if you want to check the whole thing out.

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