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.

Puppet Integration

The biggest thing I see, or maybe the thing I’m most excited about, is direct puppet integration. As as side note, I’m not sure who writes these release notes but referring to puppet now being a “first-class citizen” is very accurate.  Previous iterations offered support, but it was pretty kludgy especially for ongoing configuration management -you know, kind of the point of puppet!

You can now register puppet masters as endpoints and there is direct integration for CM.

HA Improvements

HA continues to improve with enhancements on automated failover functionality.  Manual failover as an HA option is roughly a barebones necessity at this point.  I rank it a notch above “just build a new one when the old one dies.”  The idea of having a product automate your environment but have manual failover points leaves kind of a bad taste in the mouth, doesn’t it?

Automated failover will help provide additional stability to organizations who rely on vRA for critical business processes and management, which hopefully should be most vRA customers.

Enhanced Software Authoring Interface

This looks to be a nifty usability feature, as before you were more or less relying on some other tool to develop your software scripts and then copy/paste in.  Worst of all, the plaintext look made it really easy to generate typos and errors.

Not sure how extensive this is but again this is a welcome addition!

Audit and Health Logging

With a tool like vRealize Automation, it tends to be so enterprise dominating that the more auditing and health scoring you can provide the better.  As it absorbs more and more of IT provisioning and processes, you will absolutely want to know, “is it doing OK?” and “who has been doing what on it?”

These improvements will help to satisfy C-level and continuity oriented folks.  You can also send audit logs to vRealize Log Insight as well, which is another bonus.

Summary

This is just scratching the surface but it looks to be a productive, feature filled release, and it is also reassuring that the product continues to move in the right direction for usability and enterprise stability.  Hope to provide some more detailed reviews in the future!

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