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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vRealize Automation and UCS Director Interaction via REST API – Part 3

If you’ve been following along, whew!  Last post in this series and likely the easiest.  Let’s do a quick recap.

In our first post we basically went through the process of determining “how do I do what I want to do?”  In our case that was making a REST call to UCSD and kicking off a workflow.  We used the Postman utility to help accomplish this.

In the second post we went through the process of “how do I get vRealize Orchestrator to do what I want to do?”  Here we used some existing sample workflows and made some modifications to do what we wanted, how we wanted.

In this final post we need to expose that workflow to vRealize Automation so that it can be consumed in a catalog.

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vRealize Automation and UCS Director Interaction via REST API – Part 2

OK this is definitely the meatiest part of this series, but bear with me and we’ll get through it.  Before we get started, it is important to note there are a million different ways to skin this cat in vRO.  This is just one that I find to be fairly straightforward.

I will also fully disclose that this is not easy and at times very frustrating.  Some of the vRO stuff is well documented, but some of it is behind curtains and seems to be (on some level or another) different than some of the provided API documentation.  I say that just to say, if you are getting your angryface on while working through some of this, you are not alone.  Hopefully this series will help alleviate some of that frustration! Continue reading

vRealize Automation and UCS Director Interaction via REST API – Part 1

You might ask yourself, “self, why do I care so much about automation?  Why so much fuss over APIs?”  The truth is the world is changing – this is true everywhere, and especially true in IT.  Automation and APIs are changing the game, allowing you to answer the question, “what can we do?” with “pretty much anything.”

There are a lot of references to VMware vRealize Automation/Orchestration (vRA/vRO) and Cisco UCS Director (UCSD) REST APIs from the vendors, but I thought I would post some findings and methodologies around rolling your own integrated solution.  I’m specifically going to work through calling a UCSD workflow with a vRA XaaS (a.k.a. vRO workflow) blueprint, but you can use this methodology to add any REST functionality through vRA for most anything.  APIs allow us the opportunity for endlessly integrated solutions…as long as you’ve got the time and patience to develop them! Continue reading

Plan, Execute, THEN Drink the Beer!

This topic has been simmering in my mind for years now.  Everyone’s favorite thing to hate: planning.  I don’t have all the answers but I want to try to provide some guidance to someone specific.  Yes, you, the dude who recognizes the need for planning when nobody around does.  The dudette who is tired of having projects go awry Every. Single. Time.  Beers are great to celebrate a project victory, but a lot of you are using (abusing?) them throughout the project cycle to help numb the pain.  I get it; I’ve been there.

There are a lot of things that this post is not.  It is not a crash course in project management.  I don’t talk about cool buzzwords like agile or scrum.  I’m not going to talk about change management processes or anything like that.  It is simply a collection of my observations about the multitude of businesses I’ve worked in or with, and the multitude of projects I’ve seen succeed and fail.  But read on, I think you’ll still find it useful. Continue reading

The Amazingness That Will Be vSphere 6.5

In case you haven’t heard the news, VMware announced vSphere 6.5 at VMworld Europe this year.  As usual I wouldn’t recommend anyone jumps on the bandwagon at the .0 release (unless you have test environments).  Nobody wants to be that first gazelle across the river!

Make no mistake, there are a TON of new features and enhancements in this version, which you should be checking out on VMware’s press releases.  I don’t want to cover them all, as you’d need a gallon of coffee to make it through, but I did want to talk about a few of them that I’m personally excited about. Continue reading

Back to Basics – vSphere Maintenance Mode

I’ve noticed over the years that while VMware admins tend to really understand maintenance mode, a lot of others in adjacent spaces (storage, network, etc.) have a very murky perspective on it.  In fact, I’d bet that if you sat down a storage person at vCenter and told them to evacuate a host with MM, odds are they would be really confused when the task hung or failed.  I know I was the first time I tried it. Continue reading