VCP6-CMA Section 6: Create and Administer vRealize Automation Components

Contents

Objective 6.1: Create and Manage Machine/Multi-Machine Blueprints

Explain different blueprint machine types

Explain different blueprint provisioning types

Explain blueprint actions

  • Actions are operations that you can perform on provisioned items
  • You can perform request actions and immediate actions
    • Request action initiate requests which you can track on the requests tab and can also be subject to approval
    • Immediate actions do not create requests and are run immediately
  • Built-in actions are available to all tenants and cannot be edited
  • Actions can be enabled or disabled, via blueprints or entitlements
  • Custom actions can be created at a per-tenant level and shared across all business groups in that tenant

Explain runtime property precedents

  • Runtime properties take higher precedence and override properties from any source
  • A custom property is runtime when
    • The property is marked as prompt user
    • A business group manager is requesting a machine and the property is in the custom properties list on the properties tabe of the Confirm Machine Request page

Create single and/or multi-machine blueprints

Create a build profile

  • Build profiles can be used to organize commonly used custom properties ino build profiles so that Tenant Administrators and Business Group Managers can include them in blueprints
  • Build profiles are available to all tenants
  • Build profiles are available to all tenants
  • You can add custom properties individually or load them from property sets
  • To create a build profile, log in as a Fabric Administrator
    • Select Infrastructure > Blueprints > Build Profiles
    • Click Add
    • Enter a name and description
    • Add custom properties individually
      • Click new property
      • Enter a name and a value
      • If required select encrypted to encrypt the property in the database
      • If required select prompt user
      • Click save
    • Add custom properties from a property set
      • Select a property set from the Add from property set drop-down menu
      • Click load
    • Configure custom properties from a property set
      • Click Edit next to the property you wish to configure
      • Enter a value
      • If required select encrypted to encrypt the property in the database
      • If required select prompt user
      • Click save
  • Click OK

Configure appropriate blueprint security

  • When creating a blueprint you can select the Master option which will enable the blueprint to be copied and edited by Tenant Administrators and Business Group Managers
  • You can also chose whether to share the blueprint across multiple business groups by selecting the Shared Blueprint check box
    • If you deselect shared you must chose a business group to associate the blueprint with
  • On the actions tab of a blueprint you can chose to enable or disable machine options to further restrict the actions that can be carried out on resource provisioned from the blueprint
  • From the actions tab you can also enable and disable Snapshots and the ability to reconfigure the provisioned resource

Configure approvals for a blueprint

  • To create approvals for a blueprint it must first be published and assigned to a service in the service catalog
  • The service or catalog item must then be associated with an entitlement
  • Approval policies can then be assigned from within this entitlement
  • An approval policy can be assigned to
    • A Service
    • A Catalog Item
    • A Resource Action
  • This is done by Tenant Administrators or Business Group Managers
    • Login in to the vRA web console
    • Select Administration > Catalog Management > Entitlements
    • Click on an entitlement
    • Select the Items & Approvals tab
    • Assign a policy by selecting the down arrow next to the service, catalog item or action and click Modify Policy
    • Chose a policy to assign from the Modify this Policy drop-down menu

Given a scenario, determine the appropriate custom properties for the blueprint or build profile

Objective 6.2: Create and Manage Service Catalog Items

Create services, actions, entitlements and approval policies

Services

  • To create a service, log in as a Tenant Administrator or a Service Architect
    • Select Administration > Catalog Management > Services
    • Click Add
    • Enter a name and description
    • Add an Icon if required
    • Select a status from the status drop-down menu
      • Inactive – draft & cannot be published to the catalog
      • Active – Service can be published to the catalog
    • If required, configure information to display to users
      • Select availability of support from the Hours drop-down menu
      • Enter the service owner in the Owner text box
      • Enter the name of the person or group in charge of the service in the Support Team text box
      • Select a Change Window time frame
    • Click Add

Actions

  • To create an action login as a Service Architect
  • If the actions will create an object that needs to be managed in vRA ensure that the appropriate custom resource has been configured
    • Select Advanced Service Designer > Resource Actions
    • Select Add
    • Select a vRO workflow to associate with the action from tree
    • Click Next
    • Map the input resource types and input parameters
    • Click Next
    • Enter workflow details
      • Name and description
      • If required select hide catalog request information page
      • If required enter a version
    • Select the type of resource action
      • Provisioning – The action will create a managed object in vRA
      • Disposal – The action will dispose of a managed object in vRA
    • Target criteria
      • Always available – The resource action is always available, providing that there is an appropriate entitlement
      • Available based on conditions – The resource action is only available when certain conditions are met
    • Click Next
    • If required, edit the Actions form
    • Click Add
    • Publish the resource action
  • Configure an entitlement to include the new action

Entitlements

  • Tenant Administrators and Business Group Managers can create and manage entitlements
  • Entitlements are used to manage user and group access to
    • Services
    • Catalog Items
    • Resource Actions
  • Also used to assign approval policies
  • Create an entitlement by selecting
    • Administration > Catalog Management > Entitlement
    • Click Add
    • Enter a name and description
    • Select an expiry date if required
  • Select the status from the status drop-down box
    • Draft
    • Active
    • Users only have access to items listed in the entitlement when it is active
  • Select the business group for the entitlement from the business group drop-down menu
  • Add a user or a group
    • The user you enter must be in the business group it is associated with

Approval Policies

  • Tenant Administrators and Approval Administrators cam create approval policies
  • To create an approval policy, start by Specifying approval information
    • Select > Administration > Approval Policies
    • Click Add
    • Select Approval policy type from the Policy Type drop-down menu
    • Click OK
    • Enter a name and description
    • Select status of the policy from the status drop-down menu
      • Draft – Saves the approval policy in an editable state
      • Active – Saves the approval policy in a read-only state that can be used in an entitlement
      • Inactive – Saves the approval policy in a read-only state that you cannot use in an entitlement until you active the policy
  • Create an approval level
    • On the pre approval or post approval tab click add
    • Enter a name and description
    • Select a manual approval requirement
      • Always required – Manual approval is always required
      • Required based on conditions – Manual approval is required based on the conditions you select from the Clause drop-down
    • Select the approvers
      • Specific Users and Groups – Enter a user or a group name in the Search text box
      • Determine approvers from the request – select the approvers from the Value drop-down menu
    • Indicate who must approve the request or action
      • Anyone can approve – any one of the approvers can approve the request
      • All must approve – Each of the approvers must approve the request
    • Click add twice
  • Configure an Approval form
    • Allows approvers to change values of system properties for machine resource settings such as CPU, Lease or Memory and custom properties
    • Custom properties you add to the approval form overwrite any other instances of that custom property
    • On the Pre Approval or Post Approval tab select a policy that is in the Draft state
      • Click the approval form tab
      • Select system properties you want the approver to configure during approval
      • Add a custom property you want the approver to configure during approval
      • Add a custom property you want the approver to configure during approval
        • Multiple custom properties can be select and removed concurrently
        • Click Add
        • Type the value
        • Click Add
      • Click Add again to complete the configuration

Configure catalog items and actions

  • Service Architects, Tenant Administrators and Business Group Managers can define new catalog items and publish them to the service catalog
  • Tenant Administrators or Business Group Managers can manage the presentation of catalog items and entitle them to customers
  • A catalog item is defined in a blueprint
  • Verify that you have at least one blueprint published
  • Select Administration > Catalog Management > Catalog Items
    • Select the catalog item to configure
    • Click configure
    • Enter a description
    • Chose an icon
    • Select the status of the catalog item
      • Active – Catalog item appears in the service catalog and entitled users can request it
      • Inactive – The catalog item does not appear in the service catalog and users cannot request it
    • Select a service from the service drop-down menu
    • If required, select new and noteworthy
    • View entitlements associated with the item by clicking the entitlements tab
    • Click update

Understand the implications of activating and inactivating entitlements

  • When an entitlement is active a user will be able to see the catalog items and services they are entitled to in the service catalog. They will be able to request the catalog items and perform any request or immediate action on the provisioned items
  • When an entitlement is set to inactive users will be unable to see service or catalog items that were included in the entitlement
  • They will be unable to perform any request or immediate actions that may have been configured in the entitlement
  • If the user has already deployed a resource they will still be able to view the details of the machine but will not be able to perform any actions on it
  • They will however be able to perform snapshots providing that this is enabled in the blueprint

Objective 6.3: Create and Manage Service Catalog Blueprints

Create and edit service blueprints

  • Service Architects can create and edit service blueprints
  • To create a service blueprint
    • Select Advanced Services > Service Blueprints
    • Click Add
    • Select a vRealize Orchestrator workflow
    • Click next
    • Enter a name and optionally a description
      • Name and description fields are prepopulated from the corresponding fields in the vRO workflow
    • Select Hide catalog request information page if you do not want to prompt the user to enter a description and reason
    • By default service blueprints are mapped to the vRO workflows presentation
      • Elements can be edited, rearranged and deleted
      • You can also add new elements by dragging and dropping items on the form
    • Select an output parameter from the drop-down menu. You can chose from:
      • A custom resource that you previously created
      • No provisioning
    • Click Add
  • To edit an existing service blueprint
    • Select Advanced Service > Service Blueprints
    • Select a service blueprint and click edit
    • You are able to edit the form layout and provisioning type

Add new service blueprint forms and define appearance of catalog item details

  • When creating or editing a service blueprint the following options are available to you:
    • Add a form
      • When adding a form, click the new form icon next to the form icon and fill in the details
    • Edit a form
      • Click the edit icon next to the form name
    • Delete a form
      • Click the delete icon next to the form name
    • Add a form page
      • Click the new page icon next to the form page name
    • Delete a form page
      • Click the delete icon next to the form name and click OK
    • Add an element to the form page
      • Drag and drop elements from the new fields pane on the left
    • Edit an element
      • Click the edit icon next to the element that you want to change
    • Delete an element
      • Click the delete icon next to the element you wish to delete

Determine roles required to create and manage service blueprints

  • It is the job of a Service Architect to create and publish service blueprints as catalog items
  • Tenant Administrators or Business Group Managers can entitle users to the catalog items by creating entitlements

Publish a service blueprint as a catalog item

  • Service Architects can publish service blueprints as a catalog item
  • To publish a service blueprint
    • Select Advanced Services > Service Blueprints
    • Select a service blueprint and click publish
    • The status of the service blueprint changes to Published
    • To view the new catalog item
      • Select Administration > Catalog Management > Catalog Items

Objective 6.4: Create and manage a Property Dictionary

Describe functions of property definitions

  • A property definition contains an associated property control type and optionally a property attribute which defines it’s behavior
  • After you create a property you can add attributes based on it’s control type
  • Checkbox
    • HelpText
    • OrderIndex
  • DateTimeEdit
    • HelpText
    • OrderIndex
  • DropDownList
    • HelpText
    • OrderIndex
    • Relationship
    • ValueExpresion
    • ValueList
  • Integer
    • HelpText
    • OrderIndex
    • Interval
    • MinValue
    • MaxValue
  • Label
    • HelpText
    • OrderIndex
  • Link
    • OrderIndex

Create and manage property definitions and layouts

  • To  create a property definition, login as a Fabric Administrator
    • Select Infrastructure > Blueprints > Property Dictionary
    • Click New Property Definition
    • Enter a name & description
    • Select a control type
    • Select required if the machine owner needs to specify a value
    • Click save
  • Once the property definition has been created you can add property attributes
  • To create a property layout, login as a fabric administrator
    • Infrastructure > Blueprints > Property Dictionary
    • Click New property Layout
    • Enter a layout name (Name will be added to the build profile or blueprint)
    • Click Save
    • Click edit in the property instances column
    • Decide on the ordering of your properties

Determine rights required to use property definitions and layouts

  • The Fabric Administrator creates property definitions and layouts
  • A Tenant Administrator or business group manager can add properties to blueprints or build profiles

Objective 6.5: Create and Manage Build Profiles

Create and modify a build profile

  • To create a build profile, login as a Fabric Administrator
    • Select Infrastructure > Blueprints > Build Profiles
    • Click Add
    • Enter a name and description
    • Add a new property by clicking New Property
      • Enter the Name
      • Enter the Value
      • If required, select encrypted and/or prompt user
        • Any value you provide for the custom property will be presented to the user as default
      • Click Save
    • If required, you can import a property set in to the build profile
      • Select the property set from the Add from property set drop-down
      • Click Load
      • The imported values can be edited
  • Tenant administrators and business group managers can now select the build profile and include it in their blueprints

Create and modify a property set

  • Property sets are available to Fabric Administrators of all tenants
  • To create a property set, start by creating an XML document in the following format:

  • Once the XML file has been created a Fabric Administrator can upload the property set to vRA
    • Select Infrastructure > Blueprints > Build Profiles
    • Click Manage Property Sets
    • Click browse and select the XML file
    • Enter a name and description
    • Click OK
  • Once uploaded a property set can be deleted or disabled

Add property sets to a build profile

  • Log in as a Fabric Administrator
    • Select Infrastructure > Blueprints > Build Profiles
    • Click Add
    • Enter a name and description
    • Select a property set from the Add from property-set drop-down menu
    • Click load
    • If required, you can edit the values or each property
    • Click save

Objective 6.6: Create Custom Services using Advanced Service Designer

Describe vRealize Automation API extensibility options

  • vRA offers a public REST API which enables users to perform custom or scripted tasks against services
  • vRealize Orchestrator can be integrated with a vRA deployment
  • Can use the vRO HTTP-Plugin to consume the vRA API
  • You can use the REST-API to call vRA services from existing applications such as
    • ServiceNow
    • PMG
    • Remedy
    • Homegrown

Create and manage custom service and service blueprints

  • Covered in Objective 6.3

Describe tools and features for vRealize Automation extensions

  • CloudUtil
    • View and manage DEMs
    • Upload and manage files in the model manager
    • Create custom operations in the model manager
    • Install skills in the model manager
    • Manage customizable workflows in the model manage as well as skills associated to workflows
    • Import virtual machines in to a vRA deployment
  • Advanced Services Designer
    • Can create service blueprints from vRealize Orchestrator workflows to provide XaaS
    • The blueprints can be published as catalog items, assigned to services and then entitled to users
  • vRealize Orchestrator
    • Can be used to extend Machine Life cycle workflows
      • vRA plugins must be installed and configured if using an external vRO
    • Has an open plugin framework which enables users to provided many services through the vRA portal
  • vCloud Automation Center Designer
    • Can be used to edit workflow stubs and extend the machine life cycle
    • Steps can be added to:
      • Run PowerShell scripts (provided that they have been uploaded with cloudutil)
      • Launch vRO workflows (endpoint must be present)
      • Create custom properties
      • Define custom logic in the WFstub
  • Does the visual studio extension still exist?