VMware recently announced the release of vRealize Automation 7.2. This update is jammed packed with new features and enhancements. This post will provide a high level view of what’s included, be sure to check back in the future for more detailed posts on the new features.
The Key Headliners
So lets start with the key headline items. vRealize Automation 7.2 brings some big new features;
Microsoft Azure Endpoint
The first big new feature is support for Microsoft Azure Endpoints. With Hybrid Cloud becoming more important for enterprises this addition is a welcome one. vRealize Automation supports vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services and now Microsoft’s Azure Cloud providing coverage for all major public clouds.
With the new Azure endpoint, Creation of Blueprints containing Azure VM’s, Storage and NICs is now possible for deployment to the Azure cloud. Support for Azure networking such as subnet’s and load balancers is also included. Start, Stop, Restart and Delete actions are available for Azure deployments.
Whilst Client Server Applications, Generation 2 architecture, remain the workhorse of todays data centres the rise of Generation 3 Cloud Native Applications continues. Containers have been around for a while now and are favoured by developers for their ease of use. A key new feature for vRealize Automation 7.2 is Container Management through VMware Admiral Integration.
With this new feature it is possible to provision and manage docker hosts such as Core OS and Photon OS. A user is able to provision and manage Container Hosts and Container Applications with vRealize Automation using the vRealize Automation UI or Docker API. It is possible to discover and manage container hosts and containers using vRealize Automation.
Using the Blueprint canvas it is possible to design traditional Generation 2 applications (VM’s), Generation 3 applications (Containers) and also a hybrid of the two; Generation 2 Applications meets Generation 3 Containers e.g. a multi tier application consisting of Web/App tiers hosted in containers, connected to a Database tier DB, hosted on a VM.
This new feature provides the balance between supporting existing Generation 2 applications and the need to provide support for Containers. It also has the added benefit of supporting a hybrid approach, something that could prove useful for Enterprises transitioning into this space.
Service Now Integration
VMware vRealize Automation 7.2 comes with a built-in plugin to automatically expose Catalog items to the Service Now Portal. This will allow the deployment of machines and also Day 2 actions. Customers requiring this functionality in the past had to invest a lot of time and money into making such an integration work. This feature is available to anyone through the use of an Out of the Box plugin removing the complexity of the integration.
The plugin adds vRealize Automation administrative options with the Service Now admin console. Catalog items and resources are automatically imported into Service Now allowing an entitled user to view and request Catalog Items from within the Service Now Portal. They are then able to perform Day 2 actions on provisioned items within the portal.
The vRealize Automation plugin for Service Now supports both Fuji and Helsinki releases of Service Now.
Further Enhancements and Features
For this release VMware really has been busy! In addition to the above headline features they have included the following updates, features and enhancements;
- Enhanced Installation API – Enabling programmatic install and configuration of vRealize Automation, this allows for the creation of automated deployments
- Enhanced Upgrade API – Enables programmatic upgrades, automatically triggering upgrades of replica nodes following a primary node upgrade
- Migration Improvements – Allows migration from vRealize Automation 6.2.x to a new 7.2 deployment; preserving all groups, blueprints and endpoints with enhanced logging and troubleshooting
- FIPS Compliance – Both the consumer and administrator interfaces are FIPS 140-2 compliant. Disabled by default and managed via the management console
- LDAP Support – Provides Open LDAP support for authentication and Single Sign On
- Elastic Applications – Support for Elastic applications was updated to allow Scale Out and In of XaaS components for; provision, update and destroy.
- Enhanced Load Balancer Functionality – For NSX On Demand Load Balancers support was added to allow the Load Balancer algorithm to be selected. Previously only Round Robin was supported. With vRealize Automation 7.2 Round Robin, IP Hash and LeastConn are supported.
- External IPAM Vendor Framework Extended – Now provides support for NSX On demand routed networks
- New Event Broker Topics – Several new Event Broker topics were added to support enhanced extensibility use cases.
- Reassign Managed Machines – Allows for the Business Group of a single machine to be changed, programmatic support is also provided through the Cloudclient, vRO or API
- UX Entitlements – The ability to add all users to an entitlement or all users from a Business Group to an Entitlement has been added along with the ability to delete and Entitlement after it has been deactivated.
- Action Request Status – The Request Status now reports accurately for supported Day 2 actions
Where to find vRealize Automation 7.2
The VMware vRealize Automation product documentation is found here;
The VMware vRealize Automation product download is found here;