Category Archives: VMware

All things related to my work at VMware

Integrating vRealize Orchestrator with … IFTT !

This blog post explains in detail an example I worked out for the vRealize Orchestrator mini-workshop I have been teaching in the Benelux Summer School. If you did not attend and need an introduction to Orchestrator, have a look at my Orchestrator resources mindmap. I especially recommend the free video course to get you started ! If you do not immediately have an environment to try this out, I recommend you use the Hands-on Labs. HOL-SDC-1421, for example, has a complete Orchestrator environment. Click the Start menu, VMware to find the Orchestrator client.

Intro.

IFTTT (“If-This-Then-That”) is a simple but very effective programming system for everyone on the web. For free ! You get “channels” to interact with a service, like Instagram or Philips Hue lights, there are tons of possible channels. With a “Do recipe” you can quickly create your own interaction. An “If recipe” runs in the background and automates stuff for you. I have for example a recipe I use all the time: when I see an interesting tweet I want to save (I use Evernote religously) I just favorite it. An If recipe then automatically stores it in Evernote. With content sorted in certain fields.favorite_tweet_recipe

Admins are always looking to have easy alerting in case of problems on smart phones, pagers,… How cool would it be to interface anything that lives in vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) with IFTTT ? You can send alerts to Android or iOS native notifications, or change your Hue lights to red if you have a performance problem, or… whatever you can come up with.

IFTTT  now comes with a channel to basically interface anything that has a REST API interface: Maker channel. It can receive messages on a trigger or send web requests. And did I mention all of this is free ?

Connect_Maker_to_hundreds_of_apps_-_IFTTT

Building it.

So I thought it would be cool for the workshop to build a workflow that sends notifications to my iPhone from vRO. You can enhance this to send any notification, like SNMP alerts using the SNMP module. What we need to do is:

  1. Build an IF recipe in IFTTT that always listens to vRO sending a POST request to the Maker channel API interface.
  2. Register IFTTT as a RESTHost in our Orchestrator inventory.
  3. Register the POST action in Orchestrator as a RESTOperation.
  4. Use the “Invoke REST operation” workflow in your own workflow.

There are of course several ways to do this. You could write everything in one scriptable action in javascript. I think however that leveraging the inventory in Orchestrator is key to easy management of your resources and readability of your workflows. You can see if a REST Host or vCenter server is online in your environment separately from your workflows. That is a big advantage. Also if you use these resources in your workflows, as inputs for example, it gives you a bullet-proof way to select only viable resources, like a vRA IaaS server.

IF Recipe.

You need to activate the Maker channel in IFTTT to get a personal key and do REST calls.

Connect_Maker_to_hundreds_of_apps_-_IFTTT

I am sending events called “vCO” to recognize things coming from vCO, so you need to create a recipe that triggers on those messages and passes them along. I send them to iOS notifications.

vCO_recipe

Register IFTTT as RESTHost.

As said I registered the Maker channel IFTTT host in Orchestrator as a REST host. There is a workflow to do this called “Add a REST host” in Library/HTTP-REST/configuration. The REST library is installed by default in vRealize Orchestrator, so you just provide the right parameters. In my case I need a proxy to get out on the internet.

vCO_-_resthost_IFTTT

Register POST action.

In the same way we added a REST host to vCO, we add a REST operation to that host with the name VCOevent, using the workflow “Add a REST operation”. You recognize the URL template as the url string I have to send to IFTTT with  my personal key, “vCO” trigger and one parameter. You can of course use other events and more parameters and change the text.

vCOevent_IFTTT

vCO Workflow for IFTTT.

My worflow now consists of one embedded workflow “Invoke REST operation”. You can download it here, import it in your Orchestrator and adapt it for your own use. The REST operation/host has a default value in attributes as defined previously. I only have to pass a parameter. In Orchestrator an extremely handy tool is visual binding, which helps you see how parameters link from one module to the next.

IFTTT_Rest_operation

Usage.

Now if you run the workflow a message will magically appear on my iPhone ! Note that the Orchestrator client is great for debugging: each time you run a workflow a token is created with logs. You can check that the workflow ran and that the status code for the REST operation is 200 if successful.

vCAC_6_2_UK_demo_-_EMEA_Sandbox

And of course on your iphone you get a notification:

IFTTT-iphone screen

Cool hum ? Can you imagine some useful interactions ? Sending vRealize Operations smart alerts to your iPhone ? vCenter errors ? Let me know in the comments if you adapted this for your use. Enjoy !

vRealize Orchestrator resources mindmap

As promised in the “vRealize Orchestrator mini workshop”  I am running in the VMware Benelux and Netherlands Summer schools, I publish here a resource mindmap to learn about vRO. It is a pdf file with clickable links, view below  or download here.

In a next post I will publish the IFTTT workflow.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://bitstream.geenrits.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/vRO-info.pdf”]

My session on vROps 6 at #vmugbe tomorrow

I am happy that my session proposal got accepted last minute for the VMUG meeting tomorrow in Antwerpen. Here is the proposal:

vRealize Operations: A few ins and a lot of outs.

 vRealize Operations v6 has been out six months now. Apart from a name change, there have been a lot of changes under the hood and in the GUI and the product is rapidly evolving to a full management platform.

 In this session we will look at the new architecture and how to use it to your advantage. New dashboards and navigation are on the menu, as are smart alerts: we will spend a lot of time going over this new concept in vROps. And the icing on the cake is some API interaction, even from your iPad ! 

Expect some slides, a lot of talk and a lot of demo !

If you have not registered yet, you should really hurry to the VMUG website. There will be some rock stars presenting such as Joe Baguley, our EMEA CTO, and Scott Lowe, who came over especially from the NSBU Office of the CTO.

VMware’s CTO Ambassador program

Late Friday night I got the news I was waiting for for months… I got elected on the CTO Ambassador program for the 2015 -2017 tenure ! I am really happy since this will allow me to do more of the work I love, like blogging for you !

In my own words the CTOA are the link between R&D and the field, enabling colleagues and customers about our technology and – equally important – bringing feedback from the field back to the engineers. Since blogging is of course one of the mechanisms to do that, expect to read more here !

The official mission of the program is:

The goal of VMware’s CTO Ambassador (CTOA) program is twofold –

To drive better awareness and understanding of our strategy, products, product roadmaps and best practices across our field, partners and customers.
To improve, and drive better and more relevant products through providing direct feedback and ideas into R&D, acting as an aggregator and proxy for our field, partners and customers.

I hope I will finally visit our main campus in Palo Alto for the CTOA conference this summer ! And hopefully I will also visit our R&D conference RADIO…

vRealize Automation OpenStack Havana plugin 1.0.0

We announced an extension pack to manage OpenStack Havana endpoints with vRealize Automation v6.2. Without it you can only manage Grizzly releases. What is good about this is that we now need to only update a plugin to manage a new OpenStack release, not update vR A itself. From the announcement:

The vRealize Automation OpenStack extension package enables vRealize Automation 6.2 to manage an open source OpenStack cloud computing software platform. This extension package is written to support OpenStack Grizzly and Havana release versions via consumption of OpenStack REST API (v2 and v1). Following is the list of capabilities of OpenStack extension package:

Nova – OpenStack Computer Service

  • List all instances (servers) of their OpenStack project (tenant)
  • Create new instance (server) with all required and optional resources
    – networks, security groups (firewalls), image, flavor (hardware configuration) and post-creation script/file.
  • Delete existing instance
  • List flavors
  • Resize/reboot/rebuild instance
  • Start, stop, pause, unpause, suspend, resume instance
  • Create an image from running instance (snapshot of instance)
  • List, create and edit security groups (firewalls)
  • Create/import/delete/list key pairs (SSH keys)
  • Associate/dissociate floating IP to/from instance
  • Get instance console  

Neutron/Quantum – OpenStack Networking Service

·         List public and private networks

Glance – OpenStack Image Service

  • List all images

Download Details:

Download Landing Page

https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/vrealize-automation-openstack-havana-plugin

Documentation

https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/vrealize-automation-openstack-havana-plugin/files/20751

Monitor any OpenStack Icehouse implementation with vR Ops

The management packs keep coming after the announcement of vR Ops 6 last week. The latest one today is very interesting, since it allows you to monitor any OpenStack Icehouse implementation. Including the beta of our own VIO. (note this beta is now closed).

vRealize Operations Management Pack for OpenStack 1.0 is now GA and live on VMware Solution Exchange.

What’s new?

This management pack is the most advanced management pack to date and truly unique in its capabilities. It provides the most comprehensive set of operations management capabilities for OpenStack available today. Including the ability to manage OpenStack Cloud controllers, performance and capacity of OpenStack infrastructure, and advanced tenant focused troubleshooting.

The management pack can tie together data from several sources including vSphere, NSX, Hyperic, and Log Insight. Providing correlation across these data sources and launching in context to the relevant details for a given object. The management pack also works across any OpenStack icehouse distribution, including the current beta of the VMware Integrated OpenStack product. It is available for any vRealize Operations Advanced edition customer.

Download from VMware Solution Exchange: https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/management-pack-for-openstack-1-0

New management pack for NSX in vR Ops 6 !

Today we announced a new management pack for NSX-vSphere and NSX Multi-hypervisor. This is good stuff as we are now able to manage end to end and include networking data in vRealize Operations Manager. It is a free download, from the announcement:

The vR Ops Management Pack for NSX-vSphere 2.0 and vR Ops Management pack for NSX-MH 1.0 extends the operational management capabilities of vRealize Operations 6.0 into the areas of virtual and physical data center networking. It provides the following operations capabilities for virtual infrastructure administrators and network operations administrators, in highly virtualized network environments:

  • Embedded dependency rules of both logical and physical networking relationships for problem alerting and root-cause problem solving. This includes detection and alerting of NSX configuration, connectivity, and health problems. All alerts are consolidated into a vRealize Operations Manager alert interface.
  • Search and drill down functions for obtaining the operations health of deployed NSX objects.
  • Extension of the core vRealize Operations Manager health and risk analytics engine for the inclusion of NSX object key performance and health indicators.
  • Visibility of all NSX components including NSX manager, NSX controllers. Several different pre-defined vRealize Operations widgets are leveraged for representing NSX services.

Details of the release and the management pack can be downloaded from below links on VMware Solution Exchange:

 

vRealize Suite 6.0 refresh cloud operations details

Right on cue as promised we announced a lot of important new versions in the vRealize Suite for cloud operations. I will list here a reference to all documentation and download sites. cloud automation in a separate update.

In this post:

vRealize Operations Manager 6.0. This is the big one we were all waiting for !

What’s New:

  • New resilient architecture
  • Unified user interface
  • Smart Alerts
  • Enhanced reporting
  • Flexible capacity models
  • Custom policies
  • Unified storage visibility

Download Landing Page.

Documentation Landing Page.

Release Notes.

vR_Ops_6_unified_interface

vRealize Hyperic 5.8.4.

What’s new?

Hyperic 5.8.4 is a maintenance release with major and minor bug fixes.

In addition to general issue fixing, the following changes have been made in vCenter Hyperic 5.8.4.

  • Non-English languages are supported for Windows operating systems.
  • JRE version 7u71 is supported.
  • Several updates have been made to some of the plug-ins

Download Landing Page.

Documentation Landing Page.

Release Notes.

We are pleased to announce the General Availability of vRealize Configuration Manager (VCM) 5.7.3,  a key part of the VMware vRealize Operations Management Suite that automates configuration management across virtual, physical and cloud environments.

Organizations can use VCM to continuously audit the configurations of VMware infrastructure (including VMware ESX®, ESXi™, vCenter, vCloud® Director™ and vCloud® Networking and Security) as well as Windows, Linux and UNIX operating systems. Configuration compliance can be maintained against internal standards, security best practices, vendor hardening guidelines, and even regulatory mandates.

This release delivers critical enhancements requested by our customers, field and PSO teams to improve vSphere support, speed time to value, and extend capabilities for OS configuration management.

Highlights of this release include:

 

  • Updated Platform Support for the VCM Collector
  • Installation of the Collector and SQL Server components on Windows Server 2012 and 2012R2 is now supported
  • Existing installations of VCM can be upgraded or migrated to Windows Server 2012 or 2012R2 as part of the installation process for 5.7.3
  • Added Support for New Versions of Client Platforms
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
    • CentOS 7
    • Oracle Enterprise Linux 7
    • vSphere 6 Ready
  • VCM 5.7.3 will support vSphere 6 upon its release
  • Support for older versions of vSphere is unchanged in VCM 5.7.3 (vSphere 4.0U1 and later)

Product Information and download pages.

Docs landing page.

Release notes.

Installation guide.

VMware vRealize Log Insight 2.5.0 is now GA and live on www.vmware.com.

What’s new?

This release introduces several new features in all areas of the product. Some key innovations and enhancements are:

  • Event Trends Analyser
  • Role-Based Access Control
  • Integration with vRealize Operations Manager 6.0
  • Log Insight Forwarder
  • Integrated Load Balancer
  • Built-In Content Packs
  • Internationalisation
  • New vRealize Log Insight Linux Agent
  • Contextual Log Browsing for Events
  • Several Usability, Performance and Security Improvements

Download Landing Page.

Documentation Landing Page.

Release Notes.

new product names matrix

You  may have noticed that since VMworld we use some new product names for our management products. Since I have renamed the tags on my blog here accordingly, I wanted to give you a little table of transition here. What’s in a name you might say, well actually quite a lot since we rationalised things and put some more logic in. Things I explain in my presentations is that the new vRealize Operations has no obligatory link to VMware vCenter anymore, so it would be silly to still call it vCenter Operations Manager…

spock

 

old name new name on premise new name SaaS version
vCloud Hybrid Service vCloud Air
vCenter Operations Manager (vC Ops) vRealize Operations (vR Ops) vRealize Air Operations
vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) vRealize Automation (vR A) vRealize Air Automation
ITBM vRealize Business

Please also note that our public cloud service changed names to vCloud Air. And … you see of course that we have SaaS versions in the pipeline. These will live in vCloud Air but can also be used to manage your private cloud. A first tool not in the table is in beta, namely vCloud Air Compliance, a tool to perform the compliance part of vCenter Configuration Manager without local installation !

There is also a vRealize suite which contains Operations, Automation and Business. The difference with vCloud Suite is that vRealize is positioned for hybrid environments with multiple hypervisors and external cloud services. It is licensed per OSI (operating system instance). More info here.