With the launch of vRealize Automation 7 VMware introduced the brand new converged blueprint designer. The converged blueprint designer enables you to create single or multi machine/service blueprints using an interactive design canvas.
You can drop different types of items on the canvas. The items on the canvas can have interaction with each other. In the example you see three virtual machines that are connected to two different (NATed) networks.
The design canvas looks a bit like the vApp designer that came with vCloud Director and is nowadays available in vCloud Air (which is based on vCloud Director). Because of this, I expected that a vRA converged blueprint is translated to a vApp in vCloud Air (or vCloud Director). Unfortunately, this is not the case as I learned today after a chat with Marco of vmbaggum.nl.
Due to majors changes in the vCloud Director / vCloud Air support in vRA, it is not supported to perform an in-place upgrade. The vApps in vRA 7.0 are no longer treated as vApp but as single machine vApps. Because of this, not only do blueprint and catalog items need to be updated but also managed vApps and any catalog concepts that are specific to the vApp type, including the requests and approvals (source).
Let’s have a closer look at how this works out in a blueprint that includes two vCloud Air virtual machines:
The converged blueprint in this second example contains two vCloud Air (vCA) virtual machines. The blueprint doesn’t contain any network, because you cannot connect vCA virtual machines to networks that are placed on the canvas (as with vSphere VMs). You can connect a vCA virtual machine to a vCA network using custom properties though, but not directly through the canvas. The vRA documentation states:
Non-vSphere machine components do not have a Network or Security tab. You can add network and security options to non-vSphere machine components in the blueprint design canvas by using custom properties (source).
The network tab is required to configure the connection to one of the networks that’s dropped onto the canvas. You can use the custom property VirtualMachine.Network0.name for this, and link a pull down box to this property containing the names of the available virtual networks in vCloud Air. If you check the “Show in Request” checkbox for the custom property, a pull down menu will show up in the request displaying available networks that you have configured as a property definition.
With vRA 7 you can configure a property definitions per tenant, the option is available under Administration->Property Definitions. I’ve included an example on how a property definition for this particular case may look:
The request form for this multi-machine blueprint will look something like this:
The pull-down box in this example comes from the property definition that was created in the previous step.
You can select a network for each virtual machine in the multi-machine blueprint, using the different request forms that are part of the blueprint. This particular deployment results in two different vApps, each containing one virtual machine connected to a different organization network (192.168.1.0/24 and 192.168.2.0/24).
A quick peek in the vCloud Director interface of vCA revealed two different vApps and VMs, each directly connected to another organizational network.
So, the blueprint/vApp structure is really a construct of vRealize Automation and not configured in vCloud Air anymore.
I hope this was helpful. You can leave your comments below.