At day one of VMworld 2018 the latest on update on vRealize Automation was announced. Version 7.5 is the latest version of vRA and includes some interesting enhancements. Let’s have a look at the latest updates in vRA 7.5, VMware’s cloud management & automation solution. Notice that vRA 7.5 is not yet GA, so you have to wait a little longer for the download…
vRA 7.5 now uses the Clarity UI
Starting with version 7.5, vRA will now also use the Clarity User Interface. I think this is a great improvement; the first screen captures look indeed very promising.
Catalog items in the vRA catalog will now presented as cards, including some enhanced filtering/searching capabilities at the top of the screen. The interface looks similar to the interface of the new VMware Cloud Assembly SaaS offering.
The requests tab of vRA will be replaced with a deployments tab, that combines the requests and items tab from pre vRA 7.5 into one screen.
I guess this will take some time to get used to it. The attentive reader will notice this new interface also has a lot of similarities with the interface of Cloud Assembly. Read more about Cloud Assembly here.
A last screen capture of the new request history screen, that gives an overview of the initial deployment and day 2 operations:
vRA Service Now Plugin
VMware now provides a new, free vRA plugin for Service Now. In this scenario Service Now acts as the portal for customers. ServiceNow users can now request IaaS services based on vRA entitlements. It’s integrated with SSO (ADFS) and authenticated with VMware vIDM, the identity manager of vRA. vSphere, AWS, Azure and XaaS blueprints are all supported.
Native Ansible integration
Of course you know about the native Puppet plugin for vRealize Automation, with 7.5 Ansible is also available as a native integration. Well…native? You will still need the SovLabs Ansible plugin and a separate license. After you’ve installed and configured the plugin, the Ansible integration will be available in the blueprint designer:
You can dynamically select Ansible job templates, including playbooks for application configuration.
Note you will need vRealize Automation Enterprise to leverage this new Ansible integration (BTW, the Enterprise license is also needed for the Puppet integration). I think that’s a bit weird, because the SovLabs Ansible plugin will work with vRA Advanced as detailed here.
vRealize Operations integration
The vRealize Automation integration with vRealize Operations (vRops) has also improved with vRA 7.5. You can now see some alerting at the deployment level as well as various Key Performance Indicators like CPU, memory, IOPS and network for VMs that are deployed with vRA. Another integration is about workload placement, both initial placement as optimization of your workloads leveraging vRops is supported. vROps builds an optimization plan — taking vRA policies into account — and vRA executes the plan, ensuring that internal metadata is updated
NSX-T is now supported with vRA 7.5. Key features are:
- On-Demand Routed Network
- On-Demand NAT
- On-Demand Load Balancer
- Existing NS Groups (Security Groups)
- App Isolation
- Day2: Change Security, Change NAT Rule
You can deploy compute, networking, security, and LB from a single Blueprint just like with NSX-V.
There’s full integration of NSX-T into SDDC Stack, and vRA supports NSX-V and NSX-T in same vRA Instance.
Pivotal Container Service
Pivotal Container Service, or PKS, is now a fully supported endpoint in vRealize Automation. This means you can connect PKS to vRA, and vRA will discover available clusters. It’s possible to discovery existing clusters and bring them under the management of vRA 7.5
Public Cloud Enhancements
In regards to public cloud vRA now supports managed disk support, Azure Gov Cloud and Azure Germany. vRealize Suite is now fully certified with VMware Cloud on AWS.
That’s it, stay tuned for updates from VMworld 2018!