vRealize AutomationYou may think you know Blueprint creation but this part differs a bit from a traditional blueprint in vRealize Automation. Normally in vRealize Automation, a single blueprint is created, published and added to the Catalog. The provisioning of vCloud Air workloads is a bit different, here we need to create a blueprint that includes the component (virtual machine) and another blueprint that includes this component, makes it into a vApp and enables publishing, etc. Much like a multi-machine Blueprint but now for a single machine workload.

The reason for this is that underneath the hood vCloud Air is basically a vCloud Air environment and vCloud Air workloads are presented as vApps. A VMware vApp is a collection of pre-configured virtual machines that combine applications with the operating systems that they require. vApps allow disparate virtual machines to work together in a stack as a single application, and support cloud computing architectures.

Let’s start by explaining the concepts of vCloud Air and how it maps to vRealize Automation.

vCloud Air Concepts

vApp – A compound object composed of one or more machines that vRealize Automation can provision and manage as a single entity. A vCloud Director or vCloud Air vApp is provisioned by a vApp (vCloud) blueprint, which is composed of vApp Component (vCloud) blueprints. vApps are containers for component machines. vRealize Automation extends the vApp to add additional life cycle management features.

vApp (vCloud) Blueprint – A blueprint that defines a vCloud Air vApp.
A vApp blueprint must specify a vApp template from which to clone a vApp and one or more virtual machines in vCloud Director. A blueprint in vRealize Automation that is specific to a business group is analogous to a template that is part of an organization’s catalog. Global blueprints are analogous to templates in a public catalog.

vApp Component (vCloud) Blueprint – A machine blueprint that is part of a vCloud Director or vCloud Air vApp. A vApp Component (vCloud) blueprint is referenced by a vApp (vCloud) blueprint.

vApp Component Machine – A machine that is managed in vRealize Automation as part of a vCloud Air vApp. A vApp can include multiple component machines provisioned using the same vApp component blueprint or different vApp component blueprints. A component machine is managed through its vApp and as an individual machine in vRealize Automation.

How to configure vCloud Air Blueprints

First thing to do is to configure a new vApp Component(vCloud) Blueprint. To do this, go to ‘Infrastructure’, select ‘Blueprint’ and then ‘Blueprints’. Now add a new Blueprint by selecting ‘New Blueprint’ on the top right. Select ‘Cloud‘, next ‘vApp Component (Cloud)‘.

vApp-Blueprint2

On the ‘Build Information tab‘ provide the information about the new vApp Component Blueprint. To make a clear distinction between vApp Component Blueprints and vApp Blueprints I always add ‘component’ to the name (total name: ‘CentOS component’ in this case). On the second ‘Build Information tab’ you only have the option to clone an existing virtual machine with the vAppCloneWorkflow as the provisioning workflow. Select the template virtual machine to clone from. You can use your own templates or use the ones in the public catalog. Add the remaining provisioning information and save the blueprint.

vApp-Blueprint3

You do not need to publish this blueprint like your used to. This is done later.

Now it’s time for the part where the blueprint to provision a vCloud Air workload differs from a regular Blueprint. You need to add a second Blueprint which more or less encapsulates the vApp Component (vCloud) Blueprint as a vApp. Again, select ‘New Blueprint’ in the top right, select ‘Cloud‘ and select ‘vApp (Cloud)‘.

vApp-Blueprint1

On the first ‘Build Information tab’ provide the information about the new vApp Blueprint. Here I used the same name as in the previous steps without the ‘component’ add-on. On the second ‘Build Information‘ tab again choose the ‘Clone from’ option and select a catalog from your vCloud Air instance. This will be the vApp stored in vCloud Air. Next we have to select the vApp Component Blueprint, we created earlier, that maps to this blueprint. In the Blueprint column of the Components table, select the vApp component we just created. This is done so that the vCloud Air vApp can be customized with additional settings like the number of network interfaces, storage devices, etc.

vApp-Blueprint4

When you’re done, you can publish this vApp (vCloud) Blueprint to the Catalog and add the appropriate entitlements. When you’ve done this you can request this Blueprint from the vRealize Automation Catalog and provision vCloud Air workloads, like shown below.

vApp-Blueprint5

Welcome to the hybrid cloud!


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