Today VMware announced the long awaited new version of their cloud management product vRealize Automation 7 (vRA7). This new release, previously known under codename Bellatrix, is a major overhaul and includes many new features and enhancements.

vRealize Automation 7 Architecture

First of all, vRealize Automation got a whole new architecture moving the first functionality from .NET/Windows to CAFE, so native in the vRealize Appliance. The new vRealize Automation appliance now includes Ochestrator (extensibility), Blueprint Designer, reservations and business groups.

In vRealize Automation 6.x a fully distributed high available installation consisted of eight virtual machines. Two instances of each of the following:

  • vRealize Automation Appliance.
  • vRealize Orchestrator.
  • Identity appliance or SSO.
  • vRealize Automation IaaS server.

In vRealize Automation 7 this got a lot easier. The new vRealize Automation 7 appliance now includes vRealize Automation core services, vPostgress database, Embedded vRealize Orchestrator instance and the virtual IDentity Manager (vIDM).

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To enable high availability for these components you simply install a second instance. So for a fully distributed high availability installation you only need two virtual appliances.

vRealize Automation 7 Installation

The installation of vRealize Automation has not always been one of the strongest points of the product. But now with vRealize Automation 7, VMware completely revamped installation process. Everything starts with the deployment of a single vRealize Automation appliance. After that, it’s a wizard driven installation supported by agents which locates the other installation candidates. The new management-agents need to be pre-installed on the Windows (.net) servers which are being used for the vRealize Automation environment.

Installation types

In the installation wizard you can select two different installation types:

  • Simple Install – wizard-driven walk through for installing vRA in a monolithic (non-distributed) instance
  • Enterprise Install – wizard-driven walk through for installation all components in a distributed, highly-available vRA instance.

DeploymentType

The minimal installation can be used for a test or POC like environment with only one vRealize Automation Appliance and one Windows server. So no redundancy and not suitable for production. The Enterprise installation is a fully distributed installation which advises users on load balancing, the creation and placement of certificates and the creation of the database.

Management agents

Next up are the new Management agents. These agents are used for the Windows component server(s) to communicate with vRealize Automation and Connectivity and it delivers communication between vRealize Automation virtual appliance and the AWS and  vCloud software deployments. You can install the agents by using an install script for all endpoints (vSphere / AWS / vCloud Air).

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The management agents were introduced in vRealize Automation 6.2 to collect logs but they now got an additional function. They enable vRealize Automation to automate the installation of the Windows IaaS components and can be installed via Command Line or UI. Customers can use their traditional software management tools to push out these agents to Windows servers Once deployed you can run the Installation Wizard and execute the Installation.

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