Get Started with the Management Pack for vRealize Orchestrator 2.0

In another post, I told you all about the great new capabilities featured in this latest version of the Management Pack for vRealize Orchestrator.  In this post, I will walk you through the process of installation and configuration, including adding your own custom workflows so you can get started using the management pack. Recall that

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In another post, I told you all about the great new capabilities featured in this latest version of the Management Pack for vRealize Orchestrator.  In this post, I will walk you through the process of installation and configuration, including adding your own custom workflows so you can get started using the management pack.

Recall that the requirements include vRealize Operations 7.0vRealize Orchestrator 7.3 – 7.5 are supported, in either the standalone appliance deployment or the embedded installation in vRealize Automation.  In this post, I will use a standalone deployment but there is not a big difference other than setting up the adapter instance.

Also, in this post, I will assume you have already set up vRealize Orchestrator.

Installation Steps

Installation of the management pack is straightforward, especially if you have experience installing a solution or management pack in vRealize Operations.  You can download the management pack from the VMware Marketplace.  The download provides a single file with a “.pak” extension.  This is just an archive of all the content that will be installed:

  • The vRealize Orchestrator adapter
  • Dashboards
  • Alerts, symptoms and recommendations
  • Actions

To begin, log into vRealize Operations product user interface as an administrator.  Navigate to the “Administration” tab, where you will be at the “Solutions” section by default.  Click the green plus icon to add a new solution.

Follow the “Add Solution” wizard steps to import the PAK file you downloaded.  You can ignore the options for “Install the PAK file even if it is already installed” and “Reset Default Content” and once you agree to the license terms you can finish the install.

Once completed, you can then configure the management pack.  Simply select the management pack by clicking on it and then click the gear icon.

In the “Manage Solution” pop-up you will add a new adapter instance by completing the form and saving the settings.  Here’s the information you need for the instance settings:

  • Display Name: This is a friendly name that will appear throughout the product interface, it should be somewhat descriptive.
  • Description: Optional text if you want to add some notes here, like “non-production instance”
  • vRealize Orchestrator Host: This is the IP or FQDN of your Orchestrator instance. If you are using the embedded instance, then this will be the IP or FQDN or you vRealize Automation appliance.
  • Port:
    • For standalone, use 8281
    • For embedded, use 443
  • Auto Discovery: Do you want to automatically discover and import the out-of-the-box workflows that come with the management pack?  These will be added as actions and you will be able to access them from the various resource action menus.  You can always come back and change this later, so no harm in answering true or false right now.
  • Credential: You will need to add a credential for vRealize Orchestrator here.  Using the green plus icon to create a new credential and you will be presented with another pop-up.  Here you simply need to select the type (standalone or embedded) and provide the login credentials.  The account used should be able to run workflows and import packages.

Test the connection and if all is configured correctly, you will get a success message.  You can then click on “Save Settings” to complete the initial configuration.

Behind the Scenes

After you configure the adapter instance, the management pack will import the workflow package that includes the out-of-the-box workflows into the vRealize Orchestrator instance.

Also, if you decided to set Auto Discovery to “true” then the workflows will also be added to the available Actions in vRealize Operations.  You can see these under the “Alerts” tab in the “Alert Settings > Actions” section.  Here I have filtered on Adapter Type: vRealize Orchestrator Adapter…

Notice that a couple of these actions have already been associated with Recommendations.  This brings me to the next step in the configuration.  The management pack includes an alert that will notify you if there are no monitored vCenter Servers configured in vRealize Orchestrator.  If you already use vRealize Orchestrator, chances are you will not see this alert.

The alert recommendation provides an action to set up your vCenter servers to the vSphere vCenter Plug-in inventory in vRealize Orchestrator.  However, I find that it is simpler to a add the vCenter servers from the vRealize Orchestrator workflow “Add a vCenter Server instance” since the inputs are explained there.

Just a note, that you will need to use the Shared Session connection property.  That is, unless you have configured vRealize Orchestrator with SSO authentication.  The workflows will all execute as the user defined in the adapter instance.

Once completed, you can take this management pack out for a test drive.

Once Around the Block

Be aware that the management pack updates any changes you make at the usual 5-minute collection interval, so maybe get yourself a cup of beverage before continuing.

You can validate the configuration is working by browsing to a vSphere resource within vRealize Operations.  The out-of-the-box actions include workflows for virtual machines, host systems, datastores and compute clusters.  For example, if I browse to the Summary page for a host system I can see the actions for vRealize Orchestrator workflows that were added during the configuration above.

You can try one out to see if everything is working – I will use “Manage Snapshots for VM” as an example.  The workflow applies to virtual machines, but when executed at the host or cluster level you are shown all the child VMs and can run the workflow against any or all of them.

“Begin Action” starts the workflow and you can click on the link in the confirmation message to check on the status of the workflow, which navigates you directly to the “Administration” tab for “Recent Tasks”:

Use the refresh icon in the product interface to update the status.  You can see the list of VMs that are associated with the action, as well as the workflow messages.

More to Come

That is the basic install of the management pack and should get you started exploring.  In the next blog post, I will show you how to add your own workflows (and I will even provide a sample workflow for you to use).

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