vRealize Automation 8.0 Easy Install

In this post, I will be looking at the vRealize Automation 8 Easy Install deployment option. Since the release of vRealize Automation 7, VMware has been making significant improvements in the vRA deployment process to what we experienced in vCAC 6.x. The vRA 8 Easy Installer provides a step-by-step wizard to deploy vRealize Automation (vRA), Workspace ONE and vRealize Lifecycle Manager (vRLCM). I will be using the Easy Install option to deploy these components.

The vRealize Automation documentation can be found at VMware vRealize Automation Documentation. Ensure you check the vRealize Automation documentation for the latest information and requirements.

Required System Resources

The following table provides details of the system resources required to install vRA, vRLCM and vIDM.

Requirements vRealize Lifecycle Manager Identity Manager vRealize Automation

Total Storage

48 GB

60 GB

222 GB (Single node installation)

Virtual CPU

2

2

2

RAM

6 GB

6 GB

32 GB

System Partition

10 GB

8 GB

50 GB

Data Partition

20 GB

144 GB

Metrics Partition

20 GB

Logs Partition

8 GB

Swap Size

8 GB

6 GB

Tomcat Partition

10 GB

Var Partition

10 GB

db Partition

10 GB

10 GB

Network Requirements

All components within the deployment will require the following network configuration items:

  • Static IP Address (IPv4)
  • Network Mask
  • Default Gateway
  • DNS Server(s)
  • Domain Name
  • NTP Server

Ports and Protocols

VMware has recently released the VMware Port and Protocols site. Please reference this site for details of the vRealize Automation 8.0 Ports and Protocols requirements.

DNS and Host Name Resolution

All components must be able to resolve each other by using a fully qualified domain name (FQDN). A DNS A and PTR entry must exist for all nodes providing forward and reverse name resolution for all nodes.

Installation Overview

Once the pre-requisites are in place, the vRA Easy Installer deployment procedure will follow the high-level steps below:

  • Download the vRealize Automation 8 Easy Installer
  • Access the vRealize Automation Easy Installer
  • Specify appliance deployment parameters
  • Install vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.0
    • Specify vRealize Lifecycle Manager configuration parameters
  • Install VMware Identity Manager 3.3.1
    • Specify Identity Manager configuration parameters
  • Install vRealize Automation 8.0
    • Specify vRealize Automation configuration parameters

vRealize Automation 8.0 Installation

Download the vRealize Automation 8.0 ISO file from My VMware.

Mount the vra-lcm-installer.iso disk image to the local system and navigate to the folder, which is dependant on the operating system you are using:

Operating System

File Path

Windows

lcm-installer\vrlcm-ui-installer\win32\installer.exe

Linux

    1. Login to Linux VM.
    2. Run apt-get install p7zip-full.
    3. Run 7z x vra-lcm-installer.iso.
    4. Run chmod +x vrlcm-ui-installer/lin64/installer
    5. Run apt install libnss3 (required only if libnss3 component is not installed.)
    6. Run vrlcm-ui-installer/lin64/installer.

Mac

vrlcm-ui-installer/mac/Installer/Installer.app

 

After running the appropriate installer file (depending on the OS), the vRealize Easy Installation Wizard will start.

2.6.1

Click Install.

2.6.2

Click Next.

2.6.3

On the End User License Agreement page, select the checkbox for I accept the terms of the license agreement

Optionally select if you would like to join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)

Click Next.

2.6.4

Enter the Appliance Deployment Target information:

  • vCenter Server Hostname
  • HTTPS Port
  • Username
  • Password

Click Next.

2.6.5

Click Accept on the Certificate Warning to continue.

2.6.6

Select the target compute cluster within the vCenter inventory for the deployment of the appliances.

Click Next.

2.6.8

Select the target datastore or datastore cluster for the deployment of the appliances.

Check Enable Thin Disk Mode if would like to enable thin provisioning for the deployment.

Click Next.

2.6.9

Enter the required network configuration.

Click Next.

2.6.10

Enter and confirm a password for the various accounts specified.

Click Next.

2.6.11

Enter the required Lifecycle Manager configuration items.

Click Next.

2.6.12

Enter the required Identity Manager configuration items.

Click Next.

2.6.13

Enter the required vRealize Automation configuration items.

Click Next.

2.6.14

At the Summary page, validate all of the entered information.

Click Submit.

2.6.16

2.6.17

The installation will now progress and complete, assuming there are not any issues, and you will be provided with a screen showing the vRLCM and vRA URLs upon completion.

2.6.19

The vCenter inventory screen shows the Identity Manager, LifeCycle Manager and vRealize Automation appliances have all deployed successfully to the target VM folder specified during Easy Install wizard.

Overall, VMware has made significant advances in simplifying the installation process of vRA 8 over previous releases, and have now updated the vRA architecture and embedded application services into VMware appliances, thus remove the dependency of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft SQL server for the IaaS components.

 

Deploy Embedded PSC with Enhanced Link Mode – Part 1

vSphere 6.7 was released in April 2018 which included many new features and enhancements. Following on from this release, vSphere 6.5 Update 2 was released in May 2018, which included some features from vSphere 6.7. As vSphere 6.7 was released prior to vSphere 6.5 U2, there is not a supported upgrade path from vSphere 6.5 U2 to vSphere 6.7. This should be carefully considered in any implementation or future upgrade plans. I expect there will be a supported upgrade path from vSphere 6.5 U2 to a future minor version release of vSphere 6.7.

vCenter Server 6.5 Update 2 now supports Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) when the vCenter appliance is deployed with an embedded Platform Services Controller (PSC). Previous versions required external PSCs to enable ELM. The VMware KB Supported and deprecated topologies for VMware vSphere 6.5 (2147672) still needs further updates as there is only the following note at the bottom of the article:

Note: With vCenter Server 6.5 Update 2, you can deploy by using the GUI or CLI installer up to 15 vCenter Server Appliance instances in Embedded Linked Mode, and manage these instances with the vSphere Web Client or vSphere Client from any of the instances.

The recommendation from vSphere 6.5 U2 and vSphere 6.7 onwards, is to use Embedded PSCs. The caveat is that this is only for greenfield deployments, there is not a currently supported method to upgrade or migrate from external PSC deployment to an embedded PSC deployment.

Due to an issue with expiring PSC Machine SSL certificates in my homelab and challenges replacing these, I decided to deploy vCenter 6.5 U2 using embedded PSCs. I will be deploying a single SSO domain in a single SSO site. As you will notice during this deployment guide, there is not an option to create another SSO site when joining an existing SSO domain, this is due to SSO sites no longer being required for new deployments.

Please review the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide for full details of the prerequisites and details steps, along with validating product interoperability in your environment by reviewing the VMware Product Interoperability Matrices.

The vCenter 6.5 U2 appliance installation is broken into two stages, the first stage is to deploy a new appliance and the second stage is to complete the new 6.5 U2 appliance setup and configure vCenter Single Sign-On, then start the services of the newly deploy vCenter 6.5 U2 appliance.

I’ll assume you know how to download the required ISOs from the VMware website. I will be deploying the PSC/VCSA topology shown in the image below:

 

2.4.1

Image acknowledgement from VMware blog

Stage 1 – Deploy the new vCenter Server Appliance

In stage 1, I will deploy the OVA file of the vCenter 6.5 U2 appliance. Mount the ISO and navigate to the \vcsa-ui-installer\ directory and then to the required subdirectory for your OS:

  • For Windows OS, go to the win32 subdirectory, and run the installer.exe
  • For Linux OS, go to the lin64 subdirectory, and run the installer
  • For Mac OS, go to the mac subdirectory, and run the Installer.app

I’m running my deployment from a Windows machine so I will run \vcsa-ui-installer\ win32\installer.exe

2.4.2

Select Install from the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 U2 Installer

2.4.3

The introduction provides an overview of the stages required to complete the installation.

Click Next

2.4.4

Select the I accept the terms of the license agreement checkbox

Click Next

2.4.5

Select the vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller radio button

Click Next

2.4.6

Enter the ESXi host FQDN where you would like the new vCSA 6.5 U2 appliance deployed.

Click Next

2.4.7

Click Yes on the Certificate Warning to continue.

2.4.8

Enter the name for the VCSA appliance VM and set a root password.

Click Next

2.4.9

Select the deployment size you would like for your environment. For my home lab, I selected Tiny

Click Next

2.4.10

Select a datastore for the VCSA and if you would like to enable Thin Disk Mode.

Click Next

2.4.11

Now select a network with ephemeral port binding, this is temporary and the new VCSA appliance can be moved to another network after the installation has completed.

Enter the required network configuration.

Click Next

2.4.12

Review the summary on the Ready to complete stage 1 page, verify the settings and then click Finish

2.4.13

Once the deployment has completed, click Continue to progress to Stage 2. If you close, you can continue with Stage 2 by navigating to the VAMI of the newly deployed vCenter Server appliance, https://vmatestlab01.testlab.com:5480

I will continue with the VCSA appliance configuration and SSO setup in Deploy Embedded PSC with Enhanced Linked Mode – Part 2.