vRealize Automation 7.0 Install Guide

This post will walk through the installation of vRealize Automation v7 in a minimal deployment, whilst the process is very similar to that of an enterprise deployment the latter requires additional planning and design based on your own environment and additional instances deploying to create a distributed solution for production workloads.

Architecture

There are two deployment types for vRealize Automation v7. A minimal deployment is a single appliance and single Windows server containing the IaaS components. This is intended for proof of concept or dev environments, you can protect the management services by adding them to a highly available cluster made up of a minimum of 3 ESXi hosts, however this deployment model should not be used for production workloads.

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An enterprise deployment consists of multiple appliances and typically multiple Windows servers to form a distributed, load balanced and highly available environment. For assistance with planning the architecture of an enterprise deployment you should review the vRealize Automation 7 Documentation Centre in detail.

enterprisedeployment

In terms of the vRealize appliance, the following services are now consolidated into a single instance:

  • vRealize Automation core services
  • vPostgress database
  • Embedded vRealize Orchestrator instance
  • vIDM (virtual identity manager)

In both deployment models management agents are used to register IaaS nodes with the vRealize Automation appliance to automate the install of IaaS components. This includes:

  • IaaS Website
  • Model Manager
  • vCAC Manager Service
  • Distributed Execution Managers
  • vRA Automation Agents
  • IaaS database (can also be external)

Prerequisites

The vRealize Automation appliance comes as a preconfigured OVA that is deployed to your existing vCenter server, it requires the following:

  • Components are identified by FQDN and as such DNS must be in place to resolve host names.
  • A service account should be used for the installation which has administrative access to vCenter.
  • Timekeeping must use a consistent source to ensure synchronisation across the vRealize Automation appliance, IaaS server and external database servers.
  • For minimal deployments the installer generates self-signed certificates. For enterprise deployments you can use an internal or external CA, multi-use wildcard certificates are supported.
  • The appliance needs 4 vCPU, 18 GB RAM and 60 GB disk for small active directories (under 25,000 users to be synced). For large active directories (over 25,000 users to be synced) the appliance needs 22 GB RAM.
  • vRealize Automation uses port 443 for communication but there are a number of other ports which should be open if you have firewalls between the management and database servers in your environment.

The IaaS components are installed on a separate physical or virtual Windows machine, the requirements are:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows 2012 R2 operating system.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2.
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 or 3.0.
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5.
  • Java JRE 1.7 64 bit or above.
  • A service account should be used for installation which has administrative access on the Windows server.
  • Resource requirements for the IaaS components are 2 vCPU, 8 GB RAM and 30 GB disk.
  • For minimal deployments the installer generates self-signed certificates. For enterprise deployments obtain a multi-use certificate from an internal or external CA that your web client trusts.

The database can be on the same server as the IaaS components or an external database, the requirements are:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 / SP2 or SQL Server 2014 SP1.
  • SQL server must be configured on the default port of 1433.
  • TCP/IP protocol for SQL Server must be enabled.
  • If you use the IaaS server as a database server then you should also factor in additional SQL resource.
  • The Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator service must be enabled on all IaaS Windows servers and SQL Server nodes.

The software versions listed above may change based on product updates and as such before proceeding you should check the vRealize Automation Support Matrix.

Deploy the vRealize Automation Appliance

The first step is to download and deploy the vRealize Automation appliance. If you are entitled to download vRA you will see this listed in your myvmware.com downloads portal. If you are unable to download vRA speak to your account manager.

download

Download the OVA file and deploy this to your existing vCenter server. Follow the OVF deployment wizard and give your appliance a unique name in accordance with the naming convention of your organisation. You will configure network settings and a root password. Select power on after deployment or manually power on the appliance once it has been deployed.

Re-initiate Install Wizard

The installation wizard starts the first time anyone logs into the vRealize Automation appliance on port 5480. If the installation wizard was cancelled you can restart the wizard by completing the following steps:

  • Enable SSH under the Admin tab.
  • Use an SSH client to connect to the vRealize Appliance, log in as root.
  • Run vcac-vami installation-wizard.This command changes the start_wizard = false value to start_wizard = true in the /etc/vcac/vami.ini file.

Installation Process

Open a web browser and connect to https:\\:5480. Where is the fully qualified domain name configured during deployment of the vRealize Automation appliance. In a minimal deployment it simplifies things to run the vRA installation wizard from the Windows machine that will become the IaaS server.

Log in with the root account. The vRealize Automation installation wizard welcome page appears, click Next.

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Accept the license terms and click Next. Select the deployment type, ensure Install Infrastructure as a Service is selected and click Next. The deployment type I will be using for the purpose of this install is minimal deployment.

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If you are running the install wizard from the Windows machine that will become the IaaS server then on the Installation Prerequisites page click vCAC-IaaSManagementAgent-Setup.msi. Save and run the downloaded file.

If you are running the install wizard from a separate client then save the msi file and copy it to the the Windows machine that will become the IaaS server, run the installer from there.

Alternatively log in to the Windows machine that will become the IaaS server and browse to https:\\:5480/installer. Where is the fully qualified domain name of your vRA appliance. Click vCAC-IaaSManagementAgent-Setup.msi, save and then run the downloaded file.

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On the vRealize Automation management agent installation window click Next to proceed. Accept the license terms and confirm the installation destination folder. In the vRA appliance address field enter https:\\:5480. Where is the fully qualified domain name of your vRA appliance.

Enter the root username and password configured during deployment of your vRA appliance. Click Load to load the SHA1 fingerprint and tick I confirm the fingerprint matches the Management Site Service SSL certificate, click Next.

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Enter the IaaS service account details and click Next and Install.

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Once the install is complete click Finish and return to the vRealize Automation install wizard. Configure the time server and click Next. On the prerequisite checker click Run.

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The wizard will now run the pre-installation checks, this may take a few minutes. Once complete and the status shows a green tick click Next. Attend to any discrepancies and make sure you have taken into consideration all the prerequisites listed above.

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In the vRealize Automation host screen enter the FQDN of your vRealize Automation appliance, click Next.

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Enter a password for the vRealize Automation administrator account, make sure you note down this password. At the time of writing passwords containing special characters, although accepted, may cause failures when performing operations later in vRealize Automation. Avoid using double quotation marks, commas, equals, blank spaces and non ASCII or extended ASCII characters.

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Enter the FQDN of the IaaS server and the username and password. The username should be in the format of DOMAIN\username. Enter a security passphrase, if you are installing a distributed environment this should be the same passphrase across all components. The security passphrase cannot be recovered so make sure you have recorded it, then click Next.

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Enter the SQL Server details and click Next.

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The Distributed Execution Managers page will be auto-populated as it picks up our single IaaS instance we installed earlier. Click Next.

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Likewise the Agents screen will also be auto-populated with our IaaS server.  Note the Endpoint field, you may want to change this from the default name to something easily identifiable if you intend on connecting vRealize Automation to multiple vCenter servers. All other options should be auto-populated, if these aren’t filled in go back and check your IaaS server installation, firewall and network connectivity of the server.

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Since we are using the minimal deployment model the appliance will self-generate an SSL certificate. Enter the requested details and click Save Generated Certificate, then click Next. On the Web Certificate page ensure Keep Existing is selected and click Next. Accept the default manager service certificate and click Next.

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On the Validation page click Validate to validate the installation settings and prerequisites.

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The validation process can take up to 30 minutes, once complete click Next.

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Skip the create snapshots message by clicking Next. The installation process can now commence, click Install.

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Once the installer has completed click Next to finalise the setup.

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Enter your vRealize Automation license key and click Next.

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Choose whether to participate in the customer experience improvement program and click Next. Click Finish on the installation wizard completion page.

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The installation is now complete and you can log into the vRealize Automation web interface using the IaaS web address and administrator account, both configured during the installation wizard.

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Once the components are installed there is further work to do to configure your environment. This post is the first in a series on vRealize Automation 7, subsequent links will be posted here at a later date.

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