Configuring vRealize Automation with vRealize Log Insight

In this post we will walk through integrating vRealize Automation with vRealize Log Insight to monitor and collect events for the vRA management stack. The following example we will be based on vRealize 7.3 with Log Insight 4.5, but the process has been validated with vRealize 7.x and Log Insight 4.x. If you do not already have Log Insight installed see the vRealize Log Insight Install Guide, if you are also using NSX see the NSX with Log Insight Integration Guide.

The configuration process consists of installing the management pack for Log Insight, installing the Log Insight agent on the Windows components, configuring the built-in Log Insight agent on the vRealize Automation appliances, and creating Log Insight templates and filters to gather the required information.

Management Pack Installation

Browse to the IP address or FQDN of the Log Insight instance and log in using the admin account. From the drop-down menu in the top right select Content Packs and Marketplace. Locate VMware – vRA 7 and click Install.

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The management pack is now installed, review the Setup Instructions and click Ok.

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Log Insight Agent Installation

From the drop-down menu in the top right again, select Administration. Under Management open the Agents page.

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Select Download Log Insight Agent. Select the Windows MSI and copy the file to the Windows servers in the vRA management stack, in this case the IaaS Web and Manager servers, DEM, and Agent servers.

  • Right click and Install the file.
  • Accept the license terms and click Next.
  • Confirm the Log Insight server is auto-populated and click Next.
  • The install will now run. Click Finish once complete.

Go back to the Agents page in the Log Insight web interface. You should see the servers start populating the detected agents table. Next we’ll configure the built-in Log Insight agent on the vRA appliances. If you need to re-install or upgrade the built-in agent see this KB.

Open an SSH connection to the vRA appliance using an SSH client such as Putty. If SSH is not enabled on the appliance you can configure this by browsing to https://yourappliance:5480 and enabling SSH under the Admin tab.

Browse to the correct location cd /etc

View the liagent configuration file more liagent.ini

Edit the file, press the insert key to start typing vi liagent.ini

Remove the semi-colon that is commenting out the hostname, protocol, and port lines. Enter the hostname of the Log Insight instance, leave the protocol and ports with the default settings. To save and exit the file use :wq

Restart the Log Insight service service liagentd restart

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Log Insight Configuration

Log back in to the Log Insight web UI. Now that the agents are all installed or configured you should see the corresponding servers populating the agents table under Administration, Management, Agents.

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Click the drop-down arrow next to All Agents. Locate the vRealize Automation 7 – Windows template and click Copy Template. In the filter field add the Windows servers running vRA components with the Log Insight agent installed. Scroll down to the Agent Configuration and review the build settings if you want to configure specific event collections or if you need to change the default install path for vRA. Click Save New Group.

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Locate the vRealize Automation 7 – Linux template and click Copy Template. Repeat the process this time adding the vRA appliances to the configuration. Once complete you should have templates configured to monitor all servers in the vRA management stack.

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Go back to Dashboards. Under VMware – vRA 7 you will start to see events being collected by Log Insight.

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Removing a vCenter Endpoint from vRA 7.x

This post will walk through the process of removing a vCenter Endpoint from vRA 7.3. Before beginning it is a good idea to take a backup of the vRA database, and snapshot the vRA management stack. Ensure there are no existing virtual machines provisioned to the vCenter Endpoint we are removing. A reservation cannot be removed while virtual machines are assigned to it. Log into the vRA tenant web portal. You can check existing virtual machines from the Infrastructure tab under Managed Machines using the Reservation filter. Still on the Infrastructure tab, from the navigation pane on the left hand side select Reservations, Reservations. Select and Delete any reservations using compute resources associated with the vCenter Endpoint.

The next step is to remove the compute resources. Download the vRealize CloudClient here, at the time of writing the latest version is 4.4.0. Extract the contents to a Windows machine with access to the vRA management stack. In this example I am using one of the IaaS web servers. From an elevated command prompt run the VMware_vRealize_CloudClient-4.4.0-5511232\bin\cloudclient.bat file and accept the EULA. The first thing we will do for ease of use is to create an auto login file using login autologinfile and close down Cloud Client.

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In the root directory of the extracted folder a file is created called CloudClient.properties. Open the file with notepad and enter the FQDN or IP address of the vRA appliance and IaaS load balance name in the appropriate fields, along with administrator credentials for both.

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Open back up the VMware_vRealize_CloudClient-4.4.0-5511232\bin\cloudclient.bat file in an elevated command prompt, by default the auto login file will be used. Accept any certificate warnings when prompted.

When using Cloud Client you can tab out to see available commands. We’ll need the following:

vra computeresource list displays a list of compute resources

vra computeresource inactive list displays a list of inactive compute resources

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At this stage before actually deleting the compute resources we need to stop the VMware vCloud Automation Center Agent service on the vRA Agent servers.

vra computeresource inactive remove removes the listed inactive compute resources

continue confirms deletion of the compute resources

agents stopped confirms agents are stopped, at this point the compute resources will be removed

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Go back into the vRA tenant web UI, from the Infrastructure tab check in Compute Resources, or Endpoints, Fabric Groups. Click the fabric group previously containing the compute resources, they have now been removed.

The final step is to remove the endpoint, this can be done in the web UI under Infrastructure, Endpoints, Endpoints. Select the endpoint and click Delete. Alternatively the endpoint can be removed from Cloud Client using vra endpoint remove --id <endpoint> where <endpoint> is the endpoint name. Remember to remove the CloudClient.properties auto login file.

Adding Custom Resource Actions for vRA 7.x

This post will walk through adding a resource action for vRealize Automation 7.x, mapped to a custom vRO workflow. The steps below assume that the vRO instance has been integrated with vRA.

Log into the vRealize Automation portal as a user with service architect permissions. From the Design tab select XaaS and Resource Actions. Any existing resource actions are listed. Click New.

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Map the resource action to the relevant vRO workflow. In this example I am using a workflow that adds a virtual machine to a backup job. You can use any workflow that has been configured to accept an input parameter from a vRA item. For this particular case we are using the VC:VirtualMachine parameter which passes the virtual machine provisioned by vRA.

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If not already populated select the relevant input mappings. In this case the resource type is IaaS VC Virtual Machine, the input parameter matches up with the parameter configured in the vRO workflow (whatever you have named it, vmObj here), and this maps to the VC:VirtualMachine orchestrator type.

If your vRO parameter does not have a corresponding mapping already in vRA or ready to be imported into vRA then you can create a new / custom resource mapping in the Resource Mappings page.

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Enter a name and description for the resource action. Configure the remaining settings as appropriate, you have the option to set a provisioning or disposal type (leave blank if neither) and have the action always available or only when a certain criteria is met.

If you un-select the hide catalog request information page the user is prompted for a description and reason for requesting the resource action.

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Once you have completed the details page click Next.

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Edit the form to represent how you want the action to be displayed to users. Most of this configuration should be obtained from the vRO workflow so you may not need to make changes here. Click Finish.

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The new resource action is now listed as a draft. To start using the action select it and click Publish.

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Now select the Administration tab and Catalog Management. Open the Actions page, the new resource action we created should now be displayed.

If you want to change the icon of the resource action you can do so by selection the action and clicking Configure. There are a number of useful vRA icons available here, including sample icons for day 2 actions. In my example I am unable to update the icon which seems to be an issue with custom actions created in vRA 7.2; resolved in 7.3 as per this KB article.

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The next step is to assign our custom action to an entitlement. Open the Entitlements page and select the relevant entitlement. Click the Items & Approvals tab, under Entitled Actions click the green plus symbol. Locate the new resource action and select the check box to add it to the entitled actions. Click Ok and Finish.

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To confirm the configuration has worked browse to the Items tab and select Machines. Any virtual machines that have the custom resource action added to the entitlement will show the new action in the drop-down Actions menu.

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When I select the new action I am presented with the action form as per the design canvas we saw earlier. In this example I select the backup job from the drop-down list of jobs that my vRO workflow has pulled from the backup server, and click Submit. The VC:VirtualMachine parameter is then passed through to the next stage of the workflow, which adds machine to the selected backup job.

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