vRealize Automation 7.3 – Whats New

Hey All,

Looking at vmware.com 7.3 is now Available to download –  https://my.vmware.com/en/web/vmware/info/slug/infrastructure_operations_management/vmware_vrealize_automation/7_3

Below I have listed some of the great changes that have been made, with some comments on each one. St the end I have also included a wish list.

Audit Logging
General Audit Logging improvements  it now covers more components and can be configured to point to a syslog server with configurable retention periods.

Component Profiles
This allows the creation of vSphere machine profiles which includes t-shirt sizing as well as Build configurations such as template used and customisation spec. This will reduce blueprint sprawl in some cases.

Down sides is this is vSphere only and does extend to other endpoints. If you are using software components you would still need to have blueprints per OS type (Windows or Linux).

Shared Access Role
This new role is just support user without the rights to provision on behalf of.

This is a little up the “what the” path. Permissions need a complete overhaul in vRA and this may have been a quick win for a hand full of customers. I have no customers that would see value in this change.

Optimised Placement
This is pretty big, It allows vROps to be added as an endpoint and will provide intelligent placement of workloads based on vROps analytics.

Previously if you had a deployment policy that was assigned to multiple reservations it would just round robin if the priority was the same. Now it will use vROps to determine best placement from those reservations.

vRB Integration

vRB Integration has been improved. 100% of the costings now come from vRB, no costings are derived from vRA, this allows for consistency between vRA and vRB which was always a complaint of mine.
Added bonus, now pricing will update after a day 2 action like reconfiguration, which didn’t happen before, this really annoyed me previously.

Health Service
This is now available though the UI and can run and configure a suite of system and tenant tests on a schedule to make sure the system is running well.

NSX on Demand Loadbalancers
There has been a lot of effort put into NSX in this release. NSX has been bought back into vRA as a native function and does not require vRO NSX plugin. However the plugin can still be used via normal extensibility.

Bellow are the added functionality for NSX load balancers:

  • Blueprint
    • Select all Algorithms
    • Configure Persistence
    • Configure Port
    • Configure Health Monitors
    • Configure Transparent Mode
    • Configure Port Forwarding Rules for NAT
    • Edge High availability
    • Choice in Edge Size
  • Day 2 Actions
    • Change Algorithms
    • Change Persistence
    • Change Port
    • Change Health Monitors
    • Configure Transparent Mode
    • Change Port Forwarding Rules for NAT
    • Add Remove Security Groups and Tags
    • Reconfigure Edge Size

IPAM Vendor Framework
Infoblox is supported out of the box, and can now be used for NAT based networks.

Configuration Management
This is really good, config management tools are a first class citizen, puppet being out of the box and Chief and others following are now consumable via the blueprints.
Can drag and drop config management objects onto the blueprint to dynamically assign roles and config etc.

This also supports day 2 actions to remove or add to a deployment.

Syntax Highlighting
Highlighting is now present in software components. But hopefully NO ONE writing the script in the software component window. Makes reading it easier though.

Container Management
There has been some general improvements, but now supports creation and updating of persistent Docker volumes as well as support for VIC (vSphere Integrated Containers)

Codestream
Codestream is now available to all vRA customers and bundled into vRA at no additional cost.

Vmware Cloud on AWS
Is now supported in vRA (really just another vSphere endpoint)

Azure Support
Azure support was introduced in 7.2 but it was clunky. It is really just using XaaS so vRO is doing the heavy lifting which makes the forms ugly.

In 7.3 there is some improvements on making the form nicer but the biggie is, software components are supported on Azure machines, and I can happily say I was directly involved with making this a reality. But it has one big downside I am not happy about.

It can not use existing software components, it requires new ones that have Azure VM’s as their container type. So if you have 100 software components you now need 200 if you want the same on both azure and vSphere as an example.

Cant win them all!

One a side not the app services agent is used but guagent is not, Azure custom script extension is required for these to work.

Force Destroy
While a small add this is something I have been missing from v6. Stuck deployments can now be forced destroyed. Wooohoo!!

vRO
vRO is vRO and hasn’t changes in 10 years but RBAC is now available in the control center which is slightly handy.

That’s my main list, there is number of bug fixes and other small improvements but for most the above are the highlights.

I am disappointed in the lack of public cloud improvements made. Azure software components really being the only one. Everything is very heavily vSphere centric and personally I don’t think this is the right direction but until the legacy .net components are replaced it would limit what can be done.

Wish List
For  future releases this is what I would like to see:

  • Resume!!! (was in v6 with AppD)
  • Platform agnostic blueprints (was in v6 with AppD)
  • Proper Graphical deployment status (was in v6 with AppD)
  • Teardown execution status (was in v6 with AppD)
  • Being able to bind to the output of XaaS components in a Blueprint
  • Improved AWS support
  • Improved Azure Support
  • Added support for Google Compute
  • Day 2 actions utilizing the App services agent
  • Blueprint and Software component versioning
  • Import or consume blueprints directly from yaml in Git or tfs  etc

add to the comments features you would like to see in vRA.

Cheers

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