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Learning vRealize Orchestrator Series – Part 1: Intro to vRO

Hey Hey,

Back again, now as per my usual setup these days I am recording and posting to the virtualiseMe you tube channel. But will be doing a quick overview here, but please see the video for more details. Follow along with the workflow creation if you want. We will build on that and many more throughout the series. I am trying to keep each session short and sweet.

With you being here I am guessing you know what vRO or vRealize Orchestrator is. It was not always known as this. Previously it was vCO or vCenter Orchestrator, it was bundled for free with vSphere 4 and many many people and companies had it not actually knowing they did. Basically the biggest product release no one knew about.
It died a little for a while but has since come back with vengeance with the birth of automation and vRA, VMware’s Cloud Management Platform.
vRA is good, vRA and vRO are a winning combination.

vRO is one of the most widely used orchestration engines and this shows with the 3rd party plugins and support it has. There is litually a plugin for everything from every major vendor which makes integrating multiple technologies a breeze.

Don’t get me wrong while a lot can be done with the workflows supplied by vRO and the plugins you install, they are all generally examples to get you off and running quickly and easily. Some will fall away at scale and most the ootb workflows don’t actually cover everything the plugin is capable off, this requires some scripting expertise and diving into the plugins.

The life blood of vRO. a workflow has 3 different variable types:
Attributes: Are used to store and transfer information between workflow elements.

Inputs: Are only populated at run time by the user or service calling the workflow.

Outputs: Are the outputs of a workflow, these can not be passed into workflow elements.

The scripting language used in vRO workflows is JavaScript, while you can call powershell with the use of powershell hosts. you still require the javascript to do the call in the first place 🙂

Workflows have many sections, the main being the schema, This is where you create the workflow, dragging on different elements, creating an execution path based on destinations, errors or values. We will be seeing a lot more of this in the series.

Workflow elements can bind to all the variable types. this can be easily viewed though the visual binding tab, but can also be manually added and bound through the in and out tabs of a workflow element.

If an element does not exist you can simply drag from the element in or out column and drop it into either “In Attributes”, “In Parameters”, “Out Parameters” or “Out Attributes” or vice versa to create the new variable in that section(This will automatically bind it too.)
Note – Always bind all Parameters even to NULL if required, this will remove validation errors.

Binding wizard appears when you drag and action or a workflow into a workflow. It make it easy to bind to existing or create new parameters required for the object you just dragged in.
The + sign means it will create a new one for you.

until the next part…


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