Press "Enter" to skip to content

Service Broker– VMware Cloud Automation Services Part 2

My previous post was focused around Cloud Assembly and a general overview of VMware’s New automation offerings and how they fit together.

Today I am having a closer look at Service Broker.

Service Broker is in a crude vRA analogy the catalog/entitlement part of the picture. This is where you can offer up the blueprints that were created in Cloud Assembly as a catalog item with a nice custom form and governance wrapped around it.
But it does not stop there, one thing I get asked a lot is how long until you(VMware) will support a new AWS feature or New Azure feature, or we have existing CFT’s or Azure ARM templates that we want to consume. Service broker solves this problem, Service Broker will allow you to surface up for example CFT templates as catalog items and wrap a form around them to be consumed by the rest of your organisation in secure and governed way.

CFT’s, ARM Templates and Terraform templates are great for Admins and or Devs but they are not good for self service and governance. Service Broker will be that umbrella over the top allowing you to use existing IP and access cloud features and functionality the day they become available… Very exciting stuff!!

So lets take a look at Service Broker in it’s current form today.
First page in we can see our catalog, looks very similar to the new catalog tab in vRA 7.5 right?

Lets now go through the motions of adding some items.
1) We select Content Sources -> New
2) Select the Type currently only Blueprints and AWS CFT’s (more are coming)
3) Give it a Name and Description
4) From which project do you want to be the blueprint source
5) Validate
6) Save & Import

Now we can see the new content source and the number of items is 2/2 this means there is 2 blueprints and both have synced successfully.
But why 2?

I actually have much more than 2 blueprints in Cloud Assembly. If we go back to Cloud Assembly and look at my blueprints in the below image.

We notice the far right column, and release versions. It will only bring in the blueprints that you have released. If we select a blueprint and look at the versions we can release or un-release versions.

So now we know why there is only 2 available lets jump back into Service Broker.
Even though we have added these 2 blueprints they will not be available in the catalog. We need to now share these blueprints. To do this we:
1) Select Content Sharing
2) Select the project to share with (I will chose my own)
3) Click add Items and select the content source
4) Click save

If we now browse to the catalog we can now see my blueprints, woohoo

Lets request one and have a look. I will use the etcd item. As you can see from the image below we have a basic form with the standard inputs the blueprint requires, with the enum values (drop down) coming through to the form.

Now lets improve the form a little.
1) Select Content
2) Select the item you want to modify the form for
3) Click customize form

Now we will see a familiar screen to those who know vRA, the custom forms is almost identical. I will do a simple change here and add an image, as shown below. Those familiar with my other posts on custom forms HERE, HERE and HERE it all works the same way so I will not be putting much effort into this one 🙂

Now we have a “prettier” form, images make everything better right?

And that’s really it. There is still much work to go into Service Broker, more technologies to add and more granular controls and governance., costings etc. Really excited to see what is in store for Service Broker.



  1. Ryan Ghavidel
    Ryan Ghavidel December 2, 2018

    Hi Scott,
    Good as always you have been. but I could not understand these products portfolio, let’s say vRA is going to be replaced,for instance?

    • Scott Norris
      Scott Norris December 2, 2018

      Hey Ryan,

      Cheers for the great feedback, the CAS product portfolio is the new generation of Cloud Management and Automation platform built net new from the ground up. but in saying that vRA is not being replaced. in a previous post I highlight how the to products stand currently and where they will be.

      Basically vRA8 will be an on premise version of Cloud Assembly and Service Broker it will have the same code base as CAS.
      Organisations that currently have vRA licensing and Support can migrate(update) and anyone looking at a CMP platform will be able to choose SaaS version or on premise version or both if the need arises. with 7.5 you can already see UI and features syncing between the two.

      Hope that clears it up a little


  2. Ryan Ghavidel
    Ryan Ghavidel December 3, 2018

    Thanks Scott.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti SPAM BOT Question * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.