vRealize Automation has great integration with NSX to help automate the deployment of networking and security services for applications. Imagine being able to drag and drop NSX virtual networks, routed networks, security groups, security tags, load balancers and more onto a Design canvas to provide a consistent, automated, self provisioned portal for your users or customers. This is now a reality when using both of the solutions together! Here is a teaser screenshot of the drag and drop canvas.
If you want to read more on the integration, please see the vRA and NSX Solution Overview.
The prerequisites for installation are listed below. For a full list of requirements, click here.
- DNS Resolution for FQDN and short name, always use FQDN during installation
- 4 CPUs, 18-22GB of memory, and 60GB of disk space for the vRA appliance
- 2 CPUs, 8GB of memory and 30GB of disk storage for IaaS Windows Server
- Configure Windows IaaS server(s)
Deploying the vRA Appliance
Step 1. Download the vRA Appliance and deploy the vRA OVA.
Step 2. Log into the vRealize Automation Installation to start the wizard by navigating to https://FQDN:5480
Step 3. Select Minimal or Enterprise Deployment type. I am installing in my lab, so I am just using minimal. Be sure to check Install IaaS.
Step 4. Ensure you have configured your IaaS Server(s) per the requirements. I consolidated all servers into one windows box.
Step 5. Install the vRA Management Agent Service on the IaaS box. There is a link in the wizard to access the installation file from the vRA appliance.
Step 6. Once the agent is installed, run the prerequisite checker. I love this new feature in vRA, the agent will actually go through all of the requirements, and if any fail, it will attempt to fix them. In my case, I had failed the IIS Server ASPNET Module, after clicking fix, it resolved this issue. Note: I actually had to click fix twice, the first time the agent fixed a couple of prerequisites except the ASPNET module, and the second time, it fixed the module. I am not sure why it didn’t fix them all at once.
Step 7. Once the IaaS server meets the requirements, you will see the following status.
Step 8. Enter the vRealize Automation Host or FQDN of the virtual appliance.
Step 9. Enter Administrator Credentials for the default tenant account.
Step 10. Enter the IaaS host address, administrator user and password as well as a passphrase for the database.
Step 11. Enter the server name and a database name for the SQL Server.
Step 12. Provide Distributed Execution Manager settings.
Step 13. Specify Agent information.
Step 14. For the next two pages in the wizard specify a certificate for the vRA appliance as well as a web certificate. By default, you can keep the existing, or you can generate or import a new certificate.
Step 15. Click on Validate to move to the next section. The validation took about 30 minutes, just as the wizard pointed out. I did fail a couple of different steps: the Database, Web, and Manager Service.
To resolve the issues, I had to perform the following steps on the IaaS server where SQL was installed.
Navigate to SQL Server Configuration Manager -> SQL Server Network Configuration -> and open the TCP/IP Properties. Scroll to the bottom and ensure that the TCP ports for IPAll is listening on 1433, unless you are using a custom port.
I reran the validation and everything came back clean! The next step just tells you to take a snapshot of the machines (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP). The installation takes a long time, and if anything fails, you want to be able to quickly revert rather than having to clean the server up.
Finally, run the installation. I had a couple different things fail that were resolved by just clicking on Retry Failed. If that doesn’t work, you might have to revert to the previous snapshot and start the installation over. Here is the happy screen telling me everything succeeded!
Now that the installation is done, please see part two of Installing vRealize Automation to start creating and configuring tenants!
vRA Deployment Part 1 – Installing Components
vRA Deployment Part 2 – Configuring Tenants and Users
vRA Deployment Part 3 – Configuring Endpoints
vRA Deployment Part 4 – Creating Fabric and Business Groups
vRA Deployment Part 5 – Creating Reservations and Network Profiles