vRealize Automation 7 Management Pack for vRealize Operations

If you’re an SDDC administrator, you probably already know about the power and operational visibility that vRealize Operations brings to your environment. With the newly-released vRealize Automation 7 Management Pack for vRealize Operations, that operational visibility can be extended to be tenant-aware and help monitor your vRA environment in a whole new way.

This new Management Pack gives you comprehensive visibility into both performance and capacity metrics of a vRA tenant’s business groups and underlying cloud infrastructure. By combining these new metrics with the custom dashboarding capabilities of vRealize Operations, you gain an unprecedented level of flexibility and insight when monitoring these complex environments.

The purpose of this post is to walk you through the implementation of this new Management Pack – so, let’s get right to it.

You can download the Management Pack from the VMware Solution Exchange here.

Part 1: Enabling vROps as your Metrics Provider

First, let’s review what you’ll see before you integrate vRA and vROps. Looking at the details of any deployed item, you can see the highlighted white space – space that can definitely be put to more productive use.

Item_Details_Before_Integration

Assuming you’re logged in as a vRA Tenant Administrator, click on the Administration tab, then the Reclamation button in the menu at the left. Select Metrics Provider and you’ll see the configuration panel for the vROps endpoint. Fill in the appropriate details for your vROps instance and click Test Connection. Once it succeeds, click Save.

Set_Up_Metrics_Provider

You will probably be prompted to accept the SSL certificate offered up by your vROps instance. Click OK to accept the certificate, provided you trust it!

Accept_vROps_Cert

Now, if you click on the Tenant Machines option to the left, you’ll be presented with a list of all of your provisioned machines. You can see that now there’s a Health status badge for each machine. In my case, the Health is reporting an “Immediate” (orange) status for many of my virtual machines, due to very heavy utilization in my lab. You can also see the average CPU, Memory and Network consumption for each machine – data pulled directly from vROps. This consumption data can be used directly from within this view to initiate reclamation requests. For example, if a VM was identified here as idle, the VM owner could be notified and the resources recovered.

Tenant_Machines_View

Click back to the Items tab and view the same object you looked at earlier. You will see that the white space now contains a vROps-driven Health badge, with information about any possible issues. When you’re ready, log out of your vRA instance.

Item_Details_After_Integration

Part 2: Configuring vRealize Automation

You’ll need to log in as  the default administrator for this next step – administrator@vsphere.local

Log_In_vRA_Default_Administrator

Click on the Administration tab, followed by the Tenants menu button at the left. Locate the Tenant that you plan to link vROps to and Edit it. In this example, I am modifying the vsphere.local Tenant.

Locate_Target_Tenant

Now, select the Local Users tab. Click the +New button to add a new user and fill in the requested details. In this case, my new username is “vropsmp” – and since we are creating this local user in the vsphere.local tenant, the full account is “vropsmp@vsphere.local“. Click OK and then Next.

Add_New_Local_User

This will place you on the Administrators tab. Using the Search boxes, find and add your new local account to both the Tenant Administrators and the IaaS Administrators role. Click Finish when you’re done, and then Log Out of vRA.

Assign_Tenant_Rights

Now you’ll need to log back in as your normal vRA Tenant Administrator to finish the configuration.

Log_In_vRA_Tenant_Admin

Click the Infrastructure tab, then Endpoints from the menu on the left. Select Fabric Groups from the sub-menu and then click to edit your Fabric Group. In this example, the Fabric Group is named Dev Cluster.

Navigate_To_Fabric_Groups

Search for and add your new local user to the list of Fabric Administrators. Remember, in this example the user is named vropsmp@vsphere.local. Click OK to save the Fabric Group.

Edit_Fabric_Group

Now, click on the Administration tab, followed by Users & Groups from  the menu on the left. Select the Directory Users and Groups sub-menu and search for your new local user. Click the user’s name to edit it.

Navigate_To_Directory_Users

In the list to the right titled “Add roles to this User“, scroll down until you find the Software Architect role. Select it and then click Finish to save the account.

Assign_Software_Architect_Role

Part 3: Configuring vRealize Operations

Once you’ve downloaded the new Management Pack (again, found here) you’ll need to import it into vROps and configure it to retrieve data from vRA.

Log in to vROps with an administrative user account.

Log_In_vROps

Click on the Administration tab, and ensure Solutions is selected. Click the + symbol to import a new Solution.

Import_New_Solution

Click the Browse button to select the downloaded Management Pack, then click Upload.

NOTE! If you already had the earlier vROps Management Pack for vRA installed, you may have to do a “force install” by selecting the first checkbox. This is because the version number scheme was changed, and vROps recognizes the NEW MP as being an OLDER version. This is normal, if a bit cumbersome.

Click Next when the upload is verified and you are ready to proceed.

Upload_New_Solution

Accept the EULA (after reading it carefully first, of course) and click Next again.

Accept_EULA

The installation will run for a while. When it shows “Completed”, click Finish.

Complete_Installation

Locate the new Management Pack in the list of Solutions and highlight it. Click the Configure icon (gears) to bring up the configuration dialog. Fill in a Display Name and Description as well as your vRA URL and the name of the Tenant you want to connect to. In this example, the Tenant is vsphere.local. Click the + sign to start setting up credentials next.

Configure_Solution_Basics

Fill in the credential details as shown – your SysAdmin should be the administrator@vsphere.local administrative account, and your SuperUser will be the local user you created at the beginning of these steps. In this example, that local user is vropsmp@vsphere.local. Click OK when you’re done.

Manage_Credential

Click the ‘Test Connection‘ button. You’ll be prompted with two SSL certificate dialogs – accept them both, if you trust the certificates. You see two because the Management Pack is communicating with both your core vRA appliance as well as your IaaS server(s).

Test_Connection_Accept_Cert_1

Accept_Cert_2

If you’ve set everything up properly, you’ll see a message like this one. Click OK.

Test_Successful

Click on Save Settings to save your adapter configuration. You’ll be prompted with a “Save Successful” dialog – click OK here as well – then click Close.

Save_Solution_Settings

If everything’s gone according to plan, you should now see that your Management Pack is configured and receiving data from your vRA instance.

Solution_Details

Part 4: Reviewing Dashboards

Now that all of the configuration is complete, you’re ready to start consuming the rich data exposed by your new integration. Click on the Home tab in vROps, followed by the drop-down arrow for the Dashboard List. Hover over the vRealize Automation sub-menu to see the 4 available default  dashboards.

Navigate_To_vRA_Dashboards

The vRealize Automation Overview dashboard shows information about the entire vRA instance – including component health and a whole host of metrics about each individual component of the instance. This is useful for troubleshooting and analyzing performance across your entire implementation of the vRA stack.

vRealize_Automation_Overview

The vR Automation Tenant Overview dashboard provides exactly that – an overview of the various risk and health metrics pertinent to each configured vRA Tenant.

vR_Automation_Tenant_Overview

The vR Automation Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring dashboard allows you to see what impact infrastructure issues are having on tenant virtual machines, and what outstanding alerts may be present for those machines and infrastructure.

vR_Automation_Cloud_Infrastructure_Monitoring

Finally, the vR Automation Top-N Dashboard provides highlight Top-N metrics, such as the most popular Blueprints, most wasteful Tenants, the Business Group with the most alerts, etc.

vR_Automation_Top-N_Dashboard

And, of course, all of the objects which are exposed by the Management Pack can be viewed in the vRealize Automation Environment view. These objects can all be referenced by Super Metrics, or custom dashboards, or scheduled reports – but those are all beyond the scope of this guide.

vRealize_Automation_Environment

That just about wraps it up – except, of course, for the most important part…

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Happy Automating!