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Upgrade to vRealize Orchestrator 7.5

How to upgrade vRealize Orchestrator 7.4 to vRealize Orchestrator 7.5 or to be more precise… migrate! Since the release of vRealize Orchestrator 7.5 a couple of weeks ago the update/upgrade option with the vamicli and appliance management interface is not available (to my surprise).

A quick introduction to how I got in that situation: In my Home Lab my main vRealize Orchestrator appliance is running version 7.4.0 and is responsible for some day-to-day Orchestration of my multiple environments.

Here is the official VMware statement about the upgrade option in vRealize Orchestrator 7.5. It can be found in the vRealize Orchestrator 7.5 release notes:

You can no longer upgrade to the Orchestrator appliance 7.5, you can only migrate to it.

vRealize Orchestrator 7.5 – Release notes

For the people that are is still running way older versions: Upgrading vRealize Orchestrator Appliance from version 5.5.x to 7.5 is not supported. You must upgrade your vRealize Orchestrator Appliance 5.5.x to 6.0.x first and then migrate to 7.5.

Environment

The following components were running in my environment and have been tested. Note: this part of my Lab environment is not running vRealize Automation. So I have not tested the migration with external vRO nodes in combination with vRealize Automation.

  • A single vCenter Server 6.5.0 Update 2 (with an embedded PSC)
  • A single vRealize Orchestrator 7.4.0 (external)

Scenarios

There are two options available. The first option is moving all data between the old and new vRealize Orchestrator. The second option is to migrate vRealize Orchestrator with the migration wizard. The second option is the one VMware recommends. The first option can be easier in some cases, some advantages are you retain your IP address, hostname and SSL certificates.

Both options are written down on this page.


vRO export data and redeploy

I have chosen for this scenario because this machine is only connected to a vCenter Server and can be reastablished very fast. Another reason is that the current vRO instance has been running since version vRO 7.0 and has been upgraded more than seven times in about 2.5 years. So a new clean install ain’t a bad thing!

Procedure:

  • Create a package in the vRealize Orchestrator Client with all your created workflows, actions and resource elements.
  • Save the package on a save place.
  • Remove the registration from vCenter Server (if they are connected). Workflows “Unregister a vCenter Server extension” & “Remove a vCenter Server instance“.
  • Poweroff the current vRO appliance.
  • Rename the appliance to %vm-name%.old (for example).
  • Deploy a new vRealize Orchestrator Appliance on the same IP address and FQDN.
  • Upgrade the virtual hardware.
  • Walkthrough the vRealize Orchestrator configuration wizard.
  • (Optional) install the SSL certificates.
  • Import the package.
  • Register with vCenter Server. Workflows “Add a vCenter Server instance” & “Register vCenter Orchestrator as a vCenter Server Extension“.

Screenshot(s):

vRealize Orchestrator 7.5 - Old and New
The old and new vRealize Orchestrator appliances inside the vSphere Web Client.


vRO Migration

The migration path is performed in the following way (the official documentation is extensive, the link is listed below). The migration is a good option for an Orchestrator that is connected to a lot of extensibility and has a lot of plugins installed. The biggest issue for me was the new IP address, FQDN and new certificates required.

Note: Migrations with vRealize Orchestrator Clusters are not described here. There are a couple of small items you need to check in the migration manual.

Prerequisites:

  • Your source Orchestrator is running at least version 6.X.
  • Make sure no workflows are running.
  • Stop the Orchestrator services on the source Orchestrator.
  • Make sure SSH is enabled on both the source and destination Orchestrator.
  • Make sure no firewall is blocking traffic for the migration.
  • Create backups from the source and destination Orchestrator.

Procedure:

  • Register a new vRealize Orchestrator appliance in your IPAM solution.
  • Deploy a new vRealize Orchestrator next to the currently running.
  • Upgrade Virtual Machine Hardware
  • Power-on the vRealize Orchestrator appliance.
  • (Optional) Install new SSL Certificates.
  • Navigate with a browser to the Appliance Management interface (https://%FQDN%:5480).
  • Login with the root credentials.
  • Navigate to the migrate tab.
  • Insert the required information.
  • Start the validate and start the migration.

Source: Migrating vRealize Orchestrator – vRealize Orchestrator 7.5

Screenshot(s):

The Migrate Tab in the Appliance Management Interface
The Migrate Tab in the Appliance Management Interface

Note

Do not forget to configure and/or check the following items after a upgrade or migration:

  • Timezone configuration (Appliance Mangement Interface)
  • NTP server configuration (Appliance Management Interface)

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vRO Master Class Livefire Experience

This week we (Vincent van Vierzen and myself) attended the vRO Master Class that was offered to us by our employee ITQ. It is a three-day course on-site in the VMware UK HQ in Staines. The class was attended by seventeen people from all over the EMEA region. Keep in mind: the Livefire courses are only available to VMware employees and VMware partners. The information shared at the Livefire is protected by the VMware NDA, so no information is covered here that will break the NDA.

By the way, what is vRO you might think? That is VMware vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) a video about the vRealize Orchestrator can be found here.

VMware vRO LiveFire - Featured Image

vRO Master Class Experience

Before we went to the vRO Master Class course we didn’t know what to expect. A couple of questions that went through our heads were: What would the expected technical level be? What items would be discussed and explained? Is it a theoretical or hands-on course? 

On the first day, we got access to a dedicated HOL environment that has been build for the vRO Master Class and the vRealize Orchestrator history and architecture is explained. There was also a lot of talk about the new and coming features for vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO).

Day two was about Dynamic Types and the APIs available in vRealize Automation & vRealize Orchestrator. Christophe explained some projects he has done and blogged on his one website. There was just a lot of information available first hand.

Day three was about vRealize Orchestrator best practices. The best practices slides were extensive and were covering all the aspects. Examples were workflow performance and troubleshooting. They also covered workflow and action development. In the afternoon Spas covered the integration with Microsoft PowerShell and his first-hand experience.

The vRO Master Class course covered the following use cases that were relevant for in the real world:

  • Create a bunch of VMs (vCenter plug-in)
  • Resume a failed workflow
  • Leverage the vAPI
  • Create a Dynamic Types plug-in from scratch
  • Create a plug-in with the Dynamic Types plug-in generator
  • Extend the vRealize Automation Lifecycle with Event Broker
  • vRA 7.4 – Create a blueprint with an IP input field (Custom Forms & Iaas plug-in)
  • vRA 7.3 – Create a blueprint with an IP input field (CBP, XaaS, vRA CAFE & IaaS plug-in)
  • Leverage Dynamic Types Microsoft DNS plug-in with XaaS and XaaS Blueprint components
  • Create scalable Photon Swarm Blueprint
  • Use vRA Scalable XaaS components
  • Simple Database Integration (SQL Plug-in)
  • Using PowerShell Credential Delegation in vRO
  • Leverage Guest Operations with Script Manager
  • Use the vRO REST API

As consultants, we were also interested in vCloud Director use cases and real-world examples but they will be included in the new vRO Master Class in 2019. So in case you are going for vCD stuff wait for 2019.



Livefire instructors

The following instructors can be available for the vRO Master Class. We were lucky to have Spas Kaloferov and Christophe Decanini available for the three days. Here is an overview of the vRO Master Class instructors:

Final word

The vRO Master Class is really focused on vRealize Orchestrator. You have to be a vRO guy definitely to join this class. We think it is a good thing that there is a course available that is purely focused on vRO because VMware Education is more or less focused on the entire CMP.

The instructors were really qualified and experts on vRealize Orchestrator. Christophe is one of the original Dunes Technologies employees that came over to VMware when the product was acquired in 2007. He knows all the ins and outs about the Orchestrator product and the history related to chooses that have been made over time.

The balance between talking about the material and spending time in the lab environment could be improved. The course should be extended with an additional day to a total of four days (at least). This will bring the course more into balance and it introduces more time for the attendees to spend time on the labs and get more hands-on experience out of the course.



Sources

Here is a list of interesting sources related to the vRO Master Class course:

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vRealize Automation SQL Database Installation

vRealize Automation SQL Database Installation

When deploying VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) you required to deploy a Windows Server that is responsible for the SQL Server Database. It does not matter if it is a small, medium or large deployment. All deployments require a Microsoft SQL Server. The Microsoft SQL Server is the database for the vRealize Automation IaaS components and is responsible for maintaining information about the machines it manages and its own elements and policies.

In this article, I’m going to describe the vRealize Automation SQL Database Installation with an automated/unattended PowerShell script. This article is mainly focused on the IaaS database part, so no additional information surrounding the installation of vRealize Automation components is descriped.

Requirements

The following items need to be performed before running the script:

  • Download the latest Microsoft SQL 2016 Server media from the Microsoft website (SQL 2016 – link).
  • Download the latest Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio from the Microsoft website (SSMS – link).
  • Create a virtual machine with Windows Server 2016 installed.
  • Install the latest Windows Updates.
  • Configure a static IP address.
  • Join the server to your company domain.

Environment

In my lab environment, I was deploying a minimal vRealize Automation installation with an external database. This means the following virtual machines are deployed for the vRealize Automation environment:

  • LAB-vRA-APP.Lab.local – vRealize Automation Appliance
  • LAB-vRA-IAAS.Lab.local – Running Windows Server 2016 responsible for vRealize Automation IaaS Components
  • LAB-vRA-SQL.Lab.local – Running Windows Server 2016 responsible for the vRealize Automation IaaS SQL Database
vRealize Automation - Minimal Deployment
vRealize Automation – Minimal Deployment

Note

Keep in mind the following items:

  • The installation code/script for Microsoft SQL Server is tested with the following versions (2016 Non-SP / 2016 SP1 / 2016 SP2). No doubt the code will work with newer releases but make sure to verify all your settings after installation.
  • I do not take any responsibility and I’m are not liable for any damage caused by this code.
  • I did not create a script that fully automates everything. It is based on one-liners with a complete configuration. The reason behind this is flexibility. Every environment is different and every customer is different. This way small tweaks can be made to parts of the code or you just use sections of the code.


Video

To display the full functionality of the code I recorded a video and uploaded it to YouTube. You can see the end result below. The video shows you the execution of the one-liners and what the server is configuring. The video starts after the requirements phase is completed.

Unattended Installation Files

So let’s list all the steps that are executed on the new Windows Server to make it ready to store the vRealize Automation IaaS Database:

  1. Format the D drive and make sure it is using a 64k allocation unit size for storing the Database
  2. Format the E drive and make sure it is using a 64k allocation unit size for storing the TempDB
  3. Format the F drive and make use of a default allocation unit size for storing the log files
  4. Assign both domain service accounts local administrator access on the server (svc-iaas / svc-vrasql)
  5. Create a Windows Firewall rule to allow SQL traffic on the network
  6. Enable multiple Windows Firewall rules to allow the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC)
  7. Install Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
  8. Install Microsoft SQL Server 2016
  9. Reboot the system
  10. Configure the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC).
  11. Reboot the system
  12. Verify the system and functioning of the SQL Server

Optional:

  • In some cases, an additional G drive is required to store the SQL Backup.

PowerShell One-Liners

This file is saved as “Microsoft SQL Server 2016 – Commands.ps1” in the “C:\Temp” directory. The SQL Server media is mounted in the B drive (CD-ROM). The SQL Management Studio installation file is located in the “C:\Temp” directory.

##### Files required
# - Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Installation File
# - Microsoft SQL Management Studio 2016 Installation File

##### Volume 1 - DB 64k
$Disk = Get-Disk -Number 1
Set-Disk -InputObject $Disk -IsOffline $false
Initialize-Disk -InputObject $Disk
New-Partition $Disk.Number -UseMaximumSize -DriveLetter D
Format-Volume -DriveLetter D -FileSystem NTFS -AllocationUnitSize 65536 -NewFileSystemLabel "DB" -Confirm:$false

##### Volume 2 - TEMP DB 64k
$Disk = Get-Disk -Number 2
Set-Disk -InputObject $Disk -IsOffline $false
Initialize-Disk -InputObject $Disk
New-Partition $Disk.Number -UseMaximumSize -DriveLetter E
Format-Volume -DriveLetter E -FileSystem NTFS -AllocationUnitSize 65536 -NewFileSystemLabel "TEMP DB" -Confirm:$false

##### Volume 3 - Logs 4k
$Disk = Get-Disk -Number 3
Set-Disk -InputObject $Disk -IsOffline $false
Initialize-Disk -InputObject $Disk
New-Partition $Disk.Number -UseMaximumSize -DriveLetter F
Format-Volume -DriveLetter F -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel "Logs" -Confirm:$false

##### Make the service account member of the local administrators group
Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "svc-vra-iaas"
Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "svc-vra-sql"

##### Windows Firewall

    ### Windows Firewall - Allow Microsoft SQL Port 1433 TCP
    New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "Microsoft SQL Server 2016 - SQL - TCP" -Direction Inbound -LocalPort 1433 -Protocol TCP -Action Allow

    ### Windows Firewall - Enable rule for RPC for DTC
    Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "Distributed Transaction Coordinator (RPC-EPMAP)"

    ### Windows Firewall - Enable rule for Incoming DTC
    Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "Distributed Transaction Coordinator (TCP-In)"

    ### Windows Firewall - Enable rule for Outgoing DTC
    Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "Distributed Transaction Coordinator (TCP-Out)"

##### Microsoft SQL Management Studio
C:\Temp\SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe /install /passive /norestart

##### Microsoft SQL Server 2016
B:\Setup.exe /ConfigurationFile="C:\Temp\Microsoft SQL Server 2016 - Configuration.ini"

##### Reboot the server
shutdown -r -t 0

##### Configure the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC)
Set-DtcNetworkSetting -DtcName "Local" -RemoteClientAccessEnabled:$true -RemoteAdministrationAccessEnabled:$false -AuthenticationLevel "Mutual" -InboundTransactionsEnabled:$true -OutboundTransactionsEnabled:$true -XATransactionsEnabled:$false -LUTransactionsEnabled:$true -Confirm:$false

##### Reboot the server
shutdown -r -t 0

GIT Repository: Microsoft SQL Server 2016 – Commands.ps1

SQL Configuration File

This file is saved as “Microsoft SQL Server 2016 – Configuration.ini” in the “C:/Temp” directory.

; ************************************************************************************************************************
; Author:       M. Buijs
; Version:      1.0
; Date:         2018-09-26
;
; Information: 
; This configuration file is created to install the Microsoft SQL Server 2016 software for VMware vRealize Automation.
;
; VMware Requirements:
; - Enable TCP/IP protocol for SQL Server. 
; - The Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator Service (MS DTC) is enabled on all SQL nodes in the system. MS DTC is required to support database transactions and actions such as workflow creation.
; - If you have a firewall running between the database server, Web servers or IaaS servers, deactivate the firewall or open the ports needed (MS SQL server uses port 1433 and MS DTC requires the use of port 135 over TCP and a random port between 1024 and 65535).
; - The database service account needs to be local administrator on the server (svc-vra-sql).
; - The IaaS service account needs to be local administrator on the server (svc-vra-iaas).
; - Set up Microsoft SQL server with separate OS volumes for SQL Data, Transaction Logs, TempDB, and Backup. 
; - The NTFS drive where SQL Server is installed has a file allocation unit (cluster) size of 64 KB.
; ************************************************************************************************************************
 
[OPTIONS]

; SQL Server - Workflow
    
    ; Setup Workflow (Install/Uninstall/Upgrade) 
    ACTION="Install"

    ; SQL Server - Accept License Agreement (True = Automatically accepted / False = Users needs to accept)
    IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS="True"

    ; Specify that SQL Server feature usage data can be collected and sent to Microsoft.  
    SQMREPORTING="False"
    ERRORREPORTING="False"

; SQL Server - Unatteded

    ; Parameter that controls the user interface behavior. 
    ; UIMODE="Normal"
    
    ; Setup will not display any user interface. 
    ; QUIET="True"
    
    ; Setup will display progress only, without any user interaction. 
    QUIETSIMPLE="True"

    ; Specifies that the detailed Setup log should be piped to the console. 
    INDICATEPROGRESS="False"

    ; Specify if errors can be reported to Microsoft to improve future SQL Server releases.  
    ERRORREPORTING="True"

    ; Displays the command line parameters usage 
    HELP="False"

    ; RSInputSettings_RSInstallMode_Description 
    RSINSTALLMODE="DefaultNativeMode"

; SQL Server - Installation Features

    ; Specifies features to install, uninstall, or upgrade. 
    FEATURES=SQLENGINE

    ; Language Pack (English / United States)
    ENU="True"

; SQL Server - Updates

    ; Specify whether SQL Server Setup should discover and include product updates. 
    UpdateEnabled="True"

    ; Specify the location where SQL Server Setup will obtain product updates (MU = Microsoft Update).
    UpdateSource="MU"

; SQL Server - Installation Directory

    ; Specify the root installation directory for shared components.  
    INSTALLSHAREDDIR="D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"
    
    ; Specify the root installation directory for the WOW64 shared components. 
    INSTALLSHAREDWOWDIR="D:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server"

    ; Default directory for the Database Engine backup files. 
    ; SQLBACKUPDIR="<InstallSQLDataDir>\<SQLInstanceID>\MSSQL\Backup"
    
    ; Default directory for the Database Engine user databases. 
    SQLUSERDBDIR="D:\Database"
    
    ; Directory for Database Engine TempDB files. 
    SQLTEMPDBDIR="E:\TempDB"

    ; Default directory for the Database Engine user database logs. 
    SQLUSERDBLOGDIR="F:\Logs"
    
; SQL Server - Instance

    ; Specify a default or named instance. MSSQLSERVER is the default instance for non-Express editions and SQLExpress for Express editions. 
    INSTANCENAME="MSSQLSERVER"
    
    ; Specify the Instance ID for the SQL Server features you have specified. 
    INSTANCEID="MSSQLSERVER"

    ; Specify the installation directory. 
    INSTANCEDIR="D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server"

    ; Specifies a Windows collation or an SQL collation to use for the Database Engine. 
    SQLCOLLATION="SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS"

    ; Level to enable FILESTREAM feature at (0, 1, 2 or 3). 
    FILESTREAMLEVEL="0"

; SQL Server - SA Account

    ; Specifies the password for the SQL Server SA account.
    SAPWD="VMware1!"

    ; Specifies the security mode for SQL Server.
    SECURITYMODE=SQL

; SQL Server - Service Access

    ; Windows account(s) to provision as SQL Server system administrators. 
    SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS="Lab.local\Administrator" "BUILTIN\Administrators"
    
    ; Provision current user as a Database Engine system administrator for SQL Server 2012 Express. 
    ADDCURRENTUSERASSQLADMIN="False"
 
; SQL Server - Connection Support

    ; Specify 0 to disable or 1 to enable the TCP/IP protocol. 
    TCPENABLED="1"
    
    ; Specify 0 to disable or 1 to enable the Named Pipes protocol. 
    NPENABLED="0"

    ; CM brick TCP communication port 
    COMMFABRICPORT="0"
    
    ; How matrix will use private networks 
    COMMFABRICNETWORKLEVEL="0"
    
    ; How inter brick communication will be protected 
    COMMFABRICENCRYPTION="0"

    ; TCP port used by the CM brick 
    MATRIXCMBRICKCOMMPORT="0"
    
; SQL Server - Agent Service and Service Account

    ; Auto-start service after installation.  
    AGTSVCSTARTUPTYPE="Manual"

    ; Specifies the account for the SQL Server Agent service.
    AGTSVCACCOUNT="NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM"

    ; Required Specifies the password for SQL Server Agent service account. 
    ;AGTSVCPASSWORD=""

; SQL Server - Browser Service and Service Account

    ; Startup type for Browser Service. 
    BROWSERSVCSTARTUPTYPE="Disabled"
 
; SQL Server - Server Service Account

    ; Startup type for the SQL Server service. 
    SQLSVCSTARTUPTYPE="Automatic"

    ; Account for SQL Server service: Domain\User or system account. 
    SQLSVCACCOUNT="Lab.local\svc-vra-sql"

    ; Specifies the password for SQLSVCACCOUNT.
    SQLSVCPASSWORD="heT5S-AbEsagu7ad"

; SQL Server - Report Server Service and Service Account

    ; Specifies how the startup mode of the report server NT service. 
    RSSVCSTARTUPTYPE="Manual"

    ; Specifies which account the report server NT service should execute under.  
    RSSVCACCOUNT="NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM"

    ; Specifies the password for the startup account for the Reporting Services service.
    ;RSSVCPASSWORD=""

GIT Repository: Microsoft SQL Server 2016 – Configuration.ini



Final Word

This blog post helps you to set up a Microsoft SQL Server 2016 for vRealize Automation 7.X. The code can be used in lab and production environments but make sure to verify the configuration. I think there might be more improvements possible related to the one-lines but maybe also additional SQL configuration improvements. Do you have feedback please respond below or send me an email.

Sources

To create this article and scripts I used the following resources:


  • Update 2018-10-04 – Article was missing the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC) information and code (video recording is still missing that part).

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ITQ Lightboard Session about vRealize Orchestrator (vRO)

ITQ-Logo

I’m happy to announce that as of today my lightboard session about VMware vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) is online. The guys at ITQ (the company I work for) build a lightboard to record lightboard sessions. So I decided to record a session to help people getting started with automation and introduced to the vRealize Orchestrator.

The session is called “Mischa Buijs explains the benefits of vRealize Orchestrator“. In the session, I explain a basic use case to automate virtual machine provisioning and integrate with external systems like Microsoft Active Directory and a storage array with an SSH interface.

The Storyline Lightboard Session:

Here is an overview of the storyline that I am presenting in the video:

  • Step 01: We are using the REST API integration in vRO for communicating with VMware NSX-V to provision a new virtual network (Logical Switch).
  • Step 02: We need storage to provide space for a new virtual machine. So we are leveraging the SSH integration in vRO to create a new volume on the storage array. This can be for example a NetApp FAS array or a FreeNAS virtual appliance.
  • Step 03: Let’s use vCenter to format the new datastore with VMFS, so it can be used by the ESXi Hosts. 
  • Step 04: Than again we are using the vCenter integration to mount the new volume on an entire vSphere Cluster so let’s say, ten ESXi hosts.
  • Step 05: We also use the vCenter integration to build a new virtual machine.
  • Step 06: Now it is time to leverage PowerShell to create a new computer account in Active Directory.
  • Step 07: The last step is with PowerShell, now we are creating forward and reverse DNS records on the Windows DNS Server.

ITQ YouTube Channel

At ITQ we created a lot of recordings the last couple of months. For all the videos go to the ITQ YouTube channel.

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vRealize Automation enabling the VMware Identity Manager GUI

In this blog post, I am going to show you how to enable the VMware Identity Manager GUI when it is located inside vRealize Automation. I am going to explain why you sometimes should and how the procedure is performed.

For some who don’t know, VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) is using under the covers VMware Identity Manager (vIDM). By default is the VMware Identity Manager GUI disabled after the vRealize Automation installation process. If you want to configure parts of vIDM you are configuring it through the vRealize Automation GUI.

Let’s get everybody on the same page: So you are talking about two GUIs the vRealize Automation GUI and the VMware Identity Manager GUI? Who is who, explain it to me!

vRealize Automation GUI - Displaying Active Directory Users
Here is the vRealize Automation (vRA) GUI – Displaying multiple Active Directory users

VMware Identity Manager GUI - Displaying Active Directory User
Here is the VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) GUI – Displaying an Active Directory user (by the way: the name Dick is a common name in The Netherlands)

Keep in mind: I’m not completely sure what will happen if you would configure items with the vIDM GUI. Because you are bypassing the default vRealize Automation GUI. I have done some tests and no problems were caused in my Lab environment but it might cause issues later on… So why do you enable it then? Because of the large amount of information provided throughout the vIDM GUI. The vRealize Automation GUI is only showing a small peace and not the big picture.

Product support: I have tested this procedure on vRealize Automation version 7.3 and vRealize Automation 7.3.1. I would expect it to work on newer and older vRealize Automation 7.X releases.

Enable the vIDM Interface

This procedure is for enabling the interface:

  • Step 01: Connect with an SSH session to the vRealize Automation Appliance. Use for example Putty.
  • Step 02: Login with the root credentials.
  • Step 03: Run the following command to start the VMware Identity Manager Interface: (vcacvami horizon ui enable).
  • Step 04: Open a web browser and navigate to the following URL:(https://%FQDN%/SAAS/admin/).
VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) interface enable
VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) interface enable

Disable the vIDM Interface

This procedure is for disabling the interface:

  • Step 01: Connect with an SSH session to the vRealize Automation Appliance. Use for example Putty.
  • Step 02: Login with the root credentials.
  • Step 03: Run the following command to stop the VMware Identity Manager Interface: (vcacvami horizon ui disable).
  • Step 04: When you navigate to the following URL no page should appear: (https://%FQDN%/SAAS/admin/).
VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) Interface/GUI disable
VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) interface disable

Status of the vIDM Interface

This procedure is for viewing the vIDM Interface status:

  • Step 01: Connect with an SSH session to the vRealize Automation Appliance. Use for example Putty.
  • Step 02: Login with the root credentials.
  • Step 03: Run the following command to view the current status of the VMware Identity Manager Interface: (vcacvami horizon ui status).
  • Step 04: When you navigate to the following URL no page should appear: (https://%FQDN%/SAAS/admin/).
VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) interface status
VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) interface status

VMware Identity Manager URLs

The following URLs are available when the GUI is enabled (there are probably more URLs available than listed below):

  • Main page: https://%vRA-Appliance-FQDN%:8443
  • Tenant-specific page (Tenant vSphere.local): https://%vRA-Appliance-FQDN%/SAAS/t/vsphere.local
  • Tenant-specific page (Tenant Production): https://%vRA-Appliance-FQDN%/SAAS/t/production
  • Tenant-specific page (Tenant Development): https://%vRA-Appliance-FQDN%/SAAS/t/development

vRealize Automation Internal Proxy Explained

To explain what happens under the covers is the following: When you run the command to start or stop vIDM interface the reverse proxy configuration located in vRealize Automation Appliance (vRA) is changed. The command adds or removes some configuration files. Then the proxy daemon is reloaded to pick up the changes. At that point, the vIDM webpage becomes available or unavailable depending on the given command. Under the covers, vRealize Automation uses HAProxy for IT guys working in container or web hosting environments that might be a very familiar product. Here is a quote from the HAProxy website to explain what HAProxy is capable of:

HAProxy is a free, very fast and reliable solution offering high availability, load balancing, and proxying for TCP and HTTP-based applications. It is particularly suited for very high traffic websites and powers quite a number of the world’s most visited ones. Over the years it has become the de-facto standard opensource load balancer, is now shipped with most mainstream Linux distributions, and is often deployed by default in cloud platforms. Since it does not advertise itself, we only know it’s used when the admins report it.

https://www.haproxy.org/#desc

VMware Identity Manager GUI Advantages

The main advantages of enabling the GUI:

  • You can view the currently logged in users in vRealize Automation.
  • When logging into the default tenant in the vIDM GUI you can view the total amount of users and groups that are identified by vIDM (counters are from all tenants combined).
  • You can view the health status of VMware Identity Manager (vIDM).
  • You can view the user login history based on the last days and you have reporting functionality.

Final word

In this blog post, I explained how to enable and disable the VMware Identity Manager interface on a vRealize Automation Appliance. As noted before be careful! I personally only use this method for troubleshooting Identity Manager related problems with authentication and viewing user activity.

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vRealize Orchestrator Client and High-Resolution Screens

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Removing a Virtual Machine from vRealize Automation with the vRealize CloudClient

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