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  • Writer's pictureWilliam B

vRealize Automation 8 Logical Design & Service Onboarding Visualization Part 1

vRealize Automation version 8 (vRA) enables full stack deployment services across the VMware SDDC stack.

With vRA, admins, developers, and users can request services through the Service Broker portal and can manage resources without going against business policies without the need for extensive hands on work that has been required in the past.

Learning about vRA as a new user can be a challenge as the platform is quite extensive and it bundles several sub-products that are combined together to make the automation possible. I am a visual person and when I first started learning about vRA, I wanted to visualize how all of these components relate to each other.

Starting with vRA version 8, the architecture of the platform consists of three main products:

1.) Cloud Assembly: this is where the vRA admin configures the overall automation infrastructure

2.) Service Broker: this is where vRA admins present the service catalog and configured infrastructure towards the end users

3.) Orchestrator: this is the scripting automation engine that enables specific tasks and workflows that are called by Cloud Assembly and Service Broker

At a high level, the components look like this once all products are deployed:

In this example I have shown where NSX-T and vRealize Service Broker are added into the system.

Once vRA is deployed, you are then ready to start configuring your vRA infrastructure.

In my example below, I start with gathering the customer requirements, then I log into vRA as an admin and setup my infrastructure.

vRA can be looked at as having two "user-planes".

The first being the "admin" plane, which are the blue objects in the diagram above, and the "user-plane" which are the red objects. The user plane users access the system through Service broker.

It is possible to give control of the underlying infrastructure (vSphere compute, storage and network resources) over to the end user. The steps needed to do that are listed above. Deciding on how much control to give to end users is a discussion that you should have internally in your organization.

In my example I used NSX-T for networking and I show that integration in the diagram.

vRA can automate the NSX configuration steps and provision firewall rules as well (more to come on that in a future post.

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