Automating VMware Cloud Foundation: Consumable IT Services from the Cloud

We’ve launched a four-part blog series showcasing how Automating VMware Cloud Foundation can benefit IT Consumers and IT providers. In part one, we introduce the use cases we’ll cover throughout the series and discuss the benefits of automating VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) services via the SDDC Manager API.

 

Organizations derive the most value from automating common repeatable tasks which, when done manually, can be prone to human inconsistency or error. While VMware Cloud Foundation’s (VCF) SDDC Manager provides life cycle management for the SDDC stack, extending the SDDC Manager API using automation introduces a new range of capabilities from an IT standpoint.

I recently worked on a project to automate VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) services to build a consumable IT service that will make VCF tasks easier to manage for the IT admin / IT consumer without the need to know what’s going on “under the hood”.

 

VCF automation will bring the following benefits to an IT organization or an IT provider:

  • Convert VCF services to a consumable IT service by making VCF operations available in your Cloud Catalog
  • Allow users, other than the VCF Administrator, to spin up a virtual datacenter
  • Take automation to the next level by integrating backups, CMDB’s, or other third-party tools in order to align with your IT and business requirements
  • Build rigor of governance and policies around common VCF management tasks, such as Workload Domain (WLD) creation and deletion
  • Proactive remediation to scale VCF resources before you hit an outage due to VCF capacity limits
  • Let your IT team focus on innovation as we can reduce mundane IT requests considerably

 

This blog series covers the following use cases listed below, but the capabilities and possibilities are not limited to these. There are a whole range of possibilities when it comes to automating such VCF tasks to make them consumable IT services, freeing your IT team to invest resources into IT innovations that accelerate business outcomes.

 

I will cover each use case in a separate blog post as part of this “Automating VCF Series” to keep the blog short and easy to digest.

 

Here is how the logical integration would look like:

 

As you see from the animated diagram above, starting from bottom right corner:

  • User logs in to vRealize Automation Cloud (vRA Cloud) where only entitled users will be able to see the catalog
    • User places the desired request from the catalog which is only visible to him/her
  • vRealize Automation Cloud will trigger the request to on-prem SaaS-Enabled vRealize Orchestrator (vRO)
    • SaaS Enabled vRO is an appliance that is available to download from vRealize Automation Cloud which will allow vRA Cloud to execute vRO workflows an on-premises data center
    • vRA Cloud talks to the vRO on-prem via the Cloud Proxy server (also running on-prem)
    • vRO will then talk to SDDC Manager via REST API to perform one of the following tasks:
      • Create the Workload Domain
      • Delete the Workload Domain
  • Auto-Scale VCF use case leverages vRealize Operations (vROps) actions to call a vRO workflow for adding VCF host to a workload cluster when the cluster’s “Capacity Remaining” drops below a certain threshold defined in a custom alert.

Next up in the Automating VMware Cloud Foundation Series services we will look at Creating a Workload Domain

Credits: I want to thank the team who helped me make this project successful. 

Dennis Jarjosa, Jeff Wong, Kim Delgado, Darryl Cauldwell, Simon Lynch, Sajal Debnath

About the Authors

Rajesh Marella

Customer Success Architect at VMware

Rajesh Marella is Customer Success Architect at VMware. He has over 16 Years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. In his current role, his focus is on vRealize Suite of Products helping customers adopt the vRealize Products and maximizing the benefits out of it. He lives in Bengaluru with his wife and a wonderful son. In his free time, he likes cooking, playing music, and spending time with family.

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