Automating vSphere VM disk zeroing with vRA7 and vRO

A long time ago, on a project far back in time, the team that I was part of was given a requirement to zero the disks of VMs before they were deleted by vRA / vRO (or vCAC and vCO as they were called back then). One of my colleagues on the project, Jonathan Medd, devised an approach for doing this using an “experimental” PowerCLI feature and wrote it up on his blog. Fast forward nearly two and a half years and I’m looking at an upgrade for this platform and wondering if there’s a way to accomplish the same task in vRO rather than by breaking out to PowerCLI. Don’t get me wrong, I love PowerCLI. But fewer parts would mean that there’s less to go wrong. How to do it then… Disk zeroing in PowerCLI This is still listed as […]

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How to change the vRA 7.2 “All Services” icon using vRO

This post was inspired by Ryan Kelly’s recent post of a similar title in which he revealed how to change the “All Services” icon in the vRA 7.2 Catalog tab. Shortly after seeing that, I noticed that Ricky El-Qasem had also posted on the subject and created a small utility to accomplish the same task. Great posts both of them. But I wanted to take a slightly different route and accomplish the same task in vRO which, as I’m sure you know, comes bundled with vRA. I must admit that I’m not totally satisfied with the result, maybe about 95%, but I’ll explain why later. Selecting a source image For my initial testing, I thought I’d use the image on Ryan’s post as it clearly worked for him. However, the image in his post is JPEG formatted and contains a border. That […]

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vRealize Automation Extensibility Migration Guide

Possibly a little overdue, but valuable all the same, the vRealize Automation Extensibility Migration Guide was published earlier this week and is a must-read for anyone looking at upgrading or migrating their vRA 6.x installation to vRA 7.x. The document explains the differences between the extensibility features of the two versions above and how existing customised functionality can be adapted to best work with vRA7. The guide is very detailed but clearly can’t cater for every customer use case (that would be a very big document).

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vRA 7 / vRO 7 REST error (java.security.cert.CertificateException)

Whilst I was with a customer recently, I hit an SSL related issue whilst trying to put together a vRO workflow to orchestrate the creation of a load-balancer configuration on a Citrix Netscaler VPX. Adding the REST host(s) to vRO was accomplished without any issue, but when I came to use them my workflow failed with the following error:

As this vRO instance was running on a vRA appliance, my first port of call was starting the vRO Control Center service and make sure that the REST host certificates had indeed been imported in to vRO and were trusted. They were. Looking at the certificates themselves (as I had blindly accepted them up until that point) I noticed that they were self-signed and the cause of the error became clearer. Some software solutions generate fairly weak SSL certificates by default to […]

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Changing vRA ExternalWfStubs Timeouts

I saw a question on Twitter this morning that I thought warranted a quick post: The default timeout for the various workflow stubs is 30 minutes, but they can be changed. As always, take backup copies and be careful! The six stubs that can be changed are: Expired RegisterMachine Disposing UnprovisionMachine BuildingMachine MachineProvisioned The timeout settings for External Workflow stubs are configured on the Windows server (vRA 6.x) that hosts the Manager role. The file and path required (assuming a default installation) is:

Using your favourite text editor, simply adjust the timeout value for each workflow. Most people tend to require a longer timeout for “MachineProvisioned”, often because they require longer running post-provisioning tasks to complete before handing a Virtual Machine over to the requester. Save the file and make sure that the same changes are made on the […]

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