Installing vRealize Automation software components as a specific user

By Chip Zoller |  Mar 20, 2019  | vra, vrealize, powershell, all tags
Since I’ve been working with software components in vRealize Automation (vRA), one of the difficulties I see come up time and time again in Windows environments is the need to run a specific command or component with specific credentials. This is quite common even outside of the scope of vRA. There are multiple ways to go about doing this when talking about PowerShell and I won’t cover them all here. But sometimes, for one reason or not, those methods don’t work—especially when dealing with some specific programs that require elevation.
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Deploying VMware Agents with Ansible

By Chip Zoller |  Jan 3, 2019  | ansible, vrealize, log-insight, vrops, all tags
Although there are numerous deployment and config management tools out there, none have had as much traction and continued success as Ansible. Purchased by Red Hat in October 2015, Ansible continues to gain steam in every corner. One of the great things about it and keys to its success is its agentless design. Rather that installing and maintaining a persistent agent inside your managed node, Ansible uses SSH/WinRM to conduct its operations.
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Veeam Backup-as-a-Service, Part 1

By Chip Zoller |  Aug 2, 2018  | veeam, sovlabs, vra, vrealize, all tags
Today I want to introduce and provide a walk-through on how to use what I think is one of the coolest modules SovLabs has produced to date for vRealize Automation: Backup-as-a-Service (or BaaS for short). BaaS is one of those pie-in-the-sky dreams for many CMP owners and operators and, frankly, the aim of lots of other companies hoping to give a real self-service-type experience to users inside a CMP. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of it, they all come up pretty short—until SovLabs entered the game, that is.
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Drop-Down Lists in vRealize Automation, from Static to Dynamic to External

By Chip Zoller |  May 15, 2018  | vra, vro, vrealize, all tags
Today, I wanted to spend some time returning to a basic principle of vRealize Automation (vRA) which is central to creating customized request forms and limiting blueprint sprawl. This is also a subject which is often requested from users. Unfortunately, those unfamiliar with vRA often think this type of customization requires other forms of complex, expensive integrations or even worse, long professional services engagements. Specifically what I’m talking about is the ability to generate drop-down lists when requesting a catalog item, as well as make those drop-downs dynamic in nature.
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Using vRA Software Components and binding any custom property

By Chip Zoller |  Apr 29, 2018  | vra, vrealize, all tags
Software components (SCs) are pretty neat in vRA (although you pay a pretty penny for them), but they have some serious shortcomings. One of the really cool abilities of them is to “bind” or let a property (variable, really) assume the value of something else inside that blueprint. This makes scripts much more dynamic, but one of those shortcomings is not all properties are available to bind. In this article, I’ll give you an easy workaround that makes binding to any custom property which gets passed into the machine a possibility.
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Making vRA Email Easy with Custom Notifications

By Chip Zoller |  Mar 21, 2018  | vra, vrealize, sovlabs, all tags
Email is one of those things that most of us take for granted these days. We just expect email works, that it is flexible, and that it’s adaptable to our situation. Within vRA, we can also get email in and out based on a variety of scenarios. But when it comes to customizing how that looks and works, it’s a little tricky. As a result, many folks don’t even bother mucking around with it because of how complex it is what with manually uploading new email templates to the appliance, restarting services, customizing XML files, or writing vRO code and event broker subscriptions and doing all the plumbing work yourself.
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SovLabs Property Toolkit Part 2: Dynamic Custom Property Assignment

By Chip Zoller |  Mar 21, 2018  | vra, vrealize, sovlabs, all tags
Welcome back to another installment of the exploration of the SovLabs modules! A while back, I went through and introduced the Property Toolkit module via a use case of dynamically building custom properties based on the presence of other custom properties. I illustrated this in the form of placement in vCenter folders. In this article, however, I want to dive into another feature of this amazingly powerful module: dynamic property sets.
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What is Sovlabs?

By Chip Zoller |  Mar 18, 2018  | vra, vro, vrealize, sovlabs, all tags
I realized that although I have covered several of the SovLabs modules already with some fine use cases, I might have jumped the gun a little and not fully explained what this SovLabs business is and how I got to those points. I often receive the question “is it a vRO plug-in?” and so realize a little introduction is in order. To answer that question, the answer is Yes* but also No*.
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Getting users in an AD Group through vRA

By Chip Zoller |  Feb 24, 2018  | vra, vro, vrealize, all tags
Have you ever needed or wanted to dynamically get the users within an Active Directory group through vRA? The process I hoped would already exist but, unfortunately as I found out, the existing vRO Active Directory plug-in does not contain a pre-built workflow or action to handle this. As I typically do, I find my own way, but my trials and tribulations can easily be to your benefit as you’ll see.
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Deploying End Point Operations Agents through vRA

By Chip Zoller |  Jan 2, 2018  | vrops, vrealize, vra, all tags
vRealize Automation is useful for deploying a variety of different items as-a-service, from simple IaaS to databases to container hosts and, of course applications. And most of these have been demonstrated to date. One other piece that is often forgotten about is monitoring agents on these systems, or maybe it’s done as a manual process after the fact (which defeats the purpose of cloud automation). In the past, I’ve provided a few blueprints that automates this process for the Log Insight agents for Windows and Linux.
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