vRealize Orchestrator is a great automation platform and can be used to automate many everyday tasks. Sometimes we don’t realize that we have the required license, and we can use it in our environment because it is included in the vSphere license (check vRO licensing here). We can build custom workflows or use out-of-the-box plugins to extend our vSphere environments’ functionality. For example, we are creating snapshots for 20 VMs or removing snapshots older than two days. Those are only examples, but I will show you how simple it is to develop such workflow and make it available in the vCenter context menu.
This part includes:
- Configure vRealize Orchestrator authentication provider.
- Add a vCenter Server instance to the Orchestrator.
- Register vCenter Orchestrator as a vCenter Server extension.
- Run build-in workflow from Context Action.
A word of introduction
All tasks are straightforward. But unfortunately, vCenter version 7 has only an HTML5 client, and the vRealize Orchestrator Plugin is still in the Beta version for HTML5. I didn’t know it at the beginning. I was amazed when I registered the extension, and I saw that plugin is incompatible.
# less vsphere_client_virgo.log [INFO ] plugin-discovery-bus-thread 70000016 100003 200001 com.vmware.vise.extensionfw.plugins.impl.PluginStatusServiceImpl INCOMPATIBLE: Plugin package com.vmware.vco:22.214.171.124 is incompatible. Reason: This is a vSphere Web Client (Flash) only plugin indicated by the missing type="html" plugin manifest attribute.
Wait for a second! VMware Interoperability matrix says it’s compatible, vCenter 7 has only HTML5 client and vRO extension works only with vSphere Web Client. It does make sense… 🙂
I spent only a few minutes finding a rescue. Exists vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for vSphere Client – Beta that you can find here.
Note that we need vRealize Orchestrator standalone deployment with vSphere Authentication and registered with a vCenter Single Sign-On server.
Remember that it is a BETA version. So, I firmly recommend not using it in a production environment or doing it at your own risk. Always use supported configuration on your production environment, so you should use older vCenter versions with vSphere Web Client or wait until VMware officially releases the plugin.
I skipped vRO installation. It is delivered in OVA, and installation is easy, so I don’t want to waste your time.
Configure vRealize Orchestrator authentication provider
Log into vRealize Control Center and configure Authentication Provider
https://<vRO FQDN or IP>/vco/
Following the configuration of the authentication provider, the vRealize Orchestrator server restarts automatically after 2 minutes.
Add a vCenter Server instance to the Orchestrator.
Log into vRealize Orchestrator Client and run workflow:
Add a vCenter Server instance to the Orchestrator.
Register vCenter Orchestrator as a vCenter Server extension
We added the vCenter instance to vRO. Now, we have to register extension in vCenter Server by running workflow:
Register vCenter Orchestrator as a vCenter Server extension.
Next, we have to download the plugin and jump to guide: Install vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for vSphere Client.
We can deploy plugin:
Step 1. Upload the vRealize Orchestrator plug-in to the vCenter Server Appliance to the /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages/ directory. I use WinSCP, but to do that we need to edit file: /etc/passwd and change root config from:
root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/appliancesh to: root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash
After uploading file change it back to appliancesh.
Step 2. Log in to vCenter Appliance using SSH or console. Unzip plugin file, change file owner and restart vSphere-UI service.
root@vcenter [ / ]# cd /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages root@vcenter [ /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages ]# unzip vcoin-html-plugin.zip -d vro-plugin Archive: vcoin-html-plugin.zip inflating: vro-plugin/META-INF/MANIFEST.MF inflating: vro-plugin/META-INF/JARSIGN_.SF inflating: vro-plugin/META-INF/JARSIGN_.RSA creating: vro-plugin/plugins/ inflating: vro-plugin/plugins/vcoin-ui-1.0.0.war inflating: vro-plugin/Beta EULA.rtf inflating: vro-plugin/open_source_licenses.txt inflating: vro-plugin/plugin-package.xml inflating: vro-plugin/plugin-signature-metadata.properties root@vcenter [ /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages ]# rm vcoin-html-plugin.zip root@vcenter [ /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages ]# chown -R vsphere-ui vro-plugin root@vcenter [ /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-ui/plugin-packages ]# service-control --restart vsphere-ui
Step 3. Verify the vRO plugin in vCenter.
Run build-in workflow from Context Action
Since now, we can enable vRO workflows as context actions. Some of them are enabled by default. For example, Remove old snapshots. Let’s test it.
It works! Workflow successfully run.
We have done a little step to automate our environment. We can use a lot of workflows that comes with plugins. Next time I will show how to build custom workflows. Have fun.
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