Top 5 vRealize Automation Resources to get you started

OK, so everyone loves a top 5 so here is a list of my top 5 resources for learning and deploying vRealize Automation.

1. VMware Hands on Labs.

Take ‘HOL-SDC-1633 vRealize Automation 7: What’s New‘. – Despite the name this is a really in depth tutorial and you will want to complete the entire lab. This will give you a good feel about what vRA is capable of and how you can extend the platform. There are some really good examples of how the event broker is used to integrate with ITSM CMDB software for change control (iTop is used). The lab also dives into vRO and gives you a taste of just how powerful this product really is.

Next, take ‘HOL-SDC-1632 vRealize Automation Advanced: Integration and Extensibility‘. – Yes, this lab is based on vRA 6.2 so is a little older but most of the fundamentals are there and again provides some good examples of how the platform can be extended with vRO. Examples of extensibility with Infoblox IPAM, Puppet Enterprise and NSX (although slightly depreciated) are used.

2. vRealize Automation Reference Architecture

Once you have had some experience and insight from doing the hands on Labs you will be eager to begin planning and designing your new vRA platform. This document will provide you with a lot of details such as all of the components that are involved and how best to deploy and scale these. Also included are firewall and load balancing requirements. I cannot emphasis enough the importance of planning your vRA deployment properly from the get go as this will ultimately determine the success of the project.

3. Open902.com

I am really happy that I discovered this site before starting my vRA 7 implementation. Michael Rudloff has done a fantastic job of documenting the enterprise installation and configuring the IaaS platform so that you get some decent functionality out of it. These guides really took away a lot of the pain during the installation and covers topics such as replacing certificates, configuring an endpoint, approval policies, business groups, fabric groups, etc and has an awesome guide on Custom Property Relationships. I also like how has turned his private archive public and reminds me a lot of my private Confluence site.

4. vmtocloud.com

I discovered Ryan Kelly’s site when I was looking at how vRA could be integrated with Ansible to provide and provide some real awesomeness when it comes to provisioning VMs and software. For me, integration with some kind of CD tool is essential for the life cycle of a VM. Ryan has a great guide on how this can be accomplished in a number of ways. He also has a lot of other great content and shares the blueprints that he has created.

5. extendingclouds.com

Gary Coburn has some really awesome posts on the vRA Event Broker and creating a custom request form using XaaS. There are also some other great posts on creating customisation within vRA. This makes the list because it explores the possibilities with vRA that should get people excited.

 

Seeing what others out there are doing with vRA is just blowing my mind and I can’t wait to to start contributing to the community as these guys have done.

Other sites also worthy of a visit for more vRA goodness:

http://dailyhypervisor.com/

http://fetacloud.com/

http://grantorchard.com/

http://www.virtualjad.com/

Please share any sites that you have found useful in your vRA journey!

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