vRealize Automation-Create and Publish Blueprints

What is A Blueprint?

Blueprints define the resources and attributes associated with the provisioning of a virtual, physical, or cloud machine. vRA supports several type of platforms as endpoint such as vSphere, vCloud, Hyper-V, XEN, Physical, Amazon etc so a unique Blueprint is needed per platform.

Blueprints are visible as Item to end users in Service Catalog from where they can request to provision a new virtual machine or applications etc.

In this post we will learn how to Create and Publish a vSphere Blueprint. To do this there are certain pre-requisites that need to be met.

Within the blueprint configuration there is a template picker that will allow you to pick form the available templates in your environment. In order for templates to show up in the template picker there are some items that need to be configured in the vCAC environment. You will need to have the following already configured:

  • vSphere Credential
  • vSphere EndPoint
  • Fabric Group (with the vSphere resources assigned)
  • Reservation

If you have missed earlier posts of this series then I would recommend reading them first before going ahead. You can access the earlier posts from below links:

1: Introduction to vCAC(vRA)

2: Installing and Configuring vRA Identity Appliance

3: Installing and Configuring vRA Appliance

4: Installing and configuring IaaS Components

5: Creating Tenants

6: Adding vSphere Endpoints

7: Creating and Configuring Fabric Groups

8: Creating Business Groups and Reservation

Log in to the vRA Console as tenant administrator.

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Navigate to Infrastructure ->Blueprints -> Blueprints.

Click on New Blueprint -> Virtual -> vSphere (vCenter)

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a. Provide a name and valid description for the blueprint.

b. For Blueprint Options we have several choices (Master, Display Location on Request and share Blueprint). If the display location on request checkbox  is selected then it will let end user to select a datacenter instance for deploying the VM. If Share Blueprint option is selected then this blueprint can be shared across various business groups that exists in vRA. It is similar to Public Catalog option in vCloud Director.

c. Select the Reservation Policy and Machine Prefix for this Blueprint

d. Enter the maximum number of Per User setting. This number dictates how many instance of VM can be spin from this template by a single user.

e. Specify the number of days to archive machines provisioned from this blueprint.

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On the Build Information tab set the “Blueprint type” to “Server”, the “Action” to “Clone” and then click the selection box next to “Clone From” and click on “….” button to browse templates and select the appropriate one.

Enter Min / Max settings for the following:

  • # CPU’s
  • Memory (MB)
  • Storage (GB)
  • Lease (days)

NOTE: the “Minimum” field is auto filled based on the template config.

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I have only one template created on my vSphere Infrastructure as of now, so I am only getting one option to select from. Hit OK after making your selection

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Select the “Properties” tab

The Properties tab allows you to apply Build Profiles and Custom Properties unique to this blueprint for advanced functionality, integration with external systems, identification of resources, etc.

Add any available Build Profiles or desired Custom Properties you want to append to this Blueprint.The needed property is “VMware.VirtualCenter.OperatingSystem”. The value will depend on the OS you are deploying.

To know more about Custom Properties for Operating System please see this Blog

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Select Actions tab.

Under Machine Operations keep the default settings (all selected). These settings determine what users are permitted to do to the provisioned machine for “Day-2” operations.

You can play around with other options. Click “OK” to complete Blueprint configuration

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Publish Blueprints

Once Blueprints are built, we have to publish them to make them available to vRA’s service catalogs.  Once Published, these Blueprints will be marked as “Catalog Items” and made available for Entitlements.

Note: We cannot un-publish a Blueprint once it is published.

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With this Creating and Publishing Blueprint task is finished.

In Next post of this series we will look into:

Creating Service

Creating Entitlements

Deploying a new VM from Self-Service Portal

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