vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) is a cool product from VMware which allows you to create tasks and automated workflows which and be run directly within vSphere Web Client or the vCenter Orchestrator Client.
vCO brings automation to the next level and helps admins, engineers to orchestrate and integrate your cloud with the rest of management systems.
There are a number of pre-made workflows integrated in vCO to get you started. Almost any task that can be performed in vCenter can be automated through vCO. With the use of AD integration, API’s and other 3rd party plugin’s vCO becomes more powerful and can save a lot of time for the VMware admins.
Workflows can be anything from simple workflows that contain a single task to say create a virtual machine, to complicated workflows containing many tasks that might build an entire solution and integrate with 3rd party plugins.
vCO is included with vCenter Server and it’s free! Yes you heard it right its free.
vCO can be deployed in a number of ways, all achieve the same end solution and integrate with vSphere Web Client and Single Sign On.
- Installed on a Windows Server (Co-installed with vCenter Server)
- Installed on a Windows Server (Standalone)
- Installed as Virtual Appliance
Note: With vSphere 5.5 Orchestrator now ships as an appliance.
This is Part-1 of vCenter Orchestrator How to Series.
In my lab I am going to use vCO on same server where my vCenter Server is installed due to lack of resources. If you are looking to use vCO appliance for your lab or production I would recommend reading this Article
Since vCO is co-installed with vCenter Server you need not to install any additional components to get started. Lets get started now.
Before you start using vCO, make sure the vCO services are running. By default when vCO is installed along with vCenter Server vCO services are disabled.
- Go to run and type services.msc and enable the below services
2. Once the services are up and running open your web browser and type https://vCOappliance:8283
3. Login with Username: vmware and password vmware
4. You will be immediately prompted to change the password. Click on apply chnages after updating your password.
5. After successful login you will be presented with following screen from where you will start configuring the vCO settings.
6. go to Network –> SSL Trust manager
Since I am using inbuilt vCO server with my vCenter Server so certificates are already populated here. In case when vCO is deployed on different server or as an appliance you have to import the vCenter and SSO certificates under SSL tab.
7. Go to Authentication and Select “SSO Authentication”
Again here Fields are auto-populated for me but if you are using vCO appliance you have to supply the following info:
Enter your SSO server details (e.g. https://vcentersrv01:7444), your SSO administrator (this is typically email@example.com if you haven’t setup any others).
Enter your SSO administrators password and Click Register Orchestrator.
Now you need to select a “vCO Admin – domain and group” you can manage vCO (this could be vsphere.local Administrators, or your Domain Admins group if configured in SSO)
I selected my Domain Group “Svc_Accounts” from vCO Admin drop down selection menu.
Click on Update Orchestrator Configuration
8. Click on Test Login tab and test whether user belonging to vCO Admin can login or not. After supplying your credential click on Test Login button in right side bottom corner.
9. Click on vCenter server tab to add your vCenter host. In my case it is already added. But in case you are using vCO appliance you have to add your vCenter host. After adding the details of the vCenter server click on Apply Changes.
10. Make sure your our vCenter Server is visible in the Hosts tab.
11. Go to Licenses and select “Use vCenter Server license” and enter your vCenter server details. Click on Apply Changes after adding the details of vCenter Server.
12. Go to Plug-ins and ensure the plugins are enabled. Enter your SSO user details and Click Apply changes
13. Go to Network tab and select the IP address that the vCO service should bind to from the IP Address drop down menu and Click Apply.
14. You can define your mail server details if you are planning to use mails in vCO.
15. Go to Startup Options and click “Restart service” under vCO Server.
This will restart the vCO service, binding the vCO service to the correct network interface and also set the SSO authentication.
With this configuration of vCO server has been completed.
In Part 2 of this series we will see how to use vCO for creating and running a Workflow. Stay Tuned!!!
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