vRealize Automation 7.3-Simple Installation: Part 8: Creating Network Profiles & Reservations

By | 11/01/2018

In last post of this series we covered creation of Fabric groups and Business groups. In this post we will learn about Network Profiles and Reservations.

If you have landed directly on this page by mistake, then I encourage you to read earlier posts of this series from below links:

1: vRA Lab Setup

2: Installing and Configuring NSX

3: Installing SQL Server for IaaS DB

4: Installing and Configuring vRealize Automation Appliance

5: Tenant and Users Initial Configuration

6: Configuring Endpoints

7: Creating Fabric and Business Groups

Lets start the discussion with Network profiles and its significance.

Network profiles

Network profile is needed to configure the network settings of a virtual machine deployed by users of a business group. Creating a network profile provides an administrator capabilities similar to IPAM. vRA have an inbuilt IPAM solution baked with it, but you can also use external IPAM solution such as infoblox.

A network profile contains IP information such as gateway, subnet, and address range. vRealize Automation uses vSphere DHCP or a specified IPAM provider to assign IP addresses to the machines it provisions.

To create a new network profile, login to vRA as Fabric Admin user and navigate to Infrastructure > Reservations > Network Profile

Click on green + button to add a new profile. You will be presented to choose from External, NAT and Routed.  Let’s discuss about these a bit before proceeding further.

  • External: Existing network configured on the vSphere server. An external network profile can define a range of static IP addresses available on the external network. An IP range is created from an IP block during allocation.
  • NAT: NAT networks that use one set of IP addresses for external communication and another set for internal communications. With one-to-one NAT networks, every virtual machine is assigned an external IP address from the external network profile and an internal IP address from the NAT network profile. With one-to-many NAT networks, all machines share a single IP address from the external network profile for external communication.
  • Routed: Routed networks contain a routable IP space divided across subnets that are linked together using Distributed Logical Router (DLR). Every new routed network has the next available subnet assigned to it and is associated with other routed networks that use the same network profile. The virtual machines that are provisioned with routed networks that have the same routed network profile can communicate with each other and the external network.

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Provide a name for the profile and select the IPAM endpoint. In my lab I am just using the vRA inbuilt IPAM.

Select the subnet mask from the list and specify the gateway for this profile.

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On the network ranges page, click on + button to define a range of IP’s that will be distributed to virtual machines that are associated with this profile.

Provide a name for the range and define the start and end IP.

Click on Apply and OK to save the profile.

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Next we will be creating a reservation and associating this newly created network profile with that reservation.

What is Reservation?

Reservations is what vRA uses to grant a percentage of fabric group resources to a business group. Reservation can be created and associated to business group by Fabric Administrators.

Reservations basically carves out a pool of resources (memory, CPU, networking, and storage resources) from the total available resources (collected from vSphere endpoint during fabric configuration)

To create a new reservation, login to vRA as Fabric Admin user and navigate to Infrastructure > Reservations > Reservations and click on + button and select vSphere.

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  • Provide a name for the reservation and select the business group and from drop down menu select the group with which this reservation will be associated. 
  • Select Reservation Policy (if you have created any).
  • Set priority if needed. If you have multiple reservations created in a business group then, reservation with priority 1 is used for provisioning over a reservation with priority 2.

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Navigate to Resources tab and

  • Select the compute resource.
  • Define machine quota. This number dictates how many VM’s can be provisioned in a business group.
  • Define reservation for memory by entering a value under “This Reservation”
  • For defining storage quota, select a datastore from the list and edit it and set the value in GB. You can select multiple datastores for this and can reserve specific % of storage on each datastore. 
  • If you are using resource pools in vSphere and want that any VM deployed by users of a business group should land to a specific resource pool, then select the resource pool from the list. In my lab I am not using any resource pool (still a scary topic for me 🙁 )

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Navigate to Network tab and select the portgroup to which VM will be hooked when deployed by users of this business group. Also select the network profile which we created earlier.  

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On the alerts tab, you can reposition the sliders (everything sitting at 80% by default) for CPU/Memory/Storage and Machine quota so that when defined threshold is crossed, the business group manager of this business group can be notified for taking appropriate actions.

Define the business group manager name in the Recipients field. 

Hit OK to save this reservation. 

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The reservations which we just created will come into picture when we will start creating blueprints. We will cover this topic in next post. 

Note:

Tenant administrators or business group managers can also assign network profiles to blueprints by using the custom property VirtualMachine.NetworkN.ProfileName. If a network profile is specified in both the blueprint and the reservation, the profile specified in the blueprint takes precedence.

Additional Reading

Demystifying vRealize Automation Network Profiles

I hope you find this post informational. Feel free to share this on social media if it is worth sharing. Be sociable 🙂