vRealize Automation 7.3-Simple Installation: Part 9: Configuring Blueprints

By | 15/01/2018

In last post of this series we learnt about Network profiles and Reservations. In this post we will be focussing on how to create blueprints. Blueprints in one thing with which you will be spending a lot of time day in day out. 

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

8: Creating Network Profiles & Reservations

Lets start the discussion with blueprints.

What is 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.

To create a blueprint, login to vRA using Tenant Admin credentials and navigate to Design > Blueprints and click on + button to add a new blueprint.

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Specify following:

  • Name for the blueprint. 
  • Based on your provided name, vRealize Automation automatically assigns a permanent, unique ID to this blueprint. This ID can’t be changed later.
  • Select deployment limit if you want to limit the max number of deployment that can be created per request. Max allowed value is 100. Leave blank for unlimited deployments. 
  • Lease (days) Minimum and Maximum specifies how long a machine can be used before it gets destroyed.
  • Specifying Archive (days) implies that the machines are not automatically destroyed when the lease expires. When lease expires, VM’s are turned off until the archive period expires and is deleted afterwards. If no value is specified here, VM’s are deleted immediately when lease expires. 

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Once you hit OK, blueprint designer will be opened where you will be designing the blueprint by adding the stuffs into the canvas. The designer works pretty easy: Choose a category from the left pane, drag and drop an element from the item list to the design canvas, select the item on the canvas and configure its properties.

In this example I am adding a vSphere Machine item to the canvas. 

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Under general tab, specify following:

  • The ID of the machine. Optionally provide a description.
  • If Display location on request is selected, it lets end-user to see to which ‘datacenter location’ a machine is provisioned to.
  • Specify Reservation Policy by selecting one from the drop down list.
  • Specify Machine Prefix from the list. You can either select the business group’s machine prefix (created earlier) or you can override this setting.
  • Specify a Minimum and a Maximum amount of instances that can be deployed.

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Navigate to build information tab and:

  • Blueprint Type: Supported values are Desktop and Server. We are selecting server for this demonstration.
  • Action: Supported actions are Create,Clone, Linked Clone, NetApp FlexClone. I am going to clone from a template so I selected clone here. 
  • Clone From: Select a template which will be used in provisioning VM’s when end user want to deploy VM’s from this blueprint. This template should be present in vSphere endpoint.
  • Customization Spec: Select a customization specification manager from vSphere. 

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Navigate to Machine Resources and: 

  • Specify Min and Max CPU that can be assigned to VM deployed from this blueprint.
  • Specify Min and max memory for this VM.
  • Change the size of virtual disk if you want a different size than what is specified in the template used. 

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Navigate to storage tab. The table on this tab is pre-filled based on your configuration on the build information tab.

In addition, you can associate your disk drives with a reservation storage policy. Also, it is possible to specify a drive letter / mount point for your drives, but for this to work you need guest agent to be working correctly in the selected template. 

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Navigate to Network tab. When you initially configure a machine template, no network components are configured, so you have to drag a network component onto the canvas and configure if for your network adapter.

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Select Network & Security from the list and drag and drop Existing Network to the canvas.

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Select the network added to canvas and from General tab, select the network profile what will be associated with this network. We have already created this in last post of this series. 

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I am not using any DNS for this network, so I skipped to IP Ranges. Select an IP range from the list (if more than one range is associated with selected network profile). 

Click on save button.

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You will be redirected to canvas. Now in the network tab, select the network and specify method for assigning IP’s. Also you can specify the max number of NIC’s that can be assigned to virtual machine deployed from this blueprint. 

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I am not doing and NSX and custom properties related stuffs, so I left the next 2 tabs blank at the moment.

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Click on Save and Finish button to complete the blueprint creation wizard. 

Select the newly created template and click on Publish button.

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And that’s it for this post. In next post of this series we will learn about entitlements and catalogs.

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

Category: vRealize Automation

About Alex Hunt

Hi All I am Manish Jha. I am currently working in OVH US as Operations Support Engineer (vCloud Air Operations). I have around 7 Years of IT experience and have exposure on VMware vSphere, vCloud Director,vSphere Replication, vRealize Automation, NSX and RHEL. If you find any post informational to you please press like and share it across social media and leave your comments if you want to discuss further on any post. Disclaimer: All the information on this website is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. I don’t make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this blog is strictly at your own risk. The Views and opinions published on this blog are my own and not the opinions of my employer or any of the vendors of the product discussed.