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Extending vRealize Operations Actions with vRealize Orchestrator and Workflow Package

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When vRealize Operations Management 6.0 was released, VMware increased the flexibility afforded to administrators by adding the concepts of symptoms, recommendations and actions to the product. As you might expect, symptoms are thresholds or characteristics that define when a problem may have occurred or additional guidance may be needed. Recommendations are a customizable way to define what that additional guidance might be – and actions allow you to automate and carry out that guidance.

Since then, one of the most frequent questions from my customers has been “When will we be able to use vRealize Orchestrator for defining and adding automated remediation and resolution actions?”

I’m pleased to report that VMware has now enabled that capability via the vRealize Orchestrator Solution and Workflow Package for vRealize Operations. This package is available at the VMware Solution Exchange right now, and the purpose of this post is to guide you through the installation and configuration of it. The package adds many frequently-requested workflows, including:

  • Decommission a Host
  • Place a Host into Maintenance Mode
  • Perform a Power Off or Reboot on a Host
  • Manage VM or VM Group Snapshots
  • Migrate a VM or VM Group
  • Power Off, Power On or Reboot a VM or VM Group
  • Reconfigure a VM or VM Group (CPU and Memory settings)
  • Upgrade the VMware Tools for a VM or VM Group

Clicking the links above will bring you to the VMware Solution Exchange portal where you can read more about and download the package. Click the blue “Try” button to initiate the download.

VSX_Download_vRealize_Orchestrator_Solution_and_Workflows_for_vRealize_Operations

Once you have downloaded and extracted the ZIP file, it’s time to start the installation. The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure that both your vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Operations Manager are registered to the same vCenter instance. This can be done by comparing the data shown in the two screenshots below.

Validate_vRealize_Operations_vCenter_Connection

Validate _vRealize_Orchestrator_vCenter_Connection

As you can see above, both systems are taking to the same vCenter. We’re ready to begin!

First, you will need to import the Workflow package into your vRealize Orchestrator instance. Start by logging in to the Orchestrator Client.

Log_Into_vRealize_Orchestrator

Ensure that your client view is set to Administer

Switch_to_Administrator_View

Then, click on the Import Package button in the upper left of the right-hand panel.

Import_vRealize_Orchestrator_Package

Select the Remediation Actions Package (default filename is com.vmware.vrops.remediationactionsall-v15.package) and select Open

Select_Package_to_Import

You will be prompted to verify the software signature. Continue by selecting Import

Accept_Package_Signature

vRealize Orchestrator will then present you with a list of all of the new and changed elements that this package import will affect. No changes here are necessary, simply continue by clicking Import Selected Elements

Import_vRealize_Orchestrator_Package_Elements

Once the import completes, you will be able to view the new workflows. Click the Workflows tab to verify that there’s a whole bunch of new vRealize Operations Manager goodness present.

View_Imported_Workflows

You can also verify that the new workflows are present by switching back to the Run view, clicking the Workflows tab and expanding the new vRealize Operations Manager folder. You can see I already have a ton of great workflows by our friends Eric at Cloud Relevant and Sid at Daily Hypervisor in here.

Switch_to_Run_View_and_View_New_Workflows

That’s it for the vRealize Orchestrator side of things. Now you will need to switch over to your vRealize Operations Manager portal. Log in as a user with appropriate rights to add/update solutions. An admin user will work nicely.

Click on the Administration button, followed by the Solutions section. Then, click the Green + to add a new solution.

Import_New_vRealize_Operations_Solution

Select the solution file using the Browse button and click Upload. Once the upload completes and the PAK file has been verified, click Next to proceed with the installation.

Select_Solution_PAK

Accept the EULA and click Next again. Wait for the installation to complete, then select Finish

Complete_Solution_Installation

You can now verify that your new solution is installed by locating the vRealize Orchestrator Actions Adapter in the solutions list. Note that you may have to scroll down to find it, if you have several solutions installed. You may also notice that the adapter instance is not yet configured. Let’s tackle that next!

Verify_New_Solution_is_Installed

To configure the adapter instance, ensure that the vRealize Orchestrator Actions Adapter is still selected, then click the Gears icon at the top, next to the Green + we clicked a few steps back.

Give your new adapter a name, and enter the IP or hostname of your vRealize Orchestrator instance. Be sure to use the same Orchestrator instance as we verified at the beginning of this process. Click the Green + to add credentials for the instance.

Configure_New_vRealize_Operations_Solution

Enter your credentials and click OK

Add_New_Credential

Next, click Test Connection. You may be presented with a certificate warning – click OK if you trust the certificate, and then your test should be successful!

Accept_vRealize_Orchestrator_Certificate

Solution_Test_Successful

Save your new adapter by clicking Save Settings and finally Close the configuration dialog.

That’s it for the installation! You can verify that the new actions are present by clicking on the Content tab inside vRealize Operations and selecting Actions from the list on the left. If all went well, you should see the 8 new actions present. These can now be combined with symptoms and recommendations to unlock many new possibilities for remediation inside your environment.

View_New_Available_Actions
(Click for larger image)

I hope this guide has been useful to you. Please feel free to share your feedback in the comments below.

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Comments

7 comments have been added so far

  1. The above steps worked well for the install but is there a set of instructions on how I can actually use it from here on?
    I’d like to power on an additional VM via vRO workflow when vROPS triggers an alert on a specific VM.
    Any configuration steps available for such a configuration?

    1. Sure thing! If you check out the official documentation on creating and managing Alerts in vROps at https://pubs.vmware.com/vrealizeoperationsmanager-6/index.jsp#com.vmware.vcom.core.doc/GUID-F9AF30F3-089B-43A8-8323-F266E51C05B8.html you should find what you’re looking for. Basically, an Alert is a combination of three things – a Symptom, a Recommendation and an Action. You’ll define your Symptom as being whatever the criteria are for booting that additional VM. Your recommendation will be “Boot an additional VM”, and your Action will be tied to the vRO Action that you configured via the above guide. I hope this helps!

  2. As GD stated, the above steps worked well for the install, but is there documentation or information in reference to if it doesn’t go according to plan? For example, what to do if the vOrchestrator adapter collects but has an error in the Collection Status column, how to troubleshoot the error, or what’s the point in uploading both pak files in the vRO and vROps? Or even, how to verify if it’s working like to it’s suppose to. I’m trying to get the remediation click button on vROps when VMs or whatever object has an issue, with one-click it can be resolved…That button still isn’t there even after the installing of the pak…Which is why i even wanted to install it.
    Any suggestions or documentation to answer these questions/examples?

    Thanks

    1. The remediation button is controlled in Administration > Global Settings > Automated Actions (set to Enabled).

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