vRealize Automation

Author Interview with vExpert Guido Soeldner on “Mastering vRealize Automation 7.1”

Guido Soeldner and his brothers Constatin and Jens-Henrik published their book “Mastering vRealize Automation 7.1: Implementing Cloud Management in the Enterprise Environment” in late October 2016. The three are principals of Soeldner Consult GmbH in Nuremberg, Germany.


We caught up with Guido to discuss their book and to get his thoughts on vRealize Automation. A vExpert, Guido has four years of experience using, training and consulting on vRealize Automation.


VMware: Your new book recently published. What can readers expect in “Mastering vRealize Automation 7.1: Implementing Cloud Management in the Enterprise Environment”?


GS: Our book covers all aspects of building a private cloud with VMware vRealize Automation. First, readers will gain an understanding of private cloud computing and learn how to design a private cloud environment. In addition to extensive design discussions, the book provides detailed hands-on instruction how to implement vRealize Automation at the customer’s site. In addition, large sections of the book describe how to extend vRealize Automation by using vRealize Orchestrator and integrate it with vRealize Operations, Log Insight, vRealize Business and even third-party tools like Infoblox. We draw on extensive consulting experience, having implemented what is probably the largest German vRA installation.


VMware: In your role as a consultant and trainer, why are customers adopting vRealize Automation?


GS: With cloud computing becoming relevant to nearly everybody, many companies struggle to find the right cloud computing strategy. vRealize Automation helps those customers to leverage their existing IT assets, making it ready for the cloud while still having full control of how quickly they want to move on to the cloud. While many customers are only interested in automatically deploying virtual machines and providing a self-service catalog, other customers have built impressive and comprehensive private clouds with service offering similar to what public cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services provide. In addition, by having a fully customizable service catalog and an orchestrating engine, they can always decide if they want to implement offerings by themselves or use existing public cloud offerings. In any case, vRealize Automation greatly enhances the enterprise agility while still having the whole control about the service offerings and being able to enforce governance rules within the company.  

VMware: What features of vRealize Automation 7.x have captured your attention?


GS: vRealize Automation 7 has lots of improvements to boast. Most notably are – of course – the new blueprint designer including the application authoring capabilities, the installation wizard, new Event Broker or support for containers. However, it is the small enhancements in vRealize Automation 7, but also in 7.1 and 7.2 that makes the private cloud admin’s life so much easier. vRealize Automation now ships with so many built-in features that the time to set up vRealize Automation and implement basic use cases is greatly reduced.


VMware: What components of vRealize Automation 7.x have users shown the most interest in? What is driving interest in vRealize Automation?


GS: Besides the many built-in features of vRealize Automation, it is the extensibility options that users are interested in. Each company focuses on different features and use cases. However, using vRealize Orchestrator together with vRealize Automation allows them to implement nearly all of them. Once vRealize Automation is fully running, customers really love the XaaS designer to publish new service offerings to their internal customers.


VMware: What words of advice do you have for new users of vRealize Automation?


GS: vRealize Automation is certainly a product with a steep learning curve. While most VMware products only need to be installed and configured to be ready-for-use, people should not only see vRealize Automation as a product, but as a platform to build up your own cloud solution. Hence, having automation skills is inevitable. So my advice is, learn scripting and programming and use Orchestrator as much as possible. It is really a great product.


VMware: Where can interested readers find your book?


GS: You can buy the most recent version of our book at amazon.com.

A previous community edition of our book can also be found on our blog at cloudadvisors.net.


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