vRealize Automation

vRealize Automation (vRA) is VMware’s industry-leading hybrid cloud management platform. vRA automates the delivery of applications across multiple clouds. Application architects can describe their deployment topology with the converged blueprint designer. vRA blueprints automate the app deployments and make this a repeatable process for the IT organizations as well as the development teams.

Container management in vRA

vRA offers built-in container management capabilities. You can easily deploy and manage your container hosts and clusters with vRA.

Containers tab in vRA includes an application template designer for visual composition of complex apps. vRA can deploy these multi-image app topologies across the hosts based on the policies.

You can also include containers in the machine blueprints, and publish them into the catalog. This enables self service consumption and policy based governance for containerized applications.

The following picture gives an overview of various container management use cases supported in vRA.

Container management use cases in vRA

Lets go through each one of these use cases:

  1. vRA simplifies the deployment of container hosts and clusters.

    Deploying and managing container orchestration environments can be costly and time consuming. vRA allows IT to deliver container hosts for their development teams. Cloud Administrators can create placement zones with these hosts. They can also set placement policies and define quotas to control the amount of resources consumed.

  2. Application Developers can choose the native tools

    vRA provides governance and control for the IT organizations while allowing the development teams choose the native tools they need for the job. Developers can access to the container hosts and deploy their apps using their favorite tool.

  3.  vRA offers built-in visual designer and orchestration for containerized applications

    Development teams can create app templates using the built in visual designer or simply upload the application definition in Docker compose format for deployment. vRA deploys the multi-image app templates based on the placement policies defined by the cloud admin.

  4. vRA allows mixing containers with VMs in a single blueprint

    Many organizations turn to containers as they transform their legacy applications. Decomposing monolithic apps incrementally and putting them into containers is a great way to build portable applications. vRA helps in your application transformation journey by automating deployment of such applications. vRA blueprints can include infrastructure and application components as well as containers.

  5. vRA provides policy based governance  & self-service consumption for containerized applications

    vRA blueprints allow you to embed policy and automation directly into a model of the environment that will be provisioned when the blueprint is deployed. You can then publish these containerized app blueprints into the catalog for self-service consumption. IT organizations can control the target endpoints for the containerized apps, define who can request, and who needs to approve among other things.

In summary, 

Using vRA you can:

  • Deploy & manage docker hosts on VMware SDDC as well as any cloud providers such as AWS or Azure
  • Build placement zones based on these docker hosts and define placement policies.

vRA7.3 Container hosts

vRA7.3 Container hosts


  • Assign placement zones to business groups and set resource quotas.
  • Describe application templates using the Docker Compose format
  • Describe application templates with the built-in visual designer
  • Deploy application templates or individual Docker images

vRA 7.3 Container Management - Containers

vRA 7.3 Container Management – Containers

  • Scale out applications
  • View application logs
  • SSH into running containers
  • Monitor resource consumption
vRA7.3 Container details
vRA7.3 Container details


I hope this gives a good overview of the container management capabilities in vRA. We will cover some of these features in more detail in following weeks.


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