Cloud Application Management Cloud Automation Cloud Management Platform Container Management DevOps vCenter Orchestrator vRealize Automation

Virtual Container Host (VCH) as a Service using vRealize Automation (vRA)

Contributions by Alka Gupta, Bhuvanesh Kumar Ravichandran and Pranay Bakre


vRealize Automation 7.2 and later versions support provisioning and management of Virtual Container Hosts(VCH) for running vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC). Below we outline the steps to automate provisioning of VCH from a vRA Service catalog, using XaaS blueprint in vRA.

  1. Download the ‘’ file attached at the end of this blog and unzip it
  2. Login to vRealize Orchestrator in your environment. Select ‘Design’ from the dropdown on the homepage and select ‘Import Package…’
  3. Select the ‘vmware.vra.vic.package’ from the zip file and import it as below –

  1. Once imported successfully, you should see the package and its workflows in the inventory. Go to the workflows tab and verify that you see the workflows as below –


  1. Go to the Configurations tab and select the configuration element found under the path – VMware->VIC Deploy->vRealize Automation->Targets

Edit the element as per your environment settings. You can change the name of the element too.      Note – If you are using multiple clusters in your environment then you need to add an additional attribute named ‘compute-resource’ and the name of the cluster as its value

  1. Make sure to keep the same name for another configuration element which is found under the path – VMware->VIC Deploy->vRealize Automation->Deployments

Edit the name of the element and delete its attributes (if any)

  1. Go to the workflows tab, expand the tree – Library->Dynamic Types->Configuration and execute the workflow – Import Configuration From Package
  2. Select the ‘dynamictypes-config-23-Feb-2017-19-36-55-GMT.package’ and submit the workflow as below –



  1. Copy the vic v1.2.0.tar file (part of vSphere Integrated Containers 1.2.0 OVA ) to your vRO environment
  2. Login to the vRO appliance and copy the vic v1.2.0.tar file to this location –


  1. Untar the file using the following command –

tar –xvf vic1.2.0.tar

  1. A folder should be created on the path name vic
  2. Change the permissions for this folder – chown –R vco:vco vic
  3. Verify the change of permissions by executing – ls –l
  4. Edit the /etc/vco/app-server/properties file and add the following property – com.vmware.js.allow-local-process=true
  1. Close the editor and restart the vco service – /etc/init.d/vco-server restart
  2. Go back to the unzipped directory of ‘’ that you downloaded in the first step and import the Xaas blueprint into your vRA setup using a utility called CloudClient
  3. Login to your vRA environment using CloudClient –

  1. Import the blueprint as shown in the screenshot below –

Once you successfully import the blueprint, you should see this blueprint in vRA like below –


  1. Similarly, execute the command – vra content import again for the xaas-resource action and import it also in vRA
  2. Login to your vRA tenant, navigate to Design->XaaS->XaaS Blueprints and edit the blueprint ‘Deploy Virtual Container Host’
  3. Go to the Blueprint Form tab and select the field named – Select vSphere / ESXi Host

Make sure that the ‘Default Value’ matches the name of configuration element specified in Step-8

  1. Publish this blueprint. Add it to a vRA service and create entitlements for the DevOps users who will be requesting this blueprint
  2. Similarly, add the ‘Destroy VCH’ action to the entitlements for DevOps users. This action will be used to remove VCH from the environment
  3. Go to the vRA Catalog tab and you should see ‘Deploy Virtual Container Host’ as a catalog item
  4. Request the item, pass in the required parameters like – Virtual Container Host Name and Bridge Network Port Group and submit the request

  1. Check the status of your request in the Requests tab
  2. Login to vSphere and you should see a vApp named ‘Demo-01’ and a VM with the same name provisioned in your environment as shown in screenshot below –


  1. Login to your vRA tenant, navigate to the ‘Containers’ tab and in the ‘Hosts’ section you should see ‘Demo-01’ with status as ‘ON’ as shown below –


Once the VCH is deployed, the URL of the VCH can be made available to the developers who can start deploying vSphere Integrated Container using the Docker Client OR from vRA using the vRA-Containers provisioning feature.


3 comments have been added so far

  1. Hi! Great post, thank you! But unfortunately this link doesn’t work – “Download the ‘”. Instead of vRO package I uploaded PowerPoint presentation…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *