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What’s New in VMware Aria Guardrails – January 2023

The January release of VMware Aria Guardrails has arrived and introduces a few updates that will be covered in this post.

  • Dry run a Template against an Azure environment
  • Create a Template from an existing Azure environment

The release cadence for Guardrails is still aligned to that of VMware Aria Automation so these updates therefore have been released alongside the 8.11.0 / January 2023 release of Aria Automation.

VMware Aria Guardrails is currently available as a Technical Preview only.

Dry run a Template against an Azure environment

The November release of Guardrails introduced support for Azure, but with this update a couple of parity gaps are being closed when compared to the support that Guardrails has for AWS. The first of these is the ability to “dry run” the application of a Desired State.

As a reminder, in VMware Aria Guardrails a Desired State is formed from the combination of a Template with environment specific configuration data. This makes the Template easily reusable by combining it with different configuration data. However, before executing a Desired State and making changes to a particular cloud environment, it’s good practice to be able to perform some sort of test to see what changes will be made by the execution. That is what the dry run functionality is for. Let’s look at it in action briefly.

If we’re working with a new environment that hasn’t had any Desired States applied to it in the past, then the drop-down menu on the environment’s Desired States tab offers us the ability to add one. It also allows us to select the option to “Test Against Template” as shown in the screenshot below.

Graphical user interface, text, application, TeamsDescription automatically generated

If we’re working with an environment that has been used with Guardrails previously, then instead we’ll see the currently applied Desired States and a separate section that shows us any tests that have been executed against the environment.

Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

As you can see in the screenshot above, I have already executed one test against this environment. The “Test Against Template” button allows me to do so again.

Regardless of the route chosen to perform the dry run, you will be prompted to select first a Project and then a Template to use. With that done, any input parameters (or configuration) required for the Template must be filled in. Then you can click the “Test” button to execute the test.

Graphical user interfaceDescription automatically generated

The dry run will be queued and executed.

Graphical user interface, text, application, emailDescription automatically generated

Once completed, the results of the test can be viewed using the link in the Results column.

Create a Template from an existing Azure environment

The second feature that has been added for Azure environments is the ability to create a new Template using an existing cloud environment.

When viewing the environment that you want to create a new Template from, the option to do so is accessed from the Action menu as shown in the screenshot below.

Graphical user interface, text, applicationDescription automatically generated

Selecting the option shows a dialog that lists the types of resource that will be captured and even auto populates a Template name for you. Of course, you can change that if you want.

Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

Guardrails will then generate the new template for you. This template could easily be applied as a Desired State back on to the source environment so that the configuration can be enforced by Guardrails and any drift can be detected. Alternatively, with a little bit of customisation, the Template could be made more generic so that it can be applied to multiple different environments.

Try VMware Aria Guardrails

The new Azure features in this release of VMware Aria Guardrails makes it a solution that will suit customers using multiple cloud providers. And it’s not just for new cloud accounts, with brownfield account discovery and templating it can be adopted by customers with existing cloud accounts as well.

To try out VMware Aria Automation and VMware Aria Guardrails, activate a free trial on the VMware website and see these new features for yourself.

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