VMware Aria Automation Config SaltStack Config VMware Aria Automation Assembler

Getting Started with SaltStack Config – Working with the SaltStack Config Resource in VMware Aria Automation

In this part of the “Getting Started with SaltStack Config” series, we will show you how to work with the SaltStack Config resource, in VMware Aria Automation, to Saltify a compute resource by deploying a minion to existing deployed resources with a day 2 action.

In our previous blog, Getting Started with SaltStack Config: SaltStack integration in Aria Automation Templates, we reviewed adding a SaltStack resource to a VMware Aria Automation Template. By the end of this article, you will know how to add or update a SaltStack Config resource for existing deployments in VMware Aria Automation.

Aria Automation SaltStack Config Resource Updates

Beginning with VMware Aria Cloud Assembly 8.8, we introduced the SaltStack Config resource and deprecated the saltConfiguration property from cloud templates. Since then, we have been working hard to improve the SaltStack Config resource to be more powerful and extensible.

With the 8.10 release of VMware Aria Cloud Assembly, the SaltStack Config resource has been improved with the Additional Minion Parameters and Additional Authentication Parameter properties. Additionally, the saltConfiguration property is no longer available for use in cloud templates, noted in the vRealize Automation December 2022 Release Notes.

The entire list of properties can be reviewed on the VMware Documentation page: Add the SaltStack Config resource to the template.

You can use the SaltStack Config resource to deploy minions and apply state files when deploying Linux and Windows machines. To add or update minions and state files on existing deployments, run the Attach SaltStack Resource, day 2 action. For more about the day 2 action, see What actions can I run on Cloud Assembly deployments.

The day 2 action, Attach SaltStack Resource, can be leveraged with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and VMware vSphere deployed or on-boarded machines. The Attach Salt Resource action is available if you configured the SaltStack Config integration, noted in Getting Started with SaltStack Config – SaltStack integration in Aria Automation Templates.

Attach SaltStack Resource

To begin start by opening an existing deployment, select actions from the compute resources day 2 actions menu, then select Attach SaltStack Resource.

Attach a SaltStack Resource to a deployed compute resource, from the day 2 action menu.
Attach a SaltStack Resource to a deployed compute resource, from the day 2 action menu.

To apply a configuration, first select an authentication method. The Remote access with existing credentials uses the remote access credentials if they are included in the deployment as a property of the machine. If the credentials were updated on the machine after deployment, the action can fail. However, if you know the new credentials, select the Password authentication method to leverage them. If the deployment dose not leverage RemoteAccess, then Password will be highlighted, and the username and password can be inputted.

The Password and Private key use the username and the password or key to validate your credentials and then connect to the virtual machine using SSH.

Beginning in 8.11 we enhanced the form to include additional options to specify the Pillar Environment, “Additional Auth Parameters“, and “Additional Minion Parameters” properties.

Added the ability to specify "additionalAuthParams", "additionalMinionParams", and "pillarEnvironment" properties to the SaltStack day 2 action "Attach SaltStack Resource".
Added the ability to specify “Additional Auth Parameters“, “Additional Minion Parameters”, and “Pillar Environment” properties to the SaltStack resource day 2 action “Attach SaltStack Resource“.

After supplying the values to provision the resource, SaltStack will install the minion with the parameters provided. Once provisioned, the SaltStack resource will be connected on the canvas to the compute resource and displays the Salt Configuration details.

Attached a SaltStack resource successfully.
Attached a SaltStack resource successfully.

Update a SaltStack Config Resource

Once a SaltStack Config resource is deployed, and attached to the compute resource, it may be updated by selecting “Update the Salt Configuration” from the day 2 action menu for the resource. As part of the updates in this release we have added the ability to update the Pillar Environment.

Added the ability to specify "pillarEnvironment" properties to SaltStack Day-2 action "Update Salt Configuration".
Added the ability to specify “Pillar Environment” properties to SaltStack Day-2 action “Update Salt Configuration“.

VMware Aria Automation Config (formally known as SaltStack Config) is a powerful tool for automating and configuring cloud services.

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