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VMware Aria Automation May (8.12.1) – Rebuild a vSphere Virtual Machine

With the 8.12.1 / May 2023 release of VMware Aria Automation, there is a new feature that we wanted to highlight: the ability for a user to re-provision a vSphere virtual machine in a deployment using a Day 2 operation.

In this short technical post, you will see the feature in operation and understand how it can be used.

How to find the Rebuild Day 2 operation

In VMware Aria Automation, Day 2 operations are contextual actions that may be executed on an existing object. In this case, the object is a vSphere virtual machine. To demonstrate this capability, we will be working with a simple Cloud Template containing a single vSphere virtual machine.

formatVersion: 1
inputs: {}
    type: Cloud.vSphere.Machine
      image: 'ubuntu-18'
      cpuCount: 1
      totalMemoryMB: 1024

It’s not even worth adding an image as it’s that simple!

Having created the Cloud Template, creating a deployment from it took only moments to complete. The Rebuild action for the provisioned virtual machine is accessed from the Actions menu (see Figure 1. below).

Figure 1. A VMware Aria Automation Assembler deployment showing the Rebuild action.

Of course, not everybody accesses their deployments in Assembler. The same deployment can be viewed in Service Broker. Alternatively, either the Resource or the Virtual Machine can be accessed directly from other menus in Service Broker (see Figure 2. below).

Figure 2. A Virtual Machine in VMware Aria Automation Service Broker showing the Rebuild action.

The Day 2 operation is displayed by default for the following user roles:

  • Assembler administrators
  • Service Broker administrators
  • Project administrators
  • Deployment owners

As with other Day 2 operations in VMware Aria Automation, the Rebuild action can be enabled for other users, groups or roles using a Day 2 Action policy in Service Broker (see Figure 3. below).

Figure 3. An example Day 2 Action policy can be used to enable the Rebuild action.

Rebuild requirements and considerations

There are a number of requirements and considerations that should be taken into account when using this new feature.

  • As the Rebuild operation will trigger a redeployment of the virtual machine in vCenter, it could take several minutes to complete depending on factors such as storage and network performance in the vSphere environment and the size of the template being used.
  • With the initial release of this feature, only virtual machines that have been deployed by VMware Aria Automation are supported. Onboarded or migrated virtual machines will not display the Rebuild action.
  • The Rebuild action can be used for all virtual machine states except “Missing”. So states such as “on”, “off”, “failed” etc. will show the action.
  • Any non-persistent disks attached to the virtual machine will also be wiped clean.
  • Any First Class Disks (FCD) present will be detached from the virtual machine but will not be altered by the Rebuild action.

It’s a simple but often requested addition to VMware Aria Automation. Which other Day 2 actions would you be most excited about seeing in future releases? Let us know in the comments and thank you for reading.

For more info or questions on this, reach out to Michael on Twitter.


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