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Tag Archives: plug-ins

vCO Spring Plug-in season is here!

vco-plug-ins

The Spring is here along with the season gifts from vCenter Orchestrator Team just in time for Easter.  The holiday plug-in bundle comes with quite a few new integrations and major updates.

  1. vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vCloud Automation Center 6.0.1
    vCenter Orchestrator  became  an integral part of vCloud automation center since version 6.0, playing a major role of an unified integration layer and XaaS engine.  In order to better serve the extensibility story of vCAC VMware released  vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vCloud Automation Center 6.0.1.vcac-plug-in By using the new plug-in you are now able to automate variety of management and end user operations within vCAC related to service provisioning and XaaS, catalog management, policy based management and authorization. For more information you can refer to vCAC blog.

2. vCenter Orchestrator AWS Plug-in 1.0:  vCO is now able to automatically manage and integrate your Datacenter resources residing at Amazon public cloud space. The Orchestrator Plug-In for Amazon Web Services (AWS) 1.0. exposes the functionality of the Amazon Elastic Cloud. The plug-in’s API exposes the AWS API and lets workflow developers create content similar to the content created through the AWS Java SDK.

3. The long awaited vCO Powershell plug-in 1.0.4 is updated to support Powershell 4.0 inventory and is fully backward compatible with your existing scripts.

Following VMware plug-ins has also been updated to support new vCO Configuration API and platform versions:

  • vCenter Orchestrator Auto-Deploy Plug-in 1.0.3
  • vCenter Orchestrator Multi-Node Plug-In 5.5.1
  • vCenter Orchestrator AMQP Plug-in 1.0.3

For additional information on these materials, please visit the plug-in release notes sites listed below:

vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vCloud Automation Center 6.0.1
vCenter Orchestrator AWS Plug-in 1.0
vCenter Orchestrator Powershell plug-in 1.0.4
vCenter Orchestrator Auto-Deploy Plug-in 1.0.3
vCenter Orchestrator Multi-Node Plug-In 5.5.1
vCenter Orchestrator AMQP Plug-in 1.0.3

Happy Spring and enjoy the new vCO Plug-ins!

 

vCenter Orchestrator Holiday Gifts

 

The vCenter Orchestrator gifts season started a few months ago with the general availability of vCO 5.5. The compelling release was announced just in time to share the vCO momentum at VMworld.  Along with the amazing new features introduced, VMware continues with a lot more presents.

This year the holiday magic brings to vCenter Orchestrator users several updates, product integrations and learning gadgets that make automation with vCO more powerful than ever.

1. VMware has just announced the GA of VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0(vCAC 6.0). The extension and creation of XaaS is done using the vCAC Advanced Service Designer which allows you to seamlessly leverage any vCO workflow and convert it to a catalog item or day 2 operation, available as a service in the vCAC Self-service portal.

 2. vCO CLI is the code name of the new debugging extension which will not only facilitate all experienced vCenter Orchestrator users and also helps the newcomers to programmatically explore the rich vCO ecosystem through interactive command shell. Access to the vCO plug-in’s inventory is integrated into the tool UI for easy navigation to the integrated solution objects.

3. Our super powerful and generic HTTT- REST and SOAP plug-ins are now able to support proxy configurations and assure security compliance of your automated solutions.

4. The long awaited vCO Powershell plug-in 1.0.3 is updated to support Powershell 3.0 inventory and is fully backward compatible with your existing scripts.

5. In vCenter Orchestrator plug-in for Microsoft Active Directory 1.0.4 the old configuration mode is removed and you are now able to configure the plug-in automatically through native vCO workflows.

For additional information on these materials, please visit the following sites:

The entire vCO team wishes you the very best for the holidays and 2014.

Cheers!

vCenter Orchestrator 5.1 Update 1 Released

Voila! vCenter Orchestrator 5.1. Update 1 Is Now Available!

This is not just an ordinary update release.  vCO 5.1.1 actually incorporates significant enhancement around built-in plug-ins and the vCO platform itself.

Please, take your time and read throughout the outlines below to find out more about this compelling release.

vCenter Server configuration

Yes, it is true: tedious manual configuration of vCenter Server is no longer required when you use vCO 5.1.1.  The new release provides out-of–the box workflows that automate the configuration of vCenter Server instances, thereby allowing you to dynamically provision vCenter Server capacity  in your datacenter.

Notifications, notifications, … and more notifications

Sending and receiving e-mail notifications have always been an important part of most automation processes.  In addition to POP, vCO now provides out-of-the-box support for the IMAP protocol. And triggering notification or notification-based workflows have never been easier thanks to significant improvements in available scripting methods.  The E-mail plug-in has been extended with several new scripting objects that can be used either with the IMAP or POP client for:

  • Retrieving messages
  • Reading details of the retrieved messages as well as file attachments
  • Searching messages
  • Deleting messages

Fine-tuning and fixes

When it comes to workflow development, we all know that the sum of little things is what adds up to a great experience.  With that in mind, we’ve included quite a number of changes and fixes that we trust will go a long way to improving your experience:

  • The zooming feature in the workflow schema has been enhanced so that it re-centers on the selected element(s).  It is now available in the contextual element menu and as a shortcut.
  • Copy and paste is the key to productive workflow development. vCO 5.1.1 is enhanced not to miss any of the properties of your workflow activity element during the copy paste process.
  • Take a deep breath and relax – no more issues with JSON.  vCenter Orchestrator 5.1.1 introduces a new JSON format that can be used by providing the Accept: application/json;v=5.1.1 header

For a complete list of all fixes, please be sure to read through the vCO 5.1.1 release notes and documentation listed below.

VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.1.1 Download Landing Page:

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vcloud_suite/5_1

vCO VA:

 https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=VSP51-VCL-VCOVA-511&productId=284&rPId=3571

Documentation Landing Page:

http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/orchestrator_pubs.html

Release notes:

http://www.vmware.com/support/orchestrator/doc/vcenter-orchestrator-511-release-notes.html#resissues

VMware Releases vCenter Orchestrator Gifts in Time for the Holidays

As 2012 comes to a close, we thought it would be a great time to end the year with some gifts to put under your (virtual) holiday tree!

2012 was a great year for automation in general, with the launch of the vCloud Suite 5.1, and orchestration in particular, with the release of vCenter Orchestrator 5.1.  Our team was extremely happy to see a tremendous increase in vCO adoption, and a growing list of integrations with other management systems.

In that spirit, we are very glad to announce the availability of several integrations and learning tools to make your automation projects easier than ever before.

1. vCloud Automation Center 5.1, which was just released, provides the ability to extend pre-built processes and post-provisioning actions by invoking vCO workflows. This means that any technical integration or logic built in vCO can be leveraged by vCAC’s lifecycle-management platform, thereby broadening the realm of self-service provisioning and basic administration for consumers of IT services.

2. Reversely, the new vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for VMware vCloud Automation Center allows organizations to automate vCAC provisioning and post-provisioning tasks. With these two components, customers can leverage full bi-directional integration capabilities between vCloud Automation Center and vCenter Orchestrator.

3. Another new offering is the vCenter Orchestrator Elastic Service Plug-in. This plug-in provides a foundation for the self-scaling virtual datacenter, by automatically balancing the physical resources between virtual datacenters in VMware vCloud environments. This plug-in contains a rules engine that can analyze resource usage metrics (for instance, metrics captured by vCenter Operations Manager) and make scale-up or scale-down decisions automatically.

4. The vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for VMware Service Manager enables organizations to automate operations around Configuration, Incident, Task and Service Request management.  Thanks to this plug-in, repetitive tasks such as updating an Incident or creating a Configuration Item when a new virtual machine is provisioned can now be fully automated.

5. And to help you take advantage of all of the above gifts, the VMware Training department just released over 10 self-paced vCO training videos available for free!

For additional information on these materials, please visit the following sites:

 

The entire vCO team wishes you the very best for the holidays and 2013.

Cheers!

vCO PowerShell plug-in

vCenter Orchestrator + PowerShell plug-in = vCenter Orchestrator on steroids. Windows PowerShell is command-line shell and scripting language designed especially for system administration, as such he has wide-spread industry support. There are PowerShell scripts already written for most of the task you will ever need. Enabling vCO user to use and reuse those scripts is one of the most exiting feature of vCO. In short vCO PowerShell plug-in is used to call PowerShell scripts and cmdlets from Orchestrator actions and workflows, and to work with the result.

PowerShell host configuration

One of the drawbacks of PowerShell is that it is windows dependant. That's why we need a Windows machine with PowerShell instaled on it (PowerShell host). Connection between the PowerShell plug-in and PowerShell host machine is established using WinRM or OpenSSH. To configure PowerShell plugin make sure that winrm service is installed on the PowerShell host and run trough following configuration steps.

Procedure

  • Run the following command to set the default WinRM configuration values.
    c:\> winrm quickconfig
  • (Optional) Run the following command on the WinRM service to check whether a listener is running, and verify the default ports.
    c:\> winrm e winrm/config/listener The default ports are 5985 for HTTP, and 5986 for HTTPS.
  • Enable basic authentication on the WinRM service.
    • Run the following command to check whether basic authentication is allowed.
      c:\> winrm get winrm/config
    • Run the following command to enable basic authentication.
      c:\> winrm set winrm/config/service/auth @{Basic="true"}
  • Run the following command to allow transfer of unencrypted data on the WinRM service.
    c:\> winrm set winrm/config/service @{AllowUnencrypted="true"}
  • Enable basic authentication on the WinRM client.
    • Run the following command to check whether basic authentication is allowed.
      c:\> winrm get winrm/config
    • Run the following command to enable basic authentication.
      c:\> winrm set winrm/config/service/auth @{Basic="true"}
  • Run the following command to allow transfer of unencrypted data on the WinRM client.
    c:\> winrm set winrm/config/client @{AllowUnencrypted="true"}
  • [Updated] Run the following command to enable winrm connections from vCO host.
    c:\> winrm set winrm/config/client @{TrustedHosts ="vco_host"} 
  • Run the following command to test the connection to the WinRM service.
    c:\> winrm identify -r:http://winrm_server:5985 -auth:basic -u:user_name -p:password -encoding:utf-8

Before start working with a PowerShell host you need to register it in vCO.

Add_a_PowerShell_host
Add a PowerShell host validates connection to PowerShell and registers the host only if connection is successful. The difference between shared and not shared mode is which user credentials are used to connect to PowerShel host

  • Shared Mode – in this mode all users are using the same credentials
  • Session Per User – in this mode the currently logged user credentials are used

Invoke a PowerShell script

Having an existing PowerShell script you can invoke it without any modifications. Invoke a PowerShell script workflow is suitable for single invocation of script. The result from execution will be available into vCO log tab. This workflow requires you to specify the target host, and the script to be executed. For example we will invoke following script trough vCO:


# Get set of adapters
$adapters  = [System.Net.NetworkInformation.NetworkInterface]::GetAllNetworkInterfaces()
# For each adapter, print out DNS Server Addresses configured
foreach ($adapter in $adapters) {
    $AdapterProperties = $Adapter.GetIPProperties()
    $dnsServers        = $AdapterProperties.DnsAddresses
    if ($dnsServers.Count -gt 0){
$adapter.Description
foreach ($IPAddress in $dnsServers) {
"  DNS Servers ............................. : {0}" -f $ipaddress.IPAddressToString
}
    }
}

This script first gets all the interface objects, then iterates throught them to get the DNS address(es) configured for each one.

Invoke_a_PowerShell_script

Check script output in Log tab.

Invoke_a_PowerShell_script_results1

Invoke an External PowerShell script

Invoke an external script workflows is suitable for running external “.ps1” scripts available on the host machine (.PS1 being the file extension for Windows PowerShell scripts). Required parameters for this workflow are “Name” and “Argument”. The “Name” parameter can be simply the name of the script for example “test.ps1” (if it is available on host machine “Path”) or full path “c:\SomeDirectory\test.ps1”. Script arguments are provided through “Arguments” parameter and the syntax is the same as the one of PowerShell.exe console.

Invoke_an_External_script
Invoke_an_External_script_results

Generate an action from a PowerShell script

PowerShell plug-in allows you to preserve PowerShell script as an action that could be used later in your custom workflows, and even executed on different PowerShell hosts. To achieve this run “Generate an action from a PowerShell script” workflow providing the script. Script customization can be achieved using placeholders. The syntax for defining a placeholder is {#ParamName#}. For each placeholder corresponding action parameter of type string is created in generated action. During action invocation the placeholder is replaced with actual value provided as action parameter.

Generate_an_action_from_a_PowerSHell_script

Generated action looks like.

Generate_an_action_from_a_PowerShell_script_Action

Sample workflow for running the generated action will be generated if “Generate Workflow” option is “Yes”. The workflow will be generated in provided folder and the name of the workflow will be “Invoke Script ” followed by name of generated action.

Generate_an_action_from_a_PowerShell_script_SampleWorkflow

Generate an action for a PowerShell cmdlet

Another feature of the vCO PowerShell plug-in is the ability to generate action based on PowerShell cmdlet. This way you are able to use functionality that is already available in PowerShell inside vCO. To generate action for given PowerShell cmdlet select the cmdlet from inventory tree, and specify which parameter set will be used during action generation.

Generate_an_action_for_a_PowerShell_CmdLet

 

  • More info about VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for Microsoft Windows PowerShell: release notes, documentation and download
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    It’s (Almost) All About Plug-ins (in 2011)…

    If you missed VMworld Las Vegas, are reading this blog for the first time, or are just new to vCenter Orchestrator, then maybe you haven't heard the news… 

    This year, it's all about plug-ins.

    That's why we are very glad to announce two new vCO plug-in releases:

    • VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for vCenter Server 5.0
    • VMware vCenter Orchestrator SNMP Plug-in

    As promised in a previous post, the vCenter Server 5.0 plug-in adds over 50 out-of-the-box workflows to extend capabilities around networking and storage operations, and to incorporate new features like Storage DRS into fully-automated, end-to-end cloud provisioning scenarios.  As previous versions, the plug-in provides 100% coverage of the 5.0 vSphere API.  With this new plug-in, organizations can now automate a broader number of use cases, such as dynamic scaling-up and scaling-down of vSphere resources, while taking full advantage of the new vCenter Server 5.0 capabilities.

    And to complement this new release, we are also glad to announce a sparkling new SNMP plug-in that enables organizations to automatically trigger workflows based on SNMP messages.  SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is one of the most widely used protocols to manage network devices and systems in IP networks and the default alerting mechanism for vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi. 

    With the SNMP plug-in, you'll be able to define policies that automatically trigger specific workflows when SNMP traps are received by vCO. For instance, an administrator could configure a workflow that, upon detecting that a vCenter datacenter is nearing full capacity, would reclaim unused resources or provision additional compute and storage resources.  Of course, the SNMP plug-in is able to process events beyond vCenter Server, so the triggers for workflows can come from virtually any device or system that supports SNMP.

    Finally, be sure to check our plug-in documentation site often to get information on update releases.  This week, new updates are available for the Cisco UCS Manager, Microsoft Active Directory and VMware vCloud Director plug-ins. 

    For additional information, please see the following sites:

    PS.  We'd like to take all of the credit, but we're far from the only ones building plug-ins.  In addition to Infoblox's recent announcement, we're glad to highlight Radware and Uptime Software, who have already released vCO plug-ins. Be sure to give them a try!