vRealize Automation 101
The automation platform in the VMware vRealize Suite is called vRealize Automation (vRA). It can be used to automate deployments in your vSphere environment and beyond, from basic VM deployments to full application builds and everything in between. vRA can be broken out into four main modules:
Cloud Assembly - used to create and deploy machines, applications, and services to your infrastructure (vSphere and beyond). Documentation: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Automation/8.2/Getting-Started-Cloud-Assembly/GUID-D50B687A-1236-4E2E-8C79-995D1762EB85.html
Service Broker - used to request and manage (including approvals) service catalog items. Documentation: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Automation/8.0/Using-and-Managing-Service-Broker/GUID-8DDBB69B-6316-40FC-B584-C4F89643FA27.html
Code Stream - continuous integration and continuous development (CICD). Documentation: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Code-Stream/index.html
Orchestrator - workflow automation platform that simplifies and automates data center infrastructure processes. Documentation: https://www.vmware.com/products/vrealize-orchestrator.html
We will explore each of these in detail later, but first let's look at the vRA virtual appliance itself. We've gone to a container based architecture in vRA 8 using Kubernetes and Docker.
There are no longer any Windows components or the need for multiple VMs, which makes upgrades much easier.
vRA builds are either a Standard Deployment (single node) or a Cluster Deployment (three nodes). If necessary, additional nodes can be added later. The deployment requires the use of two other vRealize products:
vRealize LifeCycle Manager (vRLCM) - used for installation, deployment, upgrades, etc. Documentation here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vRealize-Suite-Lifecycle-Manager/index.html
VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) - used for identity and access management. Documentation here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Workspace-ONE-Access/19.03/vidm_windows_install/GUID-F9F7AD8C-8A37-464E-8954-6CCA2F53BA13.html
These will either be deployed as part of your build or you can use existing vRLCM and vIDM appliances.
A Standard Deployment will look like this:
A Cluster Deployment will look like this:
Several great blogs out there on vRA 8 deployments, here are a couple of my favorites:
Erik Scholten (VMware SE) - How to Deploy vRealize Automation 8
Karl Fultz (VMware TMM) - vRealize Automation 8 Install and Configuration