How bout we let users set their default admin or root password?

As many of you may know one of the features that was available in vCD was the ability to have a unique password when the consumers requested the vApps. Obviously this was great for security but wasn’t always loved by the users. Enter vCAC which gives you some more flexibility and can be augmented so that during the request process you can provide the users access to create their own passwords.

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vCAC login challenges?

Are you trying to log onto vCAC and just being redirected back to the login page with no feedback? How bout seeing a submit button in the upper left hand corner after attempting login?

Have you gone back to the https://vcac.fqdn/shell-ui-app and happen to see a “System Exception” error on your Identity Store?

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Learning vCAC galore!!!

Over my tenure working with vCAC 6.0 I have come to know the product pretty darn well and often hear from customers that they would like some additional access that helps them get the same level of comfort. Thankfully my friends in the VMware Cloud Automation BU have actually created a great set of small videos. Take a look at the playlist I built below, this should help improve  comfort for administrators in the vCAC interface go to ->

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What do I need to install vCAC???

After getting this question from many customers and then clogging up a number of inboxes, I felt it was worth the effort to put this in a central place for all to consume. If you want to take the next steps and do installation, I recommend looking at some of my fellow bloggers posts. See my links page for the list.

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Utilizing the vCAC workflow template

*Warning before we begin, in this post I am making the assumption that you are not using vCD as an endpoint. If you are then I recommend skipping this tutorial all together.

Today we’re going to focus on the included vCAC Plugin in vCO, and more specifically how we can start to take the default “Workflow template” and make it usable as the wrapper that will be called to execute any number of automation tasks based on properties from vCAC.

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vCAC & vCO a marriage made in the clouds – Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 where we will associate state change workflows to execute against vCO. Fundamentally this is the step that will populate the actions you would like to take when a state changes during automation process.

For this example we are going to use the a simple workflow that collects the properties assigned to a given request. The benefit is it’s simple, the challenge is that it may not yet be clear yet how beneficial it is. My goal is to give the foundation before executing the real world applications. After Part 4 we will focus efforts on making the workflow more meaningful.

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vCAC & vCO a marriage made in the clouds – Part 2

After a long holiday season it’s officially time to get back at it and I thought no better time than the present. So here we go into Part 2 which will focus on configuring the connections between vCO and some useful components. If you haven’t reviewed Part 1 feel free to follow the link below.

Part 1: vCAC and vCO – Configuration
Part 2: vCO -> Powershell, vCenter, and AD
Part 3: Automating a state change
Part 4: Automating a menu action

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vCAC & vCO a marriage made in the clouds – Part 1

In case you weren’t aware, with the introduction of vCAC 6.0 we have officially brought together the two major automation offerings in our portfolio, vCO and vCAC automation. There has always been the ability to call vCO from DynamicOps and VCAC but with this release the two are finally officially married and the possibilities are endless.

You may be asking why is this so important?

  • vCO is now included with the vCAC virtual appliance
  • Is the entire basis for automating the XaaS (anything as a service)
  • It enables the customization of workflows without additional licensing or consulting
  • Leverages existing vCO experience with IT admins
  • Can take advantage of already created vCO workflows from an external vCO instance

I’m going to break these steps down into parts for easier consumption.
Part 1: vCAC and vCO – Configuration
Part 2: vCO -> Powershell, vCenter, and AD
Part 3: Automating a state change
Part 4: Automating a menu action

Let’s dive right in! Welcome to Part 1

First we will begin with the vCAC configuration, starting at the initial orchestration endpoint. I use the embedded throughout but if you have an external vCO you can take advantage of that as well.

  • Log into vCAC web interface https://vcac-virtual-appliance.fqdn/shell-ui-app/org/tenant as a infrastructure administrator
  • Navigate to the Infrastructure tab -> Endpoints -> Endpoints
  • Add a new Endpoint
  • Orchestration -> vCenter Orchestrator

VCAC Add vCO endpoint

Next we’ll walk through the setup of the endpoint

  • Name your endpoint (I use embedded vCO)
  • Address should be in the https://vcac-virtual-appliance.fqdn:8281/vco format
  • Credentials will be administrator@vsphere.local 
  • Custom Properties must have VMware.VCenterOrchestrator.Priority with a value of 1 *warning this is case sensitive!

VCAC vCO Details

Now for the rest of the configuration we will make the customizations via the vCO workflows.

Launch the vCO client

VMware vCloud Automation Center Appliance

Login in when prompted with administrator@vsphere.local account. You will then be greeted with the vCO home page. Make sure to select Designer in the drop down and expand the tree until you get to “Add a vCAC host” -> Right click and Run or click the green run arrow.Add vCAC host workflow

You will now be prompted with a workflow to configure the connectivity to the vCAC IaaS server. This workflow will prompt you for the following details

  • Step 1:
  • Name – this is simply what you want to call the vCAC host
  • Hostname – https://%hostname.FQDN%
  • Accept Cert – YES
  • Time outs – leave defaults
  • Step 2:
  • Shared Session
  • Password
  • Step 3:
  • NTLM – Leave blank
  • Domain – Appended to userid during authentication (*NOTE THIS SHOULD BE THE NETBIOS NAME NOT THE FQDN)

Step 1
Host Settings

Step 2
User Settings

Step 3
Domain Settings

You will now see the connectivity to vCAC being created. Once complete you can verify with the green check mark next to the workflow.
Workflow Verification

Next we will install the vCO customization. This will give you the power to assign workflow actions to vm or blueprint as well as creating unique menu items to offer additional actions that can enable things like cloning from the self service portal.

Navigate the tree menu to your “Install vCO customization”. Right click and run, or click the green arrow to execute.
Submit the workflow

You will now be prompted with a workflow to configure the connectivity to the vCAC IaaS server. This workflow will walk you through selecting the vCAC server you just setup

First hit the “Not Set”
Set your vCAC host

It will provide you with the vCAC tree, select your vCAC host
Select your host

Choose which lifecycle workflows you would like vCO to be associated with (ALL)
Choose the state change options you would like enabled I suggest all

Define the number of additional menu items you would like. This gives you additional actions that can be entitled to users. Think of these as action items you could create for things like cloning, etc…
Define the number of custom menu options up to 16

This process will take some time, after several minutes you will see the green check mark next to the workflow.
Submit the workflow

You have now got vCAC and vCO completely connected and configured. We now can start to focus on Part 2 of this series getting the same type of connectivity to external providers (AD and Powershell)

Busy day of release announcements today!

Well today was a big day here at VMware and the release of many product updates have been announced. Just the basic list is

  • vCenter Operations Manager Suite
    • vCenter Operations Manager 5.8
    • vCenter Configuration Manager 5.8
    • vCenter Hyperic 5.8
    • vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 5.8
    • vCenter Chargeback Manager 2.6

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Naming standards… my clouded view

So this is going to be my first post as a blogger, and I figure why not start out with a bang. My stance here will likely be a bit controversial! If my vision, thoughts, or ideas cause you discomfort… well you may want to stop reading now 😉

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