Troubleshooting vRealize Automation Provisioning

If you’ve worked with vRealize Automation (vRA) for any amount of time you’ve most likely experienced a provision that has either failed or gotten stuck in progress. I’m going to show how you can begin troubleshooting these scenarios.

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Preparing CentOS 7 vRA templates with Ansible

In my lab I’m often spinning up new instances of vRealize Automation (vRA) and need to configure CentOS 7 templates. I created this Ansible playbook to get a freshly installed CentOS 7.2 minimal machine ready to be used by vRA. This is my first attempt and I’ll be modifying it to make it more usable. The playbook can be found at Github. Read the rest of this entry »


Using Powershell to work with vRealize Automation work items

I’m going to show how to use Powershell to access a vRealize Automation (vRA) work item and use the work item data to add the machine requestor to the local admins group of the provisioned machine.

This script is for demonstration purposes only and not intended for production use. Please do not call VMware GSS with questions relating to this post as they will not be able to assist.

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Provisoning vRealize Automation Catalog Items with Powershell and REST

I’ve dabbled with Powershell in the past but never considered it one of my go to languages since it was only available on Windows. This limited my usage of Powershell to primarily working with VMware’s PowerCLI, but now that Powershell has been ported to Linux and OSX I’ve decided to put more effort into learning it. At work I’m working with vRealize Automation (vRA) so I thought I’d try to provision some vRA catalog items via Powershell and REST. Compared to other languages I’ve used, Powershell makes working wtih RESTful APIs very easy. Let’s get started.

This post is designed so you can follow along line by line. You can find a functionalized version on Github.

You can follow along by opening up a Powershell window. Let’s set up some variables:

$vraServer = ‘vra72.vmware.local’
$catalogItem = ‘CentOS 7 Base’
$username = ‘cloudadmin’
$password = ‘VMware1!’
$tenant = ‘vsphere.local’

Getting a login token

The first thing we need to do is get a login token from vRA. You can find out more about this in the vRA API Documentation. You can see an example request in curl here. We can get a login token by making a request to the following URL:

$url = “https://$($vraServer)/identity/api/tokens”

As described in the above links, we must be a POST request and the body of the request must be our username, password and tenant in JSON format. Powershell makes this really easy. Let’s start by defining a hash table with the required values:

$properties = @{‘username’ = $username; ‘password’ = $password; ‘tenant’ = $tenant}

If we view the contents of our $properties variable, we will see the following:

2017-01-24_21-15-46.png

Now let’s convert this into a Powershell object:

$bodyObject = New-Object –TypeName PSObject –Property $properties

Viewing the contents of $bodyObject gives us:

2017-01-24_21-18-01.png

We still need to convert this to JSON as this is what the request for a token requires. This can easily be done like so:

$body = $bodyObject | ConvertTo-Json

The $body variable looks like this:

2017-01-24_21-19-47.png

If you’ve worked with JSON in the past this should look familiar.

Now we are going to request another hash table containing our headers:

$headers = @{“Content-Type” = “application/json”; “Accept” = “application/json”}

We are now ready to request our login token:

$request = Invoke-WebRequest $url -Method POST -Headers $headers -Body $body

Here you can see we used Poweshell’s Invoke-WebRequest commandlet. We specified the method as POST along with our headers and body. The $request variable looks like this:

2017-01-24_21-23-03.png

If you look at Content you’ll see that it contains our token along with other information such as the expiration date. The value of Content is a Powershell String, but we want it in JSON format so we can parse out the id. We can do this by running:

$content = $request.content | convertFrom-json

$content contains:

2017-01-24_22-17-29.png

To get the id, we just need to grab the id field:

$bearerToken = $content.id

The $bearerToken variable will look something like this:

2017-01-24_21-28-28.png

Requesting a catalog item

To request a catalog item we need to perform the following:

  1. Make a GET request on the entitled catalog items
  2. Make a GET request to get the view of our catalog item
  3. Get a the request template for our catalog item
  4. Make a POST request for our catalog item

I’m not going to go into as much detail as in the Getting a login token section as it’s the same pattern over and over.

In the following block of code we specify the URL that contains our entitled catalog items, define $headers again but this time we specify an Authorization header and use our bearer token, make our request and convert the returned content into JSON:

$url = “https://$($vraServer)/catalog-service/api/consumer/entitledCatalogItems/”
$headers = @{“Content-Type” = “application/json”; “Accept” = “application/json”; “Authorization” = “Bearer ${bearerToken}”}
$request = Invoke-WebRequest $url -Method GET -Headers $headers
$content = $request.Content | ConvertFrom-Json

If we look at the content field of $contentJson, we see we have various catalog items:

2017-01-24_22-18-34.png

How do we know what’s in each of these? Let’s grab the first one item and see what type of Poweshell object it is:

2017-01-24_22-19-01.png

So we can see that the BaseType is an object. This means we can use the Get-Member commandlet to get all the objects members or fields:

2017-01-24_22-19-51.png

The catalogItem field looks promising. Let’s check it out:

2017-01-24_22-20-16.png

OK, so we know we look at $contentJson.content we get a list of catalog items and we can look at the catalogItem field to get details about each one. To find which item we are looking for $catalogItem, we can do the following:

$consumerEntitledCatalogItem = $content.content | where { $_.catalogItem.name -eq $catalogItem }

Let’s verify that we have the correct catalog item:

2017-01-24_21-55-01.png

In the next block we will get the catalog item’s id since that’s what we will append to the catalog item view URL, make our request and convert the results to a Powershell object:

$consumerEntitledCatalogItemId = $consumerEntitledCatalogItem.catalogItem.id
$url = “https://$($vraServer)/catalog-service/api/consumer/entitledCatalogItemViews/$($consumerEntitledCatalogItemId)”
$request = Invoke-WebRequest $url -Method GET -Headers $headers
$content = $request.Content | ConvertFrom-Json

If we look at at the links field of $content, we will see:

2017-01-24_22-03-52.png

We need the href that ends in template and we can get it like this:

$requestTemplateURL = $content.links | ? { $_.rel -eq ‘GET: Request Template’ }

Let’s go ahead and get the POST URL while we’re at it:

$requestPOSTURL = $content.links | ? { $_.rel -eq ‘POST: Submit Request’ }

Now we can make a request to $requestTemplateURL. This will allow us to access a “template” of the request data. Once we have this we can either use the same data to make a request or modify somehow like changing the number of CPUs we want:

$request = Invoke-WebRequest $requestTemplateURL.href -Method GET -Headers $headers

2017-01-24_22-11-50.png

Now we have everything we need to make the catalog item request:

$request = Invoke-WebRequest $requestPOSTURL.href -Method POST -Headers $headers -body $request.content

If the request was successful, you should see a status code of 201 and the request should be In Progress in vRA:

2017-01-24_22-13-14.png

Here are all of the steps:

$vraServer = ‘vra72.vmware.local’
$catalogItem = ‘CentOS 7 Base’
$username = ‘cloudadmin’
$password = ‘VMware1!’
$tenant = ‘vsphere.local’

$url = “https://$($vraServer)/identity/api/tokens”

$properties = @{‘username’ = $username; ‘password’ = $password; ‘tenant’ = $tenant}

$bodyObject = New-Object –TypeName PSObject –Property $properties

$body = $bodyObject | ConvertTo-Json

$headers = @{“Content-Type” = “application/json”; “Accept” = “application/json”}

$request = Invoke-WebRequest $url -Method POST -Headers $headers -Body $body
$content = $request.content | convertFrom-json
$bearerToken = $content.id

$url = “https://$($vraServer)/catalog-service/api/consumer/entitledCatalogItems/”
$headers = @{“Content-Type” = “application/json”; “Accept” = “application/json”; “Authorization” = “Bearer ${bearerToken}”}
$request = Invoke-WebRequest $url -Method GET -Headers $headers
$content = $request.Content | ConvertFrom-Json
$consumerEntitledCatalogItem = $content.content | ? { $_.catalogItem.name -eq $catalogItem }
$consumerEntitledCatalogItemId = $consumerEntitledCatalogItem.catalogItem.id
$url = “https://$($vraServer)/catalog-service/api/consumer/entitledCatalogItemViews/$($consumerEntitledCatalogItemId)”
$request = Invoke-WebRequest $url -Method GET -Headers $headers
$content = $request.Content | ConvertFrom-Json
$requestTemplateURL = $content.links | ? { $_.rel -eq ‘GET: Request Template’ }
$requestPOSTURL = $content.links | ? { $_.rel -eq ‘POST: Submit Request’ }
$request = Invoke-WebRequest $requestTemplateURL.href -Method GET -Headers $headers
$request = Invoke-WebRequest $requestPOSTURL.href -Method POST -Headers $headers -body $request.content

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Getting Started with vSphere Integrated Containers using vRealize Automation

Overview

In this post how show how to set up vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) and integrate them into vRealize Automation (vRA). The vSphere Integrated Containers documentation can be found here. I’ll only reference the Install Guide in this post.

vSphere Integrated Container resources:

The following software versions were used:

  • vSphere Integrated Containers 1.0 (or 0.8?)
  • vRealize Automatin 7.2
  • vCenter 6.0 U2 Build:3634794
  • ESXi: 6.0 U2 Build: 3620759

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PowerCLI script to monitor recent vSphere Tasks

I haven’t had much time to look at vSphere 6.5 yet, but appearently the C# client is no more. I used to always have the C# client up as a diagnostic tool so that I could watch events trigger in real time as opposed to having to refresh the vSphere web client. Normally I’d open the C# client in full screen and then arrange my browsers so that they would cover the C# client but leave room so I’d be able to see the recent tasks pane. This would allow me to work in another product like vRealize Automation and see events appear in vCenter immediately.

If I can’t use the C# client to do this going forward, I thought I’d create a little PowerCLI script to provide me with the same information. I’m not sure how well it will work out yet, but you can find it on GitHub.

The result look like this:

2016-11-29_20-03-58.png


Simple Powershell Script to Monitor vRealize Automation

Lately I’ve been learning vRealize Automation (vRA) and it has involved bringing the environment up and down frequently as well as breaking and fixing various services to see how the system would respond. I got tired of going into the VAMI (port 5480 of the vRA appliance) and selecting the Refresh button to get status on all of the various services so I created a little Powershell script that will display the status of the vRA services.

The simplest way to invoke the script is with:

get-vRAHealth vra71.vmware.local

Where vra71.vmware.local is my load balancer VIP for vRA. By default the script will continously refresh every 5 seconds.

You can disable the looping like so:

get-vRAHealth vra71.vmware.local -loop $false

And control the refresh interval:

get-vRAHealth vra71.vmware.local -refresh 10

Here is the output:

2016-11-07_22-10-21.png

The script can be found on GitHub and below:

function get-vRAHealth() {
  <#    .SYNOPSIS     Displays health status of vRA components   .DESCRIPTION      Displays health status of vRA components   .EXAMPLE     get-vRAHealth vra71.vmware.local   .EXAMPLE     get-vRAHealth https://vra71.vmware.local -loop $true   .EXAMPLE     get-vRAHealth https://vra71.vmware.local -loop $true $sleep 2   #&amp;amp;gt;

  param(
    [Parameter(Mandatory=$true,Position=0)]
    [string]$url,

    [Parameter(Mandatory=$false,Position=1)]
    [string]$loop=$true,

    [Parameter(Mandatory=$false,Position=2)]
    [Int32]$refresh=5
  ) 

  $uri = [System.Uri] $url

  if ($uri.Host -eq $null -and $uri.OriginalString) {
    $uri = [System.Uri] "https://$($uri.OriginalString)"
  }

  if ($uri.Scheme -eq 'http') {
    $uri = [System.Uri] "https://$($uri.Host)"
  }

  if ($uri.LocalPath -ne '/component-registry/services/status/current') {
    $uri = [System.Uri] "$($uri.AbsoluteUri)component-registry/services/status/current"
  }

  while ($true) {
    clear
    Write-Host "Checking $($uri.AbsoluteUri)"

    try {
      $content = Invoke-WebRequest $uri.AbsoluteUri

      if ($content.StatusCode -eq 200) {
        $json = $content.Content | ConvertFrom-Json
        $json.content | select serviceName, `
	                  @{N='Registered';E={ $_.serviceStatus.serviceInitializationStatus }}, `
	           	  @{N='Available';E={ if (!$_.notAvailable) {'True'} else {'False'}}}, `
	                       lastUpdated, `
		               statusEndPointUrl `
		      | ft -auto
        if ($loop -eq $false) { break }
      } else {
          Write-Host "Unable to access vRA Component Registry. Error: $content.StatusCode"
      }
    } catch {
       Write-Host "Unable to access vRA Component Registry. Error: $_.Exception.Message."
  }
  sleep $refresh
  }
}