vRealize Automation Overview

vRealize Automation also referred as vRA. vRealize Automation is one of the solution of VMware’s vRealize Suite. vRA allows you to create & manage your own private cloud by eliminating the various manual processes & automate them easily through one portal. vRA supports the hybrid cloud where you can integrate vRA of your private cloud with the public cloud.

vRA allows you to speed up the process of delivering the infrastructure & applications without manual intervention by maintaining the security & control. It allows you to setup anything as a service in your private cloud of vSphere. vRealize Automation provides you a secure portal where administrators, developers, or business users can request new IT services and manage IT resources, while ensuring compliance with business policies. Requests for IT services, including infrastructure, applications, desktops, and many others, are processed through a common service catalog to provide a consistent user experience.

You can use the IaaS, Software, and XaaS features of vRealize Automation to model custom on-demand IT services and deliver them to your users through the vRealize Automation common service catalog.You use blueprints to define machine deployment settings. Published blueprints become catalog items,and are the means by which entitled users provision machine deployments.

Components of vRealize Automation:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) :

vRealize Automation IaaS consists of one or more Windows servers that work together to model and provision systems in private, public, or hybrid cloud infrastructures. You can install IaaS on either virtual or physical windows server.

IaaS consists of following components:

Web Server : The IaaS Web server provides infrastructure administration and service authoring to the vRealize Automation product interface. The Web server component communicates with the Manager Service, which provides updates from the Distributed Execution Manager (DEM), SQL Server database, and agents.

Model Manager: vRA uses models to facilitate integration with external systems and databases. The Model Manager provides services and utilities for persisting, versioning, securing, and distributing model elements. Model Manager is hosted on one of the IaaS Web servers and communicates with DEMs, the SQL Server database, and the product interface website.

Manager Service: The Manager Service is a Windows service that coordinates communication between IaaS DEMs, the SQL Server database, agents, and SMTP. In addition, the Manager Service communicates with the Web server through the Model Manager and must be run under a domain account with local administrator privileges on all IaaS Windows servers.

Distributed Execution Manager: The IaaS DEM component runs the business logic of custom models, interacting with the IaaS SQL Server database, and with external databases and systems. Each DEM instance acts as a worker or orchestrator. DEM worker has one function to run workflows. DEM Orchestrator performs many functions such as Monitoring DEM workers, Schedule workflows, Preprocesses workflows before they run & many other functions.

Agents: vRA IaaS uses agents to integrate with external systems and to manage information among vRealize Automation components. There are 4 types of agents are available Virtualization Proxy Agents, Virtual Desktop Integration Agents, External Provisioning Integration Agents & Windows Management Instrumentation agent. Each Agents has their own functionality to perform.

SQL Server:

IaaS uses a Microsoft SQL Server database to maintain information about the machines it manages, plus its own elements and policies. You can use the supported version MSSQL server to configure the database for vRA.

Deployment Options:

vRealize Automation has 2 types of deployments available which are Minimal & Enterprise deployment. Which you can choose while installing the vRA.

Minimal Deployment: Minimal deployments include one vRealize Automation appliance and one Windows server that hosts the IaaS components. In a minimal deployment, the vRealize Automation SQL Server database can be on the same IaaS Windows server with the IaaS components, or on a separate Windows server.

Enterprise Deployment: Distributed enterprise deployments can be of varying size based on your requirements. It requires redundant appliances, redundant servers, and load balancing for even more capacity. Large, distributed deployments provide for better scale, high availability, and disaster recovery.

Below is the Architecture diagram of Enterprise Deployment from VMware Documentation:

vra distributed install
Image credit: VMware documentation.

For System requirements you can check the VMware Portal because vRealize Automation is very large solution & which requires the system resources based on your deployment type & resources.

This was the quick overview of the vRealize Automation, There is much more to functions and features are available which you need to check more on the VMware documentation for detailed information.

Note: This information is related to vRealize Automation 7.6 so if you are using the later version then there may be different functions & features available.

Checkout our post on vRealize Automation LAB Setup:

vRealize Automation LAB Setup.

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Image credit : VMware Documentation.