VMware vRealize Automation Application Services has a model-driven, open, and extensible architecture. With its library of standard components, or services, Application Services automates and manages the update life cycle of deployments for multitier enterprise applications in hybrid cloud environments.

Enterprise users can standardize, deploy, configure, update, and scale complex applications in dynamic cloud environments. These applications can range from simple Web applications to complex custom applications and packaged applications.

Application Services uses vRealize Automation for user and group support, access control, and catalog management. A vRealize Automation instance can have multiple tenants, a tenant can contain multiple business groups, and a business group can contain multiple users and objects such as applications and services. A user must be a member of a business group to add or edit objects in that business group. To view a private object in a business group, a user must belong to that group. To view a shared object, a user can belong to any business group in the same tenant. Applications deployed in Application Services become catalog items in vRealize Automation where users can request them for provisioning.

To automate application deployments to a supported cloud environment, users must configure the components in the cloud abstraction layer (CAL). The cloud template contains a predefined reusable machine image that includes an operating system and data that is applied to a virtual machine when it is created. A cloud template is mapped to a logical template in the Application Services library. The cloud provider offers a cloud instance for deployment. The deployment environment provides a particular environment for the deployment in the cloud provider instance. Both the cloud provider and deployment environment map components from the cloud environment to Application Services.

Application architects can use the drag-and-drop interface to create visual application blueprints. Application architects can use the prepopulated and extensible library of standard logical templates, application infrastructure service, components, and scripts to model an application blueprint. These blueprints standardize the structure of the application, including software components, dependencies, and configurations, for repeated deployments.

Application blueprints are portable across deployment environments. For example, after a blueprint is available, application development, QA, and release teams can work in the standards set by IT. Teams can repeatedly deploy a standard blueprint, customize configurations as allowed, and deploy within IT-approved deployment environments.

From an application blueprint, you can create different deployments using deployment profiles to test prototypes or deploy mission-critical multitier applications in production environments. From these saved blueprints, the application deployer can generate execution plans for deploying the application to a private or public cloud. You can also initiate an update process to scale clustered nodes of deployed applications and change the configuration or code of deployed applications when a new version is available.

Figure 1. Application Services and vRealize Automation Workflow
Application Services and vCloud Automation Center workflow