Understand the settings and options that you can configure for a vSphere machine component in the vRealize Automation blueprint design canvas. vSphere is the only machine component type that can use NSX network and security component settings in the design canvas.

General Tab

Configure general settings for a vSphere machine component.

Table 1. General Tab Settings

Setting

Description

ID

Enter a name for your machine component, or accept the default.

Description

Summarize your machine component for the benefit of other architects.

Display location on request

In a cloud environment, such as vCloud Air, this allows users to select a region for their provisioned machines.

For a virtual environment, such as vSphere, you can configure the locations feature to allow users to select a particular data center location at which to provision a requested machine. To fully configure this option, a system administrator adds data center location information to a locations file and a fabric administrator edits a compute resource to associate it with a location.

See Scenario: Add Datacenter Locations for Cross Region Deployments and Scenario: Apply a Location to a Compute Resource for Cross Region Deployments.

Reservation policy

Apply a reservation policy to a blueprint to restrict the machines provisioned from that blueprint to a subset of available reservations. Fabric administrators create reservation policies to provide an optional and helpful means of controlling how reservation requests are processed, for example to collect resources into groups for different service levels, or to make a specific type of resource easily available for a particular purpose. If your fabric administrator did not configure reservation policies, you do not see any available options in this drop-down menu.

For information about creating reservation policies, see Configure a Reservation Policy.

Machine prefix

Machine prefixes are created by fabric administrators and are used to create the names of provisioned machines. If you select Use group default, machines provisioned from your blueprint are named according to the machine prefix configured as the default for the user's business group. If no machine prefix is configured, one is generated for you based on the name of the business group.

If your fabric administrator configures other machine prefixes for you to select, you can apply one prefix to all machines provisioned from your blueprint, no matter who the requestor is.

For information about creating machine prefixes, see Configure Machine Prefixes.

Instances: Minimum and Maximum

Configure the maximum and minimum number of instances users can request for a deployment or for a scale in or scale out action. If you do not want to give users a choice, entering the same value in the Minimum and Maximum fields configures exactly how many instances to provision and disables scale actions against this machine component.

XaaS components are not scalable and are not updated during a scale operation. If you are using XaaS components in your blueprint, you could create a resource action for users to run after a scale operation, which could either scale or update your XaaS components as required. Alternatively, you could disable scale by configuring exactly the number of instances you want to allow for each machine component.

Build Information Tab

Configure build information settings for a vSphere machine component.

Table 2. Build Information Tab

Setting

Description

Blueprint type

For record-keeping and licensing purposes, select whether machines provisioned from this blueprint are classified as Desktop or Server.

Action

The options you see in the action drop-down menu depend on the type of machine you select.

The following actions are available:

  • Create

    Create the machine component specification without use of a cloning option.

  • Clone

    Make copies of a virtual machine from a template and customization object.

  • Linked Clone

    Provision a space-efficient copy of a virtual machine called a linked clone. Linked clones are based on a snapshot of a VM and use a chain of delta disks to track differences from a parent machine.

    The VM snapshot identified in the blueprint should be powered off before you provision the linked clone VMs.

  • NetApp FlexClone

    If your fabric administrators configured your reservations to use NetApp FlexClone storage, you can clone space-efficient copies of machines using this technology.

Provisioning workflow

The options you see in the provisioning workflow drop-down menu depend on the type of machine you select, and the action you select.

  • BasicVmWorkflow

    Provision a machine with no guest operating system.

  • ExternalProvisioningWorkflow

    Create a machine by starting from either a virtual machine instance or cloud-based image.

  • LinuxKickstartWorkflow

    Provision a machine by booting from an ISO image, using a kickstart or autoYaSt configuration file and a Linux distribution image to install the operating system on the machine.

  • VirtualSccmProvisioningWorkflow

    Provision a machine and pass control to an SCCM task sequence to boot from an ISO image, deploy a Windows operating system, and install the vRealize Automation guest agent.

  • WIMImageWorkflow

    Provision a machine by booting into a WinPE environment and installing an operating system using a Windows Imaging File Format (WIM) image of an existing Windows reference machine.

When using a WIM provisioning workflow in a blueprint, specify a storage value that accounts for the size of each disk to be used on the machine. Use the total value of all disks as the minimum storage value for the machine component. Also specify a size for each disk that is large enough to accommodate the operating system.

Clone from

Select a machine template to clone from. You can refine the list of available templates by using the Filters option in each column drop-down menu, for example the Filters menu option in the Names column.

For Linked Clone, you only see machines that have available snapshots to clone from and that you manage as a tenant administrator or business group manager.

You can only clone from templates that exist on machines that you manage as a business group manager or tenant administrator.

Clone from snapshot

For Linked Clone, select an existing snapshot to clone from based on the selected machine template. Machines only appear in the list if they already have an existing snapshot, and if you manage that machine as a tenant administrator or business group manager.

If you select Use current snapshot, the clone is defined with the same characteristics as the latest state of the virtual machine. If you instead want to clone relative to an actual snapshot, click the drop-down menu option and select the specific snapshot from the list.

Note:

Use of the term snapshot can be confusing. If you select an existing snapshot, the option creates a new disk that is parented by the snapshot. The Use current snapshot option has no base disk to use as a parent and silently performs a full clone action. As a workaround, you can create snapshots on the base disk, or use a vRealize Orchestrator workflow to create a snapshot and then clone immediately from the snapshot.

This option is only available for the Linked Clone action.

Customization spec

Specify an available customization specification. A customization spec is required only if you are cloning with static IP addresses.

You cannot perform customization of Windows machines without a customization specification. For Linux clone machines, you can perform customization by using a customization spec, an external script, or both.

Machine Resources Tab

Specify CPU, memory, and storage settings for your vSphere machine component.

Table 3. Machine Resources Tab

Setting

Description

CPUs: Minimum and Maximum

Enter a minimum and maximum number of CPUs that can be provisioned by this machine component.

Memory (MB): Minimum and Maximum

Enter a minimum and maximum amount of memory that can be consumed by machines that are provisioned by this machine component.

Storage (GB): Minimum and Maximum

Enter a minimum and maximum amount of storage that can be consumed by machines that are provisioned by this machine component. For vSphere, KVM (RHEV), SCVMM, vCloud Air, and vCloud Director, minimum storage is set based on what you enter on the Storage tab.

When using a WIM provisioning workflow in a blueprint, specify a storage value that accounts for the size of each disk to be used on the machine. Use the total value of all disks as the minimum storage value for the machine component. Also specify a size for each disk that is large enough to accommodate the operating system.

Storage Tab

You can add storage volume settings, including one or more storage reservation policies, to the machine component to control storage space.

Table 4. Storage Tab Settings

Setting

Description

ID

Enter an ID or name for the storage volume.

Capacity (GB)

Enter the storage capacity for the storage volume.

Drive Letter/Mount Path

Enter a drive letter or mount path for the storage volume.

Label

Enter a label for the drive letter and mount path for the storage volume.

Storage Reservation Policy

Enter the existing storage reservation policy to use with this storage volume.

Custom Properties

Enter any custom properties to use with this storage volume.

Maximum volumes

Enter the maximum number of allowed storage volumes that can be used when provisioning from the machine component. Enter 0 to prevent others from adding storage volumes. The default value is 60.

Allow users to see and change storage reservation policies

Select the check box to allow users to remove an associated reservation policy or specify a different reservation policy when provisioning.

Network Tab

You can configure network settings for a vSphere machine component based on NSX network and load balancer settings that are configured outside vRealize Automation. You can use settings from one or more existing and on-demand NSX network components in the design canvas.

For information about adding and configuring NSX network and security components before using network tab settings on a vSphere machine component, see Configuring Network and Security Component Settings.

For information about specifying blueprint-level NSX settings that apply to vSphere machine components, see New Blueprint and Blueprint Properties Page Settings with NSX.

Table 5. Network Tab Settings

Setting

Description

Network

Select a network component from the drop-down menu. Only network components that exist in the design canvas are listed.

Assignment Type

Accept the default assignment derived from the network component or select an assignment type from the drop-down menu. The DHCP and Static option values are derived from settings in the network component.

Address

Specify the IP address for the network. The option is available only for the static address type.

Load Balancing

Enter the service to use for load balancing.

Custom Properties

Display custom properties that are configured for the selected network component or network profile.

Maximum network adapters

Specify the maximum number of network adapters, or NICs, to allow for this machine component. The default is unlimited. Set to 0 to disable adding NICs for the machine components.

Security Tab

You can configure security settings for a vSphere machine component based on NSX settings that are configured outside vRealize Automation. You an optionally use settings from existing and on-demand NSX security components in the design canvas.

The security settings from existing and on-demand security group and security tag components in the design canvas are automatically available.

For information about adding and configuring NSX network and security components before using security tab settings on a vSphere machine component, see Configuring Network and Security Component Settings.

For information about specifying blueprint-level NSX information that applies to vSphere machine components, see New Blueprint and Blueprint Properties Page Settings with NSX.

Table 6. Security Tab Settings

Setting

Description

Name

Display the name of an NSX security group or tag. The names are derived from security components in the design canvas.

Select the check box next to a listed security group or tag to use that group or tag for provisioning from this machine component.

Type

Indicate if the security element is an on-demand security group, an existing security group, or a security tag.

Description

Display the description defined for the security group or tag.

Endpoint

Display the endpoint used by the NSX security group or tag.

Properties Tab

Optionally specify custom property and property group information for your vSphere machine component.

You can add individual and groups of custom properties to the machine component by using the Properties tab. You can add also custom properties and property groups to the overall blueprint by using the Properties tab when you create or edit a blueprint by using the New Blueprint or Blueprint Properties page, respectively.

You can use the Custom Properties tab to add and configure options for existing custom properties. Custom properties are supplied with vRealize Automation and you can also create property definitions.

Table 7. Properties > Custom Properties Tab Settings

Setting

Description

Name

Enter the name of a custom property or select an available custom property from the drop-down menu. For example, enter the custom property name Machine.SSH to specify whether machines provisioned by using this blueprint allow SSH connections. Properties only appear in the drop-down menu if your tenant administrator or fabric administrator created property definitions.

Value

Enter or edit a value to associate with the custom property name. For example, set the value as true to allow entitled users to connect by using SSH to machines provisioned by using your blueprint.

Encrypted

You can choose to encrypt the property value, for example, if the value is a password.

Overridable

You can specify that the property value can be overridden by the next or subsequent person who uses the property. Typically, this is another architect, but if you select Show in request, your business users are able to see and edit property values when they request catalog items.

Show in Request

If you want to display the property name and value to your end users, you can select to display the property on the request form when requesting machine provisioning. You must also select overridable if you want users to provide a value.

You can use the Property Groups tab to add and configure settings for existing custom property groups. You can create your own property groups or use property groups that have been created for you.

Table 8. Properties > Property Groups Tab Settings

Setting

Description

Name

Select an available property group from the drop-down menu.

Move Up and Move Down

Control the precedence level of listed property groups in descending order. The first-listed property group has precedence over the next-listed property group and so on.

View Properties

Display the custom properties in the selected property group.

View Merged Properties

Display all the custom properties in the listed property groups in the order in which they appear in the list of property groups. Where the same property appears in more than one property group, the property name appears only once in the list based on when it is first encountered in the list.

Profiles Tab

Component profiles provide a means of parameterizing blueprints, for example rather than creating a separate small, medium, and large blueprint you can create a single blueprint with a small, medium, and large capability and enable your use to select one of the sizes when the deploy the catalog item. Component profiles are specifically designed to minimize blueprint sprawl and simplify your catalog.

If you have created value sets for the supplied vRealize Automation component profiles Size and Image, you can add and configure those settings for the machine component in the blueprint. You can also select different a value set when you deploy the catalog item.

Component profiles are only available for vSphere machine components.

When you add a component profile to the vSphere machine component in a blueprint, the settings defined in the profile's selected value set or value sets override other settings on the machine component, such as number of CPUs and storage.

The component profile value set is applied to all vSphere machines in a cluster.

You cannot reconfigure machines by using the Size or Image component profiles but the range of CPU, memory, and storage that is calculated based on the profile remains available for reconfigure actions. For example if you used a small (1 CPU, 1024MB memory, and 10 GB storage), medium (3 CPUs, 2048 MB memory, 12 GB storage) and large (5 CPUs, 3072 MB memory, 15 GB storage) Size value set, the available ranges during machine reconfiguration are 1-5 CPUs, 1024-3072 memory, and 1-15 GB storage.

For more information, see Understanding and Using Blueprint Parameterization.

For related information about defining value sets for component profiles, see Defining Component Profile Settings.

Table 9. Profiles Tab Settings

Setting

Description

Add

Add the Size or Image component profile.

Edit Value Sets

Assign one or more value sets for the selected component profile by selecting from a list of defined value sets. You can select one of the value sets as the default.

Remove

Remove the Size or Image component profile.