Where you have vCenter servers in geographically dispersed data centers or data centers that are not explicitly networked together, you can deploy and configure a vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy to manage your data centers from a single vRealize Automation instance instead of deploying a dedicated instance for each vCenter server.

You can create or convert a vCenter cloud account in vRealize Automation to access the remote vSphere agent, for example in separate data centers that are not directly networked together. Instead of deploying an entire vRealize Automation VA to a remote data center, you can use a vSphere agent within a specified vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy to act as a vCenter server proxy. In this scenario, using a vREx proxy can improve network reliability and optimize vSphere provisioning and enumeration across data centers that may not be otherwise connected.

The remote vSphere agent is a software component that resides within the vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy. The vREx proxy is the virtual appliance that you deploy and configure. The vSphere agent running in the properly configured vREx proxy acts as a communications intermediary between vRealize Automation and vSphere. The vSphere agent is configured automatically when you deploy and configure the vREx proxy virtual appliance (VA).

To set up and use the vREx proxy, perform the following sequential steps.

  1. Deploy a vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy to one or more vCenter servers in one or more data centers.
  2. Configure vRealize Automation to support remote vSphere servers by using a vREx proxy.
  3. Join the vREx proxy to the remote vCenter server
  4. Create or edit a vCenter cloud account in vRealize Automation and associate it to the vREx proxy in the specified data center to access the remote site vCenter server.

Step 1 - Deploy a vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy to one or more vCenter servers in one or more data centers.

Use the following information to deploy the needed vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy OVA.

  1. Download and deploy the OVA to the target vCenter server in the remote data center. Open the vRealize Automation Download Product page in Customer Connect, select your product version (in this example, vRealize Automation 8.8.1) and download the vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy OVA.

    The OVA is available for vRealize Automation 8.8.1 and greater.

  2. During OVA deployment, you must select Extend vRA on premises to deploy the OVA as a vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy.
  3. Also during OVA deployment, and to facilitate network isolation between vRealize Automation and the target data center, you may need to configure an HTTP proxy to allow services running in the remote data center to contact vRealize Automation - for example, in network isolation scenarios where you have configured a single HTTP proxy as the only way to reach remote network locations (such as the vRealize Automation instance), from within the data center.

Step 2 - Configure vRealize Automation to support remote vSphere servers by using a vRealize Automation extensibility (vREX) proxy

As a cloud admin user, enable the remote vSphere agent capability in vRealize Automation by using the vracli.

This step involves opening the vCenter server where the vRealize Automation instance is deployed and using the vSphere client user interface to power down all nodes of the vRealize Automation cluster.

Once the nodes are powered down, you can open each node in the cluster and add an additional 6 GB of memory. The default memory is typically 42 GB. Add at least 6 GB more memory to each node to accommodate the extra services needed to support the remote vSphere agent.

After you add the additional memory to each node in the cluster, you again use the vSphere client user interface to power all of the nodes that are associated to the vRealize Automation instance back on.

The overall procedure is as follows.
  1. Power down the nodes. Use SSH to open the host environment and stop the vRealize Automation services by using the following command:

    /opt/scripts/deploy.sh --shutdown

  2. Add additional memory, at least 6 GB, to each vRealize Automation node in the vCenter server by using the vSphere host client.

    For information about working in the vSphere client to add memory to a node, see topics such as Virtual Memory Configuration in vSphere product documentation.

  3. Power on the nodes.
  4. Wait for the vRealize Automation VA to recover after the restart. Use the following command to wait for up to 10 minutes (600 seconds) for the restart check to pass:

    vracli status first-boot --wait 600

    If the command returns a First boot complete message, you can then proceed to the configuration step.

  5. In the host environment command line, run the following vracli command to enable remote agent (proxy) support:

    vracli capabilities remote-proxy --enable

    This feature toggle is not enabled by default.

  6. Restart vRealize Automation services by using the following command:

    /opt/scripts/deploy.sh

Step 3 - Join the vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy to the remote vRealize Automation instance

As a cloud admin user, configure the vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy on the target vCenter server in the designated data center by using the following procedure.

  1. Open the host environment command line by using SSH and use a vracli join command to connect the vRealize Automation instance with a particular organization, namely the organization for which the specified cloud administrator user is an administrator.
    Note: This is the command line of the vREx proxy, not the vRealize Automation command line that we used in the Step 1 procedure above.

    With this action, the vREx proxy (from where you run the join command) is joined to the vRealize Automation instance. The vREx proxy is thus connected to vRealize Automation and associated with a specific vRealize Automation organization.

    A command line example for both a default tenant and a named tenant are provided below:

    • Default tenant (single tenant environment)
      In this example, the FQDN of the vRealize Automation load balancer is passed to associate the vREx proxy with the default tenant of vRealize Automation.
      vracli vra join vra.my-company.com -u admin_user@org_domain
    • Named tenant (multi-tenant environment)
      In this example, the FQDN of specific tenant (organization) is passed to associate the vREx proxy with the named/specific organization.
      vracli vra join my-tenant.vra.my-company.com -u admin_user@org_domain

    If you are using a multi-tenant environment, you must create an integration for each tenant. Specifically, you must deploy a separate vREx proxy for each tenant (organization). A vREx proxy can only be associated with one vRealize Automation organization at a time.

  2. The above join command returns a certificate for the remote vRealize Automation instance. If you are prompted to trust the certificate, enter yes as prompted.
  3. Allow 5 minutes or so for the vREx proxy to deploy the necessary software components before proceeding.

Step 4 - Create or edit a vCenter cloud account in vRealize Automation to connect to a remote vCenter server account by using a vREx proxy

To create a vCenter cloud account in vRealize Automation, see Create a vCenter cloud account in vRealize Automation.

To convert an existing vCenter cloud account, see Convert a traditional vCenter cloud account to one based on a vRealize Automation extensibility (vREx) proxy.