Importing vRealize Application Services Blueprints from the Solution Exchange Marketplace

(Note: I think this is the first time I’ve called it vRealize. /sigh)

Earlier today I was trying to add application blueprints from the VMware Solution Exchange Marketplace to my Application Services appliance. The “Try” page for the blueprints features an option to login to your Application Services appliance and deploy the blueprint directly. That, however, doesn’t work. As it turns out, Marketplace access isn’t available on 6.1 (release notes).

In order to import the blueprints, download each file and upload it to the Application Services appliance. Then SSH into the appliance and start darwin-cli.jar. Login to the Application Services darwin instance and run the import-package command with the correct flags in order to import the XML. Be sure to SSH into the appliance itself, as import-package looks for importFilePath on the local machine.

Pay special attention to the ConflictResolutionAction flag as overwriting or skipping a piece of the import could have undesired consequences.

Setting up the CentOS 6.3 template for vCloud Automation Center Application Services 6.1

A couple months ago, I blogged about setting up the CentOS 6.3 template for what was then known as Application Director. The template configuration process has significantly improved in 6.1, but there are still a couple steps that aren’t entirely clear in the documentation. Here’s how I was able to successfully configure the template.

Prepare the CentOS 6.3 template
  1. After downloading the CentOS 6.3 .ovf, .mf, and .vmdk file, deploy the ovf to your destination vSphere cluster using the vCenter web or thick client. Make sure you’re deploying it to the cluster(s) that are assigned to the appropriate business group within vCloud Automation Center. Take a snapshot here, in case you need to revert to the original template.
  2. Power on the VM, and open the VM console. Logon using username root and password vmware. You’ll need to change the contents of two files as they contain left over network information from eng.vmware.com.
  3. Make a backup of resolv.conf and then empty the file. This will force the VM to use the DNS settings provided by your network DHCP.
    cp /etc/resolv.conf resolv.conf.bak
    cat /dev/null > /etc/resolv.conf
    
  4. Second, backup /etc/sysconfig/network and make changes so eth0 will use DHCP when it comes up.
    cp /etc/sysconfig/network /etc/sysconfig/network.bak
    cat > /etc/sysconfig/network
    DEVICE=eth0
    NETWORKING=yes
    BOOTPROTO=dhcp
    ONBOOT=yes
    

    CTRL+C to stop writing directly to the file.

  5. Download, chmod, and run the preparevCACTemplate.sh according to the documentation. The documentation isn’t clear on it, but vCloud Automation Center Manager Service Server IP/FQDN hostname is your vCloud Automation Center server (or the IP/FQDN of the Manager Server Service’s load balancer if running in HA mode), not the IaaS server.
  6. JRE 1.7.0 Update 51 is already installed on the CentOS 6.3 x32 template available from VMware, with release date 2014-09-09.
  7. Providing the script completed successfully (ignore the certificate verification error in the output if you opted to not check it), you should be good to go.
  8. Note: There’s no need to install the vCloud Automation Center guest agent (gugent) as preparevCACTemplate.sh does this automatically now.

Environment:

  • vCloud Automation Center Application Services 6.1 Build 2064245
  • vCloud Automation Center 6.1 Build 2077124
  • CentOS 6.3 x32 template from Application Services’ product download page, release date 2014-09-09

Adding vCloud Air as a vCloud Automation Center Application Services Cloud Provider

Long title, huh? Hooray very long product names.

If you’re planning on adding a vCloud Air instance as a cloud provider for Application Services, there are a few steps that aren’t covered in the Application Services documentation.

  1. In order to create the cloud provider, you’ll need to retrieve the URL & organization name from the vCloud Air user interface. Login to vCloud Air and click on the organizational virtual datacenter from the Dashboard tab.
  2. On the right side of the virtual datacenter details page, click the Cloud Provider Address under Related Links on the rights side of the page. Grab the URL and organization name.
  3. Login to Application Services as an application cloud administrator and go to add a new cloud provider.
  4. Choose the vCloud provider type. Enter the FQDN, minus the https:// and port 443 that was shown in the vCloud Air UI. Enter the organization name. Enter the correct user name and password from an active user within vCloud Air. Choose the appropriate vCAC Business Group.
  5. The documentation states that the @ symbol in the user’s email address should be replaced with %40. However, Application Services should do this automatically.
  6. Validate and save.

Environment:

  • vCloud Automation Center Application Services 6.1 Build 2064245

Importing vCloud Automation Center Application Services Out-Of-Box Content

Just a quick note: During the first boot setup of vCloud Automation Center Application Services 6.1.0, there’s an option to import the default out-of-box content. If you decide to do so, don’t forget to enclose the tenant’s business group name in quotes if it contains spaces. Otherwise, the script will fail without telling you why, and you’ll be told to run /home/darwin/tools/import_oob_content.sh later. Should you decide to do that, SSH into the appliance using darwin_user and either sudo su into root to run the script directly, or call the script using sudo from the darwin_user account. If you fail to do so, the import will fail again, and you’ll spend a bit of time scratching your head as to why.

FYI – the documentation states to use double quotes around the business group if it contains spaces, but the script doesn’t tell you or check before it tries to import the packages to that business group after logging in as the tenant user.