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SQL Plug-in + DynamicTypes = Simple CMDB for vCAC - Part 1

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This multi-part series will step you through the process of mapping a Microsoft SQL Server table into vRealize Orchestrator, building out a DynamicTypes plug-in inventory based on that table (using my workflow package), then exposing it to vRealize Automation's Advanced Service Designer (ASD).

Introduction

vRealize Automation (vRA) features an Advanced Service Designer (ASD) that allows for you to offer nearly anything as a service (XaaS). In order to take advantage of that feature, it requires a vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) Inventory object. This means you must have a plug-in that provides such an inventory. In the past, this meant Java skills to build out a plug-in. This, fortunately, is no longer the case with the Dynamic Types plug-in. We touched on this plug-in in the past with regards to using the HTTP-REST plug-in. This article will take a different approach in that we will use the SQL Plug-in to provide our back-end service - a mini CMDB consisting of Server names and IPs.

Dynamic Input Values Based on other Inputs

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A frequent requirement when performing orchestration tasks is to have input fields interdependent. For example, if I input XYZ into the first input, I want the second input to be relevant to XYZ. In the past, I have frequently done such workflows where you select a Datacenter for the first input, then the second input would present a list of Datastores (or VMs or Clusters or Hosts). In this tutorial, I'm going to do something a little different. The first input of this demo workflow will be a string and the second will be an AD:User object chosen from a list of objects that were found in Active Directory based on the first input.

Extend Automation Center with F5 AFM using vCO + Dynamic Types

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My colleague, Chris Slater at defined by software has published an article on how to extend VMware Automation Center (vCAC) with F5 firewall functionality. I usually do not cross post articles but this one is worth mentioning since it is a real world example on how to leverage vCAC + vCO + Dynamic Types + third party API.

VMware Horizon vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in Released

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Hello all you end user compute admins! If you've been waiting for a vCO plug-in for your Horizon environment, your wait is over. Join Aaron Black in this "Getting Started with vCenter Orchestrator Horizon Plug In" video.

Extend vCAC 6 IaaS Lifecycle with vCO introduction video

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Last year I have created an extensibility package to simplify and automate the steps necessary to extend the vCAC IaaS lifecycle process with calling out vCO workflows. While this was mainly aimed at accelerating Proof of Concepts it has been since then broadly adopted in production environments. Since vCAC 6.0 it is part of the product and available for vCAC 5.2 as a separate download.
Since this is now becoming a very hot topic I am including here a very useful extensibility introduction video that was released by my colleagues from tech marketing almost three months ago.

How to use the REST API to Resume a Failed Workflow

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One of the relatively new 5.x features of vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) is the ability to Enable a workflow to resume on failure. Essentially, this means that a workflow could fail 1/2 or 3/4 the way through and you could go and tell vCO to resume that workflow, perhaps after fixing whatever issue caused it to fail in the first place, rather than start a fresh instance of the workflow.

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NUC Lab Kit

Below are my thoughts for a vSAN nuc lab. Since I already have cables, not including them here. I ordered (and received by Nov 30, 2016)
3 x nuc, 3 x 32GB Crucial mem, 3 x Toshiba NVMe drive, 3 x Startech USB to GB NIC, and 3 x Crucial 1TB SSD. I've also been very happy with my Cisco SG300-10 so I bought one more since my existing one only has one port available. Each of the items listed here are linked below - all were purchased using the provided links below.
single NIC (See this post for details on using the USB -> GB NIC item listed below

I stayed with the i5 for the power consumption and form factor vs. the i7 Skull Canyon ;)