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This week VMware released vCenter Orchestrator 5.5.1. While this is not a major new release it contains a lot of new features focusing on making vCO content development easier. Also important is a list of deprecated features.

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A frequent question around vCenter Orchestrator is: Can I read/write to shared folders? The answer is always yes, but the documentation may be difficult to find - especially when you are referring to a Windows share - aka CIFS in samba and *nix mounting terminology. Read on to learn EXACTLY what you need to do to allow your vCO server to read/write to a Windows Share!

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vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) is backed by vCloud Director. What does this mean? Well, it means that once you have defined 1 or more Virtual Data Centers, and VMware releases an updated vCD plug-in, you will have access to a vCloud Director Organization! Why is that good and what is the point of this post? Well, in short, this means you can use vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) to do some automation within your vCHS Virtual Data Centers! Read on to learn exactly HOW you would go about doing this. This tutorial will step you through the process of configuring vCenter Orchestrator to access resources hosted on VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service.

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The AD plug-in for vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) allows for the creation of AD:UserGroup objects as well as the management of its members. A missing option though is to define the type of Group to create. Read on to learn how I came up with a workflow that allows you to change the group to any group type and scope you like.

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Have you ever had the need to get some attributes of your Active Directory user account? Perhaps Manager for an approval, maybe direct reports, etc... but not sure how to work with the AD:User object in vCO... Well here's a great little snippet that can help you quickly identify the available information attached to the AD:User account you specify.

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Running commands or scripts in VM guest is something that has been done with vCO for quite a while using different mechanisms. A popular way was to use the VIX plug-in for vCO. This plug-in is not needed anymore since the VIX functionality is part of the vCenter API since vCenter 5.0 and there are guest operations workflows to copy a script and run it into a VM guest OS since vCO 5.1

Using these library workflows requires to copy scripts from the vCO filesystem or include the scripts in your workflows. Getting the script output can be tricky and if part of the script include parameters that need to be replaced with your custom workflows inputs it requires a bit more coding.

The Guest Script Manager package handles all of this for you so you do not have to reinvent the wheel. You can even create specific workflows to run existing scripts without having to do any vCO scripting !

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vCenter Orchestrator references workflows by ID and allows to have multiple workflows with the same name. If the workflows you are calling have a unique name you can write a vCO wrapper to find a workflow by name with the following code.

vCO Plug-in