VMware vRealize – What is vRealize Orchestrator(vRO)?

Overview

This is my interpterion of VMware vRealise Orchestrator at a high level. VMware vRealise Orchestrator is a centralised location to create workflows, create actions and define configuration elements to automate tasks. In ddition there is a useful tool built-in which can auto generate documentation based on your workflows created.

so, how does vRO compare to my previous work?

My first impression of vRO, is the tool reiterates the structure I have been putting in place via PowerShell scripts on previous projects and demonstrations.

Previously I would create a simple CSV which contained all the server / virtual machine information

See my previous work on bulk virtual machine deployments:

The logic is :

Within vRealise the procedures are all done in work flows. Its worth noting scriptable tasks are in JavaScript. Scripts can be added to workflows

The scriptable tasks are more interesting. You can predefine properties/variables to use within the script tasks.

Some nice key features :

  • Descriptions area for workflows
  • Version control work flows.
  • Simple Output to System.log

Is there a similar alternative product I’ve used.

Some of vRO features do have similarities to an alternative product I have recently been using called Octopus. Octopus has the options to create processes, add scripts including PowerShell and version control each release and control releases.

Scripting
Moving on to more advance scriptable tasks in vRO, decisions can then be defined based on If …Else statements to define the output. When scripting within workflows, a simple but effective feature is when a variable is entered in a script, the variable name changes colour.

Out the box options
There are some out the box options such as VMware tools and Virtual Hardware upgrades with vRO workflows.
There are many more advanced topics and work flows. Feel free to share your favourite work flows or developed work flow on twitter @stephenhackers

Note : All opinions are my own.