As I mentioned in the first installation blog post, API Connect 2018.1 is revolutionary for a wide variety of reasons. But when push comes to shove, it is still software, and it needs to be quickly and painlessly installed in your environment. The API Connect team wants you to spend as little time as possible installing, and as much time as possible using API Connect 2018.1.
The VMware OVA deployment method is one that our current users are most familiar with — this was how API Connect v5 was primarily installed. For API Connect 2018.1, we understand that not everyone is ready to dive into the ins and outs of containers, Docker, and Kubernetes. The VMware installation process is a great option in this case, because we provide the new, exciting capabilities of API Connect 2018.1 with a familiar installation process.
But first, here’s a little bit of background. Our movement from a monolithic architecture to a microservice architecture changes things. Under the covers of each VMware OVA file are many different microservices that are working hard to ensure that API Connect is working properly. Each one of those microservices uses certificates to securely communicate with each other. Each microservice has certificates and configurations for deployment that can become quite difficult to manage as you scale. Deployment depends on the user’s environment, so we cannot create a “one size fits all” solution to install the components of API Connect 2018.1 for VMware.
InstallAssist and Other Requirements
Luckily, the API Connect team provides the “pack mule” that is InstallAssist. As a user, you load up InstallAssist with necessary information based on your environment, and sit back as the “pack mule” does all the heavy lifting for you. InstallAssist is a binary that automatically manages certificate creation and configuration for deployment, so very little work has to be done on your end in managing certificate creation and system configuration. InstallAssist is available as a free Mac, Windows, and Linux download. Both InstallAssist and the VMware OVA files are provided by IBM. You, the user, just needs to provide the VMware environment and have the following information readily available before starting installation:
- IP address of the server
- Host names
- Domain of the server
- IP addresses of the domain name servers
- IP address of the gateway server
- Subnet Mask
- Name of ethernet interface
How to Install the API Manager Component
So what do you need to do to deploy an API Manager component of APIC 2018.1 for VMware? The high-level process is straightforward:
- Download VMware OVA images and InstallAssist
- Input characteristics of your environment into the InstallAssist yaml file (1-7 above)
- Run InstallAssist (and take a look at everything you don’t have to do!)
- Upload the ISO file generated by InstallAssist into your Virtual Machine environment
- Start using API Connect
The process for deploying Analytics and Developer Portal VMware OVAs follows a very similar process. For more information on installing DataPower in your environment, please visit our DataPower Knowledge Center here.
The API Connect team has created a video to help walk you through the VMware installation process. Please visit our API Connect Knowledge Center for a detailed walk through of individual steps for VMware installation. Please also visit the Software Product Compatibility Report page for detailed System Requirements of API Connect 2018.1.