In a world where hybrid cloud is the new normal, extending use of existing tools can accelerate adoption and productivity. If you use IBM® UrbanCode™ Deploy for its market-leading application release management and VMware vRealize Automation for its superior VMware vCenter provisioning, you can now easily combine the power of both tools in your DevOps toolchain. This support extends to all vRA 7.x Enterprise instances, including instances that are hosted by IBM. (Read more about the partnership between IBM and VMware.)
You can use the blueprint designer in UrbanCode Deploy to design and easily and repeatably provision virtualized and cloud environments. Your environments can reside in any combination of public clouds, private clouds, local clouds, or virtualized environments on premises. The blueprint designer supports a variety of clouds, including OpenStack and clouds that are based on OpenStack, such as IBM Cloud Orchestrator, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, SoftLayer®, VMware vCenter, and now vCenter through vRA.
When you integrate vRA with the blueprint designer, you can create blueprints for and provision environments to the vCenter cloud managed by your vRA instance. The UrbanCode Deploy blueprints can include individual vCenter IaaS artifacts managed through vRA, such as virtual machine templates and network profiles, or incorporate existing vRA catalog items. Once you’ve designed your infrastructure, you can add both vRA and UrbanCode Deploy software components to your images and provision your blueprint.
You can learn how to configure blueprints for these scenarios in the online product documentation for UrbanCode Deploy version 6.2.3.
Starting with version 6.2.3 of UrbanCode Deploy, you can create blueprints for vRA that follow three distinct scenarios.
Blueprints that contain assemblies of vRA artifacts and UrbanCode Deploy components
In this scenario, you create a unique environment to provision to vRA. You can watch a 15-minute video that walks through this scenario end-to-end here.
You create a new blueprint in the blueprint designer and add vRA virtual machine templates to a network that you imported from vRA. Once you configure your infrastructure, you add both UrbanCode Deploy application components and discovered vRA software components to the images. Finally, you provide values for all the request properties that the vRA artifacts contain and provision the blueprint. Your new stack is created in vCenter.
When you provision the blueprint, software components that represent any required UrbanCode Deploy agents and a blueprint that describes your infrastructure are added to your vRA instance. Because of this, the vRA user associated with the cloud project must be assigned either the Software Architect or Infrastructure Architect role.
This scenario allows you to design new cloud environments that combine vRA and UrbanCode Deploy elements. The blueprints that you create can be easily used and reused to provision to vCenter.
Blueprints that contain a customized existing vRA catalog item
In this scenario, you customize an environment that’s defined in a vRA catalog item. First, a Software Architect or Infrastructure Architect must create a vRA catalog item that contains all the infrastructure and image artifacts for the environment. The images in this catalog item need to contain vRA software component that represents an UrbanCode Deploy agent.
Once an appropriate catalog item is published in vRA, you can create a blueprint in the blueprint designer. Add the catalog item that describes your environment to the blueprint and drag UrbanCode Deploy components to the images that it contains. After you provide values for the request properties that the vRA artifacts contain, provision the blueprint. Even though your new stack spins up in vCenter, no additional artifacts are created in vRA.
This scenario is particularly useful if users who can only request existing catalog items want to provision environments that contain UrbanCode Deploy applications. The vRA user that is associated with this cloud project needs only a Support User or Business User role. This type of blueprint is available to all types of vRA projects and still lets you easily and repeatably provision to vCenter.
Blueprints that contain artifacts that were imported from existing vRA catalog items
This scenario combines aspects of the previous scenarios. In this scenario, you expand an environment that’s defined in a vRA catalog item. Unlike the previous scenario, you can use any vRA catalog item to start your blueprint.
You create a blueprint in the blueprint designer and add the contents of an existing vRA catalog item to it. In this way, you can use an existing infrastructure design to jumpstart your new blueprint. Next, you add more vRA
artifacts to the blueprint and your desired UrbanCode Deploy application components to the images. After you provide values for all the request properties that the vRA artifacts contain, you provision the blueprint.
Like the first scenario, when you provision the blueprint, software components that represent agents and a blueprint that describes your infrastructure are added to your vRA instance. This scenario is available only if the vRA user associated with the cloud project is assigned either the Software Architect or Infrastructure Architect role.
This scenario combines benefits of the previous scenarios. Additionally, using existing vRA blueprints as the basis for new, custom stack designs can decrease the set-up time for new environments.