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Deeper Native NSX Integration with vRealize Automation 7.3

VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 was released yesterday; although this is a dot release, it integrates many new features and improvements covering:

  • Out-of-the-box support for t-shirt sizing

  • Policy-based optimization of virtual machine placement

  • Lifecycle with new APIs available for installation and upgrade

  • REST APIs

  • High availability (automated failover of PostgreSQL and IaaS manager services, etc.)

  • New health service

  • New integrations (Puppet, Admiral)

  • Deeper integration for Azure (drag-and-drop Azure software components in the blueprint designer)

  • Features enhancements (ServiceNow, etc.)

  • …and much more! Check out the vRealize Automation 7.3 Release Notes for more information.

vRA + NSX

Beyond those, I would like to focus more on vRA + NSX enhancements for this 7.3 release. First and foremost, vRA 7.3 communicates now directly with the NSX REST API. Yup, no need for the NSX plug-in for vRO anymore. This brings a simplified compatibility matrix, but also streamlined deployment/configuration and an improved ease of troubleshooting.

NB: this doesn’t mean that vRO will never be used anymore, it is still an area of investment for vRA/NSX extensibility.

What’s new in vRA 7.3 regarding NSX integration?

  • Enhanced control of NSX-provisioned load balancers

    • Blueprint authoring: simple (default) load balancer, or customize it per-blueprint (all algorithms, persistence, ports, health monitors, and so on)

    • Day 2: add and edit virtual servers (and associated configuration)

vRA 7.3: enhanced control of NSX-provisioned load balancers

vRA 7.3: full control for on-demand load balancers

  • Enhanced NAT port forwarding rules

    • Blueprint authoring: on-demand NAT port forwarding rules can be configured during application design (rules prioritization, etc.)

    • Day 2: rules can be added, removed, and reordered after you create them

vRA 7.3: configurable on-demand NAT port forwarding rules

  • NSX security group and tag management

    • View active NSX security groups and tags

    • Add existing NSX security groups or tags to a running application

    • Disassociate NSX security groups and tags from applications

  • NSX Edge size selection

    • Able to specify deployment size for NSX Edge Services Gateway (ESG)

    • Configurable per-blueprint based on application needs or scale

    • Uses custom properties for size selection at request time

  • High availability automated for NSX Edge services

    • Edge high-availability mode in the blueprint provides high availability for all edge services to an application when it is deployed

    • Configurable per blueprint based on application availability needs

    • Use custom properties to determine high availability at request time

    • Adds high availability for ESG services (load balancing, NAT, firewall, etc.)

Again, everything above mentioned is covered by vRA native integration with NSX and doesn’t rely on vRO anymore! ;)

Link: vRealize Automation 7.3 Release Notes.

Author

Romain

Staff Architect & Member of the CTO Ambassador Program at VMware, focusing on NSX and Cloud-Native Applications. He is a double VCDX (DCV and NV, #120), VCDX panelist, frequent VMUG/VMworld speaker and contributor to the community via this blog or social media (follow him on Twitter @woueb).