Preventing blueprint sprawl should be a consideration if you’re building out a new cloud through vRealize Automation. Too many blueprints and your users will be confused by the offerings and the more blueprints, the more maintenance needed to manage them. We’ve had custom methods for managing sprawl up until vRA 7.3 was released. Now we have some slick new methods right out of the box to cut down on the number of blueprints in use. These new out of the box configurations are called Component Profiles.
Create a Component Profile
To get started, go into your vRA 7.3 or later version of vRA and navigate to the Administration tab and then click to expand the property dictionary tab. From there you’ll see the new “Component Profiles” option. You’ll notice that you can’t create new ones, but you can edit the existing ones. There are two by default. Let’s start with the “Size” component profile. Click Size.
There isn’t much to do on the General tab so move over the the “Value Sets” tab to get started. Here we’ll create three different Value Sets to add to our component profile. I’ve added a Small, Medium, and Large so that users can select a VM size during deployment. To create a new one click the green plus sign.
Give your Value Set a name and a description. These will be important for your users to select the right thing so be descriptive. Make sure the status is set to active. Then set your CPU, Memory and Storage values that you wish to use. Once done, click finish and repeat this for any other values you might want to present to users.
Now, that we’ve configured the “Size” component profile, lets move over to the “Image” component profile. This feature lets us specify different images for use with a blueprint. In the example here we’ll use a generic Linux blueprint and then let users pick which flavor of linux they’ll use during the request. Go into the Image value sets and add one for each image type you want to present. In my example I’ve got a Ubuntu Image that I’ll be cloning from a vSphere template and using a customization specification. These settings are no different from the “Build Information” tab on a blueprint. Finish your value set and create any other Linux Blueprints you might want to offer to your users.
Create the Blueprint
Now we need to go into the Design tab and create a new blueprint. Use your normal blueprint setup like always, but once done, go to the “Profiles” tab. Click the green plus sign next to add and select both the Image and Size profiles. (Assuming you want to offer a choice for both sizing and image types of course). Now click the Size Value profile and click the “Edit Value Sets” option.
Select the values that you’d like to offer in this blueprint and specify which will be the default value. Repeat this process for the Image profile.
When you’re all done, add the blueprint to the catalog as we always do, and entitle it to your users.
Request Your Server
Now go into your catalog and make a new request for the blueprint. On the vSphere machine, you’ll see there are drop downs for Image and Size which can be shown to your users at request time.
This was all possible prior to version 7.3 of vRealize Automation, but this new out of the box feature makes it much easier and provides faster time to value.