vRA – import/export Software Components with vRealize CloudClient

vRealize CloudClient is a pretty cool CLI tool for managing products like vRealize Automation, vRealize Orchestrator as well as VMware Site Recovery Manager.  The CLI provides simplified verb-based functions which are easy to follow and include TAB assistance.

There are some useful software component samples available on VMware sample exchange, which you download as a zip file, after which you need to use CloudClient to import the file into your existing vRA environment.

Latest version of vRealize CloudClient today is 4.3 available here.

Import a software component.

  • Login to vRealize CloudClient
    • vra login userpass –-user <tenant username> –-password <tenant password> -server <vRA appliance FQDN> –-tenant <tenant you want to import content into>
  • Next we run the import command
    • vra content import –path C:\files\filename.zip –resolution overwrite –dry-run true –precheck warn
    • Review results and verify that is the import dry run ran successfully
    • Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 11.01.07 AM.png
    • Now run the command without –dry-run false
  • Verify in vRA that the Software Component is showing
    • Login to your tenant.
    • Design -> Software Components.


Exporting a software component requires a bit more detailed information.

  • We require the ID, contentId and Content Type information
    • vra content list
    • you might see results have a lot of pages so have to scroll through these to find the Software Components
    • vra content list –page 4
    • Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 11.24.04 AM.png
    • Cop the ID and content Id information
  • vra content export –path C:\files –id a7b2d614-4377-4eb0-83b1-82021c652f7d –content-id Software.EPOpsWinAgent –type software-component –precheck warn



Adding Microsoft Azure to vRA and vRB Part #1

Azure has been available since vRA 7.2 release with OOTB support for building, delivering and lifecycle management of Azure-based workloads. Some features to take note of:

  • Adds native Azure support for hybrid cloud and provisioning use cases
  • First Endpoint to be built on top of extensibility platform (XaaS vs .NET)
  • Incorporate key vRA functionality, such as approvals, extensibility, and CBP
  • Azure services built in CBP, provides config granularity per component
  • Supports Azure Networking (subnets, load balancers)
  • OTB Day2 lifecycle operations include start, stop, restart, delete
  • Leverages new Azure vRO plugin (included OOTB)

As mentioned in bullet point 2 the Azure endpoint is not configured from the traditional Infrastructure tab location because it is not managed by the IaaS engine of vRA but presented via vRO and XaaS.

So how do get this all of this to install and configured?  Let’s start with vRA.

Azure installation steps for vRA 7.2 with external vRO

When using an external vRealize Orchestrator server with vRealize Automation, Microsoft Azure integration is not available so in order to make that work we need to export the Azure plug-in from the internal vRO, that resides on your vRA server, and then import the plugin to the external vRO server.  It sound complicate but not that bad.

    • Log in to the vRO Control Center for the internal vRealize Orchestrator on your vRealize Automation virtual appliance.
    • Under Plug-Ins -> click Manage Plug-Ins.
    • Find the Azure plug-in
      • Right-click Download plug-in in DAR file.
      • Save the file to your desktop.
    • Log in to the vRO Control Center for your external vRealize Orchestrator.
      • Follow same steps as in step 1, except point http address to external vRO server.
    • Under Plug-Ins -> click Manage Plug-Ins.
    • Under Install plug-in -> click Browse
      • Point to DAR file downloaded from internal vRO
    • Click Install.
      • If prompted to confirm
      • Click Install again.
    • In the Control Center under Startup-Options, click Restart to finish installing the new plugin.
    • Reboot all your vRealize Automation virtual appliances at the same time.
      Microsoft Azure integration functionality should be restored.

Verify Azure plugin:  (Remember this will not be under your regular Infrastructure endpoint)

  1. Login to vRA.
  2. Administration -> vRO configuration -> Endpoints
  3. Select New
  4. Open Plug-in drop down box
  5. Verify that you can see “Azure”
  6. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 11.10.31 AM.png
  7. Good to go!

If the integration does not function properly after the reboot, verify that the Azure package, com.vmware.vra.endpoint.azure, is present in the external vRO. If the Azure package is not present, complete these steps.

  1. Log in to your internal vRO client on your vRA virtual appliance.
  2. Export the Azure package, com.vmware.vra.endpoint.azure. For instructions, see, Export a Package.
  3. Log in to the vRO client for your external vRO.
  4. Import the Azure package, com.vmware.vra.endpoint.azure, to your external vRO. For instructions, see Import a Package.


Create Azure Endpoint:

  1. Login to vRA.
  2. Administration -> vRO configuration -> Endpoints
  3. Click New
  4. Select Azure from Plug-in drop down box
  5. Click Next
  6. Give the Endpoint a name
  7. Click Next
    1. If you get an error “Service Workflow cannot be found”, then make sure the package is present with steps provide above.
  8. Fill in the detail settings
    1. You need to Azure Subscription ID, Tenant ID, Client ID as well as client secret.
    2. This information is available under https://account.windowsazure.com/Subscriptions

Before continuing with vRA configuration you have to prep your Azure environment, which is out of scope for this article, and make sure have the following information available:

  1. Subscription ID
  2. Tenant ID
  3. Resource Group name
  4. Storage account name
  5. Location
  6. Virtual Network name
  7. Client application ID
  8. Client application secret key
  9. Virtual Machine image URN

Create Azure resource reservation:

  1. Administration -> Users and Groups -< Business Groups
    1. Create Business Group if required or use existing
  2. Infrastructure -> Reservations -> Reservations
    1. Create Reservation
    2. Provide Name
    3. Select Business Group
    4. Optionally set Reservation Policy
    5. Set priority
    6. Very check on Enabled
    7. Click Next
      1. Enter Subscription ID
      2. Set Location
      3. Click New on Resource Group
      4. Enter Resource group name
      5. Click New on Storage Accounts
      6. Enter Storage account name
    8. Click Next
      1. Click New on Networks
      2. Enter Network name
      3. If required enter the name for the Load Balancers and Security Groups as well.
    9. Set alerts
    10. Finish


Create Azure Blueprint:

  1. Design -> BluePrint
  2. Create new
  3. Under machine types categories select Azure Machine
  4. Drag it to design canvas
  5. Select Azure Machine
    1. Set ID
    2. Under Build information tab
      1. Set Location
      2. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 11.39.55 AM.png
      3. Set Naming Prefix
        1. This can be based on Business group default or Custom
        2. Windows computer name cannot be more than 15 characters long, be entirely numeric, or contain the following characters: ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) = + _ [ ] { } \ | ; : . ‘ ” , < > / ?
      4. Set Image type
      5. Enter Virtual Machine image name
      6. Set Authentication with username and password
        1. Cannot use the username “admin”, yes I tried that first.
        2. Password requires a minimum of 12 characters
      7. Set Instance size
        1. Set series
        2. Set size
      8. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 11.40.13 AM.png
    3. Under Machine resources tab
      1. Set Resources group by either creating a new or use an existing.
        1. Enter existing resource group name
      2. Set availability set
      3. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 11.40.21 AM
    4. Under Storage tab
      1. Set storage account name, if nothing is set the storage account will be picked from reservation.
      2. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 11.40.26 AM
    5. Under network tab
      1. Enter load balancer name
      2. Set IP address type
        1. I have Dynamic selected
      3. Set networking configuration
        1. I have specify Azure network selected
        2. Optionally, can fill out rest of network names
      4. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 11.40.40 AM

In part 2 I will discuss adding Microsoft Azure to vRealize Business for Cloud

OneNote for Mac finally does it right (updated!)

This is just my opinion and it seems some users on MS community is not on the same page, but overall OneNote has definitely been moving in the right direction 🙂

I have been a long time users of OneNote and it is an amazing tool which does not get all the recognition it deserves.  Since I switched over to Mac a year ago I have been struggling with Office for Mac, especially OneNote, but Microsoft has been putting a lot of focus on this product and even listened to us on their community sites with suggestions and bug fixes. This is great to see and just reinforces my choice that this is the right tool for me.

You can also join the office insider program which allows you to get insider slow or fast builds but as many users recently discovered, OneNote freezing during the sync process, this can cause problem and is done at your own risk.


So back to the good stuff, Microsoft recently introduce the new vertical menu bar on the left side of the screen which replaced the top horizontal menu, which in my opinion was not good since you had to scroll a lot!   The new menu is very similar to what you get in OneNote for Windows, but after reading some community forums it has not received all the love since it takes up quiet a bit of screen real estate which is not ideal but I am sure this will be addressed in the near future.

Below is a screenshot of the menu showing with all my workbooks.

Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 6.17.21 PM.png

Below the menu shows with my workbooks hidden.  This happens when you click on a page.

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 9.23.22 AM.png

Another cool feature is the feedback button which sends information back to the team on things you like or don’t like and any suggestions you might have. Pretty cool.

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 9.03.04 AM.png

UPDATE 06.20.2017

OneNote for Mac release version 15.35.1 (170616) which now gives you the ability to customization your OneNote interface by hiding sections to only show pages as well as page previews.  Here is some information on how to customize OneNote. Pretty neat!

What is even more exciting is that MS is finally creating consistency across all the platforms for OneNote with the following new feature announcements here:

  • Enhancing usability for those who use assistive technologies.
  • Simplifying navigation controls.
  • Creating consistency across devices.



You can also provide feedback and suggestions here:


OneNote for Mac community: