Upgrade vRealize Automation 7.2 to 7.4 using vRealize Suite LifeCycle Manager

VMware’s vRealize Suite of Products are great, and each provides a lot of features and capabilities, and VMware has been working hard on integration between the products. However, these products are very much standalone with no cohesion between them from a lifecycle management perspective.  This creates a lot of management overhead to install, upgrade, configure and manage all these products, as well the additional solution extensions.

In comes vRealize Suite LifeCycle Manager (vRSLCM) which is a relatively new product and is available to all customers with a vRealize Suite license. It automates the installation, configuration, and upgrading of the following products:

  • vRealize Automation
  • vRealize Operations Managers
  • vRealize Log Insight
  • vRealize Business for Cloud

In this blog, I am going to provide the steps on how to import an existing distributed Enterprise vRA 7.2 environment and perform the upgrade to 7.4 using vRSLCM 1.2.

Let’s start off with the initial creation of the environment, which does require a lot of information up front, but once you create or import products into the environment at a later time, it will make use of this stored environment information.

  1. Log in to your vRSLCM
  2. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.46.11 PM.png
  3. Select Create Environments
  4. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.45.43 PM.png
  5. Enter Environment Data
    1. Data Center (this you should have created during the initial configuration of your vRSLCM environment)
    2. Environment Type
    3. Environment Name
    4. Administrator email
    5. Default root password
    6. Click Next
  6. Create Environment
    1. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.49.10 PM.png
    2. Check the box for vRealize Automation
    3. Since we already have an environment that we need to import, select the import Radio button.
    4. Click Next
  7. EULA
    1. Scroll down to bottom.
    2. Check the box to accept the terms and conditions.
  8. License
    1. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.52.11 PM.png
    2. Either pick a vRealize Suite license which will populate from your my.vmware.com account, or enter one manually.
    3. Click Next
  9. Infrastructure Details (This information is used if you deploy new products)
    1. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.55.06 PM.png
    2. Select vCenter Server where your vRealize Suite products reside in.
    3. Select Cluster
    4. Select Network
    5. Select Datastore
    6. Select preferred Disk format for product deployments.
    7. Click Next
  10. Network (This information is used if you deploy new products)
    1. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.59.39 PM.png
    2. Enter default gateway of the network where your vRealize Suite products are deployed or will be deployed too.
    3. Enter Domain Name
    4. Enter search path
    5. Enter DNS
    6. Enter Netmask
    7. Click Next
  11. Certificates (I import a wildcard certificate or you can use multi-domain certificate would be a good choice to simplify the process)
    1. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.04.03 PM.png
    2. Click Next to use the self-signed generated certificate or click the import certificate button to add existing wildcard or SAN certificate.
    3. Click Next
  12. Import (Since we selected import we now get ask questions about our existing environment)
    1. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.06.18 PM.png
    2. Enter vRA root password
    3. Enter vRA Default Administrator password
    4. Enter Tenant User name.
      1. Selecting the “administrator” user works just fine here.
    5. Enter vRA Primary Node FQDN
    6. Enter IaaS Username.
      1. I used the domain service account assigned to all IaaS servers
    7.  Default vRA Tenant name is select “vsphere.local”
    8. Enter vRA Tenant password
    9. Enter IaaS Password for the domain account.
    10. Select vCenter Server from the drop-down where the vRA server is running on.
    11. Click Next
  13. Review summary
    1. Click Download configuration to save the JSON file for later use.
    2. Click Submit
  14. This will run for a while to configure the environment and import vRA
    1. If it fails, you have a couple of options
      1. Review the requests
        1. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.19.27 PM.png
        2. Under actions select retry and verify the information that you have entered.
      2. Delete the environment and start over (1.2 provides the ability to specify if you also want to delete the VMs when you delete a fully configured environment, definitely not recommended to do so in most cases!)
    2. If you want to pause the import, you can always come back later and resume\
  15. Verify the vRA product environment
    1. Select Environment tab on the left side
    2. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.25.18 PM.png
    3. Select View details of the newly created environment
    4. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.24.32 PM.png
    5. Verify that all the information of your distributed vRA environment is accurate. vRSLCM collects all your VIP names, vRA-, IaaS- and Database Servers as well as where each component resides.
    6. Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.24.21 PM.png

Once the environment is created successfully, and vRA is added, we have a couple of pre-requisites that needs to be taken care of before the upgrade can take place.

  • Review VMware documentation to prepare for the upgrade here.
  • Always take Snapshots of all your vRA and IaaS servers before upgrading your environments, including a backup of your vRA and IaaS database!
    • I cannot stress how important this is in case you need to revert back.
  • If you upgrade to vRA 7.4 refer to KB 54982. Duplicate entries in the embedded Orchestrator database may exist which will cause the upgrade to fail.
  • If you deploy vRealize Automation in a clustered environment, you must apply KB 51531 preemptively on all nodes of the vRealize Automation cluster.
  • If you upgrade from a distributed vRealize Automation environment that operates in PostgreSQL synchronous replication mode, you must change it to asynchronous before you upgrade. Refer to the Upgrade Guide for more details.
  • Add product Binaries to vRSLCM using a couple of different methods (local location, NFS or My VMware downloads)
    • Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.43.11 PM.png
    • Using My VMware downloads
      • Select Settings -> My VMware
      • Register with My VMware to access licenses, download Product Binaries, and consume Marketplace content.
      • Enter username and password
      • Click Submit
      • Once successfully connected, select the products you want to download under action.
      • Select Settings -> Product Binaries
      • Select My VMware downloads
      • Select discover
    • Using Local
      • WinRM to vRSLCM box and upload your existing OVA files
      • Select Settings -> Product Binaries
      • Select Local and the path
      • Select discover
    • Using NFS
      • Select Settings -> Product Binaries
      • Select the NFS folder where all your OVA files reside.
      • Select discover

Upgrading vRA

  • Select Environment tab on the left side
  • Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.25.18 PM.png
  • Select the 3 vertical dots in the environment and select upgrade
    • Remember those snapshots!
  • Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.24.28 PM.png
  • Select the Production version
  • Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 5.41.23 PM.png
  • Click Upgrade.
  • Review the progress of your upgrade
    • Select Requests -> Click on the status of the current request.
    • Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 5.44.42 PM.png
  • `Verify the upgrade is successful.

As you can see the upgrade was super easy with vRSLCM taking care of everything. Same can be done with the rest of the vRealize Suite products.

One thought on “Upgrade vRealize Automation 7.2 to 7.4 using vRealize Suite LifeCycle Manager

  1. Pingback: Using vRealize Suite LifeCycle Manager to deploy an Enterprise Distributed vRealize Automation environment. | JohannStander

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