Hola! It’s been some time that I have written on my blog.
Recently I was working with one of my customers with a Private Cloud Deployment based off vRA 6.2.3 and the associated vRealize Suite Advanced products. With vRA 7.3 being GA’d last month, I made the customer aware of the features and benefits of vRA 7.3 and he was awed. I was quickly tasked to help setup a PoC environment and showcase the benefits to the Business. We were lucky to get the blessings from the Business to take this forward and plan for the Upgrades.
There are tons of improvements in the 7.3 release especially when you are running off 6.2.x in your environment.I am not going to brag about the features and benefits of vRA 7.3(even though I would love too!), there are a good number of blogs already on this, but what I am here to talk about is the Upgrade Assist Tool, which would help plan the upgrades.
Back in the olden days, when it was just vSphere , things were pretty simple and so were the upgrades. But now, with so many components talking to each other, upgrades require a good amount of planning.
This customer of mine had been through the upgrade process of upgrading their distributed vRA deployment from 6.2.1 to 6.2.3 and were worried since the 7.3 release would be a major change and wanted us to ensure we do not miss out on any steps while planning the same.
Thanks to the Cloud Management Business Unit team at VMware, who have helped create this vRealize Automation Upgrade assist tool found in the Upgrade Center , see https://www.vmware.com/in/products/vrealize-automation/upgrade-center.html to make things easier and smooth.
Ok, so let’s get to the meat.
The vRealize Automation Upgrade Assist Tool can be downloaded from the Upgrade Center and of course has a guide associated with it for you to follow. If you have used the vRealize Production Test Tool in the past, this would be somewhat familiar (& also feel good about it, I will tell you why in a bit).
The idea of using this tool is to help analyze the current vRA deployment and bring forth those areas which could potentially cause some problems once upgraded to vRA 7.3. The good part is that it helps us check automatically if the current setup is ready for the vRA 7.x upgrade.
It doesn’t carry around very stringent requirements to get the product started but for best results (or so to say, complete results) here are some of the recommendations:
Ideally you should run this tool on one of the IaaS Windows Server with the Model Manager Data. In a distributed deployment, take a look at the IaaS nodes and search for “C:\ProgramFiles\(x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\Model Manager Data” folder. The Machine with this folder is the place where you run this Upgrade Assist Tool.
Once extracted, you should run the vRPT-1.6.0.exe executable , which should open up the EULA and take you straight into the page where you enter the details about the existing vRA deployment. It has some fairly straight-forward questions with respect to your vRA deployment such as the vRA portal name, the IaaS Web Host name, the vRO node name along with the respective credentials.
Note: In a distributed deployment, you are supposed to enter the Load Balanced IP/URL instead of the node name.
Now, the good part when compared with the earlier versions(of vRealize Production Test Tool), is that it allows you to test the connections before you run the tests. The Test Connection button prompts you if the credentials are correct, or you need to modify them.
Once green, you click on Save and Run, which would initiate the tests.
To make sure you are good with the .NET versions, disk space and other details, it is recommended to run this test on the additional IaaS machines to ensure you verify the pre-requisites for the upgrade.
It also has an additional option where you can send these test results to VMware, where it uploads the test output onto the VMware ftpsite. It is exactly the same way you upload the logs when you are working with VMware Technical Support.
To give you a sample of how the test output looks like, here it is:
The output would state if there are any vRO Workflows or physical endpoints which may not work post the upgrade to 7.x.
I would highly recommend to start the upgrade journey with the Upgrade Assist Tool and then move to the Checklists provided in the VMware Documentation at https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Automation/index.html
Oh yes, VMware Pubs has a cool new look. Check it out, if you haven’t.